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Behind the scenes with the EYA team

It’s Explore Your Archives week! We’re joined by Karyn and Jo from the EYA team to tell us a bit about what the EYA team get up to.

The Explore Your Archive Campaign began in 2014 as a joint venture between The National Archives and The Archive and Records Association. The campaign has a two fold aim; firstly, to highlight the facts that archives are for anyone, anywhere at any time and secondly, to teach those who have never heard of archives about the wonders of the collections held across the UK and Ireland and these historical gems are so important.


The focal point of the campaign is the website, www.exploreyourarchive.org. For those looking to take part in the campaign, the website contains a toolkit and instructions on how to create your own Explore Your Archive branded marketing material, upload your events to our event listing page and use our learning resources to engage learners of all ages. Anyone interested in finding out more about archives can take a deep dive into our information pages for a quick read through the sites blog posts which are updated frequently.


We have also added a full social media element to our campaign, with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages all dedicated to supporting our yearly ‘Explore Your Archive’ week: 9 days of dedicated themes that anyone can engage with in any way they like. We also recently added a range of monthly themes to keep campaign interaction all year round. The rest of this blog focuses on the experience Jo Taylor has had as a member of the Explore Committee over the last year, in particular, the work of her team on the newly established Instagram page.

Hi I’m Jo, and I’m one of the new cohort of Social Media Officers for the Explore Your Archive campaign. My responsibility, along with Karen (one of the other Social Media Officers) is for the Explore Your Archive Instagram account. This involves checking the account every day, responding to messages and comments, sharing posts relevant to the current theme, and a few other interesting posts along the way!


The Explore Your Archive campaign didn’t have Instagram until this year. We created the account and launched it earlier this year, and it’s been going even better than any of us could have ever imagined. We’ve just hit an amazing 1000 followers, and you can join in here – don’t forget to like our Twitter and Facebook pages too while you’re at it!


Prior to joining the Explore Your Archive team, I had gained a lot of experience of using social media to promote archives through my work as an Archive Assistant at a local County Record Office. However, I must confess I hadn’t got much experience with using Instagram in a professional capacity, so it has been a massive learning curve for me this past year. With that being said, it has been so much fun learning about the other aspects of Instagram, and I’ve been able to take some of what I’ve learnt into my day job running my work’s social media pages!


It can be busy, especially when it’s a special event such as Explore Your Archive Week, or something like ARA Scotland’s #Archive30 campaign. But the beauty of this is I can fit it around my day job. My thumbs have just about recovered from #Archive30, and they’re ready for Explore Your Archive Week! We can’t wait to see what you all come up with for this year’s themes. Don’t forget, Explore Your Archive isn’t just for archives and Record Offices to take part in, it’s for everyone that explores archives!