BT is the world s oldest communications company with a history stretching from the foundation of the Electric Telegraph Company in 1846.

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1 BT Archives 1. Collections Management Policy BT is the world s oldest communications company with a history stretching from the foundation of the Electric Telegraph Company in BT Archives, established in 1986, preserves the records of BT and its predecessors and promotes access to the records and their content internally as a corporate resource, and externally to national and international communities. BT Archives holds collections of outstanding historical and cultural significance, as recognised through the Designation and UNESCO Memory of the World schemes. BT Archives is located in Holborn Telephone Exchange, High Holborn, London WC1V 7EE and its primary website is BT Archives is appointed by the Lord Chancellor as a Place of Deposit for Public Records, for those records created prior to BT's privatisation in BT Archives seeks to abide by all relevant archive and records legislation, including but not limited to: Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967 (as superceded by the Freedom of Information Act, 2000 The Government Security Classification Policy, 2014 The Data Protection Act, 1998 PD Recommendations for the storage and exhibition of archival documents BT Archives is a constituent part of BT Heritage, the corporate memory of the group of British Telecommunications plc. BT has given a public commitment to safeguarding its heritage in a policy statement published at The Heritage Policy describes BT s overall heritage activity and informs the work of BT Archives. The preservation and promotion of the historical records within BT Archives provides a source of knowledge about past actions and decisions, which can inform decision making in the future fulfils BT s obligations under the Public Records Act 1958, as amended 1967 supports BT in compliance with the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000 forms an integral part of BT s corporate responsibility programme provides legal evidence demonstrates accountability substantiates claims of quality and performance advances the study of the history and impact of telecommunications by providing a basis for historical research BT Archives works with partner elements of BT Heritage, including the innovative BT Connected Earth heritage programme - a virtual collection of telecommunication histories, artefacts and activities on the Connected Earth website as the hub of a network of partners around the UK who care for BT s dispersed collection of historical artefacts and support each other in contemporary collecting of telecommunications heritage objects. BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 1 of 11

2 BT Archives works alongside related functions in Legal Governance and Compliance (LGC): Records Management, Information Retention Policy, Data Privacy and Corporate Governance. This Policy includes individual policies on Collections Development, Collections Information and Collections Care & Conservation. It is implemented through related forward plans and procedures. It is to be viewed alongside the following: BT Heritage Policy BT Archives Strategic Plan BT Archives Access Policy BT Archives Collections Development Plan BT Archives Collections Information Plan BT Archives Collections Care and Conservation Plan BT Archives Access Plan 1.1 Collections Development Policy Acquisition Remit BT Archives will acquire and preserve material which reflects the development and operations of British Telecommunications plc, its predecessors and subsidiaries both in the UK and overseas, from the formation of the Electric Telegraph Company in 1846, BT s earliest direct predecessor, to the present day. BT Archives does not normally accept records of other telecommunications companies from which BT cannot claim descent or ownership, nor those of international or professional bodies of which BT may be a member e.g. International Telecommunications Union, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation etc. BT Archives does not seek to compete for records with other repositories, and seeks to avoid competition, conflict and duplication of effort with external repositories. It works closely with other repositories with related collections e.g. the British Postal Museum and Archive and our Connected Earth museum partners. BT Archives uses functional analysis of the business at different points in its history to identify gaps in holdings and priority collecting themes Format Material offered to BT Archives will be considered on its archival information value rather than its format or medium. Records are accepted in every format, including, but not exclusively, manuscript, typescript, printed, machine readable, electronic, photographic, microform, artwork and film. The only condition on format is our duty of care, that is BT Archives will not accept: material where it does not have access to the expertise to adequately provide for the records preservation, documentation, storage or access material which through its unstable nature might create a risk to the collections overall. With the advent of electronic records, BT is moving away from paper based records systems. Procedures for the identification and transfer of born digital records for permanent preservation are BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 2 of 11

