BAC News: Archive for 2014

A2SN 2015 Workshop Call for Papers

Exploring the Project-Based Economy Commerce, Enterprise and Industry 1650–1900, A2SN's next workshop, will be held on 29th and 30th May 2015 at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, TF8 7DQ.

A notable feature of the Industrial Revolution was the role played by individual speculators and projectors in the establishment of key industries and infrastructure. This period might be characterised as a ‘project-based economy’, comprising  manufacturing, the development of new transport systems, the greater exploitation of natural resources and the growth of finance for industry. The economy was a mix of both formal and informal networks, built intially from local contacts that often went on to spread across the country. But how were these local and national networks created? What was the role of skill, knowledge and learning in the British economy? and what was the nature of the relationships between diverse organisations, technologies and investment?

The scope of this workshop will include:

  • examining the role of business and management in the process of British industrialisation
  • analysing the development of company organisation, management of infrastructure, finance, professional networks etc.
  • evaluating the changing techniques for calculating cost, profit and return on capital
  • re-exploring our understanding of the Industrial Revolution in the 21st century

Contributions of 30-minute papers are sought from scholars, archivists and enthusiasts. Please submit your abstracts of no more than 400 words to Keith Harcourt at: no later than 31st January 2015.

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ICA Section for Business Archives 2015 conference - call for papers

The International Council on Archives Section for Business Archives will be holding its next annaul conference on 15-16 June 2015 in Milan, Italy.

The themes to be covered in this conference include:

- Business Archive advocacy with senior managers
- Business Archive community  involvement (including academic involvement)
- Business Archive management models (trusts, archive centres etc.) for funding and profitability
- Particular types of business archives/records/objects - problems and solutions
- Exploiting photographic and multimedia collections within the Business Archive
- Digital curation of Business Archives
- Electronic  records management systems and the identification of the business archive

The Section for Business Archives is currently calling for papers to be presented.

Find out more.

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Winner of the Wadsworth Prize announced

Professor Richard Roberts of Kings College London was awarded the Wadsworth Prize for 2013 for his publication Saving the City: the great financial crisis of 1914. The award took place at the office of PriceWaterhouseCooper in London on Thursday 20th November 2014.

Find out more

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Developments at Alfred Gillett Trust (Clarks archive)

Substantial work has taken place to update the Alfred Gillett Trust (Clarks archive)'s website. There is a series of pages about the Trust’s diverse collections, including the family archives:

And the pages about the Trust's large shoe collection: 

These pages will continue to evolve as the project to digitise the entire shoe collection progresses, along with plans for other collections to also be digitised.

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Call for papers for EaBH 2015 conference



Inflation. Does it still matter today? will be the 2015 EaBH conference hosted by the Czech National Bank and in cooperation with the Czech Banking Association on 15 May 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.


Inflation is one of the biggest challenges for any country. If price levels rise all across the economy, nations can be threatened by impoverishment.

Thirty years after the development of global disinflation (which occurred in the 1980s), does inflation still matter?  Recent global developments challenge policy-makers. Does current US monetary policy bring dangers of inflation back to the global economy? Or is the contrary a greater concern: Is the Eurozone well on its way towards deflation? 

This conference focuses on the history of inflation, ranging from the Roman Empire to modern times. EaBH, the Czech National Bank together with the Czech Banking Association, want to look at what is new about inflation. Can historical instances of inflation provide tools for understanding modern developments? Should present day monetary authorities and decision takers be aware of these lessons as they cope with the challenges of the globalisation? 


The EaBH is calling for contributions for this conference, which could be as a speaker in one of the oral history panels. Or you could present a research paper. 
The details can be found here:

Please send your proposals no later than 31 December 2014 to:

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British Records Association annual conference 2014

The British Records Association annual conference 2014 'Upstairs, downstairs: life in British stately homes and town houses' is arranged in conjunction with the Historic Houses Archivists Group. It will take place on 2 December at Syon House in Syon Park, West London.

