Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Looking back at 2009

Monday, 21 December 2009


December is always a bit of a time for reflection and I suppose 2009 has a lot for us to reflect upon.

It has been a turbulent year for Scottish business. The recession has seen major changes in its banking sector, well known High Street names at a local and national level disappear and several business in the manufacturing and industrial sectors consolidate or close their doors for the final time. The last few weeks has seen Scotland's largest airline disappear and First Quench, the owners of Haddow's off-licenses, go into administration.

Yet the Business Archives Council of Scotland, Ballast Trust, the archives community and enthusiasts have continued to work hard to ensure that where businesses have ceased trading their records are preserved. Moves are afoot already in both the above cases to try and ensure that their key business archives are retained. Notable collections moved into public archives in 2009 included:

- the records of local paper mills being transferred to St Andrew's University and a local heritage society in Aberdeenshire
- the records of a Newmilns lace mill being transferred to Ayrshire Archives
- the records of a gear and deck machinery manufacturers moving to Renfrewshire Archives

Several derelict industrial sites have thrown up small collections of archives during their redevelopment that have also been saved with the co-operation of owners and liquidators.

There have been other positive moves this year too. Companies such as Persil, Marks & Spencer and Glasgow's House of Fraser have actively promoted their history, drawing on their archives for marketing and to demonstrate their longevity during their anniversary years. The National Strategy for Business Archives in England and Wales was launched and work on a Scottish strategy is well underway, going out to public consultation in the first quarter of 2010.

These strategies will for a continued positive and proactive approach to business archives in in Scotland in 2010 and beyond.

Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone!

Read more...

Business Archives on Radio 4

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Radio 4 programme You and Yours is going to have a section on business archives this week, on Wednesday, 9 December between 12:00 and 13:00.  It will discuss the importance of business archives and also the National Strategy for Business Archives (England and Wales).

 
The programme may feature the following items:

  • Marks & Spencers and University of Leeds: new partnership
  • Former Woolworths Director's collection of the firm's history
  • Sweet factory archives found on Olympic site destined for London Metropolitan Archives

A podcast will be available for download and of course you will be able to listen again on the iplayer.
 
Thanks to Richard Wiltshire for the email about this to the listserv.

Read more...

What is your relationship to business archives?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Survey result:

66% of people look after business archives, 16% own a collection of business archives, 33% use business archives and we had no responses from people who created business archives.

Read more...

BAC Conference

The Business Archives Council is holding its annual conference at The National Archives at Kew today.  The theme is "delivering results - collaboration and exploitation of business archives".  The full conference programme is available here.



The conference will be an opportunity to discuss the implementation of the English and Welsh National Strategy for Business Archives and how to take the strategy forward.  David is attending so he will be able to ensure that opportunities for the Scottish Strategy to work with initiatives in England and Wales are identified so we can act on them and incorporate them into our action plan.

We are hoping to be able to put the draft Scottish Strategy out for general consultation shortly so keep checking the blog for news.

Read more...

Business Archives at North Lanarkshire - awareness week

Monday, 16 November 2009

North Lanarkshire Archives will be holding a series of events this week relating to their business archives (16-20
November) as part of the Archives Awareness campaign 2009.

Monday 16th November
All day exhibition featuring photographs, adverts, staff records and reminiscences from the Archive's industrial and business collections
10:00-10:30 Tour of the Archives
14:30-15:00 Tour of the Archives

Tuesday 17th November
All day exhibition
17:30-18:00 Tour of the Archives
18:00-19:00 Talk 'Building North Lanarkshire' - discover North Lanarkshire's rich industrial past

Wednesday 18th November
All day exhibition
14:15-14:45 Tour of the Archives
15:00-16:00 Workshop:'Taking care of your old photographs and papers' - advice on the preservation of your own archive items

Thursday 19th November
All day exhibition
10:00-10:30 Tour of the Archives
17:30-18:00 Tour of the Archives
18:00-19:00 Talk: 'Industrial records and you' - using industrial and business records to explore your family history

Friday 20th November
All day exhibition
10:00-14:00 Drop in session 'Ask the Archives'

All events are free and will be held at:
North Lanarkshire Council Archives,
10 Kelvin Road,
Cumbernauld,
G67 2BA.

Please contact Jo Dodd for more details:

doddj@northlan.gov.uk

tel: 01236 638 984

Read more...

