Migrated Archives Seminar & Workshop Series – UCL (online)

Centre for Critical Archives & Records Management Studies – Events
Migrated Archives Seminar and Workshop Series

The UK Migrated Archives Working Group at UCL are launching a UK Migrated Archives Online Seminar and Workshop Series to start 19 Oct 22.

This five-part online series aims to raise awareness around some of the issues, challenges and ethics surrounding the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Migrated archives; centre the perspectives of Archivists from affected countries; and promote and provide opportunities to be involved in reparative action. We’ll hear from eminent experts in the field and Archivists from around the world, working together to spur action on this long-neglected issue.

The UK Migrated Archives: Introducing Issues, Challenges and Ethics

Wednesday 19 October, 5pm-6.30pm BST

In this first seminar of the UK Migrated Archives Seminar Series we will introduce, contextualise and examine the issues, challenges and ethics surrounding the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Migrated archives

Speakers and themes are:

Introducing the Migrated Archives Group, Dr Anna Sexton (University College London, UK)
Overview of Displaced Archives and Attempts to Address the Problem, Dr James Lowry (City University of New York, USA)
Overview of issues and challenges surrounding the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Migrated Archives, Dr Mandy Banton (School of Advanced Study, University of London, UK)
Keynote: Positioning the UK’s Migrated Archives in relation to archival ethics and reparation, Dr Stanley Griffin (University of the West Indies, Jamaica)
There will be time for Q&A facilitated by members of the Migrated Archives Working Group.

Please click here to book a free ticket via Eventbrite

For further events in the series please see the Centre for Critical Archives & Records Management Studies – Events page

CALL FOR PAPERS: Africa & the Environment (SCOLMA Conference 2023)


Africa and the Environment
Archives and Data in the Climate Emergency

23 June 2023
A one-day conference at SOAS, London and online



Africa’s natural environment is rich and diverse, ranging from its wildlife and plants to its land and resources. It is also one of the continents most severely affected by climate change, with increasingly erratic weather events adversely impacting biodiversity, agriculture and those living there.

This conference will explore library and archive materials relating to Africa and the environment, and how they are collected, catalogued, preserved and used in research and teaching. How are records being used to document and understand the history of climate change, to predict the future and to influence policy? How are the data produced by current research on the environment being collected and preserved?

As the catastrophic fire at the Jagger Library, University of Cape Town, in 2021 starkly illustrates, the climate crisis also presents an unprecedented challenge for the preservation of collections in Africa. The conference also aims to discuss the issues confronting libraries and archives on the continent, and what measures are being taken to protect and preserve their collections.

We welcome papers from librarians, archivists and researchers in a number of disciplines, including African Studies, History, Geography, Environmental Sciences, Cartography, and Refugee and Migration Studies. Papers may address a range of media including documents and manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, historical printed collections, audio-visual material and born-digital material.

Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

• How the archives of individuals and organisations working on environmental issues are being preserved and made available.
• How library and archive materials are used to chart and address climate change.
• How collections are used to research renewable energy in Africa.
• How current field research is being preserved and published.
• The use and preservation of big data in the study of climate change.
• How environmental challenges are affecting libraries and archives in Africa, and how they are responding.
• Best practice, in the context of the climate crisis, in the protection and preservation of archive and library collections.

The conference will be in hybrid format. Papers may be given in person or online. Please submit abstracts of up to 350 words and a one-paragraph biography to Sarah Rhodes ( by Tuesday 31 January 2023.

Follow up open letter about FCO 141- the ‘migrated archives’

Dr Valerie Johnson
Director of Research & Collections
The National Archives

25 August 2022

Dear Dr Johnson,

Open Letter about FCO 141 – the ‘migrated archives’

Thank you for your letter of 5 August 2022 responding to my letter of 14 July 2022. We are
pleased to hear that significant internal resource is being dedicated to the testing of the FCO
141 series and appreciate the further communication which was issued on 2 August.

We are pleased that public communication about the status of these records has improved
•considerably since the initial period of their withdrawal, and we trust that open and timely
statements will continue to be made. Such information is of great importance to researchers
waiting to access the records.

The outcome of these investigations is also of importance to the sector more widely. It is with
this in mind that we would like to return to our questions not addressed by your response:
whether insecticide has only been detected in the bound volumes and whether it is only the
records of particular colonies which are affected.

It has come to our attention that other institutions have material within their collections
similarly treated with insecticide. This suggests that it is likely that there are more collections,
in the UK and beyond, holding material that may have been similarly treated. We ask that
TNA commits to sharing the methodology it has used to test the records, analyse the results
and devise safe handling guidance as soon as possible so that other libraries and archives can
benefit from lessons. learnt during this exercise and ensure the safety of their staff and users.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Lucy McCann

cc Mr Jeff James, Chief Executive Officer and Keeper, The National Archives, Kew