Collections Acquisition and Management policy

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1 Collections Acquisition and Management policy City of London Culture, Heritage and Libraries Department London Metropolitan Archives

2 Contents Collections Acquisition and Management policy... 1 Contents... 2 Vision statement... 3 Policy... 3 Origins and introduction... 3 Objectives... 4 Collecting policy... 6 Acquisitions, disposals and withdrawals policy... 7 Charges... 9 Feedback... 9 Mission Statement of the Department of Culture, Heritage and Libraries:... 9 Our commitment:... 9 About this leaflet

3 Vision statement London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) exists to collect records of London s rich past history and to find and collect records of London s vibrant and diverse present, which are selected, catalogued, stored and permanently preserved for the use and benefit of present and future generations. Policy Origins and introduction London Metropolitan Archives The Greater London Record Office was formed in 1965, when the Greater London Council (GLC) was set up, by uniting the record offices of the London County Council (LCC) and the Middlesex County Council (MCC). Its Library was formerly a reference library for members of the LCC. The Common Council of the City of London Corporation assumed responsibility for the service on 1 April 1986, upon the abolition of the GLC, and the service changed its name to London Metropolitan Archives in The Corporation of London Records Office (CLRO) was the archive responsible for holding the departmental and organisational records of the City of London Corporation. It became part of LMA in Guildhall Library Manuscripts began as a collection of individual manuscripts and small collections of City of London interest in 1828 when Guildhall Library was refounded. Since 1945 it has acted as the local record office for the City of London, the Square Mile, excluding the records of the City of London Corporation. It merged with LMA in LMA offers a professional and courteous service to depositors, donors and all enquirers. We seek to maintain contact with all our stakeholders and involve them in the development of our service. LMA legal framework LMA operates under the following statutory authorities: Law of Property Acts Public Records Act 1958 and 1967 Parochial Registers and Records Measures 1929, 1978 and 1992 London Government Act

4 Local Government Acts 1972 and 1985 Education Reform Act 1988 Manorial Documents Rules 1960 Tithe Act 1936 Specifically, and most pertinently, as a local authority archive service LMA operates under section 224 of the Local Government Act 1972 which requires principal councils to make proper arrangements with respect to any documents that belong to or are in the custody of the council or any of their officers ; LMA has custody of archives other than those produced by its own administration under the Local Government (Records) Act 1962 which gives councils discretionary powers to carry out various activities in relation to the records of other individuals and organisations, including official private and voluntary sector bodies. LMA has been appointed by the Lord Chancellor to hold various central government and court records of local origin under the Public Records Act The archives and records held by LMA are also affected by a wide variety of other legislation either relating to specific types of records (see above), or of general application such as the Data Protection Act, 1988, Freedom of Information Act, 2000, Environmental Information Regulations, 2004, and the Public Sector Information Reuse Regulations, Objectives To take in and look after the records of London Local Government, including the City of London Corporation, the GLC and its predecessors. To receive by gift, deposit or purchase collections of original records (in all formats including electronic records), relating to the Greater London area (excluding the City of Westminster) or to the City of London, and to administer them under the relevant statutory authorities. To maintain a specialist library relating to the collections of archival source material in the office and to the history of the Greater London area. To acquire by gift or purchase books suitable for the library. 4

5 To acquire by gift, deposit or purchase graphic and audio visual materials in any appropriate format, which are of topographical or social significance to the Greater London area. To catalogue and store all the collections under our care, and to make them available in our modern reading rooms in original or surrogate form for the benefit of everyone. To present the collections through a comprehensive electronic catalogue, and to make popular sources available in digital format. To develop, maintain and apply a comprehensive preservation and conservation philosophy in keeping with best current practice nationally and internationally. To provide a fully equipped conservation studio for the conservation of archives, maps, prints and books and audio-visual material. To maintain a flexible and extensive service to users, including the compilation, editing and publishing, in hard copy and electronically, of catalogues of collections and maps and prints, information leaflets, facsimiles and guides to holdings and to the use of the collections. To operate a reprographic service producing high quality reproductions of documents in hard copy and/or electronic form. To continue to meet national archives standards at the highest level. Previously London Metropolitan Archives met The National Archives' Standard for Record Repositories and achieved a top star rating in the self-assessment of local authority archive services under the auspices of the inspection service of The National Archives (TNA) in 2006, 2007, 2008 and From 1 July 2013 these have been replaced by Archive Accreditation. The History of London Collection at London Metropolitan Archives is designated as an outstanding collection by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA, 2005). To catalogue all records, as soon as possible, in accordance with inhouse cataloguing conventions and standards (which can be seen on request and are in accordance with ISAD(G), the agreed general international standard for archive description). We will endeavour to avoid the use of jargon wherever possible, but will use archival terminology in accordance with the International Council on Archives Multilingual Archival Terminology database. To share catalogue information with local and national web portals as appropriate, such as: Archives in the M25 area (AIM25) - Access to Archives (A2A) - 5

6 The Cecilia website for music collections - web The Hospital Records database - The Manorial Documents Register - To make catalogued records available to the public free of charge, within our usual opening hours. However, access to some records may be restricted owing to their state of repair or because they contain confidential information under the Data Protection Act, or at depositors request. Where surrogates are available for items these will be produced in lieu of the originals. Access to uncatalogued records will be offered, at our discretion. Collecting policy To acquire by transfer or deposit, the records of the City of London Corporation and of official London-wide bodies. To acquire by gift, deposit or purchase original records relating to a) the City of London or b) the Greater London area which are London-wide in significance, particularly those of: Anglican dioceses and parishes falling within the City of London or former counties of London and Middlesex, except those of the pre-1965 City of Westminster Non-Anglican religious bodies including non-conformist, Jewish and Sikh institutions Private institutions including livery companies, clubs, schools, societies, charities, professional associations, pressure groups and other organisations Businesses Individuals and institutions connected with or under the charge of the City of London Corporation Families, estates and notable individuals, excluding single or small collections of title deeds National institutions whose headquarters are based in London and which complement existing holdings Records of ethnic and other minority communities which reflect the diversity of modern London, including collections from the Afro-Caribbean, Chinese, Asian and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered communities 6

