Northern Collaboration Learning Exchange: Developing Archives

In a period of continuous change in the higher education sector the ability to adapt is key - this event is one in a series exploring specific service areas affected by our fast changing environment.


  1. This Learning Exchange focussed on the development of University archive services. How can customers and unique, rich and real collections connect and what is the impact when they do? What service delivery models can be used to deal with little known and vulnerable collections? Is there any scope for developing collaborative models?
  2. The event was hosted by Heritage Quay, home of the University of Huddersfield Archives and took place on 16 April 2015. There were eight speakers from the Universities of Bradford, Huddersfield and Hull sharing their experiences of a variety of ways in developing archives and services. We had great attendance with representatives from universities across the Northern Collaboration welcomed to our Huddersfield campus by our friendly ducks
  3. First up were the team from Heritage Quay, exploring what we're discovering about connecting customers of all kinds with the unique and rich collections accumulated over the last 175 years, now that we're 2 1/2 years into a 5-year HLF/University funded project.
  4. The team from the University Archives at Hull History Centre then presented on "architectural archives: new models of outreach". As part of a project, funded by a national cataloguing award, working on the papers of architects Francis Johnson and partners some family events using Lego were held in August 2014. This case study reflected on what happened next and how it ‘spawned’ an additional project using the popular game Minecraft to reach new audiences in a collaborative and innovative way.
  5. After lunch, featuring Huddersfield's famous cakes, we heard about how Special Collections at the University of Bradford are "Thriving in Turbulent Times". This case study considered how small special collections services in higher education can demonstrate their value and make the most of their resources. We heard about Bradford’s innovative collection development policy aligning its unique and distinctive collections with corporate mission, some very quick and dirty ways to tackle hidden collections, and how archive accreditation helps make the case for better spaces.