Thursday 10 June 2010

International Archives Day!

Happy (Belated) International Archives Day! I only found out it was International Archives Day yesterday through a link from Archives Outside is a blog based in New South Wales and they decided to celebrate International Archives Day by showcasing examples of archive collections from NSW. I thought I would appropriate this idea and pick some of my favourite archives in my home town of Glasgow, Scotland.

But first of all, I am wondering if any archives in the UK picked up on it being International Archives Day and did anything special for it? I didn't see anything on any of the listservs about it which I thought was a bit strange. Although it wasn't very well publicised at all this year, particularly in comparison with the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in October last year. We certainly didn't know anything about it in time to do anything to celebrate - I'll need to keep a closer eye on potential awareness raising dates like this.

So, on to a couple of my favourite archives in Glasgow. I'll start with my first place of work after qualifying - Glasgow Caledonian University Archives. They have lots of interesting archives, for example, the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) Archive and the anti-apartheid movement in Scotland Archive. I'll just give a bit more information though about one Archive they hold, the one which I worked on as a project archivist whilst I was there, the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Archive. This Archive contains documentation relating to the STUC and its business from 1897 onwards. I loved my work cataloguing part of this archive in the nine months that I was there and I remember being particularly interested by the minutes of some of the sub-committees, for example the Entertainment and Arts Sub Committee, the Women's Advisory Committee and of course, the letters of the various General Secretary's of the STUC (it's great to get paid to read other people's business!). There's full details of the contents of the archive here

Certificate of affiliation for Scottish Trades Union Congress membership
© Glasgow Caledonian University Archives

Scottish Trades Union Congress Souvenir 1938, p2
© Glasgow Caledonian University Archives

Also on my list of top archives to visit in Glasgow would be the Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections. These are based in the beautiful Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed main art school building and I'd love to visit just for a browse through their archives. Going by the images they have on their Flickr site it looks like they've got some really interesting and inspiring stuff! I've attended some really interesting events at the Art School (more of that in later posts) but I've never just been in to look through their archives. Here's a few images from their Flickr pages that illustrate the variety of material in the archive.

Lucienne Day colour poster
© The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections

Glasgow School of Art degree show poster, 1988
© The Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collection

I could go on and on as there are lots more archives to visit in Glasgow, including Scottish Screen Archive, the University of Glasgow Archives (who gave me my first work experience and started me off on my chosen career path), Glasgow Women's Library and many more - but if I do that then this post will be more than the one day late it already is for International Archives Day!

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