Arts Council England (ACE) and Historic England (HE) are jointly funding a new project to assess strategic options for the ongoing issue of storing archaeological archives. The options appraisal will review existing and future capacity for archaeological archives within England, considering a full range of archive solutions and evaluating the potential of each to meet the needs of archive creators, managers and users.
The overarching aim of this new project is to understand how the museum and wider archaeological sector can be best supported to ensure a sustainable model for the long-term storage of archaeological archives. Specifically, this research and options appraisal will explore what capacity already exists across England, review its effectiveness, identify different potential models considering future needs and benefits. The project will estimate the level of resourcing required to ensure the sustainability of options presented, providing a comprehensive report to help inform next steps.
The project will be delivered over the next few months and will involve the evaluation of various storage solutions, engaging with archive creators, managers and users in the process. To do that accurately, the data which currently exists about archives and archive creation needs to be updated. The project team have been in touch to ask if CIfA Registered Organisations would contribute a response to the project by completing an online survey about archives held currently as well as thoughts on future solutions.
You can find the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3RKRQ29
As an ongoing and important issue within our sector and one of the six topics discussed in the joint CIfA / HE project 21st Century Challenges for Archaeology, we would encourage ROs who undertake work in England to complete this survey and take part in supporting a new solution for sustainable archaeological archives.