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					 POLITICAL PARTIES & PARLIAMENTARY ARCHIVES GROUP
                                      UNITED KINGDOM


                                   MINUTES TO MEETING

                                               18 OCTOBER 2002


Present
Jill Spellman (Chair), Janette Martin (Secretary), Stephen Ellison, Graham Jones, Sue Donnelly, Iain
MacIver, Alan Bell


1. Apologies
    Apologies received from Stephen Bird, Gerry Slater, Nigel Cochrane
    Note: Alan Bell joins the Group from NLS


2. Minutes of Meeting 15 March 2002
    These minutes have been agreed as a true record.


3. Home Page
    JS reported that the National Library of Scotland paragraph(s) received and added. JS has reminded
    Gerry Slater about the outstanding paragraphs still need from PRONI. Still waiting for this.
    JS updated the Labour History Archives & Study Centre details.
    JS added AB contact details together with IM for the National Library of Scotland.
    JS to investigate the use of a free service to count the number of hits on the PPPAG UK home page.
    AB mentioned that he receives inquiries from readers who have made use of the homepage.
    JS encouraged institutions to set up reciprocal links.


4. International Contacts
    JS contacted the NAC to determine if the national Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party. No
    response.
    Due to absence, SB has not reported on links with SDP archivists in Europe
    SE reported that he had attended a meeting arranged by the Belgium and Dutch Parliaments on
    records management.




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5. Questionnaire Results (use of in MS Access database)
   The format of the database created by JS was discussed. Agreed by members to be suited to the
   purpose.
   It was agreed that each member will take a share of data input. Once complete it will be linked to the
   PPPAG-UK home page.
   JS suggested that it be shown to the HMC and SD proposed that a publicity piece written for the NRA
   list-serv and Society of Archivists newsletter.
   AB suggested a link via a pc in the NLS reading room.


6. Data Protection and Freedom of Information
   JS and JM said that they have a disclaimer on reader forms (LHASC at present DPA is only mentioned
   on the form readers complete with their own personal data, a more detailed disclaimer (which refers to
   actual collections) has been created but awaits approval of the library committee).
   Since meeting both have forwarded electronically to Group members the Data Protection forms used
   by their respective institutions.
   AB attended a conference recently in Scotland on FOI and DPA. In Scotland FOI legislation has
   been passed but not implemented. He discussed the problem of blocking out DPA information whilst
   providing data, which falls under the FOI legislation.
   SE reported that the House of Lords had integrated responsibility for the records management, FoI
   and DPA functions in the Record Office. The House of Lords publication scheme (a requirement for
   public authorities under the FoI Act) has been approved by the Information Commissioner and will be
   published in hard copy and on the internet from the end of November. He noted the obligation of
   public authorities to continue to make information publicly available information in accordance with
   their scheme.
   It was agreed by all that depositors of material need to be aware of DPA provisions and advised on
   how to prepare and appraise collections prior to deposit. The problem of inconsistent approach across
   institutions was raised; as was the problem of material that had previously been available to researchers
   but which can no longer be seen.
   SD suggested looking at Qualidata deposits that come complete with catalogue- how do they get
   around the DPA requirements- JM to check Hilary Wainwright catalogue (deposited by Qualidata). SD
   also pointed out that most of us are not in the position to know exactly what’s there.
   It was agreed that matters would be simplified if there was case law testing Section 33 exemption for
   ‘historical research purposes’.


7. Specialist Repository Group- Meeting Report(s)
   JS hosted the 30 April meeting at CPA. Meeting minutes available.
   JS sent apologies for 29 June meeting in London. Meeting minutes available.
   JS asked if any of the members were willing to become the new Group representative. SD volunteered.
   Home page has been amended with these details.
   SD to [provisionally] attend next meeting 30 October in London.




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8. XXXIIIrd IALHI Conference, Stockholm 4-7 September 2002- Report
   JM reported on the 23rd annual conference of the International Association of Labour History
   Institutions (IALHI), which was held in Stockholm, 4-7th September. In particular the gender project
   was highlighted along with the IALHI web museum. The next conference will be held in Dublin at the
   beginning of Sept 2003, members of this group were encouraged to attend.
   The full IALHI report will be circulated with these minutes.


