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Exeter Cathedral Library and Archives retains prestigious Archive Service Accreditation

By Ann Barwood, Canon Librarian

It was about 12 noon on Tuesday 10th March, when Ellie the Cathedral Archivist came to find me and said ‘we’ve got it!’

What was IT you may ask ?

Well back in November 2019 we had submitted an application to the Archive Accreditation Panel to seek retention of our National Accreditation status.

We first attained this in 2014 and were one of the first six institutions to gain this new award. Every six years you have to re-apply and are marked against the current accreditation standards. I cannot say this was hard – but it was demanding as every policy, procedure had to be checked and updated, together with a report on our outreach, partnership working, forward plans, purpose, mission and aims. This is not just a paper exercise, the Accreditation Panel undertake an on-site assessment as well and this took place on Friday 24th January 2020.

We are now a very different organisation than we were six years ago, and so whilst hoping we were on the right track, nothing could be guaranteed. Ellie, as Archivist, had the task of drawing all the paper work together, and I had a few reports to write and make sure we were ready for the submission date. Whist this is an archive award as we are a combined service, so the library also has to demonstrate what it is doing.

We are thrilled and delighted as we retain this status for another six years.

This is what the Accreditation Panel said about our application:

   “We welcome this strong application from one of the first Accredited Archive Services. The panel were impressed with the range of activity undertaken by this small service which has grown in confidence and professionalism over the period since their first Archive Service Accreditation award. They felt that the service continues to seek opportunities and is admirably proactive. It was excellent to see the range of outreach and partnership work, which was hugely impressive for a service of this size. It was also good to see the service’s work to connect with the current cathedral administration to ensure the collections continue to grow and represent its work”

We are of course very proud, and I have to say a big thank you to the team, staff and volunteers. Nothing would be achieved without all their hard work and commitment.