London’s Wellcome Collection, which houses around two and a half million items from a broad range of times and places, has received Archive Service Accreditation from the UK’s foremost standards body. This award follows the institution also having been successful in achieving Museum Accreditation in 2019.

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Wellcome Collection
The Wellcome Collection houses a diverse range of artefacts from antiquities right through to modern day items © Wellcome Collection

In delivering its successful verdict, the Archive Service Accreditation Panel noted that Wellcome Collection’s application was “impressively strong” and that it had been submitted by a “mature and confident archive service which is unafraid to face complex issues and challenges.”

Further, the adjudicators commended the “consistent thread of inclusion which ran through responses in all modules and demonstrated a considered and proactive approach. The integration across museum and library in recent years had been innovative and successful, with real benefits for approaches to unique and distinctive collections.”

What is Archive Service Accreditation?

Archive Service Accreditation defines good practice and agreed standards for archive services across the UK, thereby encouraging and supporting the development of the archive service.

It allows archive services to participate in a scheme supporting the ongoing development of their service against a nationally agreed standard.

Any organisation that holds archive collections can benefit from Archive Service Accreditation, whatever its constitution – it is appropriate for both private and public sector archives.

“Seeking out and preserving distinctive collections which reflect the social contexts of health is an important part of our work at Wellcome Collection, and we are delighted that we have achieved Accredited Archive Services status,” said Jenny Haynes, head of collections and research at Wellcome Collection.

“It is vital that these collections are open and accessible to all if we are to support a more diverse research community. This is why we are working together to support our users’ needs, from researchers visiting our collections to those using our resources online. We have an exciting future ahead.”

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