Friday 27 August 2010

New Political Collections

We are pleased to announce that The Records of the North Tayside Conservative and Unionist Association (reference MS 309) are now available for consultation. This important political collection includes various documents relating to the Conservative Party in parts of Angus and Perthshire from the 1890s until the 1990s. Among these important records are minutes of Conservative and Unionist Branches in Forfar, Blairgowrie, Pitlochry and Coupar Angus and records relating to women’s committees.

Some of the items relate to the former Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas Home (pictured above), who represented the Kinross and West Perthshire in Parliament between 1963 and 1974, including a couple of signed photographs. There is also material relating to the infamous 1938 by-election fought between the anti-appeasement-candidate Duchess of Atholl (the erstwhile Conservative member for Kinross and West Perthshire), and the Official Conservative candidate William McNair Snaddon. The collection also contains material relating to the Dundee-born Conservative MP Bill Walker (who represented North Tayside in parliament from 1983 until 1997), such as photographs of him opening the North Tayside Conservative and Unionist Association’s Office (below). Other notable figures who appear in the photographs contained in the collection include James Provan MEP, Edward Heath and Michael Heseltine.

Another political collection which has recently been listed is the South Angus Constituency Labour Party Collection (MS 312). This collection includes some copies of SALT a newsletter produced by the South Angus Labour Party in the early 1970s. The records in MS 312 were collected Michael Masterson, who was a lecturer in political science at the University of Dundee.

If you have any material relating to either of these groups or another political party in Tayside that you would like to deposit we would be very interested in hearing from you.

Kenneth Baxter

Wednesday 25 August 2010


Earlier this week Richard Lester, the director who famously directed the Beatles in the films 'A Hard Day's Night' and 'Help!', announced that he has donated his personal archive to the nation placing it in the custody of the BFI National Archive.

Lester also features in the Michael Peto Photographic Collection, held by the University of Dundee's Archive Services. Peto was a photojournalist who's unobtrusive humanist approach allowed him to secure unparalleled access to the Beatles during the filming of Help!. This picture of Lester with Paul McCartney was taken behind Twickenham Studios during the filming.

Genesis Publications produced a limited edition volume of Peto's photographs entitled 'Now These Days are Gone' in 2006 and the deluxe editions of the book were signed by Richard Lester. The University has also staged exhibitions of Peto's work in London, Liverpool, Dundee and Ireland. Galleries and other venues interesting in exhibiting Peto's photgraphs should contact Patricia Whatley, Head of Archive, Records Management and Museum Services, for information.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Another way to keep up with ARMMS and CAIS

We've started using tumblr this week as another place where you can keep up with what we're doing online. We're using that service as way to chronologically aggregate the things we post here and on our twitter feeds and the bookmarks we save via delicious. This blog and our websites are still the main focus of what we're doing online, but if you want to see things in the order that they were posted and in a single place you might like to take a look at

Monday 23 August 2010

Doors Open Day - Saturday, 18th September

On 18 September the University of Dundee Archive Services will take part in Doors Open day by giving two guided tours of the repository at 10am and 11am. Visitors will have a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes and be shown the archive storage areas. In addition a selection of interesting archival items will be on display, including a case book from a lunatic asylum, an admissions book from Dundee Royal Infirmary, a First World War prisoner-of-war journal, a scrapbook from Queen’s College Dundee, photographs of jute mills and workers and many other examples from the University’s collections that provide a glimpse into the past of Dundee and Tayside.

The number of places is limited so booking is essential. To book a place on one of the tours please phone 01382 384095 or email Please leave a contact telephone number or email address so we can let you know if there are any last minute changes to the programme.

Doors Open Days in Dundee is coordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust, with the support of the University of Dundee. The full programme for all the events taking place around Dundee is available here.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Congratulations Chris (again!)

We heard yesterday that our friend and colleague Dr Chris Prom, the Assistant University Archivist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the tutor of the CAIS Electronic Records Management course, was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists at their annual conference in Washington DC last week. We're delighted that Chris' contribution to the profession has been recognised by his national professional association. Some of Chris' achievements were detailed online earlier this year when he won another award and you can find out about Chris' research as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar whilst based with CAIS in Dundee on his Practical E-Records blog.

Monday 16 August 2010

Conference - Memory, Identity and the Archival Paradigm: an interdisciplinary approach

The programme is now available for the conference 'Memory, Identity and the Archival Paradigm: an interdisciplinary approach', to be held in Dundee Wednesday 8th - Friday 10th December 2010. The conference is supported by a Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts and Humanities research award and is the second conference within the Investigating the Archive project. The first conference, 'The Philosophy of the Archive', was held in Edinburgh in April 2008. Selected papers from that conference were published in a special issue of Archival Science, Vol 9, no 3, 2009.