9. Reports from Institutions
   Labour History Archive and Study Centre
   The LHASC is still suffering from lack of shelving space.
   Recently received the papers of the Labour MP Konnis Zilliacus. 4 boxes mainly comprise
   correspondence and his manuscript autobiography (1940s-1960s). Arrangements have been made for
   the transfer of the outstanding Parliamentary Labour Party papers (1976-1992) to Manchester.
   Offered the papers of the Immigration Widows Campaign, these include correspondence with trade
   unions, politicians, and the European Court of Human Rights. The ‘one site plan’ (plan to move the
   LHASC from its present location to a new building adjacent to the People’s History Museum) has been
   put back again. HLF bid will now be submitted June 2003 and therefore it is likely we will stay in
   present building for 4 or 5 years, hence prolonging shelving problems.
   LHASC is taking part in LOGJAM, a North-West regional archive project that will audit uncatalogued
   material across the region with the aim of making bids for cataloguing grants. We have a large backlog
   of uncatalogued material and it is hoped that this project will make it easier to apply for funding.
   Conservative Party Archive (CPA)
   Since the last meeting in March, CPA has received material from CCO:
   -   Conservative Policy Forum
   -   Conservative Policy Unit
   -   Media Unit
   -   Chairman's Office
   -   Conservative Research Department as well as publications from:
   -   Centre for Policy Studies
   -   National Society of Conservative Agents [Conservative Agents' Journal, 1991-9]
   CPA has also deaccessioned:
   -   Labour Party pamphlet material
   -   Communist Party pamphlet material
   -   Liberal Party pamphlet material
   Like LHASC, space is a critical factor at CPA.
   LSE library
   SD has had no major deposits. The archive is in temporary accommodation in West Hampstead and
   will remain there until the end of March 2003. The archive is still open to readers and full details and
   directions of the temporary location are available on the website.




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12 boxes of material from Andrew Ellis, Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats have been listed,
includes good material on the merger. The Peter Shore papers are currently being listed and will soon
be available, again good stuff including diaries spanning the Gaitskill years to the leadership crisis of
1983.
The LSE has now created 600 collection level descriptions and 40 full catalogue descriptions including
the ILP and the Fabians, all mounted on the web site. A web search engine can search across these
collections. Sue urged members of the group to try doing a search and to send any feedback to her.
Work on updating catalogues is continuing and in 12 months time it is hoped that all collection levels
will be available.
House of Lords Records Office
No new major acquisitions to report.
Major building project is underway to install a new air conditioning system for completion by 2005.
Ironically the records will be kept in a good climate but the staff will feel cold.
Three floors of records are temporarily with the LMA but these are still quite accessible. Deposited
plans have had to be removed to a closed outstore and will not be accessible for 6 months.
The House of Lords electronic cataloguing project is still under way. There are 4 archivists working on
retro-conversion of finding aids into CALM 2000.
Hope to go live on Internet by 2005.
National Library of Scotland
IM reported that there are now 750 pdf file catalogues available on the website. A further 250 due to
be launched over the coming months. An A-Z Guide to Manuscript Collections also acts as a finding
aid.
Full retro-conversion is some way off due to lack of funding and staffing. NLS is currently exploring
software to run EAD files.
David McLetchie MSP, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, has papers he wishes to
deposit.
AB reported that the SCAN money runs out at the end of March 2003. MAC2A (A Scottish version
of A2A) will take over. MAC2A would give full catalogue descriptions not just collection levels.
However the project is only at the HLF bid stage.
6 lever arch files deposited by the Scottish Green Party, includes a file regarding possible deal with the
Scottish Socialist Alliance, interesting but controversial. Also material from Scottish Liberal
Democrats, including the Scottish Liberal Club (photographs, executive minutes, etc).
Also material from the Young Scotland Society, a radical pre-WWI movement with a left wing home
rule agenda - likely to be much academic interest.
Article and source list for Labour History Sources in the National Library of Scotland have been
submitted to Labour History, the Australian labour history journal and a similar summary of source
material on the Scottish Liberal Democrats will be submitted to the Journal of Liberal Democratic History.
Welsh Political Archive
GJ noted that he has little on the Tory party activities in Wales, JS remarked that she has a current
readers exploring this topic. JS promised to write a letter to Central Office on behalf of the Welsh
Political archive encouraging the deposit of Welsh Conservative material with GJ.
Have received:



