Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Public Records (Scotland) Bill

Live streaming now from Holyrood of the first panel session for the Public Records (Scotland) Bill. Today the panel is hearing from the Keeper of the Records of Scotland and members of the Public Records Bill Team who are giving evidence. View the session here.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Follow an archive day

Friday 12th November is follow an archive day on twitter so what to do about it?

As ever ArchivesNext has it all covered here along with some interesting information about how successful it was for libraries last year. Make sure if you are on twitter and you're going to tweet about archives to use the #followanarchive hashtag

Check out the followanarchive list for new archives to follow and take a look at the promo videos for the day on youtube.

This slideshow is a great guide for getting started on twitter ahead of the day:

I'm definitely more of a listener than a tweeter on twitter but it is very useful for finding out about what different archives are doing and keeping up to date with things. My top 5 recommendations are:

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Round up

I've been a bit busy planning a wedding to post here at all really, but this week I spotted lots of good stuff so thought a quick round up would be appropriate.

A report from NARA on the federal use of Web 2.0.

A global study into online behaviour from Digital Life.

Lots of new UK archive blogs
The 2010 state of the blogosphere report is due out on the 3 November here so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Some crowdsourcing from old weather which is a JISC project that is asking members of the public to help transcribe information from Royal Navy logbooks. This will make information about past climate and historical events widely accessible.

Do we need index names terms? A discussion from archiveshub.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Behind the scenes at the University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow Archive Services have put together this great video about their collections. It includes information about their collections and shows lots of footage of their 3 miles of shelving and storage facilities.

Friday, 3 September 2010

SOA conference

The SOA conference has been happening all this week, I really wanted to go and hear Paul Sillitoe talk about his work with technical records but couldn't make it.

If you also couldn't make it then you can check the programme here to see what you missed and keep track on twitter via the #soa tag for what's happening.

Sarah Wickham has also been blogging about it here.

Guest post

Another guest post for the UKLON Digital Curation blog, this time on how to make time to do web 2.0 in your working day.

Read it here.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Guest post

I'm guest posting today over at the UKLON Cultural Heritage blog about the benefits of using web 2.0 in your archive.

Read it here.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Old skool storage

Not really web 2.0 but there are some great pictures on the Guardian today of the storage facilities at DeepStore in a former salt mine in Winsford.

The site is a 200 million cubic metre underground salt mine which holds 30km worth of records for the National Archives. You can read a short case study about their work with TNA here.

(Thanks to Gary Collins for the link to this on the listserve.)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Personal archiving

The Library of Congress has produced a series of guidance on preserving personal collections of digital material like photographs, videos, emails, documents and websites.

The guidance comes in a pdf version which can also be viewed as individual web pages for each topic with some of them having podcasts as well as part of the 'conversations about digital preservation' series.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Winners of 2010 Best Archives on the Web

ArchivesNext has announced the winners of the 2010 best archives on the web awards here. The three categories were:

  • Best re-purposing of descriptive data
  • Best use of crowdsourcing for description
  • Most innovative archives on the Web
Go check it out to see who won what?

Friday, 30 July 2010

UK legislation online

New from the Ministry of Justice and the TNA a website that "brings together every single piece of UK legislation from the magna carta to the present day".

The site is called and its a great resource, very easy to navigate around and identify what changes have been made to legislation. Because it goes back to the 13th century it also makes if very easy to view historical Acts of Parliament, for example the Act of Union in 1707, the Libraries Offences Act 1898 and the Public Records (Scotland) Act 1809

According to the press release the site now contains 6.5 million pdf documents and will be updated every day at 2.30 pm with the latest changes to legislation. And you can hear Lord McNally (Minister of State for the MofJ) talking about it on the BBC here.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

London Lives

Is a project that has been funded by the ESRC, and implemented by the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield and the Higher Education Digitisation Service at the University of Hertfordshire.

The London Lives website has brought together 240,000 manuscripts from 14 archives giving access to 3.35 million names. It provides access to documents from parish registers, criminal records, coroners' records and hospital records. There are also plans for a wiki to be launched in the future.

If you register with the site it allows you to save documents in your own personal workspace. The site has a lives page that contains information about individuals, some with some brilliant names like Repentance Hedges and Quilt Arnold.

There was a good write up about it in the guardian if you want to know more.

Friday, 9 July 2010

NARA gets a wiki

The National Archives in American have launched their own wiki called Our Archives

From their press release the wiki:

“Our Archives” provides a collaborative space for members of the public, researchers, and staff to share knowledge about National Archives records, resources and research. The wiki is an opportunity for researchers, historians, archivists, and citizen archivists to work together to create pages on specific records or topics as well as to share information and resources to connect with other researchers.

Users may participate in the wiki in the following ways:

  • Create new pages and edit pre-existing pages about historical subjects and records held by the National Archives;
  • Expand upon a description in the National Archives online catalog;
  • Publish a transcription of a document;
  • Add information to build upon other resources;
  • Collaborate with other users working on similar subjects or to work together on research projects;
  • Join in the discussions for various pages

Friday, 2 July 2010

Is there an app for that?

While I don't personally have an iphone, (I went android instead) there loads of fun apps for the iphone from archives and museums. There a list of apps here but these are some of my favourites:

The John Murray Archive app (for iphone) from the NLS

This app gives you information about the 7 generations of the publishing dynasty and "includes audio-visual introductions, zoomable images, audio descriptions and collection galleries so you can discover and enjoy just some of the hundreds of thousands of items in this unique collection."

This isn't publicly available yet but the idea is to allow users to view historical maps of their real-time location on their smartphone.

**Update** This is now available for public download and its free through the itunes store.

TNA app (for iphone)
This app from the national archives gives users a selection of images from the archives with the option to order prints of them as well as some background information and historical context.

