Defining and Researching NGOs >> DANGO Resources for NGOs: Archives Help Kit

The DANGO project never sought to collect records, but did advise NGOs on where papers could be archived to preserve them safely for the future. In particular, the following links were provided:

Caring for documents

The Records of NGOs, Memory... To Be Shared. A Practical Guide in 60 Questions (PDF, 500 kb - download)
"This manual from the International Council on Archives is a practical guide, which draws the attention of officials, staff and volunteers of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to the value of their records and offers advice on their management and preservation. Some of these records are of crucial importance for the history of both the organizations themselves and the societies concerned". (author: Armelle Le Goff, ICA)

National Preservation Office
Some good basic information on caring for documents is available from the National Preservation Office, particularly their Basic Preservation Guidelines ( PDF)

National Archives Advisory Service
"Under the umbrella of the National Advisory Service, The National Archives offers a number of services to all custodians of records, including private owners, archivists and anyone with responsibility for caring for archive collections".

CHARM: Charity Archivists and Records Managers
"Founded in 1996 by archivists from the NSPCC, The Children's Society, and Oxfam, CHARM's aim is to provide a forum for archivists, records managers and other people responsible for the management of charity records and archives".

British Records Association
"The British Records Association aims to encourage and assist with the preservation, care use and publication of historical records." The BRA also provides Guidelines on the care of records.

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Digital Preservation

Your Data At Risk ( PDF 380 kb)
A handy starter guide. This document explains the main issues concerning digital preservation and its urgency, and suggests strategies to help set up a digital preservation capability. It also lists sources of further help and assistance.

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Archive Funding opportunities

The Archive Lottery Advisory Service
The Archive Lottery Advisory Service supports archive services throughout the UK in making applications for lottery funding. This support is offered to record offices and other institutions which hold archives and, through them, to everyone who cares for or uses archives.

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Institutions collecting material from NGOs

United Kingdom:

Important note : The following institutions might be interested in acquiring records from NGOs. The following links and descriptions attempt to define the area of interest of each repository. However, due to space and resource constraints there is no guarantee that an archive will automatically agree to accept your records. You may also wish to consider contacting your local record office as a potential repository. The details of your local record office can be found in the ARCHON Directory (part of the National Archives). ARCHON includes contact details for (almost all) record repositories in the United Kingdom. However, not all repositories collect NGO material.

Albert Sloman Library (University of Essex)
Over the years, the Albert Sloman Library has actively acquired archival/manuscript collections which complement the University's research strengths in modern history, politics and society. The library is interested in papers/records of politically focussed organisations.

Birmingham University (Special Collections)
The University of Birmingham Special Collection's particular interests include Christian mission, youth and education.

Bodleian Library
The Bodleian Library has a wide reputation for its modern political collections, particularly regarding the Conservative party. The Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House also has the Archive of the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

Bradford University, J.B. Priestley Library
The Priestley Library's particular interests include peace activism and religion

British Library for Development Studies
"The extensive holdings have been built up since 1966 and constitute Europe's most comprehensive research collection on development issues, providing an unparalleled range and depth of coverage" (from website).

Hull University Archives, Brynmor Jones Library University of Hull
The Brynmor Jones Library is particularly interested in archives of pressure groups, political campaigns, movements or associations which are national or international, regional (to Yorkshire) or local (to Hull and surrounding area): from small, short-lived, single-issue groups (co-operative groups, friendship societies) to large continuing organisations; including papers of individual members where these are the sole or the only significant survivals. Of particular interest are groups involved in human rights, civil liberties and related issues. For more information, you can also download Hull University Archives acquisitions policy ( Word document).

Labour History Archives, Manchester
"The Labour History Archive and Study Centre (LHASC) is the only specialist repository for the political wing of the Labour movement. It holds records for working class political organisations from the Chartists to New Labour. LHASC holds the archives of the Labour Party and the Communist Party of Great Britain. The collections have been used for a variety of research purposes providing an insight into the social, political and economic life of the last two centuries. Besides housing papers of political organisations the LHASC collects the personal papers of radical politicians, writers and left wing organisations." (from their website)

London School of Economics (Archives)
LSE has a wide reputation for collections in modern British socio-political history, particularly in the field of gay history, but also much else besides. For more details, see LSE's collection policy.

