Supporting the College through exhibitions - on display and online, social media, tours and visits
Archives & Special Collections can provide an exhibitions service with temporary display boards and exhibition cabinets displaying rare books and interesting archive collections, carefully selected to complement academic events including conferences, book launches and literary and other festivals.
Historical tours of the College's campuses and Archives & Special Collections are undertaken in support of Alumni Weekend, the College student recruitment cycle and for important visitors or dignitaries in aid of fundraising and building the College's brand and reputation.
Special Collections participates in the annual Open House weekend while Archives takes part in capital-wide festivals organised by the Mayor of London.
Multiple Twitter pages offer news and current information on activities:
For insight into the extraordinary story of the discovery of the double helix at King's College during the 1950s visit the DNA and Social Responsibility project blog. King's College Archives are one of five external partners to have contributed their collections to a major new digitisation resource has been launched by the Wellcome Trust. Codebreakers: Makers of Modern Genetics.
Broadcast production companies regularly film in the College Archives on a range of documentary and news subjects. Projects have included an item on the BBC One Show on the history of DNA; on genetics research for the South Korean national broadcaster; filming for Russian television on James Clerk Maxwell and the invention of colour photography, Swedish television on DNA and items for Radio Four drawing upon Modern Poetry in Translation. Television and radio producers are invited to contact the Archives & Special Collections to develop new projects.
Liddell Hart Centre Annual Lecture
The Annual Lecture in the Great Hall of the College's Strand Campus has been an important date in the College calendar for more than twenty years, attracting major speakers on topics including war, diplomacy and the media's role in conflict. Texts of past lectures provide background on a range of military and diplomatic topics. The most recent lecture was Professor Brian Holden-Reid of King's College London discussing the ideas of the military historian Sir Michael Howard.
Publications and promotions
Archives & Special Collections regularly contribute to College publications including Comment and In Touch and the annual Report while Special Collections produce The Year in Review. Images that illustrate the history of the College, its students, staff and acheivements, are regularly supplied for use in publications, for conferences, for alumni and for fundraising to academic and professional services departments.
Supporting the role of King's College in the wider community
Archives & Special Collections hosts visits from participants in the College's International Summer School Programme.
Other projects have included involvement in Strandlines that uses new technology to bring together communities in the vicinity of the College, in the Strand. The project included hands-on visits to the Archives by local people to view a wide selection of original documents and photographs, and to debate their wider significance.
Cultural Cooperation 'Strengthening Our Common Life (SOCL)' Traineeships
Archives & Special Collections are participating in 'Strengthening Our Common Life' a major national programme to develop the skills of trainees in the heritage sector, drawn from diverse communities. The first phase ended in June 2012 with the next trainee due to start in June 2013.
University of the Third Age (U3A) volunteers
The Archives work closely with the U3A to develop volunteer projects. In 'Lest We Forget', the volunteers compiled detailed biographies of the war dead of King's College and its merged institutions. In 'Pioneering Nurses', the volunteers researched the lives of the first registered nurses in Victorian England, drawn from the records in the Royal British Nurses' Association archives held at King's. Most recently volunteers have been investigating original art works in the ADAM International Review collection.
Supporting the Archive sector: AIM25
The Archives manage the AIM25 website, that allows users to cross-search the contents of more than 120 cultural and scientific organisations in the London area. The site attracts a wide variety of worldwide users including researchers, students, family historians and the media, and attracts up to 1.3 million hits per month. The Archives also helps to co-ordinate archivists of the AIM25 group to develop joint regional projects and share best practice. Latest projects include Trenches to Triples and Step Change, funded by JISC, which will apply new Linked Data technologies to archive data in the UK. Visit the AIM25News Twitter feed and the project blog for the latest updates.
The Archives participate in the United Kingdom Archives Discovery Network, which aims to improve access and discovery of the content of archives, libraries, museums and galleries.
Archives sit on the co-ordinating committee of the Health Archives & Records Group, to help national strategy in relation to national medical records; and helped set up the Higher Education Archivists' Group.
Using theatre to reimagine archives
The Archives have produced two theatre productions using archive sources, in association with Spectrum Drama, a London theatre company. 'Lost in the Field of Blackbirds', Lottery-funded as part of the Their Past Your Future programme, explores the conflict in Yugoslavia during the 1990s, drawing on the Death of Yugoslavia collection held in the Liddell Hart Centre. The production examines issues of war, displacement, ethnic conflict and the experience of refugees, and was delivered to more than a dozen diverse London audiences.
'Fighting Your Corner' was produced as part of the JISC-funded Serving Soldier project, designed as a training play for armed forces personnel undergoing training at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham, prior to deployment in Afghanistan. The play uses sources relating to historic conflicts in the region to explore topics such as conflict resolution, cultural awareness and strategies for engagement with local communities.
Archives were also involved in a Guildhall School of Music project to produce a new play, Lads in their Hundreds, on the theme of the First World War, which was performed at the Ludlow Festival in 2010. This involved a visit to the Liddell Hart Centre by Guildhall students, hands on use of relevant material created in the First World War, debates and discussion that fired the imagination of the young student-performers.