Frequently asked questions

Question What is an Archive?
Answer An Archive is a place where records considered to have historical value are stored and made available for use by the public.
Question Who can use the Archives?
Answer The Archive is open to all members of the public, free of charge.
Question What is the difference between an Archive and a Library?
Answer Libraries contain books and Archives contain records.
Books are what are called “secondary sources” – the information they contain is brought together from a variety of sources, interpreted by the author and then organized and presented in a book or essay. Archival records are “primary sources” and are one of the sources that will be consulted when writing a book or essay.
Question Can archival material be loaned out?
Answer Sorry, original material must only be used in the Archives reference room. Archives are, by definition unique. If they are lost, they cannot be replaced. However, through public outreach programs, such as this web site, archival material can be made widely available without risk to the originals.
Question When was the Bernie Grant Archive established?
Answer The Bernie Grant Archive was established, in partnership with Middlesex University and Heritage Lottery Fund in March 2003.
Question What are archival material and records?
Answer Archival material or records are any document or picture made or received by a person or organization during the course of daily business, and kept, for example letters written or received, leaflets produced pictures taken and so on.
Question What kind of materials can be found at the Bernie Grant Archives?
Answer Archives can be in any format. Most of the holdings at the Bernie Grant Archive are textual records, but there are also large numbers of photographs, sound recordings and some moving images.

Inventory of the Bernie Grant Archive