The next meeting of The National Archives User Advisory Group takes place in Kew this Tuesday, 6th March. I have just received the agenda, the minutes of the previous meeting in December, and accompanying papers for this meeting. Hence the slightly late notification.
The agenda for this meeting and the papers for all previous meetings can be viewed at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/get-involved/user-advisory-group.htm.
I would particularly draw your attention to:
- the development of Discovery, the new catalogue, which will be launched shortly after extensive testing and feedback from many user communities (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/discovery). The aspiration is that both a2a and Documents Online will be integrated. This, of course, potentially impacts on the advice we give to users outside TNA, and if you can check out the beta version and look out for future news from TNA that would be advisable.
- the request for input into TNA's business planning cycle; do please send me any suggestions you have and I will endeavour to raise them. Of course, this is an ongoing issue so suggestions can be forwarded at any time.
- the new Cataloguing Update on the TNA website (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/cataloguing-projects-10-11.htm). There is clearly a mass of projects underway.
TNA have requested we keep certain items confidential. However, I would like to mention the following:
- TNA is in the early stages of developing its online engagement strategy through an online community forum.
- further testing and development of Discovery
- an updated Research Strategy. This is an area in which the external archives community has a significant interest. I have attached the relevant papers, but would draw your attention to the key research priorities, particularly those concerning its leadership of the sector, collection care, digital information and the development of digital technologies and methodologies to widen access. Obviously these are areas we are all involved in and are grappling with and TNA is committed to engaging with all of its users in developing the strategy.
Ok, that's it for now. Do get in touch with any comments, suggestions or concerns.
Paul Dryburgh, Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York.
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