Tuesday 5 April 2016

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Project

A robin, after bathing, at Askham Bog. (BIA/YWT/A177)
The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) is one of the largest Wildlife Trusts in Britain and its 97 reserves cover some of the most varied landscapes in the UK. It works to protect and conserve Yorkshire's wild places and wildlife, with reserves including Spurn National Nature Reserve, Flamborough Cliffs, Potteric Carr, and my local reserve of Askham Bog. The Trust was established in 1946 and in the year it celebrates its 70th anniversary, it is very exciting to have launched a 12 month project to catalogue and promote the Trust’s extensive archive.

Working in partnership with YWT and supported by funding from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives, by 2017 we will have described the archive to file level and to have made this accessible through the Borthwick’s online catalogue. The archive of YWT, like their reserves, is of national and international importance. It documents the establishment of the Trust and its development through to the modern day, as well as the bio-recording of internationally scarce habitats, relationships with landowners and the precedent-making legal cases led by the Trust in the 1970s. The archive highlights the UK’s unique role in the development of nature conservation and is the largest body (both in volume and subject coverage) of such material as yet deposited in any public institution. It includes paper, photographs and digital material and covers 3.5m3.

As well as cataloguing the archive, thereby releasing its research potential to new and existing audiences, the project will also include the running of workshops on archival appraisal and conservation. We'll also be using new and traditional media to continue to promote the archive throughout the year.

The archive as it looks today!

Over the next few weeks, I will be starting some preliminary survey work on the boxes which will help me develop a structure for the catalogue. I’ll also be familiarising myself with Access to Memory (AtoM) the open-source, web-based application we're using to host our online catalogue. Personally and professionally, I am very excited to be working as the archivist on this project. It really will be a fascinating (not to mention busy!) twelve months and I look forward to keeping you all up-to-date as it develops. In the meantime, if there’s anything in particular you’d like to know about the project or how we’re approaching it do feel free to comment below or to get in touch through our Twitter or Facebook.

Lydia Dean
Project Archivist

Box count: 2/200 surveyed...

1 comment:

  1. Neatness is the enemy of wildlife. Much traditional landscaping, for example, is open and neatly trimmed, with little room for birds and other animals, and it often requires heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides. Let the weeds and bushes grow. This Plant native trees. Our demand for unblemished fruit and catsup without insect parts forces the heavy use of pesticides and forces farmers to go to great lengths to control birds and other "pests." Blemished or slightly wormy fruit is still edible. My father had the habit of never eating an apple without taking out his pocketknife and cutting it up.


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