Consultancy opportunity: Activity Planning consultant

The University of Huddersfield and West Yorkshire Archive Service wish to invite suitably qualified and experienced consultants to submit their proposals for the preparation of an Activity Plan during the development phase of their project West Yorkshire Archives Kirklees @ Heritage Quay.

The Plan will be a key strategic planning document for the project partners and will be used in support of applications for external funding, including a £1.9m Round 2 Heritage Grants application to be submitted in December 2017. Accordingly, the Activity Plan is to be prepared in accordance with the Heritage Lottery Fund’s current Activity Planning guidance.

Consultants wishing to submit a proposal must obtain the full consultancy brief and supporting documents from Sarah Wickham, Project Director, via s[dot]wickham@hud.ac.uk (replace the [dot])

Proposals should be submitted by email ONLY to reach Sarah Wickham by noon on Thursday 9th May 2017 at the latest.

Easter closure Friday 14th – Monday 17th April

Please note that we will be closed for the Easter weekend on Friday 14th April to Monday 17th April inclusive.
This means that the research room will not be open on Saturday 15th April or Monday 17th April, and there will be no “Through the Quay-hole” tour on Saturday 15th April.

The exhibition space will be open as usual until 8pm on Thursday 13th April, and will re-open at 8am on Tuesday 18th April.

Heritage Quay takes fifth national award in same year

Heritage Quay takes top honours in the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Library Design Awards

SCONUL

AS the year drew to a close the University’s archive centre Heritage Quay celebrated by adding another win to their awards tally, making 2016 their most successful year to date with five national awards.

The University’s archive centre took the honours in the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Library Design Awards in the Under 2,000 Square Meters category. The awards, which have been taking place every three years since 1973, recognise the best in the practical as well as the cutting-edge design of higher education libraries.

SCONUL represents all university libraries in the UK and Ireland, as well as national libraries and many of the UK’s colleges of higher education.

The panel of judges cited ‘the University of Huddersfield’s Heritage Quay is an excellent example of a repurposing of social space within a wider library and student services environment, in order to achieve some very clear institutionally led strategic objectives. In the case of Heritage Quay, these consist of enabling access and increasing visibility of the university’s archives, whilst broadening and developing the collection and securing them for the university and for the people of Huddersfield”.

The Director of Computing and Library Services Sue White said she is thrilled that Heritage Quay has been recognised in these latest library design awards.

“This award is richly deserved and recognises the transformative effect of Heritage Quay in bringing the collections to new audiences,” said Sue White. “This has been a remarkable year and great credit is due to the team, as well as everyone else across the University who has had input to the project.”

Heritage Quay – backed by an award of almost £1.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund – was opened in 2014 and has quickly gained a reputation as the most advanced and accessible in the sector. It is now regarded one of the most technologically-advanced archives in the UK and features a high-tech Exploration Space, enabling visitors to sample archival material via touch screens and gesture technology.

The service was Accredited by The National Archives at the beginning of 2016 and won the Buildings That Inspire category of the 2016 Guardian University Awards and was Outstanding Library Team in the 2016 Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards. The fourth title came over the summer when the University’s Archivist and Records Manager, Sarah Wickham, became Record-keeper of the Year, an award organised by the Archives and Records Association.

Story originally published on the University’s website.

Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society deposits archive at Heritage Quay

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HDAS members Gerrie Brown (l), David Cockman (r) with Heritage Quay Archivist Lindsay Ince

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The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Thornton (centre) welcomes Society members to Heritage Quay (l-r) Gerrie Brown, David Cockman, Jo Heron and Edward Vickerman.

‌THE archive of an award-winning Society, which for the last 60 years has taken part in hands-on archaeology in the Kirklees area, has been deposited into the University’s official archives at Heritage Quay where it can be enjoyed by many for years to come. The catalogue is available at http://heritagequay.org/archives/HDAS/
The Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society (HDAS) was founded in 1956 and their extensive collection records more than thirty significant investigations of Roman roads and settlements, prehistoric sites and medieval and post-medieval industrial activity.

