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© National Records of Scotland

Data Mapping Project and Scottish Business Archive Collections

In November 2011 the National Strategy was awarded £3,000 by the Archives and Records Association from their research and advocacy fund to carry out a data mapping project of Scottish Business Archive Collections.

The data mapping project aimed to create a single consistent and clarified dataset for business archive collections in Scotland that would provide improved and flexible information for creators, custodians and users of business archives.  The project will:

  • Gather and disseminate information on business archives for use by heritage professionals, researchers and businesses to improve management of and access to collections.
  • Develop and share a methodology for carrying out a survey of collections.
  • Add value to existing data and share this enhanced data with owners.

The focus was on the verification of data about known business archive collections to inform the National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland. The results of this data collation were analysed to provide information that will inform many other areas of the strategy and we have created a project methodology to share with partner organisations in the rest of the UK.

We employed a project officer from December to February and were able to used data about collections extracted from the National Register of Archives as a starting point.  This contained information about over 6,000 business archive collections which the project officer checked, updated and mapped so that users can search the data by geographic area, time period and industry sector.  This ability will help to identify collecting strengths and weaknesses and reveal gaps in the collections across Scotland to inform surveying policies and other work.

Project Outcomes

  • Project Report and Methodology
  • Spreadsheet of our edited NRA data.
  • Online Resource (A satisfactory method of displaying the dataset online has not yet been created.  We are experiementing with Google fusion tables but further work needs to be carried out on the classification of industry sector for collections before this is ready for wide use.)
  • An example of the Google fusion tables view is embedded below showing a map view of some business archive collections by business location.