Masterminding a building project
There’s also an awful lot involved in masterminding the building project. From the hundreds of decisions associated with the electrical specification to securing the right supplies and contractors for specialist construction work, there’s so much to consider. And, as we’ve discovered, a single hiccup in the supply chain can bring things to a grinding halt. This was the case when our builders tried to procure insulation for the three new strongrooms they’re erecting. The insulation needs to be a particular type to meet the Archives Accreditation standard and because of a factory fire we ended up waiting a long time for it. Thankfully we’ve managed to secure what we need, works have recommenced and we now have dates for moving in: mid December for the soft launch of the main Hub building housing the new Archives’ research room, Family History Centre and Gloucestershire Police Archive room, and May 2018 the soft launch of the new Frith Training Room. We’ll be posting customer information about this on the Archives’ website at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives
The new strongrooms
Finally there’s the virtual Heritage Hub: an interactive website and social networking platforms (blogs, Facebook and Twitter). Digital Archivist, Claire Collins is leading a team of stakeholders to develop this, ably supported by the County Council’s Digital Project Officer, John Porter. We’re currently developing the pilot website, due to launch later this year, and Archives staff are testing the water with social media, having launched a ‘Know Your Place’ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KYPWestE/ over the summer. We are also making good progress with a Local Government Association-funded project to introduce online registration for Archives users and a fully automated online document ordering system. All very 21st century for a history-focussed set up.