Publicising the Collections
In recent years, the potential audience for archives has expanded, encouraged in the UK by television programmes such as 'Who do you think you are?'. At the same time, the internet has freed readers from the need to visit libraries and archives in person.
Leaflets and exhibitions have been effective in bringing the collections to a wider public. To support the steady demand for more information about D.H. Lawrence, a video/DVD has been produced.
The first introduction often comes via the website, with its increasing volume of collection content.
The trades unions - a general strike! Details from a cartoon by Charles Jameson Grant (fl. 1830-1852) [MS 482/4]
In-depth online guides to particular subject areas have been developed. Pages about the collections of water supply and drainage, for example ('Water Resources') give an overview of the holdings and advice on their use.
Photographs from the Engineer's Department of the Trent River Authority (RE/DOP)
The educational relevance of archives was traditionally serviced through teaching packs for schools. Today, these are gradually being transformed into free web resources. Meantime, e-learning tools are being delivered for students. 'Politics of the 4th Duke of Newcastle', a site based around the theme of the 4th Duke of Newcastle’s political career has been launched in collaboration with Dr Richard Gaunt of the School of History.
Further guidance and assistance is offered in the Research Guidance section of the website. Introductions are provided to particular types of documents and their correct interpretation. Users can test their knowledge with a quiz.
At the heart of effective access lies the catalogue. The Manuscripts Online Catalogue offers searchable collection level descriptions, with detailed searching available for the largest collections. Online catalogue access is similarly provided for Special Collections and the East Midlands Collection.
Next: Working together