Thursday, 24 June 2010
|Jennifer Johnstone and Stephanie Laing at the Graduation Garden Party|
|The School of Humanities graduation ceremony took place this week and we celebrated the success of CAIS Masters students and that of some of our colleagues.|
Masters Degrees from CAIS were awarded to Joanne Wishart, Shetland Archives, (MLitt Archives and Records Management), Stephanie Laing, Lothian and Borders Police, (MSc Records Management and Information Rights), Jennifer Godfrey, Office of Rail Regulation, (MSc Records Management and Information Rights) and our colleague Jennifer Johnstone, Assistant Archivist, (MLitt Archives and Records Management).
|Penny McMahon, Jennifer Johnstone and Keren Guthrie at the Garden Party|
|Keren Guthrie, the Senior Archives Assistant in ARMMS, graduated with a MA in the Humanities and two of our volunteers, Penny McMahon (MA hons History and Politics) and Garry Stewart (MA hons History) were also awarded their degrees.|
Our warmest congratulations to them all and to all the students of the University of Dundee graduating this week.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Friday, 18 June 2010
All the sessions were worth attending and the keynotes in particular were thought provoking. Brien Brothman, for example, talked about his current research and deliberations on 5 particular areas. These were concepts that he felt were significant in 2010 and what interested him was their impact on archives and the archival profession:
1 - The idea of ‘space’ and how space and locality are imagined and realised
2 - The role of ‘windows’ and the ramifications of the meanings of the word
3 - The sensory experience of archives, the impact of the digital world and how this will change the experience of users and views of records and the past
4 - The use of screens, in particular the use of big screens and what impact this might have
5 - The concept of containers.
Brothman discussed the concept of crisis and in particular whether this is a new phenomenon or if it is ongoing. He pointed to writers in the 1920s who argued that they were faced with fundamental change as a result of new technologies. Even the concept of being online is not new – electricity has been connecting homes since the late 19th century. Brothman argued that we should be continuously questioning the impact of what we see as new in 2010, while remembering the broader context of change.
The theme of the conference was ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’. Terry Cook was the final keynote and looked at ‘giants’ in the Canadian profession past, present and future. In an entertaining talk he argued that we should have a ‘big tent’ approach to archives. We should recognise our differences and acknowledge that we may all be wrong, and or all be right. He predicted that the profession will become less monolithic, that there will be several theories to support it and more partnerships. He emphasised the importance of diversity within the profession.
Cook looked back to archival giants in Canada including W. Kaye Lamb whom he credited with the reinvention of the profession. His contributions included the recognition of the importance of records management, the emphasis on historical governmental records, and the beginnings of the concept of total archives.
Hugh Taylor, according to Cook, was a bridge between the old and the new generation of archivists. Reflecting on his own generation Cook listed 10 achievements which he felt were significant: the creation of ACA; the development of archival education; the national network of archives in Canada; descriptive standards; appraisal theories and methodologies; defining and producing guidelines for digital materials and the role of diplomatics; public policy engagement - archivists as activists; aggressive public programming (outreach); recognising the importance of the history of the profession; and the postmodern archive, taking theories and applying them to archival processes.
Finally Cook left us with the thought that while we have been very good at thinking about the politics of archives, we must not forget the poetry, we need to embrace the archival imagination and view archives as joy.
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/pressoffice/contact/2010/june2010.pdf - our article is on page 27.
Thursday, 10 June 2010
The day celebrates the international role and importance of archives and it seemed appropriate to reflect on the collections held at
The photographs of Michael Peto have attracted a great deal of interest across the world. The Beatles, Nelson Mandela, C.S. Lewis, Rudolf Nureyev, Jawaharlal Nehru and Nikita Khrushchev are just a fraction of the myriad of famous names from politics, the performing arts, literature and music captured by Peto’s lens. We have sent copies of the photographs showing Nelson Mandela during his 1962 visit to
Sometimes the international connection is not so obvious. Our Glasite and Sandemanian collection is an example of this. When the Presbyterian clergyman John Glas was deposed as minister of the Tealing church in the early 18th century almost all of his congregation continued to support him and eventually formed a separate church. This became known as the Glasite church and congregations were formed throughout
Other records in the Archives cover
Friday, 4 June 2010
On Tuesday 25th May Jennifer attended a training session at Glasgow University run by the Archives Hub. The Archives Hub provides a central searchable website for users to search collections held at British university archives, though it is now being expanded to include non-university collections that are beneficial for academic researchers. Jennifer has been using the Hub and uploading our collection descriptions for a few years now but, because they have just extensively upgraded the website, the training session was a good opportunity to see how it has changed and what the new features are. It is now, for example, possible to attach images to descriptions. One of the things we are planning to do is to add an image to each collection which will make the searching process more visual and appealing for users.
We will also be adding descriptions at series level that will provide more information about the collections for researchers. Jennifer has already sent in her first attempt at using the new online form (MS 274, Papers relating to the Paterson family in Gourepore, India) and apparently it was the first one they had received that included an image. We are looking forward to seeing what it looks like on the Hub website once it has gone live.