Find out more.

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A New Way to Explore The National Archives

The National Archives has recently launched a new version of Discovery which enables archive users to search, browse and tag 32 million record descriptions for thousands of collections across the UK. This replaces the beta service that has been in development over the last year.                                                                                    

As well as the millions of records held by The National Archives, Discovery searches over 10 million additional records held by more than 2,500 archives and organisations across the UK, making it a unique archival resource for researchers around the world. The value to researchers of combining catalogue and organisational data from across the UK archives sector in one place is enormous, and highlights our commitment to our role as sector lead.                                                                

The A2A and NRA services will close on 28 October.  We are pleased that users have responded positively to their integration into Discovery

Work continues to develop additional functionality in Discovery for the data that was previously held in ARCHON and the MDR and these standalone services will close later in the autumn. Once they have been closed, redirects will be in place and will take users to Discovery.                                                                          

Upgrading Discovery has involved a considerable amount of user testing and research over the last couple of years, and would not have been possible without the feedback of hundreds of archive users, contributors and members of staff. TNA will continue to improve Discovery, and welcomes feedback from all users to help do this. Please email your feedback to

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Meet the Archivist 2014 registration now open

Fancy exploring treasure troves of untapped historical sources? Want to find out how you can use business archives in your undergraduate, masters or PhD research?

The next Meet the Archivist workshop will be held on Monday 3rd November at The British Library. Find out more.

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EABH call for papers

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (eabh) is calling for papers for its May 2015 archival workshop 'Inflation. Money. Output. Economic and financial data underpinning analysis and policy-making.' The workshop is kindly hosted by the Czech National Bank and in cooperation with the Czech Banking Association and will be held on 14 May 2015 in Prague.

Further information can be found on the eabh website.

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Making Progress in Digital Preservation


The DPC, the Business Archives Council and the Archives and Records Association invite you to join them for 'Making Progress in Digital Preservation' at HSBC, Canary Wharf, London on Friday 31st October 2014. 


This new workshop is designed to meet the need of those who have taken preliminary steps in digital preservation but are looking to move towards more structured and enduring processes and procedures.  Drawing heavily on case studies, and responding to the greater subtlety required when implementing policies and plans, this workshop will examine three key areas of organisational needs: policy, resources and technology.  By the end of the workshop - which will include time for networking and sharing - participants will be equipped with practical  targets for implementing digital preservation, as well as guidance and tools to make those targets achievable.


Places are strictly limited and should be booked in advance. Registration will close one week before the event and early booking is recommended as we expect these events will be popular. Registration is free for DPC members ( or costs 30 pounds per place for non-members. It should be paid by cheque before the event date or cash on the day. Registration is now open for all. There are currently 43 places available. Registration closes on 24/10/2014 12:00.


For more information including registration see:

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2014 Cataloguing Grant for Business Archives related to the Arts winners announced

The Business Archives Council is delighted to announce the winners of the BAC cataloguing grant for business archives related to the Arts, 2014. The Arts grant was launched last year to support an under-represented area of business archives and to complement wider initiatives for archiving the arts by The National Archives and the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives.

Once again, the judging panel was very impressed with the high standard of the applications that were received from across the country, but ultimately decided to present the award to Spike Island Artspace Ltd & The Bristol Record Office for the cataloguing of The Artspace Archive, incorporating Top Floor Studios, Bristol Sculpture Shed and Bristol Printmakers.

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Save the Wedgwood Collection

The Wedgwood Collection, one of the most important industrial archives in the world and a unique record of over 250 years of British art, is under threat of being separated and sold off. The Art Fund now has the opportunity to purchase it for the nation intact, provided the final £2.74m of a total £15.75m fundraising target can be raised by 30 November 2014.

Find out more about the collection, why it is under threat and how you can help:

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Free online course using the M&S Company Archive - Innovation: the Key to Business success

M&S Company Archive has partnered with the University of Leeds to develop a new and exciting online course using their rich archive collection. The 'Innovation: The Key to Business Success' course launches Monday 15 September and matches archive case studies with research from the University to highlight how innovation happens in different scenarios. 