3 a priority which we will tackle in our Collections Information Plan. Digital records will be ingested into the Preservica digital repository system and preserved in accordance with the OAIS model. BT Archives also accepts artefacts that add to the body of knowledge, and our understanding, of BT s corporate history. BT Archives will accept published sources for its reference library and information files to support the archival collection. The acquisition of published material is not, however, a primary aim of BT Archives and the reference library does not set out to be a comprehensive library on the history of telecommunications Methods of Acquisition BT Archives acquires material through the following channels: Annual transfers from the British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) under the terms of the Public Records Act 1958 and 1967 Regular transfers directly from core BT lines of business Regular transfers through BT records management Ad hoc transfers from within BT e.g. when sites close Transfers of items from partner museums Donations from BT people Donations from members of the public Purchase from E-Bay or the antiquarian trade Proactive collections, such as gathering BT ephemera at events Output from BT Archives' oral history programme Terms and Conditions of Acquisition BT Archives will acquire material internal transfer, statutory deposit, gift or purchase. Where an external individual or organisation is unable to dispose of its records or where the records are of exceptional significance to BT Archives, a long term loan will be considered only in exceptional circumstances in line with the Guiding Principles for Terms of Deposit (1997), on a case by case basis. All material must come from a bone fide source and have a demonstrable provenance. Depositors must have the authority to transfer the material and are required to sign a gift agreement. All donations and loans will be confirmed in writing by either a deed of gift form or loan agreement as appropriate signed by both parties. On transferring material to the archive, copyright will be assigned to BT Archives unless stated otherwise. For acquisitions from external sources, it is a condition of acceptance that material will be available for public access either immediately or at the expiry of a specified period. All acquisitions will be by prior agreement. BT Archives reserves the right to refuse ad hoc transfers whatever the source. BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 3 of 11

4 1.1.5 Deaccession and Disposal BT Archives accepts the principle that there is a strong presumption against the disposal of archive material and objects that have been formally accepted into its collection. BT Archives does not seek to collect records or objects which fall outside our acquisitions criteria. Such items will be offered to an appropriate archive, library or museum. BT Archives has followed the Grigg system to appraise registered Post Office files from the paper based file registry system. Files were reviewed five years after they were closed (a process known as First Review ) to see if they have any continuing administrative value to BT or might be of historic value in the future. Files that survived First Review were reviewed again (a process known as Second Review ) 25 years after they were created to see if they should be selected for permanent preservation. BT Archives appraises all new acquisitions as part of the accessioning and cataloguing process. Material not considered worthy of permanent preservation at any stage of processing by BT Archives will be either returned to the depositor, or disposed of as confidential waste (with the written consent of the depositor). Such material may include items rejected for preservation in the course of controlled appraisal and sampling of large classes of records. Reproduction or duplicate documents, where the originals are already housed in another recognised archive repository, may be destroyed. Legacy accessions previously accepted, but which do not fall within the present of future acquisition criteria of BT Archives, may be considered for re-appraisal and de-accessioning. Deaccessioning will only take place after obtaining, where necessary, the written permission of the depositor. All confidential destruction is carried out on site by BT Archives staff. 1.2 Collections Information Policy Guiding principles BT Archives recognises that good documentation of its collections is fundamental to collection management and to good access. BT Archives will gather, preserve and share information about its collections through accessioning and cataloguing. BT Archives works towards meeting common international cataloguing standards for each format. Archival material will be catalogued with due regard for archive professional standards, namely International Council on Archives General International Standard of Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition 1999; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997; International Council on Archives International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, ISAAR(CPF), second edition, 2004 Artefacts will be catalogued with due regard for SPECTRUM 4.0, The UK Museum Collections Management Standard, 2011 BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 4 of 11

