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Colonial chic, jazz age fashion: It's all in Fraser's archive

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Colonial chic, jazz age fashion: It's all in Fraser's archive is the title of an article which appears in today's Herald about the launch of the new House of Fraser archive catalogue on Christmas Day.

The collection is held by the University of Glasgow Archive Services and is a fabulous record of the company's long history as well as being a great resource for social history, design and fashion students.  The article has input from the business as well with Gary Slattery, general manager at Frasers in Glasgow, saying:

With an impressive 162-year history there are many stories, images and more that we haven't been able to share with loyal Frasers customers. So, we're delighted the archive services at the University of Glasgow are able to share the store's history with people all over the world, thanks to the launch of their new online catalogue for the House of Fraser archive project.


Help Shape the Future of Scottish Archives and Records

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Scottish Council on Archives has been a great supporter of the National Strategy but they do more than support business archives, they are:

 The lead body for the advocacy and development of archive services in Scotland. We are committed to developing a national strategy to take the archival community in Scotland forward. We support historic archives in local authority record offices and elsewhere, modern records management and electronic document management services, community archives, and activities such as conservation and preservation, as well as digitisation and learning. We also aim to promote archive services to the wider public by publicising initiatives such as the annual Archives Awareness Campaign.
In January they are holding an event to help determineits Strategic Framework for 2012-2014. There will be a consultation event on Wednesday, 11 January 2012, in the Mitchell Library Glasgow (11.00am-4.00pm).

This is an opportunity for you  to help shape the future of Scottish archives and records through in-depth discussion of the guiding principles, vision, themes and objectives which will shape how the SCA moves forward over the next three years.  The SCA feels that it is essential that the strategy reflects the needs and aspirations of the entire sector and all its stakeholders.

If you would like to attend please RSVP to by the 5 January 2012.  More details are available here.


Data Mapping Project Begins

Thursday, 15 December 2011

After successfully obtaining funding from the Archives and Records Association research and advocacy fund,  the National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland is pleased to announce the start of a six week Data Mapping Project with Cheryl Brown as Data Mapping Project Officer.

The Data Mapping Project will review and enhance existing information about business archive collections in Scotland, with the objective of creating a single improved master dataset. Using this dataset the project will present information about business collections online in a flexible and interactive format.

This will allow collections for a particular industry or geographic area to be viewed in map or timeline format. This improved accessibility will provide a fresh way to look at business archives collections in Scotland as well as enabling other means of interpretation and will benefit creators, custodians and users of business archives.

To ensure that an accurate and up to date snapshot of Scottish business archive collections in 2011 is captured, any individuals or organisations holding business archive collections not included in the National Register of Archives or other online sources are invited to contact the project at

If you have collections to include, please email Cheryl Brown by Monday 30th January 2012 with the following details (where known) for each collection:
• Reference
• Title
• Date
• Description
• Extent

We are interested in unprocessed collections so please include any collections that have yet to be catalogued.


Business Archives at Christmas

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas can be a good time for business archives to showcase their collections.  Two lovely examples reflecting the need to buy presents or prepare for Christmas financially are from the House of Fraser Collection and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Archives.

[Image from here]
This advent calendar is showcasing images from the House of Fraser Collection which is held by the University's Archive Services as part of its business collections.
The House of Fraser Archive provides a wealth of information on the company’s history. It includes the records of the company’s management in addition to the records of individual stores across the United Kingdom.
The calendar will lead up to the launch of a new online catalogue for House of Fraser on the 25th of December.

A second example is the RBS Advent Calendar from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Archives.  This advent calendar publicised through their twitter account and using images from their flickr.

[image from here]
All the images have more detailed information available about them on the main RBS Heritage site.  For example the screenshot below shows a 'Notice announcing Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Bank's Christmas Bank Holidays, 1896'.
In the week before Christmas 1896 this cardboard notice was displayed in the banking hall of one of our Nottingham branches, declaring that the banks would be closed on Saturday 26 December – Boxing Day – for a bank holiday. Boxing Day was one of four days each year that had been officially designated by the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 as holidays in England, Wales and Ireland. Scotland had its own designated holidays on slightly different days.
You can read the full description here


Business Records at TNA

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The National Archives has a very helpful resource on researching their business collections available on their website here.

One of the best things about it is that it explains what the National Register of Archives (NRA) is and how to use it.  This online register is one of the first places I start with when looking for business archive collections.

It is possible to search The National Archives (NRA) for the records of businesses using the corporate name index. Information about prominent industrialists can be found on the personal name index, while details of the records of families involved in business can be located in the family name index.


The Business Archivist in the 21st Century

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The ICA's Section on Business and Labour Archives has announced details of their International Business Archives Seminar to be held in Copenhagen next April.

The title is "With Constant Care… the Business Archivist in the 21st Century" and the flyer for it can be viewed here.  More details will be released in January 2012 but the event will run for 2 days over 16-17 April 2012 in the A.P. Moller - Maersk Headquarters in Copenhagen.

It will include presentations on:
  • Trends in general management strategy 2012-2015
  • Archives management in Mergers & Divestments
  • Organisation – how to position yourself
  • Sustainability in archives
  • Electronic Records Management – cases from the real world


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)