The items range from field notes to finished publications and there are maps, plans and a large collection of photographs and videos together with details of the Society minutes and the yearly cycle of lectures that are open to the public.

Presenting the archive to the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and historian Professor Tim Thornton and Heritage Quay archivist Lindsay Ince were Gerrie Brown, HDAS research archivist, David Cockman image archivist, Jo Heron the current HDAS President and Past President Edward Vickerman.

‌‌Gerrie Brown co-ordinated the collection and says the Society is pleased the items are now in Heritage Quay where they can be seen by other archaeologists, students and members of the public, rather than being stored away in poor conditions where they might be vulnerable to damage.

“Mixed paper documents need to be in a temperature and humidity controlled environment,” said Gerrie, “because of this we are extremely grateful to have a local, state-of-the-art facility such as Heritage Quay to house the collection,” he added.

Some of the most notable pieces in the archive belong to archaeological digs of the vicus – civilian area – of the Slack Roman Fort near Outlane which took place in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Here they uncovered new evidence that showed the Roman presence at Slack continued well into the 3rd and possibly 4th centuries AD even after the Roman army had moved north to Hadrian’s Wall and the military use of the fort had ended around 140AD.

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“Such was the interest in this work that an academic publishing house called Archaeopress in Oxford agreed to publish The Romans in Huddersfield – a New Assessment (BAR620) in their prestigious British Archaeological Report series,” said Gerrie.

It was the gathering of information for this report, published in 2015, which demonstrated the need for a more permanent and singular home for the items. Still in the Society’s possession are numerous items of pottery, tile and glass because they require a different environment to mixed paper documents.

“There is a sadness that we can’t get the pottery in, but I live in hope that someday we will find a home for the pottery somewhere in Huddersfield,” said Gerrie.

Lindsay Ince, Heritage Quay’s Assistant Archivist & Records Manager, says the work of organisations like HDAS is important to the understanding of the past through archaeology. “We are delighted to make the Society’s archive available for use,” said Lindsay. “Voluntary societies like HDAS often have the resources to do fieldwork and research which otherwise wouldn’t happen.”

One such piece of research is the exploratory excavation of a strange D shaped enclosure in Honley Old Woods. If HDAS can find definitive dating evidence to place it in the Bronze or Iron Ages, it will make a case for Historic England to schedule the site and give it protection for the future.

There are also ambitious plans to re-start archaeological investigations of the well-known Almondbury Hill Fort on Castle Hill in Huddersfield and project design and fundraising activities are currently underway.

Story originally published at http://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2016/november/huddersfieldanddistrictarchaeologicalsocietydepositsarchive.php

Celebrating our volunteers

Last week we held a thank you celebration for our team of volunteers. Some of them have finished their time with us and others are continuing. (There will be new opportunities for volunteers in the autumn).

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Thornton presented each volunteer who was able to attend with a certificate of their volunteering so far – between the 9 people who were able to be there they’ve clocked up 1,800 hours in a year – or equivalent to 0.6 of a full-time post! A really amazing contribution for which we’re very grateful, and look forward to continuing to work with these key members of our team.

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Outstanding Library team at the Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards 2016

originally published at https://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2016/june/congratulationstoouroutstandinglibraryteam.phpTHE Awards-1147_library

London, 23 June 2016: University of Huddersfield won the Outstanding Library team award last night, at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2016. The awards, now in their eighth year recognise outstanding leadership and management in the UK’s higher education institutions.

Heritage Quay, the University of Huddersfield’s official archive, opened in October 2014. From the start, it was designed to offer “a truly interactive service where collections become a catalyst for creativity and are a living archive, offering a lively interface between our audiences and the academic community”.

The result is unique among archives in any sector in its use of immersive technology, including an IMAX-style 7 metre video wall to allow visitors to animate and interact with the heritage collections. The wide-ranging programme of events and outreach across Yorkshire and beyond are also highly unusual within UK higher education.

These goals were achieved through the identification of thematic communities of interest, and extensive consultation with partners in the public sector and voluntary organisations, as well as the owners of the principal collections, such as the Rugby Football League and Sound and Music (the national charity for new music). As a result of this, the university created a four-year activity plan and an interpretation strategy, which also underpinned the overall development of the building.

