Archives in Danger

Collections - Posted 06-04-2021

Archives and Records Council Wales have recently been have awarded a Covid-19 Archives Fund Grant of £50,000 from The National Archives. This generous award will allow us to employ a Records at Risk Officer for Wales to lead on the development of a national strategy to identify records at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has a number of implications for the continued operation of businesses, charities, and other community organisations, with many closing with very little warning. The records created by these bodies have historical value, not only for their own business operation, but for the evidence they provide of their part in the life of the local community and of the story of Wales at a national level. Many of these organisations are the life blood of our local communities, and their records form an integral part of the local and national story. These are the places where people live their lives, work, shop, meet their friends and come together as a community, and their records will tell us more about how people in Wales really lived.

Over the coming year, as the country emerges from the pandemic, an increasing number of these types of local organisation will face closure, or may be unable to continue to care for their historic assets. It is crucial that that there is a coherent approach to ensure that any vulnerable archives and records are safeguarded for future generations. It will be the role of the Records at Risk Officer to survey the current record keeping landscape in Wales, to ensure that records at risk are identified, and to develop the framework for a longer-term national Records at Risk Strategy for Wales.

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