On Thursday 8th November a small group of us ventured out to an unassuming building in Sighthill where we spent a surprising and interesting afternoon.
Words and pictures by Lesa Ng:
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this visit – maybe that it could have been a bit of a dry topic and looking at records management of modern records. Could not have been further from the reality. History of finance and of the bank really interesting – for instance learning the reason why Walter Scott is always printed on money.
I think people would be surprised they could apply to access to study the archives. Also hearing about the social history aspects – why and how the banks came about, who were the customers and who worked for them, and their advertising over the years. Of course was great we could handle the cloaks! Also sobering to hear that like everywhere library services and staff is always under threat, that they almost lost a staff member and that they were considering closing the Museum. The goody pack we got to take away was a bit different too. 🙂
Here’s another view of the excellent visit to HES last week (I am increasingly sorry I missed it!). Words by Morag Ferguson of the Advocates Library, pictures by Lesa Ng of Heriot-Watt University.
On 8 October 2018 I visited John Sinclair House, at 16 Bernard Terrace Edinburgh for a tour of the Search Rooms and Library at Historic Environment Scotland (HES) organised by ELISA. Neil Fraser, the Public Services Manager kindly hosted our visit and welcomed us with tea, coffee and biscuits which is always a good start.
HES came into being in October 2015 following the amalgamation of Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments. As well as caring for historical buildings such as Edinburgh and Stirling Castle, HES also has responsibility for digital archives such as SCRAN, CANMORE and NCAP (National Collection of Aerial Photography). I found this particularly interesting as BBC Scotland is currently showing ‘Scotland from the Sky’ which was produced and presented by one of the HES staff, James Crawford.
In its conservation role HES has responsibility for the Engine Shed in Stirling which is a central hub for building and conservation professionals with a visitor centre. I’m originally from Stirling so now plan to visit the Engine Shed on my next trip home. Neil took us on a tour of the Search Rooms and Library where Joe McAllister, the Access Officer had laid out some interesting drawings of Craigend house in Renfrewshire. The Search Rooms and Library are open to the Public Tuesday to Friday 9.30-4.30 where you can browse open access items such as books and photographs but it is best to give advance notice of your visit. They provide a range of copying facilities and permit self-copying (cameras or phones) of certain material. If you need to see original historic drawings and manuscripts, these can be ordered in advance.
Thereafter we were taken to the archives to view the collections stored where Architects firms can choose to deposit their drawings and materials. We also visited their conservation workshop where the archivist explained the delicate work required to repair older materials. Apparently there has been a shift back to using ancient Japanese techniques for conservation repairs as these have proved to be more durable and less harmful than some of the more modern methods.
Finally in the foyer we had a chance to view some of the newer publications produced by HES. I spotted a copy of “Bloody Scotland” a compilation of short stories by Crime writers at the Bloody Scotland Festival in Stirling. I thought it surprising that HES should be involved in the publication of this book but Neil explained that all the murders took place in Scottish built heritage, which explained the connection. I thoroughly enjoyed this ELISA visit which enabled me to learn a great deal more about the work and responsibilities of Historic Environment Scotland so special thanks to Neil Fraser of HES and Jennifer Higgins from the National Library of Scotland for organising this.
ELISA have two exciting visits coming up soon and tickets are available now.
On October 8th at 2:00pm there is a visit to Historic Environment Scotland.
This will include an introduction to HES’ work and its Archive and collections with the opportunity to ask questions about the Canmore database, Scran, PastMap and ScotlandsPlaces.
There will also be a tour of the Search Room at HES’ Archives and other points of interest in the building.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite
On November 8th there is a visit to Lloyds Bank’s archives at Sighthill in Edinburgh.
The Archivist at Lloyds’ will conduct a tour of the Bank’s archive stores.
The visit offers an opportunity to learn more about records management and enquiry handling within a private-sector organisation and compare this with the practice of, say, the National Records of Scotland, recently visited by ELISA.
This visit is open to all and will have a broad appeal to colleagues working in conservation and with local and family history records.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite
Film education website is upgraded and re-launched
The Scotland on Screen website has re-launched with improved capabilities. This educational website, built in partnership with Education Scotland and Creative Scotland, can now be viewed on all platforms including tablets and smartphones. Containing hundreds of free-to-watch short films and clips from our Moving Image Archive, the website also has guidance on how to use archive film in school projects and lessons.
View the Scotland on Screen website
Major archive of leading 20th century figure now open to public
The archive of one of the most charismatic characters of the last century, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, is fully available to the public from today (12 November) after being catalogued by the National Library of Scotland.
Sir Patrick, who was universally known as Paddy, was the finest travel writer of his generation and has been described as ‘a cross between Indiana Jones, Graham Greene and James Bond’. He was a decorated war hero, adventurer, scholar and Hollywood scriptwriter who could count princes and paupers among his friends.
The archive, which arrived at the National Library in 2012, is vast, occupying some 16 metres of shelving. Its contents offer a journey through the 20th century in the company of some of its key figures…
click here for the full NLS article
Jose has scoured the old website to find info of past events. You can find his archive of former ELISA events here.