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Awards Categories

For Awards 2020 there are four categories. You may enter one or more categories but can only make one entry per category. Projects should have been active during 2019/20.

The categories are:

  1. Community Engagement
  2. Gathering and Preserving Heritage
  3. Contribution to Wellbeing
  4. Networks of Archives

There is also an award for Best Community Archive and Heritage Group of 2019. This is an overall award and is sponsored by Sticks Research Agency. All entrants are automatically considered for this award. Sticks Research Agency was founded in 2000, and provides a range of research services, heritage consultancy and media support to organisations and private clients.

The CAHG awards were set up to promote best practice in community archiving. The Community Archives and Heritage Group website has guidelines for good practice for various fields of community archive activities.

For all categories the activity or project entered can be part of the day to day activity of the group or be a one off.  Entrants will be judged against the categories entered and evidence given; judges will refer to the group’s websites to ‘back up’ information on the form but not as the sole form of information.

Groups entering must be a ‘group’ not an individual.


General information for all entrants

The aim is to find groups that are either doing something really well and/or doing something special and/or have come up with a completely new idea or method.  The information on your entry form should include, where appropriate:
  • General information about the group, the project’s aims and achievements
  • Specific supporting evidence for the category entered
  • Evidence of plans for long term sustainability or continuing access to the information at the end of the project.
  • Information about the delivery method
  • An understanding of the target audience
  • How consideration has been given to planning and good practice.
Judges will look at websites and social media as ‘back up’, taking particular note of aspects mentioned in the entry, but these should not be the sole form of information.

Specific spheres of activity for each category are shown below. In submissions groups are not necessarily expected to match all suggestions for a category. Additional information can be included if relevant to the entry.

1. Community Engagement

In this award, we’re looking for novel and successful ways of engaging communities with community archive collections. One of the core activities of community archives is to provide access to their collections via websites, exhibitions and books. Perhaps you’ve done something outstanding to engage the community? Maybe you’ve used an unusual technique, such as creating a wall mural or devising a play? Perhaps you’ve used more traditional methods, but you’ve been remarkably successful at reaching large numbers of people, or involving sectors of the community who aren’t usually interested in heritage?

This category is for a project or activity that:

  1. Involves, interests and stimulates the community
  2. Involves a wide range of people in the community
  3. Includes activities or methods that may be novel
  4. Widens or inspires general interest in an object or collection or process of gathering information
  5. Stimulates and encourages others

2. Gathering and Preserving Heritage

In this award we’re focusing on the process of collecting heritage and preserving or stewarding heritage. Many community archive groups are motivated by the desire to record the past before it is lost and to keep it safe for the future. What have you added to your collection recently? Perhaps you’ve done a new oral history project, or acquired a fascinating new set of documents. Perhaps you’ve recorded an aspect of community life that has been neglected. Perhaps you’ve made a breakthrough in the way you look after your existing collection through a new catalogue or improvements in your approach to conservation. We’re looking for new ideas as well as examples of best practice that others can follow

The category is for a project or activity that:

  1. Makes a significant contribution to recording and preserving the heritage of your community
  2. Provides an example of a collecting method or an approach to preservation that others can follow
  3. Creates a collection that is of particular interest
  4. Uses novel ideas for collection or storage
  5. Inspires others to start gathering heritage items or information

3. Contribution to Wellbeing

The world of community archives is considering more and more the effects that heritage and its exploration can have on communities and their wellbeing. Creating a sense of lineage and heritage can often have very positive effects on wellbeing and mental health.  In addition, the activities of researching, volunteering etc can massively impact on an individuals’ wellbeing. In this category we are looking for a project or activity that:

  1. Shows evidence of running activities that have beneficial impacts on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals and communities (such as increased confidence, empowerment, sense of belonging and social connectivity).
  2. Shows evidence of activities that involve providing advocacy for communities or impacting on the exploration of identity
  3. Provides examples of diverse engagement
  4. Provides evidence of a wide reaching volunteer base
  5. Can evidence a wide audience of users

Follow this link to a case study of the Plymouth LGBT Archive and how it has impacted on wellbeing.

4. Network of Archives

In recent years, in an attempt to create increased sustainability and to share resources and best practice, more and more archives are becoming part of networks.  For the first time CAHG are seeking to acknowledge this through a specific award for the best network of 2020. We are looking for a collection of networks that can show evidence of:

  1. A wide range of partner groups
  2. Collaboration and co-operation.  How does each individual archive or group maintain their voice within this union?
  3. Sharing best practice and resources
  4. Effective and wide ranging communication that furthers the aims of the network and all its members

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