CBA Strategy: 1996–2000
CBA Role, Aims & Goals 1996–2000
The CBA works to promote the study and safeguarding of Britain’s historic environment, to provide a forum for archaeological opinion, and to improve public interest in, and knowledge of, Britain’s past.
2.1 Our aims for the period are to raise the profile of archaeology throughout society, in all parts of the United Kingdom, and strengthen public care for and understanding the historic environment. In doing so, our contributing aims are to:
- advance and assist research
- provide a framework for communication and discussion, and be a vehicle for representation to the wider community of any consensus which emerges
- campaign for the study and conservation of the historic environment
- be a focus for the promotion of archaeology in education
- give information
- encourage widespread participation in archaeology throughout society
- support the work of local, regional, specialist, and national societies
These aims are mutually reinforcing; they are informed by the regional and national expertise of the Council’s network of members, and underpinned by recognition of the devolved structure of archaeology in Britain. Their realisation will require a substantial expansion of the Council’s resource base during the Plan period.
3 Principles & Objectives
3.1.1 In so far as the CBA exists to promote archaeological inquiry, and to broaden public knowledge of it, research permeates all fields of the CBA’s activity. This role will be developed through the CBA’s function as a forum for ideas and discussion, in ways which build on the CBA’s tradition of focusing upon themes and topics which bridge gaps in existing knowledge and integrate periods or branches of the discipline normally considered in isolation.
3.1.2 The CBA’s new Research & Conservation Committee brings together otherwise dispersed expertise, from throughout the UK, to:
- pioneer new ideas, review developments and reassess priorities
- facilitate research through the publication of supporting materials (eg terminologies, gazetteers, methodologies)
- identify and formulate research projects, seeking appropriate sources of external sponsorship
- provide a forum for the exchange of information between archaeologists who are engaged in related work
- monitor and promote, where appropriate, new methods and media of research
- expand our grant-giving capacity
- promote access to research resources
3.2.1 Britain’s landscapes, buildings, sub-surface remains, and coastal zone, together form a continuum: the historic environment, which in its turn is the temporal dimension of the environment as a whole. Conservation and research are two faces of a single coin, and the ability of future generations to appreciate and reassess their own history will rest upon the effectiveness of conservation today. The CBA’s duty is thus to improve and widen understanding of its value as an irreplaceable cultural resource for future study, education, and enjoyment, and thereby foster concern for its care.
3.2.2 Our aims are to:
- increase the effectiveness of our advocacy for the historic environment
- promote best practice in the study and care of archaeological evidence
- monitor trends in threats to and influences upon the historic environment
- encourage integrated approaches to environmental conservation
- stimulate public interest in and knowledge of archaeological conservation
- engage with agencies outside archaeology whose activities impact upon the historic environment
3.3.1 Formal education serves people of all ages and backgrounds, and teaching about people as social beings through archaeology is a worthwhile end in itself. Such teaching is also an important means of creating a concerned and informed audience for the subject. The CBA will thus continue to gather and disseminate information about archaeology in education, and will in particular seek to:
- promote effective use of archaeological evidence in teaching
- widen the teaching of archaeology to all sections of the community
- monitor the developing state of archaeological education
- identify and, where appropriate, meet needs for educational resources
- support mechanisms of informal education
3.4.1 Communication underpins all the CBA’s activity – our promotion of research, our campaigning for the study and conservation of the historic environment, and above all our work ‘to improve public interest in, and knowledge of, Britain’s past’.
3.4.2 The CBA recognises that ‘the public’, both within and beyond the discipline, is not a uniform audience, but one that seeks information in many different ways, and responds to its presentation in a variety of forms. Therefore, to communicate effectively with our various audiences, the CBA will continue to publish books, its popular magazines, networked electronic information resources, information directories and bulletins, and other literature where appropriate. We shall continue to support, and seek development of, British & Irish Archaeological Bibliography. The CBA will also enhance its established role as the central point of contact for enquiries about all aspects of the subject.
3.4.3 The CBA, both nationally, in partnership with CBA Wales/Cymru and the Council for Scottish Archaeology, and through its Regions, combines three kinds of human resources staff, committees, and membership which themselves bring archaeologists of all kinds together. Regions, CSA, CBA Wales and members provide an unparalleled network for the origination of ideas, the implementation of aims, and the raising of public consciousness. The committees provide concentrations of expertise. CBA staff have a multiplier effect for the contributions of all three groupings. Realisation of this potential calls for efficient internal communication.
