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Business Archives in 2010 - May

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

BT PLC launched Telefocus - their new BT Archives Image Gallery containing over 1,000 historic BT Archive images from the 1860s onwards.  This image gallery is the first time the images have been open to the public online.

They also got 10 experts to explain why the images that make up part of the Archives are so significant. Social history specialist, Professor Jack Lohman, Director of the Museum of London, Dr. Tilly Blyth, Curator of Computing and Information at the Science Museum whose specialty is telecommunications and design expert Professor Teal Triggs, at University of the Arts London have been chosen as leaders in their respective fields.

Each expert has selected their own personal top 10 images from the BT Telefocus photo gallery, explaining why these images are so significant in illustrating the progress and innovation within their respective fields. These selections and their rationales can be viewed here. Members of the public can also upload their own 10 favourite images onto the website.

Barings PLC
The Baring Archive hosted an exhibition called re:Searching: playing in the archive.  This exhibition was the result of a collaboration between the Baring Archive and the University of the Arts London and enabled artists and researchers to select artefacts in the archive to create a new piece of work in response to them.

Although it is current practice for artists to produce work in response to collections and archives, re:SEARCHING is unusual in that the artists are reacting to a financial archive which is more often used by historians. Practitioners responded to a range of items, including a sketch by Sir Thomas Lawrence of Sir Francis Baring, the firm’s founder; the prospectus for the financing of the Louisiana Purchase; Russian bearer bonds (which ceased to pay interest following the Revolution); and material relating to the Buenos Aires Water Supply & Drainage Company.

The Baring Archive comprises the business papers of Baring Brothers & Co, latterly known as Barings PLC. It is among the finest archives of a financial institution and contains material of international significance dating from the founding of the firm as a partnership of merchants in 1762 to its acquisition by ING in 1995, by which time Barings was a global investment bank.


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)