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University of Glasgow Archive Services (Interior Plans: RMS Lusitania)

About Mary

I’ve taken a slightly circuitous route into archives via a degree in Fine Art and a career in TV production management. I’ve previously worked for small independent companies and large broadcasters such as Channel 4, making popular, science and natural-history documentaries. I’ve also worked in the audience development sector, helping groups of socially excluded young people in Edinburgh engage with the arts. With an active interest in archives and social history, Skills for the Future is a brilliant opportunity for me to gain an entry point into the archive profession.

The goal of my traineeship is to understand the theory and methodologies of digital preservation. Archive Services acts as the guardian of the University’s collective memory and born digital records need active management if they are to be preserved and accessible to future generations. I have been researching current best-practice and investigating initiatives taking place within the wider University community. Digital preservation requires good communication and cross-departmental collaboration. I have been working with colleagues in the Digital Library, the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute and Research Data Management, exploring systems, technologies and workflows for successful digital preservation. I have also been working with the Digital Preservation Coalition, who are also partners in my traineeship, and have benefitted from attending their events and meeting with professionals working in digital preservation. I am looking forward to sharing the knowledge I gain in this traineeship and making a contribution towards the advancement of the University’s digital preservation strategy.

About University of Glasgow Archive Services 

University of Glasgow Archive Services is the central place of deposit for the records of the University, its predecessors and affiliated bodies, created and accumulated since its foundation in 1451.

Archive Services acts as the guardian of the University’s collective memory as revealed in the records of management, administration, staff and students. Our oldest records are charters dating from 1304 conveying land and privileges that eventually came into University hands. We also hold one of the biggest collections of business records in Europe, reflecting the contribution and breadth of activity that Scotland’s business, industry and enterprise has made past and present in the world economy. The collections of shipbuilding records, many held on behalf of National Records of Scotland, is unrivalled and includes those of John Brown of Clydebank (builders of the Lusitania, an interior plan of which can be seen below), William Denny of Dumbarton and Scott’s of Greenock, the world’s senior shipbuilder.

In total, Archive Services holds over 1000 collections, spanning more than seven centuries. Our archives are an excellent source of information for the University’s own history and for the history of Glasgow, Scotland and indeed the world. The records are open to the public five days a week and are well used by both the local and international academic community as well as enthusiasts, local and family historians.