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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Hebden Bridge based Digital Archive awarded accreditation

Just after news that The Pennine Horizons, based in Hebden Bridge, has received Heritage Lottery funding of £524,000 comes the news that its Digital Archive has now been awarded accreditation by West Yorkshire Archive Service.

The West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS) recently launched their community archive Accreditation Scheme as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Project 'West Yorkshire: Our Stories'.

The scheme is a component of wider provision and outreach to community archive groups in the region which hopes to raise standards and recognise the hard work going on in local communities.

Pennine Horizons Digital Archive team

Pennine Horizons Digital Archive team

The Pennine Horizons Digital Archive team are only the second group to achieve this goal and become a West Yorkshire Archive Service Accredited group. WYAS currently has ten community archive groups enrolled onto the scheme, across the five districts of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.

In 2009 WYAS received a grant of £158,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to provide support to community groups by providing archival training and encouraging development through introducing new initiatives. WYAS is focused on broadening the audience of the archives and welcoming new-comers to our search rooms and this project has helped us realise our aims. The launch of the Accreditation Scheme represents an important step in recognising the importance of community archives for local people and regional heritage.

The Pennine Horizons Digital Archive's function is the acquisition and digital preservation of photographs, oral history, video recordings and other pertinent published material relating to the Upper Calder Valleys.

The Pennine Horizons Digital Archive team, based at the Birchcliffe Centre, has been involved with the project throughout and because of the evidence of their hard work and dedication was invited to be one of the first groups to become accredited under the new scheme. From April 2011, the group has worked tirelessly to produce an exemplary portfolio of all aspects of their project, from large-scale public events and the induction and training of their volunteers, to their digitisation policies and procedures. The group are now involved in mentoring other community archive groups entering into the accreditation scheme.

Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Joint Services, which oversees the work of the West Yorkshire Archive Service, said: "The Pennine Horizons Digital Archive team are dedicated to capturing and preserving the heritage of Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder area. I am delighted that the West Yorkshire Archive Service has been able to officially recognise this contribution and offer support through the Community Archive Accreditation Scheme."

Conrad Winterburn, Deputy Chair of the Archives, Archaeology and Trading Standards Committee, said: "It is so encouraging to see a community archive group in the Calderdale area participating in the West Yorkshire Archive Service's accreditation scheme. The work that the Pennine Horizons Digital Archive team carries out is greatly significant to its local residents and all the time and effort put in by its members will ensure a sustainable digital archive for future generations."

Pennine Horizons Digital Archive says "We are thrilled and delighted to receive this Accreditation. It means a lot to our team of volunteers. It has helped to give us the confidence to progress our project, knowing that we are not working in isolation. The level of support and guidance from the WYAS team has been invaluable in helping us to put into place procedures and policies to ensure that we are working to best practice."


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