News & features from LAS

Archives Service plans for 2016

The Archives team had a successful year in 2015, working on lots of exciting projects and welcoming our new team member, Aisling as Archives Assistant. We are all looking forward to an exciting year in 2016 with more projects and plenty of dissemination opportunities. Here are just some of our plans:

Whitehall Study

l1970_whitehall2

Whitehall sign

At the end of 2015, we found out that we had been successful in our funding application to the Wellcome Trust’s Resources in Medical History for a project to catalogue and preserve the Whitehall Study.

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.

Recruitment for a Cataloguing Archivist will begin in February and the project will start in the Spring.

 

Building exhibition

The Library reading room at LSHTM[142]

The Library in 1929

In the Summer, we are displaying an exhibition on the history of the School’s buildings and their sites. In the Archives we have some wonderful material on the Keppel Street building including plans, the original specifications, photographs of the construction of the building and material on the opening ceremony. We are also going to research what was on the Keppel Street site before the building was opened in 1929, highlight contemporary issues of work spaces and include material on the proposed Bloomsbury Research Institute.

One of the events connected with this exhibition will be a re-enactment of the opening of the Shakespeare’s Hut which was opened on the site of the School in 1916. This was run by the YMCA as a home from home for predominantly Anzac soldiers on leave from the Front. More details on this exciting event to follow.

 

Archives Service Accreditation

The Archives team will be planning its application for Archives Service Accreditation during 2016. 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 standards. More information is available on the Archives Service Accreditation at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/standards.htm

 

Data Protection

The EU Data Protection Regulation has been finalised and is due to come into force in 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 a 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.

 

Digital Asset Management System

The Archive Service is 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. More information to follow.

For further information on any of these projects, please contact the Archives Service at: Archives@lshtm.ac.uk

 

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