Professional communication: the contribution of archives

Anthony Haynes writes: Our main market consists of organisations for professionals, They include membership organisations, awarding bodies, and learning providers.

Many of these organisations, especially the larger, long-established, ones maintain archives. The degree to which they disseminate knowledge of or from archives, however, varies.

A role model here is the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The IET disseminates information about its archives, which are obviously very rich, in part via its blogs. Though the word ‘archive’ might evoke ideas of dull, dated, and dusty material, the IET’s archive blogs consistently bring the material to life.

This they do in three ways. They

  • seek to tell stories, rather than just present information
  • illustrate their posts with evocative images
  • where appropriate, relate material to contemporary interests.

A good example is the post, from which our header image derives, concerning electric vehicles, as they were discussed in the 1890s.

PS Archivists from other organisations for professionals that provide examples of good practice in communication are welcome to contact me!

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