How can you share your story?

Your story can be shared digitally or physically using copies of archive materials as standalone features, incorporated with other materials to illustrate a story, or elements of them used to create new materials. These are just some of the ways you can do this:

Websites and social media — Images of your archive materials can be used to illustrate your organisation’s website and social media channels:

  • An organisation history section in your webpages where you can share your story with people on a more personal level
  • Social media platforms, like the currently popular Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, which are good for sharing your archives and engaging with people
  • Blogs, vlogs, podcasts and videos where you can use a combination of archive images and recordings to illustrate written and spoken stories giving them extra depth

Press, media and publications — News and documentary programmes often use materials from the archives to illustrate stories. Whether you are writing press releases, magazine articles or creating your own publications, sharing images of archive materials will enliven nostalgic reactions when talking about the past.

Exhibition and presentation — Some organisations use copies of archive images to decorate interiors, such as pictures hung on walls or murals, to tell their story in an informal and engaging way. They are also used for more formal exhibitions or presentations for marketing.

Educational and community and public engagement resources — Working with schools and/or community groups to incorporate your archive materials into resources such as learning packs for curriculum subjects, reminiscence activities for people with dementia, or local history guides.

Creative works —  Elements copied from archive material can be incorporated into creative works such as artwork, music, film, and drama, or archive materials can inspire new, totally different creative works. For example, archive-inspired co-creation of murals or sculptures to regenerate derelict spaces in a captivating way that tells the community's story.

These can be good projects for volunteers and some can help build positive relationships within communities and widen your reach, as well as contributing to the common good. The materials don’t have to be very old, you can celebrate something that happened just a month ago. New enterprises just starting out can use their archive materials to celebrate their achievements as they develop.

Toolkit tea break

Archivist's example

Spreadsheet of notable dates

This spreadsheet has been adapted from one used by Archivists to pinpoint suitable dates for sharing archive materials on social media.

Activity C2

Creating a sharing plan

This activity will help you to identify opportunities for sharing your story and create a calendar to maximise its potential. It involves a bit of research but over time you will be able to add to your calendar and build your sharing plan.

Open the Activity booklet and click on Activity C2.

Jargon buster

Accession is a formal donation of materials to an archive. Several accessions with the same origins may be taken in over a period of time.

Accruals are expected future donations of materials to a collection.

Researcher is the name archive institutions give to a person who visits the archive to look through archive materials. They may be carrying out academic or personal research on a particular topic, looking for inspiration or just looking for the pleasure of seeing things that interest them.

Find out more about these and other terms in the Jargon buster.