Monday, 28 June 2010

UKOLN guest post

I've a guest post all about this blog and archives 2.0 over on the UKOLN Cultural Heritage blog today.

So head over there to read it.

Incidentally, I've written about UKOLN before here and the excellent range of briefing documents they have on all things web 2.0 here.

Friday, 25 June 2010


Historypin is a project launched this month by we are what we do and google that "aims to get people from different generations to spend more time together."

It allows you to view photographs of a street scene using google maps technology. Try it out here.

So far images have been uploaded by individuals as well as archives and other organisations like Marks & Spencer, Biggleswade History Society and Arsenal football club. As an archive you can arrange to do a bulk upload of your pictures to the site.

This video from the Historypin youtube channel gives a fuller overview:

Monday, 21 June 2010

TNA does it again

The National Archives (TNA) have consistently been a leading user and developer of web 2.0 technologies, and with their latest venture they are pushing ahead again. They have created the National Archives Labs which is a section of their website "where you are invited to test prototypes, provide feedback and help us to develop further our ideas for exciting online resources."

At the moment they have the following tools in development

Valuation Office Map Finder - you can identify and order maps of England and Wales from 1910 to 1915.
Person Search - allows you to search across a number of their name rich databases at once.
UK History Photo Finder - allows you to search and view digitised photographs of the UK and Ireland.

I think the number of comments they have already received for these tools shows what a strong user base they have and how well it works to open up the floor to your users and ask them what they think. Big thumbs up to TNA!

Twitter for archivists

Catching up with myself a bit and I decided I should include something on how to use twitter in an archive, particularly as I've a new favourite tweeter - Orkney Library.

So what can you use twitter for in your archive? This great presentation by Lisa Grimm on slide share goes through the options:

Examples of twitter use that I'm liking are using it to 'tweet' original content like George Orwell's diaries, the UK War Cabinet's papers. Repositories using it to share news and information like Strathclyde Archive, West Yorkshire Archive and the National Archives. And Wiltshire Archive and their document delivery tweeting.

You can find me @kkingaling but I rarely post and even less rarely anything to do with archives. If I do I'll be sure to use the #archives tag.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Internet for Archives

A new and brilliant resource for finding out about archives has been produced by Lisa Jenkins of the Archives Hub. It takes the form of an online tutorial and goes through all the different resources there are for finding out information about archives and online catalogues on the Internet.

The tutorial was produced as part of the Virtual Training Suite to teach Internet research skills to students and researchers and help them find archive materials and information online.

"The tutorial has four main sections:

  • Tour – focuses on the academic information landscape on the Internet and aims to create a mental map for students of the key scholarly sources for their subject.
  • Discover – offers updated guidance on how to find scholarly information online; choosing the right search tool and looks at the importance of developing a search strategy.
  • Judge – discusses how critical thinking can improve the quality of online research and provides guidance on how to judge which Internet resources are appropriate for University work.
  • Success – provides practical examples of students using the Internet for research – successfully and unsuccessfully, so that students can learn from the mistakes of others, as well as by example."
This is exactly the kind of resource that I would have killed for as a baby archivist when I knew or hoped there must be information out there but didn't know where it all was.

Its an excellent resource to be able to point researchers towards as it explains all the different catalogues and portals that are available and what they should be used for. It also rather helpfully goes through an example catalogue result to explain what the different information fields are telling you and the different archival terms.

So, check it out and tell all your friends!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Virtual tour of 150 year old archive repository

The Parliamentary Archives have recently unveiled their virtual tour of the Victoria Tower which was built in 1860 as a state of the art facility to house the parliamentary archives.

The video can be viewed here and takes you through the archive storeroom and the original Act room, with information points about certain documents.

Also check out their introductory video to the archives on youtube

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Preserving 19th Century Newspapers

An interesting video from the people at Planets about the British Library project to digitise their 19th Century newpaper collection.  "The film is the first of four Planets case studies showing how national libraries and archives in Europe are using Planets tools to preserve large and valuable digital collections."

The video is also available on the Digital Preservation Europe youtube channel.

Friday, 9 April 2010

TNA joins Flickr commons

On 24th March, the National Archives joined the Flickr Commons group.  There's a post about it on the Flickr blog but really just go and check out their photostream as they've got some great stuff including Jane Austen's will from 1817!!!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Vatican archives online

The Vatican has put some of its documents covering a 142 year period online here.  The documents can be viewed with a very good zooming system and include lots of interesting things like the proceedings of the trial against Galileo Galilei and background information about the particular document here is the Galileo trial info.

Their site has other cool features like a virtual tour of their rooms.

Collector in chief

From ArchivesNext, the Archivist of the United States has a blog.  Trying to work out if collector in chief or keeper of the records of Scotland is a cooler title.  I think the 'keeper' has it as that's his real job title and I can't find anything that say that the 'collector' is official.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Blog love - letters of note

In an attempt to give this blog some love, I'm going to start sharing some of the cool archive related blogs that I've got bookmarked each week.

This week its Letters of Note, a lovely blog that provides images of original letters along with their transcripts for those letters that the editor Shaun Usher believes deserves a wider audience.  More information about the blog and the idea behind it is available here and here.

So if you're an archivist with a letter, telegram, note or postcard that you'd like to share get in touch as the site welcomes submissions.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Interesting article from the Guardian here about the History of Advertising Trust's project to create a Ghostsign Archive.  This aims to collect image to create "a permanent photographic record of advertising painted directly onto brickwork within the UK."

There seems to have already been in existence a Ghostsigns project that set up a Flickr group called ghostsigns to collect images.  This group has nearly 4,000 images at the moment and 415 members which is pretty impressive.

More information about the whole thing is available from their blog and on their website.

Its got me thinking about the ghostsigns I pass every day.

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