Like many others on the Skills for the Future programme, working in Archives is a change in direction for me, coming from a background in broadcasting and most recently in digital on-demand television. Although at first the two industries may not appear to have much in common (one exalts the past and the other is very much concerned with the new), many of the underlying drivers are the same. The ability to tell our stories and present them back to ourselves is the main purpose of both, and it is this that makes working in Archives fascinating.
Digital archives are interesting and also challenging because, as in many industries, advances in technology are outrunning the ability of organisations to keep up. Digital preservation is the process required to ensure continued access to digital records, perhaps indefinitely. The project I will be working on is based in the Digital Records Unit of the National Records of Scotland, as part of the Digital Preservation Project. I will be working with local authorities to produce a set of guidelines on the best approaches for ensuring local authority records are kept, as part of their obligations under the Public Records of Scotland Act (2011).
My education is in social sciences; as an undergraduate I studied Social Anthropology and I’ve studied both journalism and technology law as a postgraduate. I am hoping the skills learned in both my work and education history will contribute to the project in some lateral and indirect ways.
Part of the programme is a distance module at Dundee University and there are many other opportunities of learning about Archives, including visiting all the other host organisations. Archives are full of people who are passionate about their work and full of interesting stories and it’s great to be given access to this captivating world.
About National Records of Scotland
National Records of Scotland (NRS) is a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government. Our purpose is to collect, preserve and produce information about Scotland's people and history and make it available to inform current and future generations.