5 Library items will be catalogued with due regard for Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, second edition (AACR2), 2002 (2005 update) For born digital archives, BT Archives recognises the need for, and will seek to acquire, additional technical metadata required for the purpose of long term preservation and access. Developing procedures for born digital records is a priority which we will tackle in our Collections Information Plan. An internal staff working group reviews all operational work with regard to maintaining collections information. A procedural manual for CALM guides all staff and volunteers in their collections information work (see Collections Management Guide) Collections Information Overview BT Archives accessions and lists all new acquisitions in its CALM collections management database. BT Archives was established in 1986, so we are dealing with the legacies of past collecting and cataloguing practice which no longer meet modern standards. As a consequence of the British Telecommunications Act 1981, which transferred the responsibility for telecommunications services from the Post Office to BT, some core collections were transferred from the Post Office Archives (now the BPMA) when BT Archives was approved as a Place of Deposit in Collections information was transferred to BT Archives in the form of hard copy catalogues, transfer agreements and correspondence. Many early transfers from within BT were roughly box listed by depositors. Some were not listed at all, and/or provenance was lost. Prior to the introduction of CALM, BT Archives catalogued collections as flat series in a DBText database. We have a rolling programme to retrospectively convert legacy catalogues and box lists to CALM. In 2015, BT Archives acquired the Preservica digital preservation system. This will be our digital repository where we will preserve technical and descriptive information about our born digital and copy digital records Accessioning Donors and/or record creators are encouraged to supply as much information as they can about the content and context of the material. All new acquisitions are recorded in the CALM accession database (full guidance is provided in the Collections Management Guide). This accession record will give a preliminary indication of the scope, content and creation dates of the records, record their legal status and any restrictions on access, date of accession and shelf location. Information relating to the source of the material is retained in the Depositors database in CALM. The unique number assigned to each accession will subsequently be linked to the catalogue record in CALM. The full detail of the accession, including the donor s contact details, will not be made available to the public in the catalogue. We aim to create a series level catalogue record(s) for each new accession at the time of accession, to facilitate immediate access of material for internal use. BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 5 of 11

6 All gifts or permanent transfers are acknowledged in writing ( or letter) and include full details of the material and terms of Deposit. A formal receipt is issued for all external deposits, requiring the countersignature of the donor. Paperwork is filed within the office filing system. Legacy accessions and depositor information is held in paper format within the office filing system. Retrospective conversion of this information into CALM is not a priority under the More Product Less Process model. Pro-active collecting of ephemera e.g. customer literature generates little or no paperwork. It is collected in batches and accessioned on mass periodically. We do not attempt to keep detailed information on accessioning or disposal of duplicates, material produced by other institutions, or published books. This enables us to tackle our cataloguing backlog more quickly. Semi-current transfers made under a Safe Custody agreement are recorded in a dedicated, secure database. A unique identifier is assigned and sent to the records owner. Records subsequently selected for permanent preservation are accessioned and catalogued in CALM Disposal and Deaccessioning Initial appraisal is undertaken at the point of accession. More detailed appraisal may occur during the cataloguing process. Guidance on appraisal criteria is given in team Local Working Instructions. The Appraisal field in the CALM accessions database is used to record actions relating to the initial evaluation of the accession for permanent preservation. The Notes field in the CALM catalogue is used to record destruction of duplicates during the cataloguing process. A record is kept of all confidential destruction, including the justification for destruction and, where appropriate, the authority obtained Cataloguing All new cataloguing is entered directlyinto CALM (full guidance is provided in the Collections Management Guide). BT Archives seeks to make the maximum number of records available in the minimum amount of time. All new cataloguing conforms to the principles of ISAD(G) i.e. Description from the general to the specific Information relevant to the level of description Linking of descriptions All new catalogue records contain the six mandatory elements: Reference number(s) Title Creator (i.e person/organisation responsible for creating the records) Covering date(s) Extent (normally given in cubic metres or description of physical unit) Level of description BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 6 of 11

