Today marks the beginning of Volunteers’ Week and for the first time, this year we will be honouring the achievements of our volunteers through a series of online events. Volunteers make an important contribution to the work of The National Archives and this will be highlighted in a series of blogs this week. As well as celebrating the overwhelming response to recent call outs for remote volunteer projects, we will look back at the achievements of our onsite volunteers before the closure of the building.
Caroline Ottaway-Searle, Director of Public Engagement, said: ‘To celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2020 we want to say a big thank you to our volunteers for the significant amount of time and commitment they freely give and for the enormous contribution they make. Volunteers continue to be invaluable to the work we do here regardless of whether they are able to be onsite or not.’
We were delighted to host the London Heritage Volunteer Awards reception last October, which celebrated the achievements of volunteers working in the capital. Volunteers at The National Archives commit to an average of one day’s work per week. Over the last year, onsite volunteers alone have contributed an amazing 18,497 hours of time and effort. During the same period, around 1,200 volunteers have helped enhance over 405,000 of our catalogue descriptions, making these records much more accessible. Highlights include the completion of the Admiralty Navy Board (ADM 106) project and the start of a project to catalogue the paintings and drawings in our copyright records (COPY 1).
You can read more about these projects and others on our volunteering web pages, where you can also meet some of our dedicated volunteers and join our current remote cataloguing projects. As you will read, our volunteering activities extend beyond cataloguing, as we develop more opportunities to support our public engagement activities.