The keynote speakers at the conference in December will be Terry Cook, University of Manitoba, Graham Dominy, Chief Director, National Archives of South Africa and David Lowenthal, Emeritus Professor of Geography and Honorary Research Fellow, University College London. For more information please see the conference website. The full programme is available here and details on how to register can be found on this page.

Friday 13 August 2010

Ministerial approval for D'Arcy

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Minister for Culture & External Affairs, visited Museum Services on Monday and was given a tour including the current exhibitions in the University's Tower Foyer and Lamb Galleries and the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum where she heard more about the ongoing anniversary celebrations. She was also given a preview of some of the artworks that will feature in the exhibition 'Sketching the Universe', to be launched 2 September in the University Tower Building's Lamb Gallery. The Minister is pictured here with Matthew Jarron, the Museum Curator, and Honorary Zoology Curator Cathy Caudwell.

Matthew also appeared on STV's primetime 'News at Six' programme on Tuesday to discuss D'Arcy Thompson's legacy. The programme can be viewed online here until 9 September and the item begins at 17 minutes and 52 seconds.

Friday 6 August 2010

Some more D'Arcy

The University's fortnightly staff newsletter, eContact, included this short article in its most recent edition about the ongoing events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of D'Arcy Thompson, many of which are being led by the University's Museum Services. For more information please contact Matthew Jarron, the Museum Curator.

More D’Arcy Thompson weekend celebrations next month

A second weekend of events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dundee’s pioneer of life sciences, Professor Sir D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, gets underway next month. On 2 September Professor Martin Kemp, from the University of Oxford, will give a free public lecture on the motifs influenced by Thompson's work identifiable in art, architecture and engineering since the 1930s. Entitled 'Splashing Around: Themes from D’Arcy Thompson in the Visual Arts', the lecture takes place at 5.30pm in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre in the University's Tower Building.

A new exhibition of artistic responses to D’Arcy Thompson will be opened in the Lamb Gallery of the Tower Building following Professor Kemp’s lecture. This will be accompanied by an exhibition of prints by the celebrated artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham in the Foyer Gallery.

A one-day conference exploring the contemporary legacy of D’Arcy’s work will also be held at the University on Saturday 4 September. This will include a performance by Creative Writing tutor Jim Stewart of his new poem about the great man. Attendance at the conference is free but booking is essential.

For more information please email or call 01382 384310. A full programme of events is available at

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Happy Birthday Blog!

Birthday Cake

It's our blog's first birthday today. In that time it's had two facelifts, nine different contributors, almost 6,000 visitors, over 10,000 page views and has been viewed in 86 different countries.

The highest number of visitors in a single day was 78 on 22 September 2009 (when we were posting lots of things from the CAIS Study School) and the two most popular posts were this quite recent one celebrating the 2010 Graduation ceremonies and this post which mentioned the early acting career of a future Dr Who.

We hope that you continue to enjoy what we post here. Thanks to everyone who's helped make the blog successful so far.

picture credit: Theresa Thompson

Tuesday 3 August 2010

CAIS E-Records Course

Many of you will remember that Dr Chris Prom, the Assistant University Archivist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (and the winner of a 2010 'Movers and Shakers in Archives' award), spent almost a year in Dundee with CAIS recently whilst he completed his Fulbright-sponsored research on electronic records issues.

Chris' experience and knowledge of this subject and his relationship with CAIS made him an obvious choice to succeed Mark Conrad of NARA as the tutor of our Electronic Records Management course. We're delighted that Chris will begin teaching with CAIS in September. Mark has stepped down to concentrate on some other projects, but he's been an incredibly popular and knowledgeable tutor and his insights on the e-records tsunami that all recordkeepers are facing have been highly valued by his students. Mark has our warmest thanks for all that he's contributed to CAIS during the last four years and we look forward to collaborating with him again in the future.

You can see Chris' thoughts as he prepares to take over the course on his blog. There's more information on the Electronic Records Management course, which can be taken as part of a Masters degree or for Continuing Professional Development, on our website.

Monday 2 August 2010

Slides now available - CAIS E-Records Seminar

The slides used by the speakers at the seminar 'Practical Approaches to Electronic Records: the Academy and Beyond', which was held by CAIS in Dundee in May, are now available from our website.

Those attending that day heard papers from Ian Anderson, Susanne Belovari, Peter Cliff, Viv Cothey, William Kilbride, Chris Prom and Malcolm Todd. We'd like to thank those of them that used slides for agreeing to make their presentations available online. The programme from the event can be seen here and there's a picture of our colleague Chris speaking at the event here.