From Watt to Waves

Monday, 26 October 2009

**CANCELLED**

It is with much regret that the organisers have had to cancel the above conference scheduled for Fri 30 October due to speaker illness. It is hoped that it can be rescheduled sometime in 2010.

**CANCELLED**



The Business Archives Council of Scotland, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow's Centre for Business History in Scotland, the Ballast Trust and the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland are pleased to present this one-day conference on Scottish engineering.

The conference will take place on Friday 30 October 2009 at the Clydeport Building, Robertson Street, Glasgow between 1000 and 1600.
Image from here
The programme will include:
  • Documenting Scottish Engineering, Prof. Tony Slaven, Prof. Ray Stokes & Lesley Richmond
  • W J Macquorn Rankine & the business of 'engineering science' in Glasgow, Dr. Ben Marsden
  • Becoming the workshop of the world, Prof. Michael Moss
  • Financing engineering innovation before 1930, Alan Cameron
  • Clydebuilt: Losing the legend, Prof. Tony Slaven
  • Barr & Stroud, Dr. Stephen Sambrook
  • British Aluminium Company, Dr. Andrew Perchard
  • Foreign Investment: Electronics and engineering since 1945, Dr. Duncan Ross
  • The dynamics of engineering obstetric ultrasound, Dr. Malcolm Nicolson and John Fleming
  • Marine engineering: Power from waves, Dr. David Kaye, Aquamarine Power
Cost: £25 for BACS / IESIS members, £30 for non-members. The non-members fee includes a one-year membership of the BACS. A buffet lunch is included.  A small number of free places for students and the unwaged are available on a first-come basis.

Further details and a booking form can be found at: http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/archives/bacs/annualconference/

Read more...

After the focus groups

Monday, 12 October 2009

Thank you to everyone who took part in the recent focus groups regarding the strategy. Kiara and I learned a huge amount about the current perceptions as to the state of business archives in Scotland and individuals experience of them. Importantly, you gave us lots of ideas for potential action points that can form part of the strategy so that it does what you want it to do.

We have now started to collate all the information from the groups and are getting down to devising the strategy. We hope to have a draft in the next few weeks which then be put out to wider consultation so do watch this space!

In the mean time, why not leave your comments on what business archives mean to you at the following post?

Read more...

Using Business Archives for Family History

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Last night David and I held the last of our focus groups.  This one was for users of business archives and particularly members of family history societies.  It was a very useful session from our point of view in getting information about the user experience of business archives and finding out what the general level of awareness is currently.  At the moment business archives seem to have quite a low profile with family historians.  This is unfortunate, particularly as family history is often the main reason for users to visit an archive (according to the 2007 survey of visitors by the NCA 73% of visitors were carrying out family history.)

However, hopefully the National Strategy will be able to develop and implement actions that will help raise the profile of business archive collections and make them easier to access.

We produced a handout for the evening which listed the types business records that are held by archives in Scotland and provided the links to various online catalogues to help with searches.  This can be downloaded as a pdf file here.

Read more...

Business Archives are important because....

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Why are business archives important to you?


We know that they are important to businesses as they provide evidence of business activity and also the relationship businesses have with their staff and the communities in which they are based. They are also an important element of local and national heritage because of the central role that business and the economy plays in our lives.


We'd like to know why you think business archives are important? Do they enable you to research new areas, have you been able to connect with a different aspect of your family history through business archives? Perhaps business archives help you to promote your brand in today's market or have been the inspiration for a new product.


Please have a think and use the comments section below to tell us how you use business archives and why you think they are important. To comment click on the link below or here.

Read more...

Business archives - its personal

Monday, 31 August 2009

Business archives are not usually the first place researchers turn to for personal detail. One of the aims of the business archive strategy is to raise awareness of the variety of business records and the different research purposes they can help with.

In actual fact, business archives can provide more personal records as well as the standard financial ledger. One example of this can be found at the University of Dundee. Their Archive Services have recently transcribed the diaries of Thomas Handiside Baxter, a grocer and dry goods merchant in Dundee in the early 1800s. The diaries give an insight into the life of a Scottish businessman in the early 19th century.

Read more...

Consultation focus group - Heritage & Information Professionals

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

A focus group for organisations and individuals in other heritage and information professions with an interest in business archives and industrial heritage in Scotland is being held on Thursday 24 September.

The session will be held at the National Archives of Scotland on Thursday 24 September 2009 from 1400 until 1600.

