History at Leicester

How to manage, catalogue and preserve your collections

Creating a community archive may have been a deliberate decision, or it may have happened by accident. A successful project that generates a lot of local interest will often result in people checking their attic or cupboards and either offering to donate things to your group, or allowing you to make copies of them.

Regardless of the circumstances in which your archive or collection began, presumably it is your intention to keep it safe, and also to allow interested people to see the items you have collected. You therefore need to establish some basic principles that will ensure the items are kept in good condition (or in the condition they were on receipt, if you do not have the funds for conservation). You also need to set up a system that will allow you to find things, and will also allow others to find out what you are holding.

This guide will help you with tips and information on the following topics:

  • Collecting
  • Preserving
  • Cataloguing
  • Providing access

This material is made available under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC licence. You are free to use the material as you wish but should give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made. Find out further information about this Creative Commons licence.

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