New College Archives become the first archives at the University of Oxford to achieve national accreditation
There have been a number of ‘firsts’ at New College—our Front Quad was the first of its kind, we were the first college to allow tutors to marry, and now New College’s Archives have become the first college archive at the University of Oxford, along with Lincoln College Archives, to be nationally accredited by The National Archives.
New College Archives have become an “Accredited Archive Service” which is the UK standard for archive services. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the award defines good practice and identifies agreed standards within the archive sector.
Assessors from the Archive Service Accreditation Panel reviewed a written application from New College and visited the archives in person, meeting with New College archivist Michael Stansfield, as well as New College Librarian Christopher Skelton-Foord, and Fellow Librarian Will Poole. In the report, they noted that New College had submitted a "strong application from a service which has been developing at pace in recent years". In addition, Michael Stansfield was commended for his impact and for the "incremental and pragmatic way he has developed the service since his appointment". Following the announcement, Michael said:
“This is a great tribute to the contributions of all one’s colleagues, and also all one’s predecessors, including especially the college’s founder who set the standard for the care of the college’s archive in providing a Muniment Tower. Accreditation will be a great asset in the continuing work of taking the archive forward, and in developing its facilities and accessibility”.
The New College Archives contain over 100,000 historical documents, the oldest dating from the eleventh century (nearly three hundred years before the College was itself founded). The archives also house a number of collections of personal papers donated to the College by the families of former fellows and alumni. Future development of the archives following the new accreditation includes the improvement of accessibility through the digitisation of the catalogue and records. We are excited to see the results.