Opening Up Archives project gets cash boost

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01 June 2012
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The National Archives’ innovative Opening Up Archives project to tackle skills shortages in the wider archives sector has been al

The National Archives’ innovative Opening Up Archives project to tackle skills shortages in the wider archives sector has been allocated additional funding of over £250,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Speaking about the additional funding, Nick Kingsley, Head of Archives Sector Development, The National Archives, said: ‘This is fantastic news for the archives sector. HLF’s continued support and financial backing for this essential project helps us open up a career in archives to a wider more diverse group of individuals. The hands-on experience equips a new generation of archivists with practical skills from traditional interpretation and online engagement to collection development and digital preservation-skills and learning that they will be able put to professional practice in the future.’

A joint venture between The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association (ARA), Opening Up Archives offers a non-graduate route into the archive sector. It focuses on work placements across England and implements a programme to develop a more diverse and skilled archives workforce.

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Now in its second year, the project programme ensures:

  • Specialist skills-trained individuals able to contribute to agendas in the archive sector
  • A more diverse skilled workforce, in terms of ethnicity and educational background
  • Archives recruit a broader range of skills, with staff that is more reflective of their community
  • Shared learning on non-graduate routes into working with archives
The extension grant awarded as part of HLF’s Skills for the Future programme, will guarantee a third year of the project runs in 2013.