The first ever comprehensive survey of religious archives has begun, with the first questionnaires going out to selected religious organisations across the country. The Society of Archivists and The National Archives have come together in support of an initiative by the Religious Archives Group to find out the extent and nature of the country's religious heritage and how it is cared for.
The United Kingdom has a rich and diverse religious background, which constitutes an integral part of the nation's cultural heritage. This survey looks to build an overall picture of the historical records of religious institutions, develop a better understanding of the religious archives sector as a whole, and encourage best practice where appropriate.
Clive Field, President of the Religious Archives Group and chair of the survey steering committee, stated: 'This innovative survey, which has been conceived for the "common good", will help to celebrate the far-reaching contribution which the faith communities have made, and continue to make, to our national life.'
Claire Muller, Resource Discovery Officer for the survey, commented: 'As this is the first attempt at a comprehensive overview of religious archives in the UK, it is vital that as many institutions as possible take part. By creating a better knowledge of their existence and location, this survey will assist creators and owners to realise the full potential of their historical records and help to identify opportunities for the future.'