Critically Endangered small

Digital materials including ephemera, correspondence and campaign materials created as a by-product of small scale or ad-hoc community action groups

Group: Community Archives

Trend: New Entry

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Last update: 2019

Previous category: New Entry

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within twelve months, detailed assessment is now a priority

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the development of new preservation tools or techniques.


Archives of smaller and ad-hoc political and campaigning organisations; environmental protests; sports clubs; smaller religious groups; amateur music or drama; fan groups

‘Practically Extinct’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Poor documentation; lack of replication; lack of continuity funding; lack of residual mechanism; dependence on small number of volunteers, lack of preservation mandate; lack of preservation thinking at the outset; conflation of backup with preservation; conflation of access and preservation; inaccessible to web archiving; dependence on social media providers; distrust of ‘official’ agencies.

‘Endangered’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Residual archive with residual funding able to receive and support collections; active user community; intellectual property managed to enable preservation.

2019 Review

The jury created this entry in 2019 as a subset of ‘Community Archives and Community-Generated Content’ which has been split into two to provide greater specificity in recommendations.

Additional Jury Comments

Typically born digital material is more at risk - community groups simple don't know about the risk of loss. Many are unaware of digital preservation terminology. It is the ad-hoc nature of these groups and projects which is of great concern.

Significant need to raise awareness and provide a "home” but also to do so with sufficient sensitivity so as to ensure community groups remain in control of their own material.

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