Session 5.4 - How to "sell" archives

Date Added:

23 October 2019

Chair : Kylie Percival

How to "sell" archives to politicians

 The last three years we have seen that working with archive politics has payed of. We meet all the political parties in the parliament, and were able to get a majority from the opposition in autumn 2017 to support a review of the archive situation in Norway. The way we did that was to meet the parties with different members of the The Norwegian Association of Archives. We have about 130 organisations as our members, and when we meet the Christian party, we had with us the Christian archives, and when we meet the Labour party for example, we brought with us someone from the Labour archives. We also use local examples from our members from the municipalities since the politicians come from all around Norway. Funding has now increased. In part because the National archive in Norway does a good job to tell about the needs, but also because we as a smaller interest organisation for the sector outside the National archives. For example, the funding that you could apply for to preserve and work with private archives went up from 0 dollars to 1.5 million dollars in two years. There was in 2018 application from local- and regional archives and also museums for more than 4 million dollars. So that shows that the needs for support are huge. Also, we work with the government in Norway, and have met the deputy minister many times, and this has also helped our members who have a national responsibility get better funding. The big issue for us now is to get the politicians to understand the big challenge with digital archives, and that especially for vulnerable groups with child welfare and schools the importance to preserve is bigger than ever, because some might get lost for ever. 
This session will explain how we work with politics, to maybe help and inspire others to do the same. In Norway the museums and library have received much more funding over the years than the archives, and the politicians has not seen archives as an important area. The knowledge among politicians is not that good, and the party program does not mention it much. So, we would like to tell how to use different archives to make politicians find this interesting and maybe encourage them to give more funding to the archives.

Kjetil Landrog

Kjetil Landrog is Secretary-General of the Norwegian Association of Archives with a background in Communications and Politics. He has been the Secretary-General since the beginning of 2017, the main reason that he was selected for the job was that the Norwegian Association of Archives wanted to have a bigger influence on politics. He has been active in politics in different positions at local and regional level for about 20 years, and worked with work and business policy for the Norwegian Engineers and Managers Association for some years. He also has an Executive Master in PR and communications and a bachelor's degree in Political science.

Visual collections and the power of partnerships

This presentation will demonstrate that an innovative strategic approach to collection management can benefit both the employing organization and the collection itself. It will also demonstrate the value of non-archival external expertise to enhance public programming. It will use the international public engagement strategy developed for The Peto Photographic Collection at the University of Dundee as a case study to demonstrate the potential within creative archival collections to advocate, promote and align with the strategic vision of an organization. Hungarian-born photographer Michael Peto worked for The Observer newspaper and others during the 1950/60s. The Peto Collection is one of the largest, but relatively unknown photojournalism collections in the UK. This presentation will examine how professional, curatorial and media partnerships with some of the world’s leading museums, galleries and news organisations in the UK and the USA have been forged to reposition the Collection and the institution through international exhibitions and development activity. Senior management and Alumni staff have been fully integrated into the activities This previously unknown photographic collection has promoted internationalisation within the University and raised funding to secure the long term preservation of the collection, one aspect of which will which be to fully digitise the prints and negatives. It has also developed a global profile for the collection and aligned to the strategic aims of the organisation. A key element of this success has been the use of an external expert in public and cultural engagement and securing the support of high profile patrons of the collection.

Patricia Whatley

Dr Patricia Whatley is Senior Lecturer in History and Archival Studies and Director of the Centre for Archive & Information Studies at the University of Dundee. She is a registered archivist with a PhD in history. She teaches in a range of Scottish History classes and is responsible for classes on Highland History, both taught and by online learning and is responsible for Archive masters dissertations and PhD applications. She supervises both masters and PhD students in History and Archival studies. She is currently Chair of the Economic & Social History Society of Scotland, a trustee of the Scottish Historical Trust and a Member of Council of The Scottish Society of the History of Medicine.