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Heritage Hub Collections Care training

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How to preserve your family or community archive: Collection Care 2

Do you have a personal, organisational, local or subject related collection or archive? Want to know how to look after it well?

The first thing to do is think about why you want to preserve your collection. It may be obvious to you, but it is good to write it down so that you are clear about what you are doing – see it as a personal mission statement if you like! If you are looking after a collection for a group or organisation or perhaps other members of your family, it is important to leave information for them, so that people know what you have saved and why.

You can do this in 5 minutes. The easiest way is to ask yourself:

Who, What, When, Why, Where, How?

Who: My name is . . .
What: The title of the collection that I am preserving is . . . /It is a collection of . . .
When: It was started . . . /It covers the time period . . .
Why: The collection is being preserved because . . .
Where: It is kept . . .
How: The steps I have taken/am going to take to preserve it are . . . – don’t worry if you can’t answer this one fully yet!

From this simple exercise you can start to build a picture and establish a context. If you are involved with a larger organisation you can use it to develop a mission statement and a Collecting Policy.

Page updated: 17/11/2020 Page updated by: Ally McConnell

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