7 Additional fields are added as appropriate. More detailed descriptions will be added across the catalogue once the cataloguing backlog has been addressed. Legacy catalogues from the Post Office have been imported or input into CALM and upgraded to ISAD(G) standard. Legacy box lists are being reviewed, upgraded and input into Calm to ISAD(G) standard. BT Archives Collections Management Guide covers authority indexing, but this has been used only sporadically, mostly for name indexing. We aim to implement more consistent use of indexing (details in our Collections Information Plan) Currently, descriptive metadata for digital surrogate and born digital material is created and preserved in Calm. We aim to link this to digital assets in Preservica (details in our Collections Information Plan). We recognise that our users often have considerable knowledge about our collections. We encourage them to share this knowledge wherever possible, either by contacting team members directly or using our social media channels. Users can be helpful in highlighting interesting content within file level records or the identification of an object, for example. However, we recognise that there may be differences of interpretation, so we do not add user information to our catalogue unless we can verify it. At present our online cataloguing platform does not offer Web 2.0 capability. We aim to explore the possibility of adding this Uncatalogued material Like most archive services, BT Archives has an accumulation of material which is not fully catalogued. An annual audit is completed to establish the cataloguing state using the following categories: Fully catalogued in accordance with at least the mandatory elements of ISAD(G) Fully catalogued but to a lower standard than ISAD(G) Box-listed or roughly listed material Completely unlisted material Full catalogue available online Figures for each category will be given in our annual Cataloguing Action Plan. To decide cataloguing priorities we consider: Legal status. Public records are made available on our public catalogue as quickly as possible User demand (as logged in our enquiries register) Advice from our academic partners Historical importance and likely future research interest Forthcoming company anniversaries and events Space saving. Series in need of substantial appraisal are given high priority To address the backlog we have: 1) Adopted the More Product Less Process model 2) Proactively engaged volunteers, BT Transition Centre staff, and students on cataloguing placements from the archive training courses. Professional staff sort, arrange and catalogue to series level. Volunteers assist with sorting and cataloguing at file level (details in our Cataloguing Action Plan). BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 7 of 11

8 1.2.7 Intellectual Property Rights Information relating to intellectual property rights is recorded within CALM accession and catalogue records. The vast majority of material in the collections was produced by BT and its predecessors, but the collections do include some material with ownership issues: Personal Papers. Intellectual property rights are transferred to BT Archives as part of the deposit agreement. Any closure periods are agreed with the depositor. Oral History Recordings. Interviewees sign a Clearance Note and deposit agreement. Any closure periods are agreed with the interviewee. Advertising material. Some rights remain with advertising agencies or featured actors. Permission must be sought from those parties before material is used outside BT Restrictions and Closure Periods All closure periods and access conditions relating to pre-1984 public records are logged in CALM and made available in our public catalogue. Catalogue entries for records that are closed to the public for business confidentiality are made available internally to BT staff only. BT Archives collections include a small number of records with Government Security classifications. These files are only available to BT people with appropriate security clearance. Classified files are recorded in the Government Information Asset register, which is stored in a secure safe. They are reviewed annually, and declassification authorisations are kept in hard copy in the secure filing system Location and Movement Control BT Archives maintains physical control of its collections via its CALM locations database and clear labelling of packaging and/or material. Movement to and from the search room is managed by paper document requisition slips and document users are recorded in an enquiries database. Loans for conservation treatment or exhibition are managed by paper forms (attached as supporting documentation) Making Collections Information Available BT Archives is committed to making as much information as possible about collections freely available online. Details are given in our Access Policy. 1.3 Collections Care & Conservation Policy Guiding principles BT Archives takes a strategic, risk management approach to collections care. BT Archives aims to care for its physical collections in according with professional standards, PD 5454:2012.for the storage and exhibition of archival materials and Benchmarks in Collections Care for Museums. BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 8 of 11

