What are the opportunities, and challenges, of working collaboratively with archivists, academics and community groups?
The theme of this year’s Gerald Aylmer seminar was ‘Co-production and collaboration in the archives’. It was a day of discussion, analysis and learning, featuring a range of collaborative projects, as seen from the perspectives and experience of archivists, historians and community practitioners.
The Gerald Aylmer seminar is an annual symposium organised by The National Archives, the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of Historical Research, University of London which brings together historians and archivists to discuss topics of mutual interest. Audio recordings from the day’s sessions are available to listen to below.
Session 1: Three questions for the day
This opening session poses three broad questions on the meaning, use, and ethics of co-production between archivists, historians, and collection creators. Speakers and audience members will be returning to these questions through the day.
- Dr Alexandra Eveleigh, Collections Information Manager, Wellcome Collection (Chair)
- Professor Catherine Clarke, Director of the Centre for the History of People, Place and Community, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
- Dr Ayshah Johnston, Learning and Engagement Manager, Black Cultural Archives
- Dr Victoria Hoyle, Research Associate, Department of History, University of York
Session 2: Structures – forms of co-production
This session considers how we approach, structure and begin the work of co-production.
- Charlotte Tomlinson, PhD student, University of Leeds (Chair)
- Sara Huws, Cardiff University and Co-Founder, East End Women’s Museum
- Kristian Lafferty, Content Acquisition Manager, Ancestry
Session 3: Practices – what makes for effective co-production?
This session looks at the practice of co-production based on the experience of archivists and historians. It considers what does and doesn’t work, and how to get the most from collaborative research partnerships.
- Victoria Iglikowski-Broad , Principal Records Specialist – Diverse Histories, The National Archives (Chair)
- Dr Errol Francis, Artistic Director and CEO, Culture&
- Rosa Schling, Co-director, ‘On the Record’
- Dr Mike Esbester, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Portsmouth and Karen Baker, Librarian, National Railway Museum
Session 4: Outcomes – what is the value of co-production?
The final session of the day explores the outcomes of co-production from the perspectives of an archivist, a historian and a contributor who have worked on multiple projects.
- Pip Willcox, Head of Research, The National Archives (Chair)
- Professor Sarah Lloyd, Professor in History, University of Hertfordshire
- Stefan Dickers, Library and Archives Manager, Bishopsgate Institute
- Martin Spafford, school teacher and writer