Peter Judge

Peter Judge

Last updated on 4 November 2020

Peter Judge is an Archivist at Group Archives & Museum (Lloyds), Group Corporate Affairs

Lloyds Banking Group Archives hold very few records about race and ethnicity. During previous Black History Months, we have been asked for stories about black colleagues that could be shared as part of the celebrations, but by going through material in the archive we quickly realised that conversations around race and ethnicity didn’t start in the Group until the 21st century. So this year we took the opportunity to join the Group’s Black History Month working party and create a bank of stories that will illustrate for future researchers one small part of the black experience in the U.K., in a year when capturing these stories feels more important than ever. It is through our use of the digital preservation platform Preservica that we aim to keep these stories accessible for future generations.

Records that illustrate the conversation around gender are in relative abundance in the archive. While, for example, details of the first female branch manager are readily available, no comparative records exist giving details of the first black branch manager. By systematically working our way through staff magazines we found details about some amazing individuals that worked for the bank, but their stories were never told in the context of race. For most of the 20th century, it was policy for most corporate bodies not to collect data on race or ethnic background. In many cases, this means that these important stories have slipped through the cracks. This year, we approached the Black History Month Working Party to see whether they thought colleagues would be interested in becoming part of the Group’s history by submitting their own experiences to ensure that further stories were not lost.

We didn’t want to be prescriptive when asking for submissions. Each story is unique and we wanted to allow colleagues to express themselves however they saw fit. We expect to receive submissions in the form of Word documents, photographs and video, and Preservica has the capability to store and preserve each, which removes the risk of their becoming inaccessible in the future. Another consideration was data privacy. Under GDRP, these records will contain Special Category Personal Data (i.e. details about race or ethnic background) and in order to ensure that it is managed correctly Preservica and our processes for ingesting material into the system have undergone rigorous testing by data and IT security specialists within the bank. Preservica is helping us, as archivists, provide the “physical” and intellectual defence of these important stories.

At time of writing we are more than halfway through Black History Month 2020. Submissions we have received so far include one video of a colleague who has been with the bank for 40 years in conversation with a colleague that has been here for two. They talk about their different experiences highlighting the changes in culture over the decades, and dwell on their hopes for the future. It is impossible for us to anticipate the future in which these records will be consulted, but with the help of our digital preservation technologies we hope to make this contribution to the history of inclusivity and diversity.

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