Our archives and records strengthen our sense of place and connect people to knowledge, information and inspiration. They cover every aspect of our history, our interests, business life and creativity. Collectively they include something of interest to all: the school child, the family or village historian, the person seeking evidence of their identity, and the community capturing local experience. People's interaction with our archives and records stimulates the development of new skills, new attitudes and new awareness. Our archive services are free to use and open to everyone.
Over 89 per cent of visitors to archives in England believe they contribute to society by strengthening family and community identity (source: ‘IPF/Public Services Quality Group - Visitor's Survey 2004 - National and Regional Report'). From 1993/94 to 2003/04 there has been a 50 per cent increase in reader visits to local authority archives in England (source: The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountability (CIPFA) Archive Statistics).
The Government has supported the recommendations of the Archives Task Force report ‘Listening to the Past, Speaking to the Future', commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). In doing so, it has recognised the greater role archives could play in supporting education and informal learning, community engagement and social and economic objectives of national and local government.
Case studies and resources
Westminster City Council archives case study (PDF, 2 pages, 132KB)
The Chelsea FC and Westminster Archives 'Education through Football' project was a great way for schoolchildren to learn in a unique and exciting way. Using archive material they developed their skills in history, literacy and citizenship with Chelsea Football Club as the focus.
Crayford Community Archive Project
Crayford Community Archive Project helped Bexley's library service to engage with the local community.
Archives useful resources
A list of useful resources regarding archives and records management.
19 June 2012