Archives Alive works with local history societies and community archives in London and the South East of England to develop and deliver community history and archive projects.
Whether you are a small self funded project involving the running of your archive or the care and management of your heritage collection, or a larger project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Archives Alive can provide the heritage, archive, learning and community involvement expertise that your project needs.
You can find out more from the two case studies below, each written by the leader of the project concerned.
Case study 1: Godmersham Park Heritage Centre
"When we first set up Godmersham Park Heritage Centre in 2007, Nicola provided invaluable training in how to archive a variety of documents.
The training was delivered in an easily digestible way which provided an enduring benefit and for which we are mostly grateful. Subsequent support through visits, telephone and email meant that we were able to deal with any queries as they arose and helped to keep us on track, avoiding any costly mistakes.
Nicola's input from the beginning was such that it set us on the right path and helped enable us to work professionally with documents in our care as well as facilitate easy location and retrieval of those same documents."
Fiona Sunley, Chairman, Godmersham Park Heritage Centre
Case study 2: Hothfield History Society
"We brought in Archives Alive at the very start of our Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) bid, which was to turn our local history collection into an archive accessible to residents and past residents.
They provided us with an assessment on how to care for our collection of documents and artefacts and how to properly catalogue it for ease of future reference, which formed the basis of our bid.
I also set a challenge to find a user-friendly database and Internet-accessible way for the public to search the collection. Nicola suggested a product that fitted the requirements for community archives software and put together a detailed programme of activities for public engagement and ideas for how to run the project with our volunteers, as well as training and support over the three year life of our HLF project.
Once our bid was accepted, with considerable assistance from Nicola, Archives Alive trained us in archive cataloguing skills, copyright, data protection, digitisation skills and archive management. She has liaised with our website and catalogue provider to agree content, the structure of the collection and the details of the software so that it fitted our needs. She also ran cataloguing sessions with our volunteers helping us to get to grips with classifying our collection.
Nicola now works behind the scenes of the database, editing our web based collection records as our volunteers create them whilst also supporting our own development to eventually become independent.
She also ran local history learning workshops in our village to teach people how to use archives and to research their own local history.
We have greatly enjoyed working with Archives Alive over the last two years with still more to do for the final year, and I appreciate Nicola's good humour and patience through the training sessions. Her experienced technical and professional knowledge has been delivered in a relaxed and friendly manner to our group of local amateurs and she has always been willing to adapt to our needs on the project."
Chris Rogers, Chairman, Hothfield History Society
What next? Contact Archives Alive for a quote!