Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Friday, 7 March 2014
One of the headings on the front cover of the latest issue of ARC, the magazine of the Archives and Records Association, asks ‘Are you ready for Skype…?’. I found that frustrating, as did some of my colleagues.
Asking that in 2014 makes recordkeeping (and recordkeepers) look out of touch and disengaged. The lazy metaphors - dust, parchment, basements, cardigans etc - are hard enough to shake without the magazines of our professional bodies reinforcing them, however inadvertently. ARC should be a tool for advocacy as well as a way of keeping up with news and other developments across the profession.
Social media isn't the coming thing. We've had fifteen years of blogging. Twitter has been around since 2006. Facebook moved off university and high school campuses and opened up to everyone in that year too. Kate Theimer and Steve Bailey began writing about Archives 2.0 and Records Management 2.0 in 2007.
Skype launched in 2003.
Surely we've moved beyond asking people whether 'they're ready'? Platforms change. The desire of people to create and communicate doesn't. If you have the means to get online, the use of this technology isn't exceptional. It's ordinary. It's routine. It's normal.
I'm not downplaying the challenge of social media. The difficulty of securing organisational and personal memories in such volatile environments is clear. But so is the relevance of recordkeeping principles to that process. Isn’t that the message we want to communicate?
Friday, 14 February 2014
|Crawford's plan of Dundee 1776|
|Photograph from the Carmichael Collection 1870s|
MS 11 Baxter Brothers & Co Ltd. The Baxters operated one of Dundee's major textile works. Their extensive archives include many records relating to the business as well as an account of the early days of flax spinning in Dundee written by Charles Mackie, 'an old mill manager'.
MS 17/P The Thornton Collection of Manuscripts and Plans includes material relating to the coming of the railways to Dundee as well as several plans of Dundee and its buildings
MS 102 The Peter Carmichael of Arthurstone Collection. There are many fascinating items to be found in the papers of one of Scotland's great factory managers and engineers, including photographs of Dundee in the nineteenth century, personal correspondence and an excellent autobiographical account of life and trade in the city.
MS 134 Working Class Life in Dundee for Twenty Five Years, 1878-1903. This study by Dr David Lennox includes much material relating to the late eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century in Dundee.
|Page from Dundee Infirmary's admission records 1853|
The archives also have many other collections which contain material relevant to students of the Industrial Revolution as can be seen from our On-line Catalogue (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/archives/thecollections/searchourcatalogue/) and our source lists and subject indexes (http://www.dundee.ac.uk/archives/thecollections/subjectsandtopics/).
|Page from a Dundee Directory|
L. Miskell, C. Whatley & B. Harris (eds) Victorian Dundee Image and Realities 2nd Edition (Dundee, 2011)
C. McKean, P. Whatley with K. Baxter Lost Dundee (Edinburgh, 2008 & 2013)
D. Swinfen, A. Smith and C. Whatley The Life and Times of Dundee(Edinburgh, 1993)
C. McKean, Dundee: An Illustrated Architectural Introduction/Guide(Edinburgh, 1984 & 1993)
C. McKean, C. Whatley and B Harris (Eds) Dundee 1500-1800 Renaissance Burgh to Enlightenment Town (Dundee, 2009)
Dr Kenneth Baxter
...ages seem to have passed since I last went to sleep with your head on my shoulder and you clasped in my arms and I can hardly wait for your comforting presence, oh! Only to hold you in my arms again!Extract taken from letter by Burt S Paton writing to his wife Helen in 1939 when she was in Bridge of Earn Hospital. Ref: Ref: MS 141/1/6/5.
This and other love letters, poems, literature and pictures can be seen in the Archive's new display that celebrates love, romance and marriage. You can find it in the basement of the University of Dundee's Tower Building.