SLMT Webinar: The Archives as a Destination

In this webinar, organized by the Section of Local, Municipal and Territorial Archives (SLMT), we will explore an important topic in the field of archives: how to make users feel welcome and accommodated in archival spaces and reading rooms. Join us as we delve into the ways in which archives can best tailor their physical spaces to meet the needs of users, while also fulfilling the crucial requirements for the protection of archival material. We will explore how archives can showcase their collections to attract audiences, whether through exhibitions or events, or indeed through collaboration with museums, and will also consider the importance of seeking feedback from users to ensure that physical and digital access is optimized. 

Our expert panel of speakers will share their insights and experiences, offering practical advice and thought-provoking ideas for how archives can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all users. After each presentation, we will invite questions from the participants and open the floor for knowledge sharing at the end of the session.  

We look forward to your participation in this engaging and informative webinar about how we can build a more user-centered approach to archives. The webinar will be recorded and published on the SLMT website. 


  • Ann-Sofi Forsmark, Development Manager 
  • Lennart Ploom, Director, Stockholm City Archives 
  • Jenny Kidd, Director Access & Engagement, Queensland State Archives 
  • Laurence Ward, Head of Digital Services, London Metropolitan Archives 

Date: Wednesday 21 June 2023 

Time: 11:00-13:00 CET. To confirm the date/time of this session in your time zone please use this link

Location: Online. 

Registration: The workshop is free and open to all. Please sign up for the webinar by contacting Dr. Anette Larner at before June 20. 


Presentation Abstracts 

Ann-Sofi Forsmark, Development Manager and Lennart Ploom, Director, Stockholm City Archives 

The Twilight Zone: Lost in Space? 

The Stockholm City Archives (SCA) is one of Europe’s most well visited archival institutions. For the past ten years, the SCA has pro-actively strived to create a welcoming and inclusive public program and physical environment, which has resulted in an increase in visitor numbers from 24,000 in 2012 to more than 60,000 physical visits in 2019.  

During the pandemic, the SCA found new ways to offer public experiences. Now, many visitors are back in the reading rooms, while others still linger in the digital interfaces. What values can the physical space still offer the visitors? What methods have we developed during the pandemic, that can help us to create a seamless user experience between the physical and digital visitor space?  


Jenny Kidd, Director Access & Engagement, Queensland State Archives 

This paper highlights Queensland State Archives' (QSA) efforts to improve access and cultural sensitivity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It discusses initiatives such as conducting a cultural audit, creating welcoming public spaces, developing a culturally safe Reading Room, commissioning an exhibition by Aboriginal artist Judy Watson, improving metadata, implementing sensitivity warnings, and launching a Language Program for First Nations language revitalization. Additionally, the paper mentions the Memory Lounge program, which fosters social connections among older individuals and those with dementia. QSA's initiatives aim to make archival records more accessible and inclusive for all, prioritizing the needs of First Nations Queenslanders.  


Laurence Ward, Head of Digital Services, London Metropolitan Archives 

This presentation will discuss the development of audience strategy and programming for the public at London Metropolitan Archives, including exhibitions, conferences, events, and research facilities. Considering changing patterns of use and engagement, it will also look to the future and the challenge of making the archive a destination for a broader leisure audience, in a crowded cultural market in London.