Wednesday, 27 February 2013

E-ARMMS Newsletter 20

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:
  1. NHS Tayside Records
  2. D'Arcy Thompson Art Exhibitions
  3. Great War Dundee
  4. RCAHMS Skills for the Future Trainees
  5. History of the Book Class
  6. Oil Painting Catalogue
  7. The Tree of Liberty
  8. Archives in the News
  9. Readers and Enquiries
  10. CAIS news
  11. The Scottish Higher Education Information Practitioners Group (SHEIP)
  12. Death of Professor Caird
  13. Records Management Unit Update
  14. Records Management Requests
  15. Retiral of Archive Services member of staff: Michael Bolik



1. NHS Tayside Records

The NHS Tayside Records (THB) have had to be temporarily relocated to allow maintenance work to be carried out in the archive repository. The move was coordinated by Jennifer, who has, with great efficiency, organised the packing, moving and reshelving of thousands of records in this collection, with assistance from other staff members and several of our volunteers. The records are still accessible to researchers, but until the work is completed advance notice is required, by email archives@dundee.ac.uk or telephone (01382 384095) before visiting the archives.



2. D'Arcy Thompson Art Exhibitions

Museum Services is currently showing the latest exhibitions tying into our Art Fund project to build a collection of art inspired by D'Arcy Thompson. Two shows in the Tower Building feature the work of four contemporary artists from London, Falmouth and Dundee. At the same time we have an exhibition in St Andrews of work acquired with the Art Fund grant so far, and as this has created some empty space in the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum, we have invited the Master of Fine Art students from DJCAD to create a site-specific installation show in the museum. Details of all these exhibitions can be found at http://www.dundee.ac.uk/museum/exhibitions/zoology/ Meanwhile we are also assisting with plans to turn the former Mickey Coyle's into a new themed bar called the D'Arcy Thompson - conveniently this will be the closest bar to the museum!



3. Great War Dundee

Matthew and Caroline are playing an active role in the city-wide Great War Dundee initiative, which aims to bring together all of Dundee's cultural organisations to commemorate the centenary of the First World War through a wide range of public activities. An HLF application is being prepared and our joint collaborative approach has been commended by the Imperial War Museum, who are using Dundee as a model of what can be achieved by a single city.



4. RCAHMS Skills for the Future Trainees

Caroline attended a presentation at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) by HLF funded Skills for the Future Trainees. Archive Services and CAIS have been involved in the year-long training programme: the archives hosted a two week placement for one of the trainees and all trainees completed modules with CAIS on Archive Management and Education and Outreach. We wish them all luck in their future careers.



5. History of the Book Class

Archive Services was visited by the level 4 History of the Book class run jointly by English and History. The class gives students a chance to see our famed Fifteenth Century illuminated 'Book of Hours'. The 'Book of Hours', also called a 'Missal', was written for use in the Diocese of Tournai in about 1450 and is part of the Brechin Diocesan Collection. The students have also taken the oppertunity to research the history of the Brechin Episcopal Church library for information about the provenance of the books that they are studying. It is an excellent example of the relationship between the University special collections and the manuscript collections held by Archive Services.



6. Oil Painting Catalogue

A significant achievement for Museum Services and the city as a whole was the publication in December of the Public Catalogue Foundation's fully illustrated catalogue of all oil paintings in public ownership in Dundee. The collections of Dundee City Council and the University of Dundee form the largest part of the catalogue but it also includes Dundee Heritage Trust, NHS Tayside, the University of Abertay and other smaller collections. The catalogue, which should greatly increase access to the city's art collections, is now on sale via the University's online shop, and all profits go directly towards conservation and development of our art collections.



7. The Tree of Liberty

Matthew is helping Interior & Environmental Design students with a project to plant a new Tree of Liberty. The original tree was planted in 1793 and eventually cut down in 1930 due to road widening. A new version was planted in 1986 near the original site (which by then had an art college next to it) but it failed to thrive and was removed last year when the new entrance for the Matthew Building was created. The students have been researching the history of the tree and will design a garden area outside DJCAD in which the new tree will be planted.



8. Archives in the News

On 16th January The Evening Telegraph and Post carried an feature, written by Kenneth, on the Dundee Textile Barons Sir William Ogilvy Dalgleish and Edward Cox who died in 1913. Archive Services hold a wide range of records relating to both and the article was primarily based on material we hold. Kenneth was interviewed for the feature and provided more detail on the lives of these two important figures from Dundee's past. Later that week the Archives had a visit from Scotland on Sunday reporters who were researching the Timex strike in Dundee which took place in 1993. We have a collection of material put together by George Mason who was involved in the strike and who now works at the University. The journalists spent some time talking to George and looking at the archives in preparation for the piece which appeared in the paper on 20th January.



9. Readers and Enquiries

January proved to be a busy start to the year with a total of 43 reader visits and a high number of enquiries from members of the public . Readers and enquiries were interested in a diverse range of topics including house history, genealogy, the textile industry (in both Dundee and India), medical records and the history of the University. The early signs are that February will be an even busier month, with the first few days of the month experiencing a packed Searchroom.



10. CAIS News

CAIS has been very busy in January with preparations for the new semester. CAIS has a new tutor, who wrote and will teach Military Archives. Several modules have also been revised and updated. CAIS staff also attended Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2013 in Olympia, London, from 22 to 24 February. CAIS were delighted to meet a wide range of people interested in their courses, including CAIS students who attended the event.



11. The Scottish Higher Education Information Practitioners Group (SHEIP)

The Scottish Higher Education Information Practitioners Group (SHEIP) is a group that meets regularly to discuss information compliance issues facing the HE sector in Scotland. Recent work has included updating sectoral guidance on the implementation of publication schemes under the FoI (Scotland) Act. We're pleased to note that Alan was elected recently as the new Chair of SHEIP.



12. Death of Professor Caird

We were saddened to learn of the recent death of Professor James B. Caird, whose papers are held by Archive Services (UR-SF 40). Professor Caird was born in Perth and in 1975 was appointed to the Chair of Geography at the University of Dundee, a post he held until his retirement in 1993. He is perhaps best known for his major survey into crofting on the Western Isles, carried out in the 1950s and 1960s. The extensive research notes he made when working on this landmark project are now held by Archive Services and are open for readers to consult.



13. Records Management Unit Update

Things are as busy as ever in the University Records Management Unit (RMU). A shred at the RM outstore at Claverhouse Industrial Estate, dispatched 120 boxes of Finance files. Since the start of the year RMU has already received 128 boxes of records. These include more than 80 boxes from the Procurement Office following there move from Caird House into a room on the third floor of the Tower Building. There are also more student files from Duncan of Jordanstone and Life Sciences, as well as a consignment from Accounts Payable.



14. Records Management Requests

As well as the new consignments received by RMU the level of requested documents by a range of departments remains high. A higher than usual numbers of student files and HR files have being requested, together with two very large audits for Research Finance. One of these, for Cancer Research UK was for nearly 150 documents, required documents from six years to be identified by Mhairi.



15. Retiral of Archive Services member of staff: Michael Bolik

Michael Bolik retired recently from the University after over 25 years' service in the University Archives. Michael s contribution to the development of the department was great; he was involved in the early accessions and cataloguing of the main jute collections, with former University Archivist, Joan Auld, and had developed a comprehensive knowledge of the archival collections. He was one of the first CAIS MLitt graduates and was responsible for the department's electronic and digital management systems. Michael is greatly missed by all his former colleagues and we wish him the very best in the future.

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