Agenda item

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Services: Annual Report 2013/14

Joint report of Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Place and Director of People  - Adult and Neighbourhood Services


The Committee considered the Annual Report for 2013/14 providing an account and review of the work and performance of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service for the financial year from April 2013 to March 2014.


The Committee were aware that theterms of the Joint Agreement for Archive Services between Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council required an annual report of the Joint Archive Service to be brought to the Annual Meeting in June, to give them a full overview of the range of activities, progress and performance of the Service.


The year 2013/14 was the second in the current three-year planning cycle for the Joint Archive Service.  This year’s Annual Report shows both positive achievements and steady progress towards meeting the overall strategic objectives of the Archive Service within the current Forward Plan, 2012-2015.


The annual report detailed the most notable successes which included: (i) the delivery of two grant funded projects to catalogue the Bradford Archive and to digitise the Staffordshire Manorial Documents Register; (ii) the Stoke Archives had made significant progress cataloguing the Spode Archive; and (iii) building on the successful start of the Great War Centennial Commemorations the Service had continued to work with many local groups and organisations to build a programme of events, which had been taken further with another project bid submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund to digitise and index the rare Military Tribunal records (started with Arts Council funding).  The Committee acknowledged that these projects relied on volunteer support to make them happen and widen access to the collections.


The Archive Service had also embarked on an ambitious project to extend Staffordshire Record Office to enable the co-location of the William Salt Library and Lichfield Record Office collections on one site. This would allow the partnership to provide modern storage and search rooms with additional facilities such as a user break out space to relax and consume refreshments and an exhibition space to show off the fine collections that the Service holds. The Service had also just started its digitisation project with D C Thomson (Find My Past) which would bring online access to the county and city’s parish registers.


The Committee noted the public service statistics detailed in the report, and that they had achieved a 99% customer satisfaction rating in the national Public Services Quality Group User Survey.  They also noted that the use of the service continues to change and plans were being developed to adapt to new demands starting with the digitisation programme of popular sources.  Overall it was a successful year for the Service and they continue to meet high standards whilst also developing plans to adapt to changing demands. The Chairman asked that the thanks of the Committee be passed to the volunteers; Friends of the Archive Services; and staff for their hard work and dedication to the service.


RESOLVED - That the annual report on the work of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (Joint) Archive Service for the period April 2013 to March 2014 be received and approved.

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