Save the Wallace Collection Library and Archive


Save the Wallace Collection Library and Archive

This petition made change with 29,349 supporters!
Chris D started this petition to António Horta-Osório (Chair of the Wallace Collection's Trustees)

The Wallace Collection’s Senior Management have decided to close the Library and Archive to the public and make both staff members redundant.

We need your help to protect jobs in a time of great uncertainty for the library and archive sector and to support the vital role that archives and libraries play in the cultural sector.

The Director, Xavier Bray wishes to do so because he wants to orientate the museum to income generation - and does not view the library and archive as part of this. Management have suggested digitisation will be a work-around.

This, we feel, has been very poorly thought out and gives rise to a number of questions we have raised, for example:

  • What about the Collection's status as a national museum, as a place of deposit for our institutional archives under the Public Records Act 1958?
  • What of the archives the Collection holds that were provided by donors on the condition that they were made publicly available?
  • What of the grants the library and archive have received for digitisation, conservation and restoration and cataloguing? All these were given on the condition of the Collection's rich library and archival collections being accessible to the public. 
  • This move also threatens even the ability of the public to consult the Collection's library and archive catalogues. These are currently held by Senate House Library, which may cease if the Collection were to abandon its provision of an archive and library service.
  • Management say that book and archive collections will be 'managed' by curatorial staff after their cuts - but once again have failed to provide an explanation of how.

The Collection's management have not answered our queries adequately, and yet they are rushing to close the archive and library - they are running a consultation which last until only the 11 February. If they get their way then the archive and library staff will be given only 3 months notice before the service is permanently closed.

We are asking you to sign this petition to show the Collection's management and trustees that cultural heritage and information professionals, as well as art lovers, museum goers and library users believe that this move is short-sighted and ill thought out.

Doing so will not just protect the jobs of long-serving and dedicated staff during a time of great uncertainty - it will also protect access to the Wallace Collection's rich archive and library for future generations.

Who we are - We are a group of archive professionals and trade unionists working with the Wallace Collection staff and the PCS Trade Union to try and prevent this closure because we appreciate the power and value of archives and libraries. 


This petition made change with 29,349 supporters!

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