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Large group of the papers of Mr Robin Reeves, latterly the editor of the New Welsh Review for ten years.
Many are of political interest.
Small group of the papers of Dr Roderic Bowen, Liberal MP for Cardiganshire, 1945-66, who died
during July 2001.
Two further groups of the papers of the Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos (formerly Cledwyn Hughes MP), d.
2000, have now come to hand: one from Anglesey and one from London. This archive is now
complete and nothing further is expected. Permission is now required from his widow the Lady
Cledwyn.
The papers of Lord Goronwy-Roberts (formerly Goronwy Roberts MP, Caernarfonshire) have now
been released by his widow Lady Marion Goronwy-Roberts and are currently in the temporary custody
of the University of Wales, Bangor for the use of a research student of Professor Duncan Tanner.
They should reach the NLW by November. Impression is that the archive is relatively small with much
local material on themes relating to constituency. Very little on his role as a minister in the Welsh
Office.
The first installment of the records of the Institute of Welsh Affairs – mainly project files dealing with
a rich array of subjects, including much material on its work during the build-up to the establishment of
the Welsh Assembly in 1999.
More records of TUC Wales – including early material on the setting up of TUC Wales in the face of
intransigent opposition from the TUC centrally.
A further group of the papers of Dr Gwynfor Evans, Plaid Cymru president, 1945-81 and MP for
Carmarthen after 1966 a major biography is in active preparation; CND Cymru, Welsh Committee
against Radicalism; more papers from the Cardiganshire Liberals are imminent.
Yet another group of the records of the Labour Party Wales – mainly papers from the 1990s. This is
now a very large archive group.
Further papers of the 'Yes for Wales' campaign in the 1997 referendum – this time from the Swansea
campaign, the only city to vote 'Yes' in the referendum.
From the Newport Public Library: a complete set of the Pamphlets and Leaflets published by the
Liberal Publication Department between 1904 and 1929.
Papers from the recent Ogmore by-election held on the death of Sir Ray Powell.
We have been contacted concerning the political papers of Ann Clwyd MP, but then found that two
groups of her constituency papers were already in the custody of the Glamorgan Archive Service at
Cardiff. So we will need to tread very carefully there.
Listing is now almost complete of the extensive papers of Mr Bert Pearce who died recently – this is
really the archive of the Communist Party in Wales.
Newsletter no. 31 published and distributed in July – we now print about 1000 copies. Hope to have
no. 2 ready to be published in January 2003.
The 2001 WPA lecture by Mr Hywel Williams has also been published – probably the last time it will
be available in this format – sales are sluggish. (On the Web and/or in the Journal?)
Prof R. Merfyn Jones of Bangor to lecture in Welsh on 1 November 2002 – 'The Politics of Lifelong
Learning in Wales', - and Mr Ron Davies has accepted the invitation in November 2003 – no title.
Need to invite a lecturer for 2004.




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   NLW has just published a volume on its history until 1952 by its former Librarian Dr David Jenkins
   who died in March of this year. Makes extensive use of many of the political archives in the Library as
   well as the Library's own archives of course.
   General
   Discussion on levels of description, SD noted that she has stopped cataloguing to the lowest
   item/piece level. She draws the line at 4 numbers, why have a sub-series when it makes more sense to
   have another series. GJ agreed that they have been using fewer levels, simplicity was the key, long call
   numbers confuse the researcher.
   GJ noted that the creation of Authority Records was labour intensive but they are a very useful tool.


10. Chairmanship
   JS told of her new job in Canada and steps down as Chair. Called for volunteers to take on position.
   No volunteers for new Chair; agreed to have a roaming Chair (each host institution will Chair the
   meeting).
   Discussion on the implications for homepage. JS to investigate at Library if this can become the
   responsibility of next CPA archivist, who could take over responsibility for its development and
   amendments.
   The committee passed on their congratulations and thanks for all Jill’s hard work.


11. Any Other Business
   SD raised the issue of preserving political web sites. The British Library recently conducted a pilot
   study in which it offered to archive the web sites of the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. Both
   organizations refused.
   AB drew members attention to an ‘Internet archive’ maintained by an American University. [Possibly
   the site referred to is http://www.archive.org/index.php which describes itself as ‘a digital library of
   Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to
   researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.’ Contact details: Internet Archive, Presidio of
   San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94129-0244, USA. Web: www.archive.org Email: info@archive.org ]
   JM agreed that the LHASC will host the next meeting. This will take place at John Rylands Library,
   150 Deansgate, Manchester on Friday 28th March 2003 at 2pm. It will be in the Book Committee
   Room. SB to circulate agenda and take minutes.




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