Chris Olver is returning to LSHTM to work on the Wellcome Trust funded project to catalogue and preserve the Whitehall Study. (Chris previously worked on the project to catalogue our HIV/AIDS collections in 2013.)
In 1967, LSHTM began its major Health Survey of Male Civil Servants aged 40 or over. This is widely referred to as the Whitehall Study. The study was the first to draw attention to important links between lifestyle, particularly smoking, inherited risk factors and subsequent disease. It found significant differences in life expectancy between civil servants on administrative grades and those in lower positions, basically the lower the grade of employment, the higher the death rate from all of the major causes of death. This was a crucial finding for establishing a link between social status and health, and the Whitehall study thus occupies a key place in the history of debates about the social determinants of health
The collection comprises of raw data and administrative papers from the original study, as well as follow-up papers from the 1970s. The collection will be catalogued according to international standards, repackaged in preservation materials, and conservation measures will be undertaken. The resulting descriptions will be made available to the medical history community via the Archives Service online catalogue, and publicised through a range of dissemination activities.
Archives Service Accreditation
The Archives team will be planning its application for Archives Service Accreditation during 2017. Archive Service Accreditation is the new UK wide standard for archives service which has been developed in partnership with the archives sector and its stakeholders through a process of co-creation and consultation. The standard defines good practice and agreed standards, thereby encouraging and supporting development. It is aimed at organisations that hold archive collections, whatever their constitution, and covers both private and public sector archives.
In practice this will mean reviewing and updating our policies and procedures to ensure that we are providing a high quality service to our researchers and managing our collections according to the appropriate standard. More information is available on the Archives Service Accreditation at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/standards.htm
The EU Data Protection Regulation has been finalised and is due to come into force in May 2018. This will replace the current Data Protection Act 1998 and has a number of changes to the current legislation that needs to be planned for including statutory Data Protection Officer, mandatory breach report and greater monetary penalties. The Archivist & Records Manager will be working with colleagues to ensure that the School is ready for the new regulation.
Assetbank – new digital asset management system
The Archive Service has been working with colleagues in ITS and External Relations on a project to implement a new digital asset management system to store, manage, preserve and make accessible the School’s images and multimedia assets. The system is called Assetbank and will be launched for use by staff and students in February. Users will be able to access the wide range of images that the School holds and creates, we are also keen for staff to add their own images to increase the variety of images available for use.
The Changing Face of Keppel Street exhibition is still on display in the Keppel Street foyer and we will be working on some events to continue to promote this.
In addition to the above, we will continue to run the archives service which offers researchers the opportunity to use our archive collections for their research and we will be making improvements to the records management service. This service ensures the economical and efficient storage and disposal of the School’s records, provides storage space for semi-current records (records which need to be retained for legal, business and operational reasons but not necessarily in the office environment) and advice on information management issues.