“Kevin Bolton was recommended to the Trust as a consultant by The National Archive, as part of the Archives Revealed Scoping Grant scheme. Kevin worked with a team from the Trust to agree what the scoping report should cover and set clear objectives. He also undertook a lot of preparation before visiting the archive, which meant that he could use his time in the most effective way when on site.

Kevin interviewed a range of team members and Trustees, asking insightful questions and taking time to listen to each person. Kevin quickly understood the nature of the Trust’s extensive collection and methodically assessed each section.

Kevin’s final report is an in-depth piece of analysis, which not only scopes the collection but gives the Trust recommendations for next steps. Kevin’s action plan is prioritised, costed and staged over time, making it practical and achievable. This is an important piece of work to enable the Trust to achieve its strategic aims and we are very grateful to Kevin for his professional input and guidance.” Archivist for an archive run by a Trust

“No matter what the challenge, Kevin has an amazing instinct for finding the right solution for our collection.  For just over a year, he has provided us with invaluable advice for best practice procedures for our archive and recruitment needs. Kevin would be an asset to any team. I can’t recommend him highly enough.” Chief Executive – Entertainment Company

“Kevin researched and produced a Collections Significance Statement for our Round 1 HLF bid. His work and approach throughout its development demonstrated a clear understanding of what we needed, was of a very high standard and was produced on time. Kevin is a great advocate for the impact that archives have on people and I’d have no hesitation in recommending him. He is also a great person to work with, listening and asking good questions, as well as being good company!” Paul Newman, Archives and Heritage Manager, Cheshire West and Chester Council

“We worked with Kevin when he was the manager of the Archives+ project at Manchester Central Library, so knew him to be passionate about  delivering ground-breaking developments in the sector while working in a thoughtful and collaborative  manner. Kevin is immensely knowledgeable, supportive and approachable. As a freelance consultant, he provided invaluable guidance to help us write the business plan for our Heritage Grant application.  Now we are delivering the project, we have turned to him again for support in building the evaluation strategy because we know that he excels at communicating with both archive professionals  and community group members.“ Jackie Ould – Co-Director, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust

‘Kevin was a joy to work with, he was insightful, knowledgeable, and worked extremely well with our groups and artists. Kevin researched and curated a very detailed archive that told the story of the Battle of Manchester Hill, a forgotten First World War Story. The archive was then used to produce a beautiful and poignant multi media performance at Manchester Cathedral. Without such as detailed archives the depth of the story could not have been told, this was all down to Kevin’s masterful work.’ Karen Shannon, Chief Executive, Manchester Histories

“Kevin is a very knowledgeable and experienced practitioner in the field of archives and special collections, with high level project management skills. He has provided us with invaluable support in assessing our collections, developing a comprehensive collections management policy and a detailed and costed forward action plan. Kevin is very easy to work with, and readily shares information and best practice. His guidance in sound and practical. In addition, he has provided excellent mentoring support to staff members, helping them to grow their knowledge, skill set and confidence.  His input has made a significant impact on the development of this vitally important aspect of our service.“ Andrea Ellison, Chief Librarian, Leeds Libraries

“We engaged Kevin to undertake a review of our archives to identify significance an also next steps as we sought to improve how we could look after this resource in future.  Kevin was great to work with.  He understood our situation and was really keen to advise and share his knowledge.  The report produced gave us a prioritised action plan which we are using to make some immediate improvements and will also be using to support fundraising for the elements we need to fund.  We have already made progress on some of the recommendations and have more confidence in creating a future plan for our archives.” Isabel Merrifield, Business Manager, Coventry Cathedral

“Kevin carried out an audit of our unique collection of piano rolls and music for our automatic musical instruments in early 2019. He was a huge help for our organisation, quickly understanding the nature of the collection and where we needed guidance and expertise. We are already using his work to inform our approach. We would thoroughly recommend him to any small museum that needs to critically evaluate their own collections, especially one as esoteric as ourselves.” Ben Filmer-Sankey , The Musical Museum

Kevin is able to question assumptions in a non-threatening way and to open people up to new ways of thinking. Although bringing substantial previous experience to projects, Kevin does not approach the work with pre-set ideas. He understands the importance of seeing it from the clients’ point of view and meeting their specific requirements……His outward quiet demeanour is matched by inner strength and independent spirit. He is highly resourceful and has an excellent professional network. If he doesn’t know the answer, he knows where to find it. Kevin is both honest and generous, key qualities in an independent consultant. He does not shy away from difficulties but gives his energy and time to find a way through things.” Tom Forrest, Consultant

“Kevin’s leadership has taken Archives to a new level and he has been instrumental in
managing the transformation programme which has brought together staff and collections
from a number of partner organisations and locations including both universities…..In the last few years Kevin has taken on a wider libraries portfolio and in the past year he has been responsible for all collections, including lending, leading on Greater Manchester partnership working which resulted in the creation of a single library catalogue for the majority of the Greater Manchester authorities giving residents access to 2.8 million items across the consortium. He has also had thematic responsibility for developing the digital offer across the entire service as well as leading on organizational development for the wider Libraries, Galleries and Culture portfolio. More recently Kevin oversaw the roll out of external Wolfson funding to upgrade 6 children’s libraries and introduce a digital engagement programme, making best use of the excellent project management skills….He has excellent people skills and a proven track record of taking people with him on the journey and can bring out the best in his team members also.“
Neil MacInnes – Strategic Lead – Libraries, Galleries and Culture, Manchester City Council