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.