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About the toolkit

The community archives toolkit includes guides, tips and resources for managing and preserving community archive collections. We understand budgets and resources may be limited, so where possible we have listed practical advice in priority order and have noted alternatives. You can find links to further advice and resources, and templates of forms and tables that you will be able to download. Each section also contains a survey where you can let us know how useful you are finding the guidance and what we can improve upon.

Guidance and resources

  • The collections management guide - includes drawing up a collections management policy, accessioning collections, and creating box lists
  • The preservation guide - includes managing the conditions in your storage area, storing and packaging the collections, handling archive items, and planning for disasters
  • The cataloguing guide - includes the principles of cataloguing, arranging and cataloguing a collection, dealing with personal data and copyright, and creating an index
  • The digitisation guide -  includes the importance of digitisation, creating a digitisation plan, selecting and preparing material to digitise, and capturing and managing images
  • The interpretive planning guide - includes writing an interpretive plan, planning out an exhibition, and writing interpretive text
  • The oral history guide - includes planning an oral history programme, finding and engaging with interviewees, planning and conducting the interview, and managing, editing and preserving recordings

This toolkit has been produced as part of the National Lottery Heritage (opens new window) funded project Community Archives: Skills, Support and Sustainability. This project is working in partnership with community archives across Norfolk to ensure their work is sustainable, and to give members and volunteers the skillsets and knowledge to improve the management and care of their collections.

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