China takes lessons from North Yorkshire in how to preserve archives (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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China takes lessons from North Yorkshire in how to preserve archives
A GLOBAL superpower has been taking lessons from North Yorkshire in how to preserve and develop historic records.
Experts from China arrived in Northallerton today (Wednesday, October 30) to view the County Record Office, which is among the top ten in England and Wales and was voted the best in the North in 2011.
The Chinese delegation representing the State Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) visited the archives as part of a fact-finding trip to the UK. They were shown the methods and techniques used by the record office to care for its extensive archive of historic documents.
County councillor Chris Metcalfe, executive member for the records and archive service, said: “We were particularly pleased to be singled out by the delegation for this visit.
“The delegation members are visiting only four other sites – including the National Records of Scotland, and the East India Company Records at the British Library.
“It is gratifying to know that North Yorkshire’s handling of its archives and records is considered to be at the forefront nationally.”
Archives development manager Keith Sweetmore said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for us to give information about what we do here.
“The 24 delegates were all very interested and asked really pertinent questions about our conservation methods – we actually use a lot of Chinese and Japanese methods for preserving old papers.
“It was a tremendously stimulating morning.”
The record office has a four-star rating, the best it can get, by the National Archives, and was placed sixth overall in a national league table of record offices for England and Wales.
As part of the survey by the National Archive, all aspects of the record office were examined to produce the ratings.
Earlier this year, work began on making hundreds of thousands of records chronicling the social history of North Yorkshire available on the internet.
The county council is one of the founding members of the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium, a partnership of authorities which has pledged to make its parish records available online.
The Chinese visit to Northallerton was arranged following pledges by Prime Minister David Cameron to take a positive stance in promoting relations between the UK and China.
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