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‘Archives constitute the memory

of nations and of societies, shape their identity, and are a cornerstone of the information society.’

International Council on Archives


There are two sections to this toolkit. One section focuses on CREATION and the other considers ACCESS.  They ask the questions that we think you may be asking too.  Your starting point is entirely up to you; if you are looking for particular answers and already have your questions, then you’ll know where to start, otherwise we hope that our questions provide you with a starting point.

The toolkit is wide ranging.  It includes simple information (such as placing everything in cardboard box) to highly detailed information on software and digitisation.  Please start at the point you are comfortable with.

There are a range of  substantial documents in the toolkit, as well as  some simpler question led files for you to read.

The CREATION section asks questions, from simple starting points to more complex enquiries.  The ACCESS section raises numerous questions to encourage your own reflection.

How To Use the Online Archive Toolkit

The information to help you to develop your archive already exists, with the majority of information accessible on line.  We hope that we have made the information easier to find through publishing the toolkit.

By starting with key questions in developing an archive first, our intention is that the answers are more specific to your needs of development of an archive and at the right level.

Ultimately, some of the questions only you will know the answer too.  We cannot  tell you what your organisational – or individual – or vision is, nor can we decide whether it’s better for you to include what breadth, depth or focus  your archive should have.  What we can say is that you may not be able to archive everything, that archivists don’t just keep everything and that they do (sharp intake of breath) throw things away!  So we hope that this toolkit makes you feel that you can archive and throw items away, that you can identify what to keep and that you discover, what it is you’d like to say in your archive.  We also hope that you find the confidence to sift the information that you have without feeling that you can’t throw things away.

The following two tables (taken from JISC infonet) express the process: