Oxford Brookes’ archives receive national recognition

Wednesday, 05 December 2018

Accredited Archive Service accolade for Oxford Brookes

The archives at Oxford Brookes University, home to diverse materials ranging from the history of the Booker Prize to the National Brewing Library, have achieved a national accreditation.

Oxford Brookes’ archives are one of only 29 higher education institutions to have achieved the accolade from a total of more than 2,600 services across the UK.

The University’s diverse and fascinating resources are available to all and already attract people from far and wide. We look forward to welcoming more visitors following this accolade and in continuing to maintain and develop our rich and dynamic artefacts and materials

Eleanor Possart, Archivist

Students, staff and visitors using the University’s Special Collections will benefit from a service now recognised with an Archive Service Accreditation.  

Accredited Archive Services ensure the long-term collection, preservation and accessibility of the country’s archive heritage and the award was officially announced this week (Wednesday 5 December 2018). 

Accreditation is the UK quality standard which recognises good performance in all areas of archive service delivery. Achieving accredited status demonstrates that Oxford Brookes has met clearly defined national standards relating to management and resourcing, the care of its unique collections and what the service offers to its entire range of users.

Eleanor Possart, Archivist at Oxford Brookes, commented: “For the Special Collections archive to receive this national recognition is a tribute to the quality of the service we provide. Staff and students at Oxford Brookes benefit from having a nationally recognised archive on their doorstep which plays a key role in supporting academic discoveries. 

Eleanor added: “The University’s diverse and fascinating resources are available to all and already attract people from far and wide. We look forward to welcoming more visitors following this accolade and in continuing to maintain and develop our rich and dynamic artefacts and materials.” 

Students using library services on Oxford Brookes' Headington Campus

When making the award to Oxford Brookes, the Archive Service Accreditation Panel noted that the University “recognised the efforts made to continue to develop and to deliver in areas such as improved collections care”.

The panel was also “struck by the rich mix of special collections held by the service, good relationships with some key depositors, and the clarity with which the service sees the need to link its holdings to teaching and learning.”

The University’s Special Collections is the home to archive materials from a wide range of areas including resources related to food and drink, art and architecture, publishing and literature prizes, public and allied health and the University’s own historical documents, photographs and items.

Specific collections include:

The Booker Prize Archive – the permanent home for the influential annual literary prize which encompasses correspondence, publicity materials, photographs, and other materials dating back to its origins in 1968. To celebrate the prize reaching its 50th anniversary in 2018, the University has digitised 50 items from the archive to help tell its story.

The National Brewing Library – a collection relating to brewing, distilling, alcoholic beverages and dependent trades.

The Medical Sciences Video Archive - leading figures from the world of medical and clinical science talk about their lives and careers in a collection of video interviews conducted between 1985 and 2002.

The Ken Hom Library - a book collection and archive of the renowned chef, author, television presenter and Oxford Brookes Honorary Graduate.

The Jane Grigson Collection - the personal library of the distinguished cookery writer.

The Special Collections service, based in the library on the University’s Headington Campus in Oxford, is available to use by all. Further information and details on using the service is available on the dedicated Special Collections webpages.