9 BT is moving towards electronic record keeping systems. BT Archives does not yet have significant born-digital holdings, hence digital preservation is a recent focus. The developing need for digital preservation measures will be kept under close review. Policies and practices will be developed through preservation of digital surrogates. BT Archives aspires to store digital records in accordance with ISO 14721:2012. We have acquired the Preservica system as our digital preservation platform. Collections care is the responsibility of all staff and users Building and Environment Control BT Archives provides secure and environmentally-controlled areas for the storage of archives in accordance with PD 5454:2012. The temperature of the storage areas is maintained at a fixed point between 13 o C and 19 o C + 1 o C and the humidity at a fixed point between 45% and 60% + 5%. Light levels in the storage areas are a maximum of 200 lux for access purposes; at other times the area is in darkness. BT Archives provides freezer storage for unstable film formats. BT Archives monitors and evaluates the storage environment on a weekly basis and arranges regular maintenance of the environmental controls and storage area to ensure that the above tolerances are maintained. Regular cleaning of the storage areas (both floors and shelves) is carried out. A secure and constantly supervised search room for the consultation of archives is provided Storage and Packaging BT Archives strives to store all archival material within acid-free or inert packaging in accordance with best professional practice to ensure its preservation. Packaging requirements may need to be prioritised contingent on shelf-space. Large items including maps and posters are appropriately stored in plan chests. Records may be migrated from one medium to another (e.g. analogue film to MP4, mini-disk to CD) to maximise their long-term preservation Creation, Care and Use of Surrogates BT Archives undertakes a rolling programme to digitise its most heavily used records as a) a preservation strategy and b) as part of its access strategy. Digital surrogates will be stored in our Preservica digital repository Handling Care All BT Archives people and volunteers are trained in preservation and handling issues as part of their induction programme. Search room users are provided with handling guidelines and relevant equipment (gloves, bookrests, weights) to minimize risk of damage to archival material during use. Users are only BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 9 of 11

10 allowed to make copies of documents with the proviso that the document must not be physically damaged by the process used. Where available, surrogates, either digital or physical handling copies are produced in the search room in place of original documents. Digital surrogates are also made available remotely, via our online catalogue, BT Digital Archives. Material will be withdrawn from use if deemed at serious risk (in which case, resources will be sought to address these conservation needs as a priority) Loans BT Archives will only loan original material on condition that the loan party will comply with PD 5454:2012 standards for storage and exhibition Conservation BT Archives undertakes a rolling conservation programme to identify material that is in need of conservation work and to prioritise requirements within the framework of resources available. External funding will be sought for high priority treatment that is beyond existing resources. BT Archives commissions qualified and/or accredited conservators to carry out assessments and treatments, where possible those listed on the Institute of Conservation (Icon) Conservation Register. All conservation treatments carried out are documented in the collection management software, CALM Emergency Planning BT Archives maintains an up-to-date Disaster Plan and makes it available to all relevant BT people. All BT Archives people are trained in disaster response Auditing and Benchmarking BT Archives completes an annual self-assessment against Benchmarks In Collections Care, which will inform our Collections Conservation and Care Plan. BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 10 of 11

11 STANDARDS Collections Management The Collections Trust, Benchmarks in Collections Care for Museums, Archives and Libraries, a self-assessment checklist, version 2.0, 2014 Collections Development Guiding Principles for Terms of Deposit, (approved by ARA, National Council on Archives and Business Archive Council), 2007 Collections Information International Council on Archives, General International Standard of Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 1999 National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997 International Council on Archives, International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, ISAAR(CPF), second edition, 2004 The Collections Trust, SPECTRUM 4.0, The UK Museum Collections Management Standard, 2011 American Library Association (ALA), the Canadian Library Association (CLA), and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, second edition (AACR2), 2002 (2005 update) Preservation British Standards Institute, PD 5454:2012: Guide for the storage and exhibition of archival materials, 2012 The National Archives, Standard for Record Repositories, 2004 International Organization for Standardization, ISO 14721:2012: Space data and information transfer systems -- Open archival information system (OAIS) -- Reference model British Standards Institute BS 4783: Storage, transportation and maintenance of media for use in digital processing and information storage, 1988 Access National Council on Archives, Public Services Quality Group, Standard for Access to Archive (2008) The National Archives, Standard for Record Repositories (2004) BT Archives Collections Management Policy was written with reference to the British Standards Institute PAS 197:2009 Code of practice for cultural collections management, 2009 and The National Archives Archive Collection Policy Statements: Checklist of Suggested Contents, The Collections Management Policy is reviewed every two years. BT Archives Collections Management Policy issue October 2015 page 11 of 11

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