This focus group is your chance to feed your ideas and thoughts into a National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland. The focus group is an opportunity to:

  • find out the purpose of the proposed strategy in a UK context
  • help identify the issues that you feel affect custodianship of business archives and access to them
  • identify links and partnerships that could be created to raise the profile of business archives
  • identify actions that could be undertaken to ensure business archives are captured, preserved and made accessible to as wide an audience as possible

If you would be interested in attending, please contact David Powell d.powell@archives.gla.ac.uk or Kiara King at k.king@archives.gla.ac.uk

Read more...

Consultation focus group - Archivists and Records Managers

We would like to invite archivists and records managers in Scotland who work with or care for business archives to attend a focus group session.

The session will be held at the National Archives of Scotland on Thursday 24 September 2009 from 1030 until 1230.

This focus group is your chance to feed your ideas and thoughts into a National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland. The focus group is an opportunity to:

  • find out the purpose of the proposed strategy in a UK context
  • help identify the issues that you feel affect your custodianship of business archives
  • identify links and partnerships that could be created to raise the profile of business archives
  • identify actions that could be undertaken to ensure business archives are captured, preserved and made accessible to as wide an audience as possible

If you would be interested in attending, please contact David Powell d.powell@archives.gla.ac.uk or Kiara King at k.king@archives.gla.ac.uk.

Read more...

Consultation focus group - Academics and Students

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The first of the consultation focus groups will be held on 7 September and is aimed at academic users and custodians of business records. The seminar will be an opportunity to find out more about this developing strategy and to take an active role in ensuring that it incorporates the needs of academics and students as well as those of businesses, archivists and users.

The seminar "Towards a Business Archives Strategy for Scotland" will be held at the Centre for Business History, Seminar room 201, Lilybank House, University of Glasgow on Monday 7 September 2009 between 2-4pm.

Please email C.Leslie@socsci.gla.ac.uk if you wish to attend by Wednesday 2 September.

If you would like to publicise the event please print and display this leaflet.

Read more...

A Strategy for Scotland

As mentioned before Scotland does not currently have such a strategy although in 2006 Elements of a Policy on Business Archives in Scotland was published by the National Archives of Scotland and the Business Archives Council of Scotland (BACS).

In partnership with the Ballast Trust, the BACS with the support of the National Archives of Scotland and Scottish Council on Archives are developing a Scottish strategy. As a sister document to the English & Welsh strategy, its main themes are likely to be the same, yet the strategic actions to be taken will be different, reflecting the issues of devolution and previous work undertaken by the BACS and Scottish records community.

In order to kick-start the strategy’s development, we will be holding a series of short focus group meetings with different stakeholders during September 2009. These include:

  • Academics and students (7 September, Centre for Business History, Glasgow University)
  • Archives and Records professionals (24 September, NAS, Edinburgh)
  • Heritage and information professionals and Trusts (24 September, NAS, Edinburgh)
  • Non-academic users and family historians (29 September, Mitchell Library, Glasgow)

These meetings will be advertised through various listservs and archives, but if you would like to take part in any of these please email d.powell@archives.gla.ac.uk to book a place.

It is hoped that a draft strategy will be available in October for full scale consultation and comment and that a final version of the strategy will be agreed by the end of 2009.

Read more...

Podcast about National Strategy (E&W)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The fifth podcast from the Records Management Today series looks at the launch of the National Strategy for Business Archives in England and Wales.

In conversation with Elizabeth Oxborrow-Cowan and Sara Kinsey. Elizabeth Lomas discusses business archives and the launch of the strategy at the House of Lords.

Topics covered include:

  • What were the highlights of the presentations by Professor Mervyn King (Governor of the Bank of England), Sir Stuart Rose (CEO M&S) and Dame Stella Rimmington?
  • What do the Business Archives Guide and strategy hope to deliver?
  • What are the issues for managing business records and archives - where do the challenges and values lie?
  • What can the wider archive, records and information communities learn from the experience of the business archivist?

The Records Management Today series of podcasts are put together at Northumbria University's School of Computing, Engineering & Information Sciences. Further information about the podcast series is available here.



How to listen to the podcast: A podcast can be listened to on a computer or on any mp3 player—not just an iPod. It can also be burned to a CD and listened to using any CD player. To listen to this podcast simply click on the 'download' link and it should start to play automatically. If you want to save it and listen later, right click and select 'save target as'. This will allow you to save the mp3 file and listen later or download to your mp3 player.

