The Community Archives and Heritage Group have been supporting and promoting community archives throughout the UK and Ireland Since 2005. It has a growing membership which includes professional archivists, librarians, curators, heritage workers and many representatives of small independent community groups.
CAHG believes that community archive activities make an invaluable contribution to the preservation of diverse local and national heritage and enrich the lives of all those who participate in and use community archives. It aims to encourage wider participation in community archives and heritage initiatives and act as a forum to bring together those involved and interested in community archives for the exchange of ideas, guidance and examples of good practice in the field.
Through its website CAHG acts as a directory for hundreds of community archives and disseminates the latest information about community archive developments in the UK and internationally. The site is ever growing with new pages being regularly added by community archive groups. It is also where groups can turn for information and resources such as cataloguing guidelines developed by CAHG and contact information for local archivists who are happy to offer advice to community groups.
To Increase awareness of community archives and provide opportunities for sharing and networking CAHG holds an annual free conference in London. Attracting over 100 delegates each year the conferences focus on significant themes. This year’s theme is engagement and the conference is dedicated to exploring and celebrating the enthusiasm for history and heritage which is to be found across our many communities. This year’s Key note speaker is the historian and broadcaster, Professor Michael Wood.
In addition to the annual conference CAHG also aim to run at least one regional conference a year.
Since 2011 CAHG have been celebrating the importance of community archives and promoting best practice through the Community Archives & Heritage Awards. Categories of Inspiration, Innovation, New group and Website of the year have attracted entries from groups throughout the UK and Ireland. From the category winners a group is also awarded Community Archive and Heritage Group of the Year.
Last year’s winners were the Scottish island of Jura for its oral history project ‘Jura Lives’, which interviewed people about their memories of the island’s unique way of life and created a new sound archive.
Winners of this year’s categories and overall Community Archive and Heritage Group of the Year will be announced at the annual Conference.
More information on the CAHG conference and awards can be found on the website. To keep in touch with the work of CAHG and community archive news you can sign up to our e- mail newsletter or if you would like to get involved than please join us, membership is free.