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A Living Archive - Dundee University & Canongate Publishers

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

With thanks to Patricia Whatley for this information via Scotarch:

The University of Dundee Archive and Canongate publishers have joined together to create a 'living archive'.  The University is to be the custodian of the Canongate Archive, which will include all the publications produced, draft manuscripts, artwork and marketing material and accounts. The University Archive is also working with Canongate to ensure that significant electronic records, including emails and texts, are included in the archive on an ongoing basis, which will provide a full record of the company and its ongoing development within the digital age.

This is a great example of partnership working for a business archive, particularly for such an important literary collection.  From the press release it is clear that the company have recognised that "having the expertise and knowledge of the University’s Archive Services to help us record and document our past, present and future is a generous gift and a wonderful opportunity." (Jamie Byng, Publisher and Managing Director of Canongate Books.)  More information about the archive is available here.

Canongate, founded in 1973, is one of the most exciting, dynamic and innovative publishing houses in the world, with a stable of international names bursting with literary talent and original ideas - David Simon, Barack Obama, Yann Martel, Philip Pullman - yet its roots are firmly Scottish and it retains the spirit of the Scottish Canon.


So long, farewell...

.... to David who has moved to Stornoway to become the Project Manager for the new Archives Service for the Western Isles.

"The new Archives service will support the preservation, awareness and access to the archive collections in the Outer Hebrides by increasing the level of professional support and advice available to public agencies. It will build on the richness of local archive collections, and promote the Gaelic language, culture and heritage of the Western Isles."  More information about the project can be found in this press release.

I'd like to wish him the best of luck and say a huge thank you for working to develop the strategy.

I should also mention that if you wish to get in touch about the strategy then please email either the BACS ( or me ( and not David anymore. 


Next steps

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Now that we've had all the responses in, thank you again to all who contributed, what will we be doing next?  The next step is to finalise the strategy and plan for its launch (probably after the summer).  As well as doing this we also need to plan for the actions we want to implement in the first year and work these up into detailed pieces of work that we can assign to willing stakeholders and partners.  For example, creating a centralised online list of all the business collections in Scotland is one of the main outcomes we hope to acheive in the first year.

Is there anything you particularly want to see in the first year's actions.  Bearing in mind that the actions included in the strategy are general ones that we'll implement over a 5 year period, what should be prioritised and what needs to happen first?


Consultation responses

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The closing date for the consultation was last Friday and we have been pleased with the responses which have included lots of insightful comments and a good range of respondents:

Archivists - 30%
Records Managers - 30%
Users/Researchers - 40%
Work in a Business - 20%
(NB some respondents classed themselves as both archivists and records managers which is why the numbers don't add up.)

We will be extending the consultation period for this week as well so if you haven't responded then there is still time, even if you just want to jot down some ideas in an email and send it to

Information about the consultation is available 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)