A new three-year collaboration agreement between the National Archives and Arts Council England will see the two organisations work together to identify and tackle challenges across culture and heritage.
By advocating sharing knowledge, skills and data and maximising funding opportunities, the organisations hope to jointly address challenges including diversifying the workforce and improving accessibility and the visibility of collections. They will also aim to help the sector build resilience.
Methods of collaboration will include alerting each other to at-risk collections to facilitate swift preservation action, and promoting “the positive role of archives and collections in placemaking and wellbeing”, the organisations said.
The two organisations already work together on several initiatives that are set to continue.
“This agreement comes at an important time for our sector when many institutions are facing challenges and having to make difficult decisions due to a variety of circumstances,” said Dr Valerie Johnson, Director of Research and Collections at The National Archives.
“I believe that through this new agreement, both partners will be able to support the wider cultural sector much more effectively,” she added.
Sue Williamson, Director for Libraries at ACE, said that the new collaboration will build on “a strong foundation of mutual support”.
“There are many synergies and common areas of interest between archives and public libraries, with some library services being responsible for managing an archive collection.
“We foresee many opportunities to work together in partnership to support national strategic developments, to share learning and intelligence and to continue to support the wider cultural sector.”