Latest Updates from The National Archives – March 2023

Please see below for updates from the National Archives March 2023 Newsletter.

National news 

DCDC Conference – call for papers

The pandemic has allowed a radical reimagining of how we work in the GLAMA sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Academia). The way we collaborate and engage with our communities, as well as the skills and tools we use, have all changed substantially.  The National Archives, The British Library and Jisc are pleased to announce that the Call For Papers for DCDC23 is now open. After two years of online-only conferences, DCDC23 returns both in-person and online from 11 to 13 July at Durham University.  

Find out more and submit your proposal by 31 March 2023

Inclusion resources

Have you seen the new inclusion hub that we recently launched on our website? The hub introduces inclusion, homing in on what exactly inclusive practice is and why inclusive practice is important for archives. These webpages also provide a collection of resources that features a risk assessment, a series of wellbeing and inclusive language videos, and inclusive artwork for your service to use. In addition, you can also uncover our series of three case studies to find out what archives around the country have been doing to make their services more inclusive. 

Visit our inclusion hub

DROID survey

We have put together a survey to find out who uses DROID (the file format identification tool). We’d like to know how you use DROID and how we can improve DROID for our current and future users. Your feedback will be much appreciated as it will help us to develop and improve the tool. 

Take part in the survey

Training provider announced for the Level 7 Archivist apprenticeship

The National Archives is delighted to announce that Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) will be the first provider to run the off-the-job training for the Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeship, meaning that apprentices will be able to start this autumn. Apprentices will spend 20% of their time completing formal learning with a training provider such as WAES, while the other 80% of apprentices’ time will be dedicated to on-the-job training at the archives that employ them. By combining formal learning and on-the-job training, apprentices will achieve a high-level qualification over 3 years while working and earning. This opportunity will enable a wider range of people to join the recordkeeping profession.

Find out more about WAES and the apprentice scheme

Accessions to Repositories Survey update

Every year we invite archive services to participate in the Accessions to Repositories Survey. Our analysis of accessions data helps inform many areas of our work including sales monitoring and work relating to digital capacity building in the sector. Thank you to all who sent their returns for 2022, we are now working through the data, but the 2021 report is available to read and the 2021 accessions data is now published by topic

Check out the 2021 analysis report to explore trends in collecting 

National events

Impact webinar – Sheffield Archives’ ‘Excavate Where you Stand’ project

31 March I Online

This seminar will explore developing creative partnerships by focusing on Sheffield City Archives’ ‘Excavate Where you Stand’ project. Sheffield-based writer and educator Désirée Reynolds launched the project last year, whilst working at the archive as their Writer in Residence. The project explores stories of Black and marginalised people held in the city’s archives. Désirée and archivist Cheryl Bailey will discuss their partnership, their experience of discovering Black and marginalised voices and the impact this has had on the archive, the city’s historical narrative, and individuals and communities who have seen their histories elevated for the first time. This seminar will be of interest to people looking to explore creative partnerships and increase the impact of marginalised voices in archives.

Find out more and register to attend this impact seminar

ARA’s 2023 conference returns to Belfast

The 2022 conference brought a professional community together in person for the first time since the pandemic, and, building on that experience, the 2023 gathering will serve and strengthen the recordkeeping community – the theme will be ‘Communities’. Over three days there will be talks about communities of users, stakeholders, colleagues and collaborators. It is an opportunity to revisit and rebuild relationships and connections, and to address issues prevalent in the sector. 

Find out more about the ARA Conference 2023

Online Event: In Conversation – for members focusing on Co-curation & Film in Museums

When: Thursday, April 20th, 13:00-14:00

Where: Online via Zoom

Tickets: Free, open to NWFed institutional and individual members only

Following last year’s highly successful In Conversation on Co-Production and Working with Communities, we return to the same theme for our next online lunchtime event, this time looking at community engagement in film and audio-visual exhibits. We are delighted to welcome presentations on two outstanding examples of film co-production from the North West:

Hair, by Andy Hardman, Belle Vue Productions, and Otis Graham for World Museum, Liverpool.
Andy is an academic and film maker who worked as film partner for the World Museum in Liverpool as they reinterpreted their World Cultures galleries, bringing in new voices and perspectives from local communities. Otis Graham is a local constituent of the museum. Their film, Hair, was co-produced by Otis and Andy and concerns the museum’s collections and their personal meanings to Otis as a lifelong visitor. The story elucidates hidden meanings of the museum’s collections and sheds light on the under-examined feelings that even seemingly innocuous objects can trigger.

Pardesi Raga, by Alina Akbar, for the South Asia Gallery, Manchester Museum.
Alina is a visual artist and storyteller. With one ear to the streets of Manchester and another to the subcontinent, Pardesi Raga takes us on a tour of her interpretation of east and west, reflecting on the variety of generational sounds transmitted via collective experiences and everyday interaction. Expanded in dialogue with her family, the documentary-style footage provides a backdrop for a symphony of sounds. Intergenerational perspectives create a temporary sanctuary from the feelings of isolation and distance from our own culture, and a moment for us all to share in the warmth and joy of being part of the South Asian diaspora.

The event will include extracts from both films, brief presentations from the film makers and plenty of time for questions and answers. It will be of interest to anyone looking to explore new and innovative ways of empowering communities in the re-interpretation of museum and gallery collections.

This online lunchtime event is open to institutional and individual members of NWFed and is free.
Book your place here now.

Not already a member? Find out how to join us for just ?12 (?5 students) here.

If you would like to talk to us about your access needs for this event, please contact us at

Association for Heritage Interpretation Awards are open for entries!

From the Association for Heritage Interpretation

Are you or your colleagues involved in a new project that brings a site and its heritage, nature, culture or science stories vividly to life? ?Are you engaging your audiences in memorable ways? ?If so, now’s the time to enter it for an AHI Engaging People Award – the perfect opportunity to share your inspiring ideas and celebrate your hard work.

We’re looking for examples of great audience engagement that take place indoors, outdoors and online, at one site or across several, that are led by organisations or communities, and are permanent or temporary. We’ve also got a special category in 2023 for projects and activities that focus on the climate emergency. ?We have awards that recognise individuals too: for Young Interpreters new to the sector and those who’ve made an Outstanding Contribution to it.

The Awards cover eight different categories. You can enter projects in the first six categories using the entry form. You can also download the appropriate form to nominate people for a Young Interpreter or Outstanding Contribution to Interpretation Award. 

Entering your project for an award? Please read the category descriptions below and choose the most appropriate category for your project or event.

  • If your project could fit into more than one category, please pick the most relevant one e.g. if your project takes place both indoors and outdoors, think about where the main part of the experience happens and choose that category.
  • Performn’t worry if you’re not sure you’ve picked the right category! The Awards judging panel will make the final call to make sure your project is judged fairly against similar ones (and they will let you know if they move it).
  • To be eligible, projects or events must have launched to the public in Britain or Ireland between 5th April 2021 and 11th April 2023.
  • The closing date for entries is Friday 14th April 2023However, nominations for the Young Interpreter and Outstanding Contribution to Interpretation awards are being accepted until Thursday, 31 August 2023.

The entry form is easy to fill in and you’ve got until April to complete it. ?Get ahead of the game and send us your entry today!

To apply, please click through to the entry forms here –