Read more...

Developing a Scottish Strategy

Friday, 17 July 2009

A Scottish version of a National Strategy for Business Archives is essential to help improve and formalise existing practices for the care and management of business archives in Scotland.

The development of the strategy in Scotland is being taken forward jointly by the BACS and the Ballast Trust with the support of the National Archives of Scotland and the Scottish Council on Archives.

It is important that the strategy reflects the requirements and opinions of archivists, businesses and users. For these reasons a series of workshops are planned to gather information about how business archives are used, what problems exist, and potential changes that would help preserve and provide access to more business archives. Details of these workshops will be issued once they are confirmed and organised.

Read more...

Corporate Memory

Friday, 10 July 2009

To coincide with the launch of the National Strategy for Business Archives Corporate Memory - a guide to managing business archives has been released by the National Archives.

TNA state that it is "designed to help the business community maximise their own archives and records collections, and to use this business information asset effectively to improve performance, explore new markets and above all to succeed in today's competitive global markets."

The guide has eight case studies which give examples of how different companies have been able to make use of their archive collections for a variety of purposes. These vary from commemoration and awareness raising to marketing and product development.

Read more...

Launch of English and Welsh strategy

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The National Strategy for Business Archives in England and Wales is being launched today. The strategy is available here and the launch now means that the Managing Business Archives website is also live.

The website is an excellent resource for businesses and provides examples of best practice to help owners of business archive collections manage their archives. "It's aimed at company personnel with no prior knowledge or expertise in archive management as well as business archive practitioners." However, the advice is equally useful for any custodians of business archive collections.

We look forward to seeing how the English and Welsh strategy is taken forward and identifying opportunities for joint action and partnership working.

Read more...

Contact us

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

If you have any questions about the development of the strategy in Scotland or suggestions then please contact Kiara.

Kiara King (Ballast Trust Archivist)
Kiara.King@glasgow.ac.uk

Read more...

Status of Business Archives in Scotland

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The state of business archives within Scotland is arguably stronger than elsewhere in the UK. Scotland has been at the forefront of collecting and promoting business records in the UK for many years. This is primarily because since 1977 the Business Archives Council of Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and Glasgow University have funded a Surveying Officer to work with businesses, listing their records, promoting their archives as business assets and, where necessary, undertaking rescue work.

Scotland has taken a holistic approach to collecting archives. As well as collecting the core corporate records of companies, the accompanying technical records such as plans, drawings, photographs and process information are also collected. The appraisal of such records has been time consuming but has left Scotland with rich collections.

There is limited legislation in the UK requiring business records to be retained. It is positive that even without legislation there is a wealth of business archives held by collecting repositories in Scotland. However, implementation of the National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland will help to improve and formalise existing practices for the care and management of business archives and ensure that Scottish support of business archives continues.

Read more...

What is a National Strategy for Business Archives?

A National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland makes recommendations for business archives in the public and private sectors in Scotland. It complements the National Strategy for Business Archives (England and Wales) due to be published by The National Archives in July 2009 and adopts the goals set out in that strategy. A draft version of the English and Welsh strategy is available here.

The strategy will:

  • raise the profile of business archives
  • promote their value to business and researchers alike
  • establish effective networks and partnerships between businesses and archivists
  • increase awareness of business archive collections
  • improve access to business record collections
  • improve the capability and status of business archivists and business collections

Read more...

About this blog

This blog will provide information about the development of a National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland. It will also be used to provide general updates about Business Archives in Scotland.

This blog will be written by David Powell, the Surveying Officer for the Business Archives Council of Scotland and Kiara King, the Ballast Trust archivist.

We welcome any comments or suggestions.

Read more...

About This Blog

This blog will provide information about the development of a National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland. It will also be used to provide general updates about Business Archives in Scotland.

This blog is written by Kiara King, the Ballast Trust archivist. Updates on the Data Mapping Project are written by Cheryl Brown, project officer.

Participate

The Business Archives Strategy for Scotland was published in August, read it here. Keep an eye on the blog for more news about business archives and the strategy's implementation.

You can also contact us at any time with thoughts and contribute your comments to the blog!

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any comments or suggestions.

Kiara King (Ballast Trust Archivist)
Kiara.King@glasgow.ac.uk

BACS
bacs@archives.gla.ac.uk