Kings College: Archive of the Month

Institutions/organisations involved:

Archive Centre, King’s College, Cambridge

Contact:

Tracy Wilkinson, Assistant Archvisit

Time period:

November 2009 - current

Title of project/website:

Archive of the Month
http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/archive-centre/archive-month/index.html

Short description of project:

Archive of the Month (AOM) is a monthly online exhibition using original sources in a unique and unconventional manner. Each month items related to a certain theme (from one collection or multiple collections) are selected for their beauty, and/or interest value.

Objectives of project:

I developed Archive of the Month (AOM) to use manuscripts and archival collections in a new and fresh manner. I wanted to extend the scope of our current website by engaging new users and by encouraging current users to look at the archive in a new way.

Resources required:

  • Imagination
  • Scanner
  • Photo imaging software
  • Computer
  • Content management system – or Flickr perhaps.
  • variety is key to its popularity
  • anyone can do this - it need not be monthly
  • can do with a single image
  • just need to think outside of the box

Process

  • Decide on a theme
  • Select items from collection(s) which fit the theme and are interesting or attractive REMEMBER the content of the document is not always what’s important.
  • Scan the items and ready them for the web using photo imaging software
  • Write some text about the theme/document – try to keep this light you’re not writing an academic essay
  • Upload images and text to the web
  • Get the word out: I do this by emailing individuals and posting the page on the College’s Facebook page
  • Provide links to other pages related to your theme

Outcomes/Benefits:

These are just two of the benefits:
  • Promotion of the archive and collections internally & externally.
  • Justification of the archive and its continued existence. AOM has erected a groundswell of support and interest amongst those who influence the allocation of funds and budgets within the college

  • Some of the outcomes:

    Facebook :

    • In the first 6 months, page popularity has increased significantly
    • 50% increase in people 'liking' Development’s Facebook page
    • These people will now have our updates appear on their news feeds.
    • Active use of our page increases dramatically when AOM is published -
    • A35% increase in post views and an 11% increase in new 'likes'.

    Web presence within College:

    • Front page story on King’s homepage - increases external visitors
    • Although the archive centre has hundreds of pages - the 17 pages of AOM are almost neck and neck in numbers of hits

Lessons learnt

Future Work/Collaborations:

  • RSS feeds
  • We may create a Flickr page so that more people find AOM on the Internet