Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Business Archives Council cataloguing grant for business archives

The Business Archives Council (BAC) has launched a cataloguing grant in support of the National Strategy for Business Archives. The BAC hopes to make it available annually during its strategy implementation, 2010-2015.

The aim of the grant, in funding the cataloguing of a business collection in either the private or public sector, is to:
  • provide financial support for institutions/businesses that manage business archives
  • reach collections that have not yet been prioritised but have potential academic or socio-historical value
  • create opportunities for archivists or para-professionals/volunteers to gain experience in listing business collections
  • make more business collections accessible?

The BAC envisages that the £2000 grant will be used over the equivalent of a 4-week period to fund an archive intern or temporary staff member (under  professional supervision) to catalogue a discrete collection of business records. This can either be a detailed catalogue of a small collection or a top-level catalogue of a more substantial collection. Grant recipients should provide the BAC with an article for its newsletter, and the catalogue should be made available to the National Register of Archives (published by The National Archives).

Business records can be extremely interesting for family historians; your ancestor might have been an employee, a shareholder, a customer, a supplier, and a number of us have used business records as part of our research in understanding the social history of the area or the period.

There are several people in Borders Family History Society who have intimated interest in undertaking a project of this nature, however we don't know of any collections of business records that need cataloguing.

I suspect that BAC are expecting collections covering a variety of records in the 19th and / or 20th centuries, for example, minutes of board meetings, customers, suppliers, accounting transactions, house magazines, letter books, annual reports, registers of directors and shareholders, contracts.

More info at

If you know of an interesting collection of uncatalogued recoords, or if you're a business wanting to get rid of some of your records, contact me through our Contacts page using the contact type 'Contact the Webmaster'.

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