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!