Find out more about the 'Innovation: The Key to Business Success' course or sign up here:

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Curation Costs Exchange (CCEx) beta version website launched

The 'Curation Costs Exchange' (CCEx) website has been launched as a beta version by the 4C Project. The CCEx is an online community platform for the exchange of curation cost information. It enables knowledge transfer and cost comparison. The CCEx uses the costs data it gathers to provide automatic generation of results for the purposes of self-assessment, cost comparisons with peers and insights into the financial accounting and activity costs of other organisations.

"The value we can all derive from the CCEx depends entirely on the willingness of oragnisations to share their cost data, and on the understanding of the benfits that sharing will bring about," said Alex Thirifays of the Danish National Archives (DNA). "The more costs are shared, the more we can all learn about making smarter investments in digital curation."

Beta testing will take place between 12th August and 15th September and will involve invited testers, but the 4C Project welcomes feedback from all.

In order to take part in the CCEx beta-testing visit

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Banking Archives mark the beginning of WW1

In order to mark the centenary of the beginning of WW1 a number of banking archives have delved into their historical records to reveal their stories from this period.

Explore The Baring Archive's online exhibition detailing the impact of the war on the bank:

Find out about the lives of Midland Bank employees who fought in the First World War through a digitisation project at HSBC Archives:

Take a look at the RBS Archives dedicated website which looks at RBS and Natwest's exeriences of the First World War:

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2014 BAC Cataloguing Grant winner announced

The Business Archives Council is delighted to announce the winning applicant of the BAC cataloguing grant for business archives for 2014. Yet again a significant number of applications of a high standard were received. The judging panel on behalf of the Council has awarded the grant to Gloucestershire Archives for the cataloguing of the archives of Listers of Dursley, engineers.

Fnd out more about the cataloguing grant and the winner.

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Victorian Cities Revisited: Heritage and History Conference

Victorian Cities Revisited: Heritage and History Conference is a joint initiative between the University of Huddersfield and the £2.6m Heritage Lottery Fund supported Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Project Middlesbrough Town Hall. The conference will be held on 15-16 October 2014. For more information download the conference programme.

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A2SN Workshop booking now open

By air, sea and land - Transport & Mobility Through the Archives is the next workshop organised by the A2SN. The workshop will be hosted by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, in Belfast on 8th September 2014. The workshop is supported by the Historical Model Railway Society, the Business Archives Council and the Historical Model Railway Society.

Find out more and how to book.

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Business History Bursary 2014

The winner of the 2014 BAC Bursary for Business History Research is Ioanna Iordanou of Warwick Business School. Ioanna will use the bursary to look at the origins of organisations in the early modern era using the example of Venice. She will be using a range of diplomatic material held at The National Archives in Kew which reported on business practices in Venice. Much of this was actually industrial espionage, which is another element of Ioanna’s research. The award was announced by Peter Scott, one of the judges, at the annual conference of the Association of Business Historians held in Newcastle. Ioanna could not attend the conference so the cheque for £1,000 was presented to her in London by the BAC Chair, Mike Anson.

Find out more about the bursary.

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2014 Conference - programme update

Let the Right One In? - Challenging Perceptions of Access to Business Archives

This year’s conference will be held on Thursday 13th November 2014 at the Elgar Room in the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP.

Speakers this year include:

  • Maria Sienkiewicz, Barclays Group Archive
  • Christopher Hilton, Wellcome Library
  • Duncan Campbell-Smith, business historian
  • Kiara King, Ballast Trust
  • Rachael Griffin, Pentabus Theatre Company

For further details and inforation on booking please see the conference webpages.

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Museums Association Conference & Exhibition 2014

The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition is the largest event of its kind in Europe for museums and heritage professionals.  Over 1,500 senior staff discuss the latest issues, discover new practice and meet the world’s leading suppliers and consultants. This year the conference and exhibition will be held in Cardiff on 9 and 10 October.

