The National Archives and Research Libraries UK (RLUK) have published guidance on how archives and academic institutions optimally create as well as future-proof and embed collaborations. The Guide was produced by Caroline Peach (Preservation Matters) and is the result of an extensive period of research involving colleagues from across the archival and academic sectors. The guide details the range of opportunities that exist for collaboration between the archive and HE sectors, and provides information on the practical issues associated with the formation, development and sustainability of collaborations.  It also highlights the particular strengths of the higher education environment that archive services should be aware of to realise the many possible ways that exist to work with and alongside academic colleagues and higher education institutions.

The National Archives and RLUK are committed to encouraging cross-sector collaboration and it is hoped that this guide, with its real-life insights and case studies, will help bring more organisations together, leading to further initiatives that equally promote both archive collections and academic research across the UK.

In 2011, The National Archives was given sector leadership responsibility within England and works to engage with people across the archive sector to promote good practice and sustainability. It works closely with partners across the heritage, cultural and academic sectors to enhance public access to archive collections wherever they are held.

In 2010, RLUK entered a strategic period of focus on unique and distinctive collections, leading to major reports on hidden collections in archives and libraries with The London Library, and a large-scale survey of special collections in the UK and Ireland with OCLC Research. RLUK has on the basis of this work collaborated with The National Archives, as it aspires to with other national archival bodies, to energise the community of archivists and enhance dialogue between archives and academe.

TNA/RLUK Collaboration guide

Download the collaboration guide

For further information about RLUK and its work in this area, contact: Dr Mike Mertens Tel: 0121 415 8107.

RLUK’s work on unique and distinctive collections (UDCs) also continues in the form of the community-supported UDC Hub. For further information on the UDC Hub contact: Melanie Cheung


Top image courtesy of Imperial College London Library