Community Access to Archives Project (CAAP)
ISSUED:  27 August 2004

***Community Archives:  the answer to social exclusion?***

The Community Access to Archive Project (CAAP) is an innovative community
focused project called led by The National Archives.  The project aims to
provide a framework for development of relationships and activities with
community groups by developing a 'Best Practice Model' for community-based
online archive projects.

The 'Best Practice Model' aims to address the practicalities of developing
community-based online archive projects from start to finish and beyond. The
team is building on the expertise our partners West Yorkshire Archive
Service and Hackney Archives Department have developed in community-archive
relations through their local projects, in addition to the input of our
advisory partners The National Archives of Scotland, The National Council of
Archives, The National library of Wales, Public Record Office of Northern
Ireland and  Commanet.

Gerry Slater, CAAP Project Partner, Record Office of Northern Ireland,
believes that community-archive projects have an important role to play in
United Kingdom communities.

He said "Community archive projects can contribute greatly to social
inclusion, community development, skills development and the preservation of
'unofficial' history, and are a means of encouraging non-traditional users
to become involved with archives".

The Community Archives Network (Commanet), a not for profit organisation
that promotes, supports and develops community archives, has wide experience
of the success of online community-archive projects in encouraging social

Patsy Cullen, Director, Commanet, has seen that community archives have met
objectives associated with community development, cultural identity,
regeneration, lifelong learning, reminiscence, inter-generational dialogue
and training in information communication technology skills.

She said "The Bygone Oldmeldrum" community-archive project is a classic
example of encouraging social inclusion and community development, the
community have come together by way of events such as coffee mornings,
fundraising stalls and photo exhibitions for educational purposes and

Evelyn Munro from the Meldrum and Bouritie Heritage Society explains that
events such as these are when we see the best examples of people being
brought together into a welcoming environment.  A community member has even
told her that they find the events therapeutic.

She said "The people who come to our events are people who have always lived
in the community, people whose roots lie in Oldmeldrum and who have returned
to walk down memory lane, people who are new to the town and want to learn a
bit about its earlier way of life".

The CAAP Best Practice Model will be available from October 2004, and will
include details of case studies, outreach strategies and fully investigated
suggestions for funding streams for community-archive projects.

For more information on the Community Access to Archives Project please go
to or contact Frieda
Midgley, Project Manager on 020 8392 5330 ext 2051 or email
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Notes for Editors:

For media enquiries please contact Olivia Hayward, Press & Communications
Officer on 020 8392 5330 ext 2523

        The project is being funded and led by The National Archives in conjunction with partners West Yorkshire Archive
Service <>, Hackney Archives Department
<>, The National Archives of Scotland
<>, The National Council of Archives,
<> The National Library of Wales, Public Record
Office of Northern Ireland <> and Comma

        The National Archives, Kew, has one of
the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of
British history, from Domesday Book to newly released government papers.
The free museum and research rooms in Kew, west London, are open to the
public 6 days a week.

Olivia Hayward
Press & Communications Officer
Community Access to Archives Project (CAAP)
The National Archives

Phone: 020 8392 5330. Ext: 2523
Email: [log in to unmask]
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