The National Archives’ Archives Sector Engagement Team provides support for public sector archives, including those run by local authorities and universities.
Our focus is on supporting the development of a sustainable archives sector, which adapts to changing circumstances and seizes opportunities. Our Engagement Managers will work in specific regions, to build relationships and develop a strategic approach to development.
The Engagement Team also manages The National Archives’ oversight of public records.
Find the contact details for the team.
What we offer
The National Archives has a long-established track record of sharing its expertise with the wider archives sector. The Engagement Team will work like telephone exchange operators, to help plug this expertise into the relevant places. We also want to identify the wealth of expertise out there in the archives sector, where practitioners have found practical approaches and innovative solutions that should be shared more widely across the sector. Our Archives sector website is a continually developing resource for the sector, providing expertise, guidance and other useful material generated by The National Archives and other experts from within the world of archives.
The Engagement Team will not only support services that are experiencing difficulties, but will also identify services that are developing new and successful approaches. We can help highlight these by disseminating case studies and highlighting the key ingredients for success that will be applicable to other archives.
The Engagement Team will develop a unique view of the archives sector, with each region having a dedicated Engagement Manager who will get to know the archive services, understand regional priorities and identify opportunities. One of our first tasks will be to explore the effectiveness of existing regional archives (or cultural sector networks) and see how The National Archives can support them to work strategically. Are there new networks and connections we need to make to help share expertise, facilitate peer support and tackle specific issues?
Advocacy and influence
Because archives services are often far down in their organisation’s structure, it can be challenging for them to get the attention of senior managers. Our team will have a key role in building relationships at this level to advocate for how the archives service can deliver against key organisational priorities and to help develop a vision and action plan to maximise the archive’s potential.
With Arts Council England (ACE) we have developed a shared method for regional working, which will really enhance the support our small engagement team can offer. This will ensure that the archives are considered within ACE’s approach of a ‘single cultural conversation’, and specifically that we have a joined up approach that makes sense for those archive services that sit within museums and libraries – which look to ACE for leadership and funding.
We will continue to provide advice and support to ensure Places of Deposit are meeting the required standards of care and access.