Tuesday, 3 July 2012

eARMMS, June 2012

This is the latest edition of the ARMMS and CAIS newsletter, eARMMS, that we also post here. Let us know if you would like an email copy each month.
In this edition:
  1. Outreach and Talks
  2. Twitter
  3. New Archive Accession
  4. New semester
  5. Family History Fair
  6. External Examiners
  7. Zoology Museum Summer Openings
  8. Comics Genius in the Baxter Suite
  9. Stunning Photographs in the Tower Foyer
  10. Canongate
  11. Disaster Planning Training
  12. Skills for the Future Trainee
  13. Medical Students
  14. Papers of a Dundee Medical Graduate
  15. Calm
  16. Volunteering Roadshow
  17. Information Compliance
  18. Beyond the Internet
  19. Records Management Unit



1. Outreach and Talks

On 10th May Kenneth was delighted to be the guest speaker at a meeting of the Rotary Club of North Fife, where he gave an illustrated talk on Archive Services' holdings. The talk was well received and Kenneth was asked many interesting questions by the those in attendance. Kenneth thoroughly enjoyed the event and was very grateful for the kind hospitality the club showed him.



2. Twitter

The UoD_archives twitter account has gained more than forty followers in the last few weeks. Regular updates about the work of Archive Services, our collections and the archive world in general are posted by our staff on this account. The CAIS_archives and UoD_Museums accounts are also popular. The former now has over 550 followers while the later has well over 1,400!



3. New Archive Accession

We were very pleased to receive a new political collection a few weeks ago in the form of the papers collected by Robert Knight relating to Scottish Nationalism. This collection includes material relating to the Scottish National Party, leaflets and news cuttings relating to elections in Dundee and Angus in the 1970s and items relating to Wendy Wood's unsuccessful campaign to be elected Rector of the University of Dundee in 1974. The collection has been catalogued and listed by Kenneth and is now on our online catalogue.



4. New semester

The 2012 summer semester began on Monday 14th May. 56 new students were enrolled across all CAIS distance learning courses (Masters programmes in Archives and/or Records Management, Masters/PG Certificate in Family and Local History, single-module study for continuing professional development and two non-accredited short courses in family and local history). The most popular modules this semester are Archive Management: Principles and Practice, Archive Services, Access and Preservation, House History and Principles and Practice of Records Management.



5. Family History Fair

CAIS recently attended a family history fair in Maryhill to promote our programmes and short courses in family and local history and to raise awareness about the University's Archive and Museum Services collections. A presentation from Dr. Craig Gauld, CAIS Administrator, proved highly successful and generated follow-up interest.



6. External Examiners

CAIS held its bi-annual external examiners meeting this month and welcomed our new external examiner, Steve Bailey, to Dundee for the first time. Warm thanks to Norman Reid for his service in this role over the past five years.



7. Zoology Museum Summer Openings

The summer season for the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum is now underway, with the museum open to the public every Friday afternoon until 7 September, 2-4.30pm. As well as the amazing range of animals, birds, fish, insects and reptiles from around the world, the museum will also be displaying the first artworks acquired under a special Art Funded project to build a collection of art inspired by D'Arcy's ideas and collections. Further works will be added over the summer.



8. Comics Genius in the Baxter Suite

Currently on show in the new comics exhibition area in Baxter room 1.36 (on the first floor of the Tower Building) is a selection of original artwork by one of the great unsung heroes of British comics, David Sutherland. David has worked for Dundee publisher DC Thomson since 1959, initially illustrating adventure strips for The Beano including The Great Flood of London, Danny on a Dolphin and Billy the Cat. In 1962 he took over from Leo Baxendale drawing The Bash Street Kids, which he still illustrates today, having created well over 2000 separate strips. He then replaced Dudley D Watkins drawing Biffo the Bear (1969-84) and took over from David Law drawing Dennis the Menace (1970-1998). It was during this period that Dennis became the Beano’s most iconic characters, moving to the front page in 1974 and establishing the Dennis the Menace Fan Club in 1976, which grew to over 1.5 million members. The exhibiton celebrates David's 50 years of illustrating the Bash Street Kids and is being held as part of West Fest. It will be open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm until 22 June and then 1-3pm on Wednesday afternoons until 15 August.



9. Stunning Photographs in the Tower Foyer

The next exhibition in the Tower Foyer Gallery features spectacular images of Dundee by local photographer Shahbaz Majeed. Born in Dundee, Shahbaz studied at Morgan Academy before taking a degree in Applied Computing at the University of Dundee. He has since worked for the University as an IT Officer with the Residences Office and for the Web Development Team. His photographs of Dundee have been widely reproduced and one of them won him the National Rail Award in the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011 Photography Competition. The exhibition is on show from 19 June - 8 September.



10. Canongate

Caroline and Pat visited the offices of Canongate in Edinburgh and brought back a van full of boxes, including publicity material and several foreign editions of titles. Canongate staff have been sent a retention schedule summarising the records that they produce and highlighting the items that should be kept for the archives. The next stage will be to approach their ICT support to discuss transferring electronic records to the University.



