The core purpose of preservation is to extend the life of archives, enabling access to the records for current and future generations. The preservation of archive collections requires consideration of a range of factors including skills and training, risk assessment, storage and disaster planning. The important work that goes into preserving archive material is often carried out behind the scenes, with limited resources.

The Scottish Council on Archives has taken a coordinated and evidence-based approach to supporting the archives sector’s preservation needs.

In partnership with the British Library Preservation Advisory Centre and the National Records of Scotland, SCA supported the delivery of preservation assessment surveys across Scotland. The data collected from 28 surveys was analysed and presented in Our Past, Our Future: A Preservation Survey Report for Scotland. This report offered a snapshot of the condition of archive collections across Scotland. SCA also consulted with the sector to get their views on priority areas of support related to preservation training, development and resources. The results of this survey are summarized in Open for Use. Both reports can be downloaded below.

Our Past, Our Future: A Preservation Survey Report for Scotland

Open for Use

SCA Preservation Committee

Composed of a mix of archivists, conservators and users, the purpose of the SCA Preservation Committee is to take a strategic approach to identifying priority areas for action relating to the preservation of archives in Scotland.

Image courtesy of University of Glasgow