The theme is Museums Change Lives. Thie conference and exhibition will also feature content that helps museums become more sustainable, looking at partnerships, funding and the workforce. Keynote speakers include John Griffiths AM, Welsh government minister for culture and sport, Antônio Vieira, director of the Museu da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a keynote performance Mat Fraser’s Cabinet of Curiosities: how disability was kept in a box.

Book your place before 31 July to receive significant discount:


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Business as Usual: exploring London business archives at LMA

Business as Usual: exploring London business archives at LMA
Friday 4 July 2014, 10.15am – 4.30pm
London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB
Discover the treasures to be found in the extensive business archives held at LMA which date back to late 15th century. There will be presentations on George Daniels, watchmaker; Chubb and Son, lock and safe manufacturers and Standard Chartered Bank as well as discussion breakouts with Business Archives Council, Cass Business School and Outhouse London.

  • Find out about the importance of business archives to academic, local and family historians, business researchers, teachers and young people alike.
  • Find out more about caring for business archives within a business, or in a deposited environment and using them to advantage.
  • Find out more about the important contribution made by LMA volunteers in making these records available.

Here is further essential information:
£10 (lunch not provided - bring a picnic) booking in advance is essential: visit

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Victorian Cities Revisited - call for papers

In partnership with the University of Huddersfield, Victorian Cities Revisited is part of the £2.6m Heritage Lottery Fund supported Tees Transporter Bridge Visitor Experience Project. A Heritage and History conference will take place in Middlesbrough on 15-16th October 2014 and includes optional visits to a number of heritage sites in the town including the landmark Tees Transporter Bridge.

The conference will consider how the heritage and history sectors have explored and revised perceptions of this period of vast urban transformation, both in the United Kingdom and across the globe. 

The organisers are now inviting proposals for papers. The deadline for which is 30th June. Find out more.

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Save the date - 2014 BAC Conference

We are pleased to announce that the 2014 Business Archives Council Conference will be held on Thursday 13th November 2014 at the Royal Albert Hall, Elgar Room, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP. 

This is the 80th anniversary of the BAC and we are planning a day that will reflect our past, present and future work, the tremendous progress that has been made over the past 80 years and the significant challenges that lie ahead for business archives. 

The organisers of the conference this year will be Paula Togher of The Baring Archive and Adam Hillhouse of the British Postal Museum and Archive.

Full details will be announced in due course.

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From Factory to FaceBook: new ways to engage with business archives

The Section on Business and Labour Archives (SBL) within the International Council on Archives (ICA) is pleased to announce its annual conference: "From Factory to FaceBook: new ways to engage with business archives", which will be held in London on 14-15 April 2014. The conference will focus on the use of social media and other means to promote business archives in new and innovative ways. This event, for which there is no fee, will be hosted by Unilever and will include a reception on the Monday evening.

Further details are available from the ICA website

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A2SN 2014 workshop booking open

The Archives and Artefacts Study Network will be holding their 2014 annual workshop at Armley Mills Industrial Museum in Leeds on 16th and 17th May 2014. The theme of the workshop is 'The Industrious Fabric of Leeds'. Take a look at the programme and book now.

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Successful training day run by BAC and ARA's Section for Business records

Around 30 people were present at The Baring Archive in London on Wednesday 22 January for a training day run by the BAC and the ARA’s Section for Business Records.

Students enrolled on archive and records management courses at Aberystwyth, Dundee, and UCL, together with some other interested observers, learned about the various types of business records in general and how they can be used. A number of guest speakers were also on hand to address specific issues.

The BAC would like to thank all the participants and speakers for attending, and also Emma Golding (Guardian News & Media Archive), James Mortlock (HSBC Archive), and Paula Togher (Baring Archive) for their help with the organisation of the event. Also thanks to The Baring Archive at ING Commercial Banking for hosting the day.

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