The judges praised Huddersfield’s “amazing new knowledge hub” as “a great example of how to transform valuable heritage collections into an interactive and engaging interdisciplinary resource”.

“The project uses state-of-the-art technology with clear purpose, bringing to life previously hidden knowledge and enabling new connections and ideas to be born. The project’s vision and focus on quality will have a positive impact on the university for many years to come.”

Winners attended a black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by actor and comedian Jimmy Carr, where over 1,000 guests gathered to celebrate outstanding performance in the competitive world of UK higher education.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, David McBeth, director of research and knowledge exchange services at the University of Strathclyde, and Maja Maricevic, head of higher education at the British Library.

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Archives Service Accreditation presented

LEADING figures from the National Archives, based at Kew, came to the University of Huddersfield to bestow one of the most sought-after awards in the sector.

The University is the home of Heritage Quay, a £1.6 million, technologically-advanced archives centre that is highly accessible to the general public and specialist researchers alike. Now, it has officially been declared an Accredited Archive Service.

This is a distinction awarded by a panel including the National Archives and the Archives and Records Association. The certificate states that the aim is to “ensure the long-term collection, preservation and accessibility of our archive heritage”. Accreditation is a UK quality standard “which recognises good performance in all areas of archive service delivery”.

It was announced earlier this year that Heritage Quay – after an exhaustive application and validation process – had been granted Accredited Archive Service status. The award has now formally been made at a ceremony attended by Caroline Ottaway-Searle, who is Director of Public Engagement at the National Archives, and Melinda Haunton, their Programme Manager for Accreditation.

The University's Sarah Wickham (right) receives the certificate of Accreditation from The National Archives' Caroline Ottaway-Searle
The University’s Sarah Wickham (right) receives the certificate of Accreditation from The National Archives’ Caroline Ottaway-Searle

‌Members of the Heritage Quay team was present to receive the award, alongside University of Huddersfield Archivist and Records Manager Sarah Wickham, Director of Computing and Library Services Sue White and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Thornton.

The nine-strong team at Heritage Quay worked on the substantial submission that was required to apply for accreditation. It appraised factors such as repository standards, the range of public services offered, the policies and procedures in place for managing and cataloguing collections, and the outreach activities taking place amongst a wide range of audiences.

After the document was completed, Accreditation Assessors from across the archives sector visited Heritage Quay to validate the submission.

Out of some 2000 archives in the UK, Accredited status has so far been awarded to 45. The University of Huddersfield joins a list that includes the National Archives themselves, plus London Metropolitan Archives, Lancashire Archives, the National Records of Scotland, the Churchill Archives Centre and the National Library of Wales.

Heritage Quay barcode When it announced that Heritage Quay had joined the list, the Accreditation Panel cited “the recent years of hugely impressive development to this archive service, and the overall uplifting and positive impression of the service in this application”.

It added that “outputs of recent years included a very sound policy basis for the service to develop in future, in addition to the significant achievements supported by a major grant award”.

Archivist and Records Manager Sarah Wickham has said that accreditation “has been a considerable achievement by all of the staff working in Heritage Quay”

“It recognises the high-quality work we do,” she added. “We are a relatively new team, so to achieve this endorsement in such a short space of time is absolutely fantastic.”
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•Heritage Quay was opened in 2014 by Gary Verity, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Yorkshire and the Humber, after the University was awarded almost £1.6 million from the HLF to develop a new archives centre. It is now regarded one of the most technologically-advanced archives in the UK, featuring a high-tech Exploration Space that enables visitors to sample archival material via touch screens and gesture technology. It mounts regular exhibitions and special events that have included lectures, concerts and theatrical performances plus public sessions such as a popular course on the history of brass bands in the Pennines. Heritage Quay has won many awards for its work including a Guardian Higher Education “Inspiring Building” award, and a special commendation in the Royal Historical Society’s inaugural Public History Prize

Story originally published at http://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2016/june/heritagequayreceivesaccreditedarchiveservicedistinction.php