The Explore Your Archive campaign relaunched in November 2020 with a new look and renewed focus – to educate anyone and everyone about the value of archives and the importance of protecting and preserving historic record collections.
The explore website was relaunched with the aim of providing introduction to the world of archives and records keeping for those who are unfamiliar with the sector, while also delivering a range of resources for anyone interested in promoting the sector or hosting a record keeping related event. The ‘Records Management’, ‘What is an archive’ and ‘Conservation’ pages carry the user on a journey through the life of a record from its creation through to storage, preservation and care. The ‘What is an Archive’ film gives an insight into the role of an archivist, what archives are, where and why they are preserved. The ArchI’ve Learnt pages are packed full of ideas to promote and use these records in a range of learning environments.
One of the most exciting things about archives is that the vast majority of records stored in repositories and online across the world are unique- they can’t be found anywhere else. This is just one of the reasons archives make great learning resources. Archives enable us to learn from history creators, experience the thoughts and feelings of people living through historic events, document changes in geography, landscapes, politics and economics, look at images of and read stories about our ancestors or famous historical figures and compare the technological advances of the past with the fast paced digital technology available in todays’ world. Archives provide us with a window into the past which leads us down a never-ending path of learning across a wide range of subjects.History may seem the most obvious choice. Archives are used not only to tell the stories of time gone by, but to test document analysis and interpretation skills. The website provides a range of different record types and comprehensive teacher notes for a range of age groups to hone these skills. However, archives can also be used as a creative writing tool, map study examples, artistic prompts, script writing, performance aids and a whole range of other skills. Those looking for inspiration can find it here. The sky really is the limit in terms of the learning opportunities provided by archives. The resources on the explore website pages aim to highlight the range of ways pupils and teachers can be inspired by archives and share them with others.
Additional website sections allow users to upload information about online or face to face events and the social media campaign pages also offer a range of ways to get involved with promoting archives and the value they hold as a learning tool. A resource toolkit is available to anyone who wants to use the Explore branding to promote their events or collections.
The re launch was only the beginning of the project so keep your eye on the website to see future resources and campaigns as they are added. We also invite anyone with an archive related story to tell to blog about it and we’ll post on the ArchI’ve Discovered pages. Archives are for everyone and we want to share them with the world.
Any questions about the website can be submitted to the EYA team at EYA@Archives.org.uk .
ARA Board Member – Explore Campaign