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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Archives of voluntary action

I see that I have posted before on the vexed issue of the archives of voluntary bodies.

The Voluntary Action History Society is making a concerted effort to make these organisations more aware of their archives and the need to preserve them: Wanted: Champions to safeguard the archives of our charities.

As I commented in a recent post to the Wellcome Library blog, we have acquired over the years a significant collection of archives of voluntary organisations in the medical and health field, and continue to consider the preservation of records from this very important sector a priority.

However, in the course of dealing with this question over the years we have had depressing experiences of records lost or stored in conditions under which they became irretrievably damaged, and encounted instances of very significant institutions which had paid no attention to preserving any details of their history.

Even if records do survive, there may be problems in finding an appropriate repository and in accessing the necessary resources to care for them.

But raising awareness of the importance of archives is a start.

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