3.4.4 Our overall communication goals will be to:
- reach an increasingly wide audience
- raise the profile of archaeology within society
- enhance our role as an efficient and reliable source of information on archaeology
- promote, where appropriate, electronic publication for archaeological material
- ensure that the flow of information within the CBA is timely and efficiently regulated
4 Means & Methods
4.1.1 Publication is a medium through which the Council can provide information and intellectual stimulus, reach an increasingly wide audience, support archaeological activity, document issues, give a positive voice to the historic environment, assist communication within the discipline and raise archaeology’s profile beyond it. A further role that the CBA plays is to provide for publication in recognised, marketed series. The CBA remains committed to this service.
4.1.2 The CBA recognises the existence of a large public interest in the issues, the discoveries, and the new historical interpretations of archaeology, and an even larger potential audience whose interest is as yet unawakened. Part of the CBA’s role is to work to kindle and satisfy such public interest, and to broaden and deepen public knowledge of the subject. To do so, the CBA will continue to develop its magazine, British Archaeology, as Britain’s principal vehicle for popular information about archaeology and as a forum for ideas and debate, with the intention of achieving an increasingly wide circulation beyond the archaeological community.
4.1.3 Key goals during the period will be to:
- improve marketing, to reach larger audiences throughout the UK
- continue development of new and more accessible books which reflect the CBA’s concerns in research, conservation and education whilst continuing to serve the archaeological community
- raise the profile of archaeology throughout society by the publication of books aimed at the non-specialist market
- support the dissemination of research by grant-aiding the publications of others
- develop British Archaeology in size, appearance and content
- increase the magazine’s circulation
4.2 Membership & participation
4.2.1 In fulfilment of all its other objectives, the Council’s aim during the period is to increase its base of institutional, individual and young members and subscribers, and to strengthen links with and between Regional and National Groups.
4.2.2 The Young Archaeologists’ Club, the young person’s section of the CBA, seeks to heighten interest and increase participation in archaeology among young people (for Club purposes, defined as those between the ages of 8 and 16).
It does so in the belief that encouragement of the young will be to the good of the discipline as well as the individuals themselves. The Club magazine, Young Archaeologist, is pivotal to the Club’s effectiveness.
4.2.3 The voluntary sector of British archaeology offers resources of time, expertise, energy and enthusiasm which are of the greatest benefit to research, and towards the encouragement and support of which the CBA is wholly committed.
4.2.4 We will therefore:
- support and seek to strengthen the work of CSA, CBA Wales and regional groups
- develop the Council as Britain’s forum for exchange of archaeological opinion, and consensus
- take steps which will lead to continued growth in all categories of membership
- continue to develop Young Archaeologist in size, appearance and content
- increase the number, and improve the geographical spread of, YAC branches
- develop practical projects and opportunities in which young people can take part
- continue to enlarge archaeology’s lay audience through National Archaeology Days
- see The Defence of Britain Project to successful completion
- strengthen the support services we provide for local endeavour
- seek ways to retain the active involvement of graduates who do not enter the profession
And with others:
- work to increase provision and knowledge of opportunities for participation by newcomers and volunteers
- establish the Millennium Archaeology Project 2000
- support and participate in the work of the European Forum of Heritage Associations
The Council’s income increased by 18.8% (excluding project income for The Defence of Britain and the 20th century defences archive project) during the previous Plan period. However, the bulk of our funds are committed to specific purposes, reserves are perilously small in relation to turnover, and financial inflexibility obstructs other goals. We therefore aim to:
- increase our reserves
- further reduce dependency on our grant-in-aid
- maximise existing and potential sources of income
- diversify income sources
Fundraising is a distinct activity that calls for specialised skills. To help conquer existing financial inflexibility (4.3), and in furtherance of other goals, consideration will be given to the enlistment of professional advice to establish a development campaign.
During the plan period we shall establish, and run, a systematic programme of market research, marketing, advertising and promotions for the CBA’s membership, activities and products. This will require dedicated expertise.
Membership, finance, grant-giving, campaigning, publication, publication sales, advertising, BAB and support services for British archaeology (eg the insurance scheme) require continuous administration which is sensitive to the aims of the CBA and to the interests of British archaeology. Significant expansion of the Council’s activities, particularly publications sales, would require an increase in administrative capacity. Our principal administrative aims are to be effective and efficient.
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