Our Collection Care and Licensing, Publishing and Digitisation departments have received £264,000 in funding as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)’s Capability for Collections (CapCo) fund.
The CapCo fund is a landmark £15m investment in the arts and humanities that will help secure the future of the UK’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums. The investment will transform the heritage sector’s ability to generate research and create marketable products, by supporting the back of house spaces that drive the success of these institutions and the staff who maintain them.
The funds we have been awarded will be used for an urgent upgrade of core equipment for our digitisation programme, and the Heritage Science and Conservation Research Laboratory in our Collection Care studio.
The purchase of a microform scanner and a sheet-fed scanner will ensure that we continue to provide rapid and wide-ranging digital copying services for the records in our collections to readers across the globe. A critical upgrade to our multispectral imaging system and the acquisition of an open-geometry micro-Raman analyser will complete the suite of portable analytical instruments in our studio, securing its status as a vital research hub for archival and library heritage science research and innovation in the UK.
Dr Valerie Johnson, Director of Research and Collections at The National Archives, said: “We are delighted to have won funding that will enable research, and help us to share our collections and expertise with readers at The National Archives and colleagues across the cultural heritage sector who work with documentary collections.”
The AHRC Capability for Collections fund is part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) World Class Labs funding scheme, a £213m investment in all disciplines from physical sciences to arts and humanities, made through eight research councils. The purpose of the funding scheme, which was announced by UKRI on 6 January, is to expand and upgrade existing research infrastructure to help UK researchers tackle major challenges.
Professor Christopher Smith, AHRC Executive Chair, said: “AHRC are proud to support the CapCo Fund as a landmark investment in our galleries, libraries, archives, museums and special collections. Our Collections organisations form the backbone of our heritage economy and act as a vital resource and source of inspiration for many diverse researchers.
“AHRC recognises that investment in maintaining and improving research facilities will support and maintain these organisations in a vital way at a time when they are most vulnerable.”
See the UKRI announcement for more information: https://www.ukri.org/news/ukri-invests-to-upgrade-uks-world-class-research-infrastructure/