The National Archives (TNA) has given a major boost to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), part of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, by designating the IALS Archive as an ‘Accredited Archive Service’.
This UK quality standard raises the status and visibility of the IALS Archive and enables it to apply for external funding for conservation and cataloguing projects to improve and develop its services further.
Achieving accredited status demonstrates that the Archive, established in the 1990s, 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. It includes the records of numerous organisations and individuals connected with legal education, some of which had no institutional home or were at risk, as well as the records of the institute itself. Since then, it has continued to accept deposits of archive material relating to legal education.
‘The significant upgrade of the IALS Archive Room to national archive standards (as part of the IALS Transformation Project) was also key to achieving this award,’ said the institute’s librarian David Gee. ‘IALS is very pleased to be recognised by the TNA with this national archive award which demonstrates the quality of our service and the good management of the unique legal archives deposited there for the long-term.’
Director of IALS, Professor Carl Stychin, also welcomed the development. ‘I was delighted to learn that the IALS Archive has achieved accreditation. This is a tremendous achievement. I am grateful for the hard work which went into the application, particularly by our archivist, Clare Cowling. I look forward to the institute building on this recognition in the years ahead,’ he said.
The Accreditation Panel which made the award noted: ‘… that this small specialist archive service was very clear about its purpose, aims and audiences. This is demonstrated in the sound delivery of the archive service within its context and to its key stakeholders.’
In the meantime, the TNA accreditation status certificate will be displayed in the new glass display cabinets in the library entrance corridor on the 2nd floor of the IALS building at 17 Russell Square.
- Archive Service Accreditation is the UK standard for archive services. It defines good practice and identifies agreed standards within the archive sector.
- It is a UK wide quality standard which offers a benchmark for gauging performance, recognising achievement and driving improvement within the archives sector.
- Archive Service Accreditation is awarded by the UK Archive Service Accreditation Committee, representing the entire archive sector.
- Archive Service Accreditation is supported by a UK-wide partnership of The National Archives, National Records of Scotland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the Welsh Government through its Museums Archives and Libraries Wales Division, Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland), Scottish Council on Archives, and Archives and Records Council Wales.