In these times, local history groups and others may be looking for help and / or new ways to work, and engage. Here, we offer some advice and potential resources that may be of use.
In these exceptional times, your organisation may need a little bit of help. Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Arts Council England have emergency funding streams open.
Historic England has launched an emergency fund to help tackle the impact of Coronavirus on the heritage sector. The aim of the fund is to extend the safety net as far as possible for the sector by helping small heritage organisations both to survive the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, and to prepare for recovery.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund is providing a package of support for the heritage sector as a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This includes increased advice and support, longer-term skills and capacity building initiatives, and a £50 million Heritage Emergency Fund to provide emergency funding for those most in need.
Arts Council England is making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organisations and individuals who will need it during this crisis, and they have also changed the funding requirements for individuals and organisations currently in receipt of their funding, to help alleviate pressure on them.
The Newport History Group provide details on how they have funded their new website, as National Heritage Lottery Fund applications closed due to Coronavirus.
Oral History Society
Excellent and up to date guidance on collecting oral history, and conducting ethical and legal interviews, can be found from the Oral History Society in the UK.
Covid-19 specific links for collecting resources
The Oral History Society gives advice on the practicalities and ethics of interviewing remotely, as well as some technical guidance.
Run by the Mass Observation Archive, community archives might also wish to collect material on their own community’s experience and diaries of the pandemic. They could either participate in or take example / guidance from this project.
The Society of American Archivists have also produced some guidance.
A series of video guides from Warwickshire County Record Office offering pointers on how to begin.
Whilst the country is in Lockdown people can’t visit their local museums and archives, however that shouldn’t stop people’s content from being seen and shared.
A blog on the National Archives website, offering some alternative platforms in which to disseminate your content. Written by Jo Pugh.
Although written from a US perspective, this is an interesting overview of the sustainability issues facing community archives in US in the context of the virus. Written by Bergis Jules.
The Institute of Historical Research is collecting links to accessible online materials. This listing is a work in progress, and they are asking the public for additional recommendations to make this resource as useful as possible.
A community generated live list (maintained by the Documenting the Now project) of mainly US based projects.
The Open University have curated some content to help people pick up a few new digital skills. Although some is quite high level, there are some free introductory articles that you might want to check out.
The National Archives are working to ensure that they can still provide at least a minimal service and point of contact for the archive sector. You can find statements relating to Archive Service Accreditation, places of deposit, maintaining collection safety and the Archives Revealed/Collaborate and Innovate funding programmes.
Add your images and insights of England’s historic places included in the 400,000 plus entries on the National Heritage List for England.
Watch 85,000 British Pathé films. They can be a great historical resource, as well as being entertaining in their own right.
Jack Latimer, from CommunitySites and a member of the CAHG committee, wants to hear from any community archives which are documenting these extraordinary times.