A New Home
The end of November 2011saw the final stages of Edinburgh City Archives’ move of the major part of its archival holdings into a new purpose-built storage facility at its Murrayburn repository.
The move came in the wake of a Friendly Audit of Edinburgh City Archives which was undertaken by the National Records of Scotland in 2005 and which found the existing storage facilities deficient in most of the assessed areas. On the back of the report and survey, a Business Recovery Plan, covering all aspects of the service, was drawn up and approved by the Council in 2009. Following on from this, the completed Preservation Assessment Survey served not only to confirm the Report’s findings, but to identify storage problems in greater detail. One of the central objectives of the Recovery Plan, which sets out detailed measurable and time-scaled actions over a five year period, is to tackle the storage accommodation issues.
The new repository offers accommodation for the City’s records which conforms as closely as possible to the guidelines set down in British Standard BS5454: 2000 Recommendations for the storage and exhibition of archival documents. The temperature and relative humidity of the repository environment are now monitored and controlled and the storage furniture is archival standard, electric mobile shelving on two levels with expansion space for future deposits of records.
Edinburgh City Archives’ old repository now looks a shadow of its former self; a near empty shell devoid of all its past character and its wonderful archives. By contrast, the new repository is positively gleaming and Edinburgh’s unique archival heritage is housed in an environment fit for purpose and capable of protecting it for present and future generations of archive users.
Left: Old Store Right: New Store