DANGO Database Help and Advice

  1. I cannot find any information about an NGO that I know exists or has existed in the past. Why?
  2. I have found some information about an NGO that interest me on the DANGO database. I would like to have some information about their records, but it is written opposite collections "none recorded", or I cannot click on the name of the collection. Why is it?
  3. How can I get further information about the records of a given organisation?
  4. Is the information given accurate?
  5. How do DANGO keywords work?
  6. I cannot find the answer to my question. What can I do?

1. I cannot find any information about an NGO that I know exists or has existed in the past. Why?

The DANGO database currently contains circa 3900 NGOs (June 2008). However, only those records that are complete are displayed online. When an NGO is missing, it is probable that the records of that organisation were not completed.

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2. I have found some information about an NGO that interest me while searching the DANGO database. I would like to have some information about their records, but the text opposite collections displays "none recorded", or it displays the name of a collection but I cannot click on it / the collection is not displayed. Why is it?

When the information opposite "collections" reads: "none recorded", it means that DANGO has no information about the records of that particular NGO. It may mean that DANGO was not able to research the records of that organisation, or it may mean that this organisation has not notified the NRA about the state of its archive. This often means that the NGO retains its own records and has not deposited in an archive (when an NGO deposits its records in a repository, the archives usually notifies the NRA). No collection recorded may also mean that the NGO did not respond to an invitation to return a DANGO questionnaire. When the name of a collection is displayed, but is not "clickable" (i.e. there are no hyperlinks to reach a collection), then it means that DANGO was not able to complete the record.

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3. How can I get further information about the records of a given organisation?

The DANGO database was a snapshot of information available up until October 2011 and since then it is certain that new catalogues and archives have been deposited. As such, DANGO's database is intended to be a first port of call that will give researchers some basic information about the records available for one or several given organisations. Researchers wishing to explore further should visit the online databases of the NRA, A2A, Aim25, Archive Hub, Archive Network Wales and Scottish Archive Network. In addition, researchers can often find some publications available for download from a given NGO website. Some documents (such as recent annual reports) are very often available online. Annual reports are also often available through the Charity commission and Guidestar websites. Since it would have been too cumbersome to give this information (it would apply to nearly all NGOs), we did not record it, but it is always worth checking. It is also possible that further information can be found by trying to locate the papers of the founder(s) or past president(s), trustee(s), CEO(s) of a given organisation (again, for the purposes of DANGO, this was not done). A search with the name of an individual in the meta-databases mentioned above (NRA, A2A, Aim25, etc.) can often bring interesting results. Finally, a mere search in a search engine like Google with the name of the NGO and "archive" or "records" sometimes bring useful (and often unexpected) results.

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4. Is the information given by DANGO accurate?

The information collected for the DANGO Database was collected through several complementary means: 1. NGOs were sent questionnaires that requested details about their organisation and records. 2. direct contact was made with repositories regarding the specific material they held. 3. data was compiled from the online and paper catalogues of the NRA, A2A, etc. and some published guides. The information provided by NGOs themselves was often less reliable than information provided by archives; most often, questionnaires were filled in by busy members of staff (often non-professional archivists) who, given other pressing duties, rarely had sufficient time to devote to their records / archives. While every effort was been made to double-check the information provided, this was not always possible.
Note: more specifically, information provided regarding membership of a given organisation was not usually double-checked as this often proved impossible or very difficult.

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5. How do DANGO keywords work?

The NGOs featured on the database were classified by keywords, or categories, that indicated their areas of interest and activity (e.g. human rights and civil liberties, or HIV/AIDS). These were not intended to form an exhaustive or comprehensive classification system, but rather to provide an initial guide for users who wished to browse the database in an accessible way. Most NGOs were allocated several keywords, with some having significantly more, due to the breadth of their activities.

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6. I cannot find the answer to my question. What can I do?

The project has now come to a conclusion and, since October 2011, the DANGO database is no longer being updated. If you have general queries about the project, please contact one of the principle investigators (see the contacts page).

 

 

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Published guides used to compile the database:

  • Cook 2006 refers to Chris Cook, The Routledge Guide to British Political Archives, Sources since 1945, Routledge, Abingdon, 2006.
  • Cook 1975 refers to Chris Cook, Sources in British Political History, 1900-1951, vol. 1, Macmillan Press, 1975.

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