The Archives team always likes to start the year with an optimistic long list of plans and ideas for promoting the archives service but first there needs to be some reflection on 2014. This was a great year for the archives service as we completed the Wellcome Trust funded HIV/AIDS cataloguing project. Our Project Cataloguer, Chris Olver left at the end of the year – the office will be a lot quieter without him and his amazing medical history knowledge. We wish him every success in his new role at King’s College. Chris posted a number of blog posts on the AIDS project over the course of the project which can be searched but we will be working on promoting the collections over the next few months. There is a short film produced by the Wellcome on the project at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO6l7rB0-QQ&list=UUwAOBu5maiCev_T-XXF_INg
The Archives team will be working hard to catalogue and make accessible other collections including the Whitehall Papers, David Bradley’s papers and administrative papers of the School.
Last year, the Archives team took the lead on two School exhibitions: Improving Health in Wartime and HIV/AIDS: Controlling and eradicating a modern epidemic. Creating the content of the exhibition and developing the associated events took a large amount of time (with brilliant assistance from the Events team). This year we will be contributing to the School exhibitions with items from the archives and rare book collections. The Women in Science exhibition will be on display from mid January and will feature a number of items from the collections including information on some of the first women to study at the School. Later in the year, material from the rare book collections will feature in an exhibition on vaccination. We are looking forward to contributing to these exhibitions and the associated events.
Our research for last year’s war exhibition uncovered lots of interesting stories on what School staff and other tropical medicine professionals did during World War One. We will continue to blog about these as the WW1 commemorations continue. We also hope to build on the success of the Great War Bake Off which we held as part of Explore your Archives week in November – can’t wait to taste some more trench cake!
Last year the Archives restarted its volunteer programme and we were fortunate to welcome a number of volunteers who were interested in gaining experience in archives with a view to applying for the archives course. These volunteers did invaluable work with us and we are very grateful to have worked with such an enthusiastic group of people. We have started the year with a placement student from the Liverpool archives course and are looking forward to working with more volunteers in 2015.
The Archives Service is also responsible for a number of other services within the School including records management, Freedom of Information, providing advice on Data Protection, MediaLibrary – the School’s image database and Research Data Management.
Last year the School received 116 Freedom of Information requests, compared with 98 in 2013 and 43 in 2012. As well as the increase in numbers, the requests are becoming more complex and taking longer to answer, this is a trend which applies across the HE sector.
It will be an exciting year for Research Data Management as we complete a three year project to establish the RDM Service including a data repository which will be launched in the Spring. For further information on RDM, please visit http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/research/researchdataman/index.html
As well as all our exciting projects, we will be continuing to welcome researchers to view our fascinating collections so please do contact us if you have an enquiry or visit our website at: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/library/archives/index.html