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Projects Update

The best place to find out about our main activities and projects for this year is in the Business Plan (accessed from: We also post the most up-to-date information on the website. However, below is a brief summary of what we have been up to over the past few months.

Opening Up Scotland’s Archives (Skills for the Future)

SCA has received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under its Skills for the Future programme for the ‘Opening Up Scotland’s Archives’ project. The project aims to improve skills and service delivery within the Scottish archives sector through the provision of 18 traineeships between 2014 and 2017.

We received 913 applications for the first cohort of six trainees, which began their placements in October 2014. They are focussing on areas ranging from digital preservation and collections development, to WW1 commemorations and community engagement. You can read their biographies and keep up to date via their blog at:

Recruitment for the next cohort launched in June 2015 and closes on 5 July 2015. Find out more at:


The Education Committee have published a full report and executive summary pertaining to pilot project activities undertaken during 2012-2014. The reports and refreshed pages have been published on the website at:

The work of the Committee and archive services across Scotland was successfully showcased at the Education and Skills themed days at the Scottish Parliament from 24-26 March 2015. Promotional and advocacy materials included an ‘anthology’ of Broadsheet articles highlighting the achievements of the sector in delivering educational resources, activities and CPD training.

Key priority areas of focus across 2015-16 include:

  • Exploring with Education Scotland and other organisations joint production and delivery around Scotland of archives-based CPD resources for teachers.
  • Working towards professional recognition and accreditation of SCA as a CPD provider for teachers.
  • Building the teachers’ side of the SCA website and publicising to schools and teacher professional bodies, e.g. using material created with Education Scotland.
  • Devising and beginning to deliver a new programme of training workshops for archivists to assist them to work more effectively with schools and community groups.
  • Ongoing refresh of the SCA website with relevant materials and links, including a series of screencasts to complement web resources publicising the website and monitoring its use.


The Preservation Committee analysed the results of Scotland’s preservation assessment survey report. This report has been published on the preservation pages of the website at: The report forms the basis of a draft action plan, currently under review ahead of publication later this year.


In partnership with The Scotsman, SCA delivered a half-day conference on the topic of copyright and related issues 'Copyright and Cultural Heritage 2.0: Protecting Creators, Sharing Content'. Sponsored by Sheppherd and Wedderburn, Solicitors it was held at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh on 2 February 2015.

SCA is continuing our partnership with CREATe at the University of Glasgow to provide further practical guidance and training. Building on the success of two workshops delivered in 2014, we are planning additional sessions in 2015-16.

Our Copyright Policy Adviser, Victoria Stobo, continues to monitor and participate in debate concerning changes to copyright law, both in the UK and also as the Council’s representative at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) in Geneva.

Most recently (June 2015) SCA was invited to join the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA), a group convened by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) to lobby in the UK and Europe about copyright and related rights on behalf of its member organisations and UK users of copyright works through library, archive and information services. More information about LACA can be found at and further details on SCA activities at

Giving Value – HLF Catalyst Funding

This collaborative project between SCA, The National Archives (TNA), Archives & Records Association (ARA), Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and Museums, Libraries and Archives Wales (CyMAL) is a three-year programme including workshops and training events for the Scottish sector.

‘Giving Value: Fundraising Capacity for the Archives Sector’ is designed to support the UK archives sector in improving its fundraising knowledge, skills and capacity. The focus is to support archives in increasing funding received from private sources, e.g. individual and corporate donations and trusts and foundations. There have been three training events held in Scotland to date – most recently 26 February 2015 and 14 April 2015 – and covering fundraising planning, measuring outcomes and commissioning. The next set of workshop topics will be released by TNA in due course.

Records Management & Records Retention Schedules (SCARRS)

Following the full review in 2014 (SCARRS 2.0), SCA has put in place a monitoring mechanism to ensure that the schedules remain up-to-date with the latest legislative changes and incorporating user feedback/suggestions. These ‘mini-reviews’ are published on a quarterly basis with the most recent one (2.1) published in May 2015. SCARRS can be accessed from:

SCA has also thrown its weight behind the ARA campaign, ‘Don’t Risk It! Know our Records’. We issued a joint letter with ARA Scotland to all public authorities, highlighting the ARA role in training and CPD, and SCA’s provision of records management tools that help business efficiency and compliance with the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011. The main emphasis of the letter was on the archivist or records manager as a key asset within an organisation. More on the campaign from ARA at:

Archive Service Accreditation

In partnership with the National Records of Scotland (NRS), SCA acts as the assessor body for the Archive Service Accreditation scheme in Scotland. In December 2014, The National Records of Scotland (NRS) and Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA) were awarded Archive Service Accreditation, showing they have reached national standards relating to the long-term collection, preservation and accessibility of the nation's archive heritage. In March 2014 Falkirk Archive service was the first to achieve accredited status in Scotland.

On 24 March 2015 – during Scottish Archives Advocacy Week – NRS and SCA jointly hosted a reception at General Register House in Edinburgh to celebrate the success of the first three Scottish archives to achieve Archives Service Accreditation. The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, External Affairs and Europe, Fiona Hyslop MSP, presented the heads of the successful services with their award certificates.

The number of Scottish services expressing interest in the scheme continues to grow with 10 considering submitting an application between now and 2018. The Assessment Team in Scotland will be accepting six applications annually. The three-month review periods for each application are aligned with the Accreditation Panel meeting dates and are assigned on a first-come first-served basis. If you are considering an application please email and visit for more details.

Scottish Archives Advocacy Week & Online Map

SCA undertook a series of high-profile advocacy events during the week 23-27 March 2015. Primarily this took the form of an exhibition and information ‘booth’ in the Members’’ Lobby of the Scottish Parliament, sponsored by Jean Urquhart MSP.

The exhibition of original archive materials, made possible by the National Records of Scotland, was complemented by image panels and a large-scale graphic map of Scotland comprising examples from over 70 archive collections. In addition to highlighting the sector generally, the Council’s presence focussed on the work completed and underway in archives related to the areas of education and skills, with a particular emphasis on promoting the Skills for the Future project and traineeships.

On the evening of the 25 March we hosted an informal reception in the Parliament’s largest committee room, The Burns Room. This fringe event was aligned with the main exhibition but provided a more informal, relaxed environment where MSPs could meet the Skills for the Future trainees, hosts, partner organisations and funders to hear more about the project.

The conversations with MSPs confirmed what we had learnt during a similar event in 2013 – they are enormously engaged with their constituencies, what is located within them and what might be improved. With that in mind, we developed an online map ( that gives the location, basic information and an image gallery showcasing some collection highlights for approximately 70 services across Scotland. SCA has written to all MSPs to highlight the existence of the map and the SCA commitment to expanding it. Those services currently featured are those that completed our advocacy survey. However, the project is a work in progress that promises a very useful tool in Scotland and beyond and the survey remains open for anyone wishing to participate (