Old dog, new tricks

Hello all, it’s Justine again. I signed off at the end of last year as my role of project archivist was coming to an end, but a permanent vacancy came up  which I successfully applied for, so here I am again wearing my new 2014 hat, Archivist (Civic & Public Records)!

Our new Archivist for Civic and Public Records, yours truly. Sadly there isn't actually a hat...

Our new Archivist for Civic and Public Records, yours truly. Sadly there isn’t actually a hat…

I still have responsibility for finalising the civic archive catalogue to make sure its ready for our service reopening at the end of this year. If you’re on twitter you will have seen that the volunteers are progressing well with the physical processing and finding lots of interest. Next I’ll have the interfaces and collections guides to work on,  to make sure we have useful resources ready.

Eileen and John used a whole 100m roll of tape to wrap volumes one day last month.

Eileen and John got through an entire 100m roll of tape wrapping volumes one day last month.

These days however I’m no longer in my project bubble but have other duties around the service. My job is to make sure that the civic archive is accessible, that public records such as coroner’s records and court records are cared for according to Public Records legislation, and to support the front of house team with enquiries.

As well as preserving and improving access to the civic and public records we already have, I’ll also be making sure that we  acquire today’s council records to form the civic archive of the future. I’ve always really enjoyed capturing the continuity between records types and council functions over the centuries, and am very chuffed that I get to keep working with these records of local life and democracy.

This is what CYC does today, and we need to capture for the sake of history

This is what CYC does today, and which we need to capture for posterity.

I’m also going to be doing more communications work this year, I will be speaking at a number of professional events for archivists including the ARA 2014 conference in Newcastle, which I’m very excited about as it’s the major UK national conference for archivists.

Disseminating the lessons of the City Making History project was always our intention, so it’s great that we can share our insights with other archive services. Hopefully it shows that theoretical approaches and ambition don’t just come from major archives, but any repository can contribute creatively to the bigger field.

So expect to hear more from me on civic and public records, now that I’m up to speed on my new job. I hope you’ve enjoyed the posts by Sarah, the new Community Collections and Outreach Archivist, and by Victoria, 2/5ths of the City Archivist. On Monday our new Public Services Manager starts, so we’ll get her to introduce herself once she’s settled in a bit.

We have a lot of behind the scenes work to do this year, so come along and stay in touch with both the obvious and the not so obvious.

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