About Archives West Midlands

Part of Mappa Mundi showing Golden Fleece | Courtesy of Hereford Cathedral Archives
Part of Mappa Mundi showing Golden Fleece
Courtesy of Hereford Cathedral Archives

The West Midlands is home to a remarkable legacy of documentary heritage which captures the life of the people of the West Midlands over the last millennium.

Aspects such as everyday living, government, business, sport, leisure, education, and religion are recorded in millions of contemporaneous documents including medieval parchment, written documents, plans, maps, photographs, film and digital records. In turn this documentary heritage is used in diverse ways including research, education, democratic accountability, leisure and cultural events.  Various archive services provide the complex professional care necessary to protect and provide access to these fragile links with the past. These services are based in a range of bodies including local authorities, universities and businesses or are independent organisations.

The role of Archives West Midlands (AWM) is to support the vital  work of these specialist services. Through its institutional membership AWM provides a forum for regional archivists to meet and learn from each other as well as providing training, projects and connectivity into wider initiatives and issues.

Mission and aims

AWM is a strategic partnership of and for archive services in the region, to maximise the benefits of working together and for realising funding opportunities.

Together we will:

  • Promote the importance of archives as vital regional assets
  • Encourage the highest standards of archive work
  • Encourage investment in digital preservation and digital access to collections and services
  • Benefit from working collaboratively to achieve more than a single archive could do on its own – supporting the ethos ‘better together’
  • Develop and support regional (or sub-regional) projects and related funding
  • Provide a confident and coherent voice for the region’s archives

Governance

Archives West Midlands is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Registered Charity Number 1168386). It is managed by the Trustees who are appointed through an open nomination process.

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