Saturday, 2 August 2008

National Archives of Scotland: July 21st, 2008

(photo taken from:

After perusing Edinburgh through parks with Elizabeth and sitting in awe at the beautiful Edinburgh castle that seems to have a constant watch and presence where ever you are in the city, we lingered through a bath and body store with Amanda, purchased some goods that would make us smell great and finally reached our destination at the National Archives. Although I only have a short time here in Scotland, we were again warmly greeted by Margaret McBride in a relaxed way that seems to be a reflection of the people and landscape of Scotland.

Margaret McBride gave us a tour of the facilities as well as a powerpoint presentation. Through her presentation, we learned that the Archives is an agency that is funded by the government. Their main goals are to promote, preserve, protect, and make accessible all items that are contained within the archives. The archivists here will select public records that are seen as viable enough to receive preservation.

Amazingly, they have records dating back to the 12th century to include: church records, wills, maps, records of businesses, and state and government papers. They also have partnerships and outreach to promote equity to access of information. Some of these partnerships include:

- Scottish Archives Network: Those partnering up for this initiative include The National Archives of Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Genealogical Society of Utah. I was surprised that the latter institution was involved, but partnerships across the globe appear to be more and more apparent with the rise of virtual communities. The Scottish Archives Network provides more than 50 Scottish archives and digitizes original records.

- Scottish Family History Network: NAS is working with the General Register Officer for Scotland and Lord Lyon in an effort to provide a concise collection of the genealogical data in Scotland. This partnership was highlighted in the presentation given to us by Mrs. McBride. It provides access to wills and testaments recorded in the court registers by Scots from 1500-1901.

I think the the above projects demonstrate NAS's goal to, "enhance the learning and teaching of history" through providing high quality access to information for patrons that would not be so readily available if these organization did not collaborate.

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