11. Disaster Planning Training

ARMMS staff had a training session on disaster planning using the department's updated disaster plan. During the session they discussed the appropriate fire extinguishers to use for different types of fire, how to deal with wet and fire damaged material, and the best steps to take in response to different types of emergency. Further training will follow later in the year..



12. Skills for the Future Trainee

We were very pleased to be able to offer a two week placement to Ruth Macdonald who is one of this year’s HLF funded Skills for the Future Trainees at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. It was a pleasure to have Ruth with us. Over the two weeks that she was here she prepared a Powerpoint display to mark the 65th anniversary of the Abertay Historical Society, catalogued and re-housed a collection of papers of George Patrick Henderson, a philosophy professor, and produced a small exhibition on local societies using items from our collections.



13. Medical Students

Caroline took a class of medical students who are studying the history of medicine. This class has been running for several years and an archive session is now a key fixture in the syllabus. Caroline introduced the students to using archives and discussed why they are important. The students were able to examine our extensive medical collections and had a tour of the archives. Favourite items included 19th century coloured pathology drawings, asylum case books and Professor Charles Alexander’s operation books from the First World War.



14. Papers of a Dundee Medical Graduate

Archive Services recently received a new deposit from the son of former Medical School graduate Hugh Douglas Ross, a Dundonian who graduated in 1940. Ross later emigrated to Southern Rhodesia with his family, having been recruited as consultant histologist for the shortly to be created Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The material in the collection relates mainly to the aircraft accident in 1961 that cost the lives of sixteen people, one of them the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold. Dr Ross and an RAF doctor carried out forensic examinations and provided medical evidence for the subsequent reports on the accident. The items in the deposited papers include the reports themselves, photographs and x-rays of the victims, and plans showing the exact location of the fragments of the plane and the positions of the victims' bodies.



15. Calm

Archive Services is currently in the process of transferring its Calm database to a new server and also upgrading the Calm software itself to the most recent version. Tobi Wood of ICS has been of immense help in installing the software on the new server. So far a 'clean' pc (i.e. one that had never had Calm installed on it) has been used to run the new version of Calm to experiment with the functionality of the software. This has proved to be successful. The next stage is to install the web server software and Michael, with the help of Tobi and the Axiell Ltd help desk, is currently in the process of doing this. Once the server software is running the catalogue will have its own url: http://archivcat.dundee.ac.uk



16. Volunteering Roadshow

On Friday 18th May 2012, Michael and Jennifer attended a Volunteering Roadshow that was held in the Tower Building of the University of Dundee. This was organised by The Archives and Records Association and was supported by the Centre for Archive and Information Studies, University of Dundee and the Scottish Council on Archives. It was an opportunity for archive professionals to share their experiences of working with volunteers, to discuss how to make the process as enjoyable and useful as possible for all parties and to talk about creating and implementing volunteer policies. It was an interesting day which highlighted different kinds of volunteers with different aims and how different types of institution (local authority and university archives) approach working with volunteers. All in all the day was productive and enlightening. It was particularly encouraging to see how repositories with differing circumstances often faced the same challenges with regard to volunteer work. The general opinion was that having volunteers working in repositories is a positive experience for everyone involved.



17. Information Compliance

One of the key roles of Records Management Services is the management of the University’s compliance with information legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Acts. The first five months of this year were especially busy with a 43% increase in the number of requests over the same period last year.



18. Beyond the Internet

31 students have successfully completed Beyond the Internet Part 1 and 13 students have successfully completed Part 2, both of which began in May. To date, three students have signed up for Part 1 and 22 have signed up for Part 2 beginning in September. Beyond the Internet is a six week vocational family and local history course aimed at giving students the skills to develop their own research. Beyond the Internet covers various topics such as church records, wills and testaments, military records, palaeography, educational records, court records, title deeds and maps and plans.



19. Records Management Unit

As another academic year nears its close the Records Management Unit is being kept especially busy. In addition to student leavers from various Schools and Units such as Engineering, Physics and Mathematics, Humanities and Environmental Science, Records Management now supports other student related units, and shortly will be receiving records from Disability Support Services and Student Funding as well as Residences. These are amongst the newer client departments which have approached RMU for assistance over the past two to three years. They join long established customers such as Human Resources, Academic Affairs, and of course, Finance in benefiting from Records Management help in supporting their work through the efficient storage and secure, confidential destruction of time-expired records. This helps the University as a whole to free up valuable office space and, indeed, to encourage staff to be aware of the records they keep.

Last month RM reached the landmark figure of consignment 500 which appropriately was a batch of CODA files from Accounts Payable. From the Unit's inception in 1998 these batches from Finance have been a constant and regular part of the Unit's work. We are currently at No 507 with consignments from Education, Social Work and Community Education, Human Resources, Research and Commercial Finance Office and School of the Environment adding to the tally along with PECOS files also from Accounts Payable, and inevitably more CODA!

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