About Archives West Midlands

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.

New Strategy

10 years on from the launch of Archives West Midlands, trustees and members came together in 2022 and 2023 to refresh our aims, values and our core offer to members, reflecting our evolving ambitions for the network.  In so doing, we were able to reflect on our achievements to date and to listen to what our members would like our network to focus on for the coming five years.

A recurrent theme throughout our discussions was the value each of us places on the opportunity to work together and learn from each other, raising professional standards across our membership.  Our workshops also highlighted the importance of maintaining the momentum with our work around service resilience, supported by strong advocacy by the network on behalf of its members, showcasing the value of our region’s amazing archival heritage.  We will ensure that our work reflects our desire to plan and deliver our work in an inclusive and innovative manner, mindful of the need to make our practices environmentally sustainable.

During 2023 we will continue working on an action plan to drive this work forward.  We look forward to continue to working with trustees and members in the planning and delivery of this work.

The strategy is available to download at the bottom of the page.


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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