London Metropolitan Archives
LMA collects archives for the Greater London region and is happy to consider potential deposits relating to a wide variety of communities, people and organisations which document the history of London's unique people and places. For further information, please see LMA's webpage relating to acquisitions.

Museum of English Rural Life (University of Reading)
The Museum of English Rural Life aims to reflect and record the changes in agricultural practices and rural life. It houses objects, archives, books, photographs and films of national importance and is a major research centre for the history of food, farming and the countryside.

National Library of Scotland (Manuscripts Division)
NLS is interested in the archives of Scottish institutions/organisation not formally linked to the government and with a National Scottish profile (i.e. organisations with a purely local interest are usually advised to contact a local record office, when available). NLS would be very happy to consider new accessions but has to deal with each request on a case by case basis. For more details, see the NLS acquisitions policy ( PDF 80 kb).

National Archives of Scotland
The National Archives of Scotland houses the collections of over 1000 scottish organisations. The acquisition policy has recently been updated (May 2007).

National Library of Wales
The National Library of Wales is interested in "the central archives of major institutions and societies that are organised on a national basis in Wales (...) The Library aims to build a collection of national importance. Collections of a purely local interest (other than publications) are directed to appropriate local libraries, archives and museums". See the NLW acquisition policy ( PDF 80 kb).

School of Oriental and African Studies (Archives and Manuscripts)
SOAS has a wide reputation for collections touching on Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It acquires archives, manuscripts and other primary source materials relating to these areas in the following categories:
- Missionaries, missionary organisations and religious groups
- Humanitarian organisations and political NGOs
- Business organisations and individuals involved in business
- Individuals whose life or work has been of special significance to the study of Africa and Asia

Southampton University (Hartley Library)
The Hartley Library in Southampton holds a large collection of records relating to Jewish History.

Warwick University (Modern Records Centre)
The Modern Record Centre has a wide reputation for collections of interest groups and pressure groups, especially in the field of industrial relations. The MRC is also interested in campaigning issues around social reform, health and welfare as well as traditional industrial relations.

Wellcome Library
The Wellcome Library is one of the world's greatest collections in the history of medicine and related subjects from the earliest times to the present day. For more information, you can also download the Wellcome Library acquisitions policy ( Word document) as it appears in their Archives and Manuscripts leaflet.

Women's Archive of Wales
The Women's Archive of Wales "collects a broad range of archival, photographic and other material sources which illustrate the history and heritage of women in Wales, and their experience in a range of spheres including the domestic, political, religious, economic, cultural and social. It particularly seeks (...) minute books of women's organisations, photographs and similar materials. Collections are deposited in the name of WAW in existing record offices in Wales, and in the National Library of Wales, where they are properly cared for, and where they can be accessed by researchers subject to any restrictions put on a collection. (See Collections Policy for more information.)

The Women's Library (London Metropolitan University)
The Library's collections cover a variety of topics, including women's rights, suffrage, sexuality, health, education, employment, reproductive rights, the family and the home. The emphasis is primarily on women in Britain, but some international material is available, particularly the Commonwealth. The Library will consider for acquisition (among others) the records of charities and voluntary organisations as well as those of pressure groups and campaigning organisations. See their "Collection Development Policy".

Working Class Movement Library (WCML)
The WCML is open to new accessions of archives concerned with the labour movement, its allies and its enemies, since the late 1700s.

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The International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam)
The Institute is one of the world's largest documentary and research institutions concerning social history, and especially the history of the labour movement. The Institute also houses an online directory of archives and libraries in various countries collecting material about Socialist and Labour movements and Women's History.

Fondazione Feltrinelli (Milan)
T he Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation was established in 1949 to collect, preserve and make available to scholars and interested members of the public diverse materials documenting the history of ideas, in particular those related to the development of the international labor and socialist movements.

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