For many people the prospect of retirement from work gives an opportunity to seek fresh directions and new challenges. Archives seem to become an increasingly popular place to pursue such new ro(o)utes (key word: genealogy). Our project is keen to explore and co-shape these routes together with the silver researchers.
More and more people spend their active life in retirement and many of them wish to pursue existing or new hobbies, leisure and volunteering activities. Furthering one’s own education at the same time is equally important.
There are already a lot of retirees that use the archives actively, for research on local or family history for example. Also, there are certain groups of volunteers (i.e. retired historians) that support archives in crowd sourcing activities such as the identification of certain items on pictures, etc. “Silver researchers bring both great delight into our reading rooms and proof to be of great help for the archive.”, affirms Ole Gausdal from the National Archive of Norway.
As the archives increasingly adapt to the digital age, it seems though that many of the elderly generation are faced with the challenges of new technologies. The archives clearly need to adapt to their active and potential users and explore together how to improve their cooperation with user communities and keep opening their doors for the silver researchers.
A survey to identify fields of interest of archive users
To learn more about the nature of silver researchers in archives, our project has set up an online survey to identify pan-European fields of interests and acquire more knowledge about the specific needs of this specific user community.
If you are part of the silver researcher community (60+ years old), please be kindly invited to take part in our survey. Your participation will be an important contribution to further amplify the services of archives as well as enhance the cooperation between the public and archives in the digital age.
Note: The survey is open until 15 December 2019.