E-ARMMS Newsletter 2
A monthly newsletter from Archive, Records Management and Museum Services (ARMMS) and the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS) at the University of Dundee.
In this edition:
- Student visit to the National Archives
- New displays at Sensation
- Embroiderers Guild event
- Ten Taysiders book launch
- Other new publications
- New Student Intake
- Graduates' Council Discovery Lecture, 2nd April 2011
- Oral Histories
- Alliance Trust
- University Secretaries' and Principals' files
- Michael Peto photographs to be at the Scottish Beatles Weekend
1. Student visit to the National Archives
On Friday 8 April Patricia Whatley, University Archivist and Head of Department, and Caroline Brown, Deputy Archivist, went with 25 CAIS students to the National Archives in a very sunny Kew, London. The visit was organised by CAIS student, Fleur Soper, who works at TNA who had planned a busy and interesting schedule. We learnt how the National Archives sees its role in relation to other archives and current government agendas, we were given a tour of the search rooms and strong rooms and we heard about their information management, digitisation and preservation programmes. Some interesting facts:
Lots of cameras used in a very busy searchroom (including by Pat, who spent a few happy hours there looking at 1912 Cabinet papers)
Use of self service scanners allowed
For every 1 item issued in the searchroom, 400 are accessed online
80 million items have now been digitised, mainly funded by private companies
The photographs of Jack the Ripper’s victims are pretty gruesome
2. New displays at Sensation
Museum Services have just created a new exhibition at Dundee Science Centre called Understanding the Body, which presents instruments and teaching aids used in the Medical School and local hospitals from the late 19th century onwards to study the human body. This is the fourth exhibition based on the collections to be displayed in the cafe at Sensation and includes wax anatomical models, early stethoscopes, instruments for taking tissue samples from corpses and much more!
3. Embroiderers Guild event
The recent AGM of the Embroiders Guild brought textile enthusiasts from across the UK to Dundee, and many came to visit the current exhibition in the University's Lamb Gallery, And So To Embroider. The exhibition was also given a special feature in the Weekend Courier which has brought in large numbers of visitors. The show features material from the Needlework Development Scheme, a pioneering project set up in 1934 and run by Scotland's four art colleges. Researchers were sent all over the world to collect historic and contemporary examples of embroidery as a national teaching resource. When the scheme came to an end in 1961 the collection was dispersed, with the art colleges all getting substantial parts of it. As well as material from Duncan of Jordanstone's collection, the exhibition also features loans from the art schools in Glasgow and Aberdeen. It runs until 30 April.
4. Ten Taysiders book launch
On 2 April the Abertay Historical Society launched its latest publication Ten Taysiders, featuring essays on notable but overlooked figures from Dundee, Angus and Perthshire. The main editor of the book was University Museum Curator Matthew Jarron (secretary of the society), with Dr Kenneth Baxter, Archives Assistant, contributing two chapters, one on UCD founder Mary Ann Baxter and one on important political figure Lily B Miller. Other contributions include a chapter on Arbroath-born 'father of modern physiology' William Sharpey by Dr Graham Lowe (honorary curator of the Tayside Medical History Museum) and Prof John McEwen (a notable member of the museum committee).
5. Other new publications
Dr Kenneth Baxter and Matthew Jarron were also contributors to the recent Dundee University Press Publication Jute No More, the third in a series of books looking at the history of Dundee. Several of the sixty plus illustrations used in the book were sourced from ARMMS collections.
6. New Student Intake
The final CAIS semester of the 2010/11 academic year begins on May 16th. We have 12 modules running over the summer with 20 new students on board. In addition, Beyond the Internet has once again proven exceptionally popular with 12 new additions and more expected.
7. Graduates' Council Discovery Lecture, 2nd April 2011
CAIS was present with a stall at the Graduates' Council Discovery Lecture, given by Nick Barrett on the subject of 'Family History and the Media: Challenges facing researchers and archives in the 21st Century'. Interest was exceptionally high, aided by the news that Nick will be tutoring a new CAIS module from January 2012 on House History. We have six new signed-ups to our courses after discussions with CAIS staff at the event.
8. Oral Histories
Archive Services undertook an oral testimony from the Brittle Bone Society’s Honorary Secretary, Sheena Moreland, earlier this month. It is a further addition to the Archive’s growing catalogue of oral histories and will preserve unwritten memories of the society and compliment its paper holdings which, currently, are in the process of being catalogued. Further recordings are scheduled to be undertaken with other BBS trustees in the coming weeks.
9. Alliance Trust
Caroline, Pat, Jennifer Johnstone, Assistant Archivist, and Durham Burt, Archives Assistant, spent much of Wednesday 13th collecting and storing more material from the Alliance Trust archives. This included lots of very dirty and dusty boxes which are now taking up three bays in Claverhouse. As with the rest of the collection there is a lot of really interesting material here including boxes and boxes of letters about land and oil in the American West.
10. University Secretaries' and Principals' files
Alan Bell, Records Manager and Information Compliance Officer, Caroline and Durham are looking forward to spending more time in the Portacabins going through University Secretaries' and Principals' files and deciding what to keep. When you have a whole room full of records throwing some things away is quite satisfying!
11. Michael Peto photographs to be at the Scottish Beatles Weekend
The first Scottish Beatles Weekend will be held in Dundee from Friday August 12 to Sunday August 14. The Beatles photographs from the Michael Peto collection will be displayed in the Apex Hotel and the Queen’s Gallery. More information on this to follow.
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