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Archive Service Use of Archives by the Media Policy

1. Introduction


The role of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service is to locate, collect and preserve for the future archive collections relating to past and present life in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and to make them widely available for use in the present. Through its outreach activities, the Archive Service also seeks to increase awareness of the significance of archives and to encourage their use to inform and engage people with the past.


Archives provide rich and vital sources of information. This information is essential in helping to foster and inspire a sense of place, time and belonging. Archives help to bring the past to life, to understand why our present world is as it is and to support the role of today’s citizen.  Archives are now being used increasingly by the media to illustrate the interpretation of the past.


The Archive Service welcomes media interest in the use of its collections in television programmes, films and articles, which can help to promote the use, enjoyment and preservation of archives.


This policy sets out the issues which need to be considered in relation to using archives for media purposes.

2. Research by the media


All media requests to use archives should be made in writing to the Head of Archive Services, Staffordshire Record Office, Eastgate Street, Stafford ST16 2LZ or by email to staffordshire.record.office@staffordshire.gov.uk

Initial enquiries may be made by telephone (01785 278379) but media researchers working to deadlines will be required to confirm their requests by email.


Radio and/or television journalists and other media researchers are welcome to visit any of the three record offices which constitute the Archive Service (the Staffordshire Record Office; the Lichfield Record Office; or Stoke-on-Trent City Archives) to undertake research within the advertised opening hours. The staff of the Archive Service are able to advise on possible archive sources for particular subjects, but they cannot undertake detailed research on behalf of production companies, newspapers or magazines. If the media company or journalist is unable to undertake their own research, then they will be asked to use the Archive Service’s Research Service. 


Copies of documents for research purposes or for broadcast and publication can be supplied at the normal copying fees.

3. Using documents in film, broadcasts or the press


Filmed or photographed documents may not be used in any television or radio broadcast, or in the press, without the prior permission of the Archive Service and the owner of the document. In some cases, the owner of the document may withhold permission or may impose special conditions.


It is also necessary to clear copyright for the copying and/or filming of any original document or photograph for media publication. The owner of an archival document is not necessarily the same as the copyright holder. The onus to clear copyright is on the media company or the newspaper concerned. The Archive Service will provide details of the copyright holder where it is able to do so.


A licence will be issued by the Archive Service to the company which sets out the use for which a document is being used. This licence must be signed and returned to the Archive Service before any filming or photography can take place. The licence fee will also include details of the reproduction fee which will be set according to the current scale of fees and charges. It is the responsibility of the media company to ensure that any subsequent use of images does not infringe copyright.


Formal acknowledgement to the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service is a condition of use of any document by the media and, where required, the owner of the documents must also be acknowledged. The form of acknowledgement will be supplied by the Archive Service.

4. Filming


The filming of any archival material must be undertaken at the Staffordshire Record Office where provision will be made to do so under supervision in the Learning and Archive Resource Centre. It is not possible to film or photograph documents outside a building. Filming will be supervised at all times by a member of staff and a facility fee will be charged.

Filming must take place within normal opening hours. If filming has to be undertaken outside normal opening hours for particular reasons, an additional facility fee will be charged.


The Archive Service requires a minimum period of two weeks’ notice for any filming of documents.  This is to allow for time required to clear permission with the owner of the document. All such permissions will be recorded in writing.

5. Care of collections


Filming crews and press photographers will be required to follow the Archive Service’s Preservation and Conservation Policy in the handling of archives. The Archive Service reserves the right to refuse the use of any equipment, if it is considered that it may be harmful to the health and safety of staff or to the physical condition of the document. Similarly the Archive Service reserves the right to halt filming or photography if it is not satisfied with the standard of care being applied.


Archive material must not be subject to excessive lighting levels which can cause significant damage to documents. The Archive Service may request lighting levels to be reduced to minimise risks to archive material


Appropriate volume, map and document supports must be used as required. Gloves will be provided for the handling of specified types of material.

6. Fees


Fees will be charged in accordance with the current scale of fees and charges as approved by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Joint Archives Committee. Reproduction fees will be applied to the actual broadcasting or publication of documents and facility fees will be applied to cover staff time involved in supervision, the transporting of documents to Stafford from another record office and any conservation or preparatory work considered necessary in advance of filming.


The Archive Service will not normally charge reproduction or facility fees to local radio for website publication, local news television or the press but the Service does require full acknowledgement to the Archive Service be made. Fees will be charged For the reproduction of images of archives in commercial magazines.


Fees must be agreed and paid in advance of any filming.

7. Transmission of programmes


The Archive Service must be advised of the date of transmission of any programme making use of documents held by the Archive Service. A copy in a relevant format should also be supplied to the Archive Service.

8. Interviews


The staff of the Archive Service are required to follow the Media Protocols of Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Requests for radio interviews and other press interviews to promote archive collections, events, exhibitions and the Archive Service in general should be addressed through the press offices of Staffordshire County Council (Tel 01785 278437)or Stoke-on-Trent City Council (Tel. 01782- 232900). The Archive Service will always endeavour to respond to requests made through the press offices for interviews but reserves the right to refuse an interview if staffing levels do not permit).

9. Review


This policy will be reviewed within three years. It is however a working document and, depending on local circumstances, may be subject to modification before aformal review.


March 2010

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