Simon Matty of MLA gave a talk about the concept of Public Value at the NCA event. The impression he gave was that it is now being seen as increasingly important to get the public to speak on behalf of service providers about the value they attach to organisations such as archives, libraries and museums. This seems to represent a move away from measuring the number of visitors and towards trying to demonstrate the quality of the users’ experience.
Simon noted that 6.2% of adults (according to the Taking Part survey undertaken by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport) have visited an archive. We thought this was actually quite a high figure, although as Rebecca Simor of the BBC pointed out, it doesn’t include any measure of online use, which is something that interests us particularly.
Jane and I went to the National Council on Archives’ one-day conference in Birmingham yesterday. There were some excellent talks by users of archives, particularly that by Dr Dennis Wheeler of the University of Sunderland. He was describing the CLIWOC project, which is using naval logbooks to chart weather conditions in the world’s oceans between 1750 and 1850.
Tomorrow I’ll be attending the Infrastructure Group meeting of aUK (Archives UK). This group is trying to find a way forward for integrated cross-searching of the UK’s various online archive networks, such as:
Archives Network Wales
National Register of Archives
This is the first posting of the Archives Hub team’s blog. We plan to use this to post news about the activities and interests of the members of the Archives Hub team.