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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.


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.


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.


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)