7 To collect and preserve, according to statutory provision, and in agreement with TNA, the records of public bodies of London relevance, especially records of courts, health authorities, hospitals and coroners courts. To acquire by gift, deposit or purchase a) maps, prints, drawings, watercolours, photographs, posters and other graphic items and b) audio visual materials including film, video and audio in analogue and digital formats, which are of topographical or social significance to the Greater London area. To collect books, monographs, periodicals and grey literature relating to the archival holdings and to the history of the Greater London area. Acquisitions, disposals and withdrawals policy We will add to our holdings by responding to offers of archives from institutions, businesses and individuals, including additional deposits/gifts from existing depositors and donors, and by actively seeking out archives which are at risk of loss, destruction or damage. We will also identify gaps in our collections and priorities for future collecting and actively pursue these in line with the policy outlined above. This will be done in close liaison with outside bodies including TNA, London borough archives and other relevant repositories, as well as our wider stakeholders when appropriate. Copies and transcripts are usually only acquired where the originals are not available; artefacts are not usually acquired. Both categories are only acquired if the copies or objects further our aims. We shall, in agreement with owners and depositors, evaluate and select material worthy of permanent preservation. This will be done before deposit wherever possible and will follow the office s own Appraisal Policy, or other guidelines such as the Church of England Record Centre s Keep or Bin? - The Care of Your Parish Records, as appropriate. When evaluation takes place after deposit or as part of the cataloguing process rejected material will be returned, or destroyed in a confidential manner, as the donor or depositor prefers. If depositors request a closure period on their records, we need an ongoing high-level contact to consider users applications to view such records. We shall advise the depositor if a more appropriate record repository is available for their material as necessary. We will not dispose of any records in our ownership by sale. We reserve the right to re-appraise collections after a period of some years. We will consult depositors (but not donors) in advance 7

8 of any reappraisal and will offer depositors and donors (if up-to-date contact details are available) the chance to receive back unwanted material. See our Appraisal Policy for further details. We do not usually acquire material which will remain closed for a significant period of time unless it is immediately at risk and worthy of permanent preservation. Such material is typically bulky and often semi-current. For reasons of confidentiality and access, it is recommended that depositors retain such material until the closure period has expired. At this point, we shall evaluate and select material worthy of permanent preservation. If storage space is an issue, there are many external commercial storage options available. Church of England bodies may contact the Church of England Records Centre to discuss the possibility of using their charged-for accommodation. If owners of deposits on long term loan wish to withdraw their records less than 20 years after date of deposit, a fee will normally be levied which will reflect storage costs. If depositors wish to withdraw their collection more than 20 years after deposit a similar fee may be levied. Some classes of records are subject to specific deposit criteria, as follows: Hospitals: we do not routinely take case files Schools: we will take in log books and admission and discharge registers for former LCC schools. Other records of former LCC schools are not routinely taken, nor are any records of non-lcc schools unless we already have substantial holdings for the school or it is/was run by an organisation for which we hold material. Diocesan/parish records: we do not routinely take in material less than 15 years old Coroners and Magistrates Courts: we do not routinely take in material less than 2 years old. A charge will be levied for storage of material less than 30 years old. We endeavour to remain in contact with owners and depositors in a variety of ways both formal and informal, and which may include a formal approach to extend a period of loan or periodically to keep contact details up to date. 8

9 Charges We prefer to accept collections as gifts, although deposits are taken. When a deposit is accepted, a charge will normally be made for packaging and cataloguing of the collection. Records presented as gifts will normally be maintained at our expense. However, if records require considerable expenditure on reconditioning, rebinding and repair, further negotiations about conservation costs may occur. Feedback Please complete a comment form or us at if you wish to give feedback on this policy. This policy will be reviewed at least every two years to make sure it remains timely and relevant. Mission Statement of the Department of Culture, Heritage and Libraries: The mission of the Department is to educate, entertain and inform, through discovery of our amazing range of resources. Our commitment: The City of London provides a unique and diverse range of services to the residents, businesses, workers and visitors in the City of London and beyond. We are committed to being proactive in providing services fairly to all our potential service users. Promoting equal opportunity for all is one of our core values. Our policy is to treat all service users, and anyone else we come into contact with, equally and with dignity and respect and not to discriminate on grounds of age, disability status, employment status, ethnic or cultural origin, gender, marital status, nationality, religious belief or non-belief, responsibility for dependants, sexual orientation, social background, or any other grounds which cannot be shown to be justified. We will recognise, respect and value difference and diversity. In partnership with our employees, our residential communities and stakeholders, we will work hard to meet our obligations under the relevant anti-discrimination legislation, codes of practice and good practice guidelines. 9

10 The Collections Acquisition and Management Policy is one of a complete suite of policies for the archive service function delivered by London Metropolitan Archives for which an Equalities Impact Assessment has been carried out and which is available to view on request. About this leaflet This leaflet was revised in January 2014 by London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, EC1R OHB Telephone: Fax: Website: London Metropolitan Archives Except as otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the publisher, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of a licence issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the London Metropolitan Archives at the above address. 10

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