Our online School Record Catalogues have been updated to include the schools that begin with G, H and I. Please have a look and remember that we will be adding the rest of the catalogues over the coming months.
Ayrshire schools beginning with D are now available on our School Records Page. We are gradually making schools lists available online, so keep an eye out for when we add more.
The catalogue for the Burgh of Prestwick is now available online. This is the first Burgh catalogue to be made available online by Ayrshire Archives and has been extensively restructured and extended by the Archives team. This has enabled us to provide access to 1832 items that were previously unavailable to the general public. Prestwick is one of the earliest Burghs of Barony dating from at least 1174 but potentially as early as 983. The oldest document we have in this collection dates from 1446 (BP1/1/1) which is a notarial instrument regarding royal letters to Sir John Walas of Cragyne discussing the wrongful occupation of the Burgh’s common and property. The collection covers 1446 to 1975 when the Police Burgh was abolished under the terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and became part of Kyle and Carrick District and Ayr Sub-region of Strathclyde.
This collection contains a range of document types including official minutes of the Town Council, legal documents, accounts and correspondence. These give an overview of how Prestwick Burgh operated and what problems were faced. BP/4, Town Council Correspondence, is full of interesting cases that show the range of people’s experiences. The theft of vegetables is a recurring theme! BP/4/13/142 details the case of Agnes Lymbarer and Mr and Mrs Mathieson who were accused of stealing cabbages and green kale plants from John Smith and selling them in Ayr. Disputes could escalate into violence and intimidation, with many depositions and witness statements recorded in BP/4. BP/4/5/58 contains a deposition of two weavers who challenged each other to a ‘duell’ on the shore after the manhood of one was questioned by the other. BP4/5/181 documents the complaint by George Miller that he had been threatened by James Nesbit, after Miller refused to play his fyfe. This led to an effigy of Miller being made and burnt. The accounts and receipts give insight into the everyday life of those in Prestwick, including multiple receipts for food and drink consumed by the Freemen and regular accounts from John Dodd and his son, Adam, for catching moles.
As part of my position as graduate trainee I have the opportunity to visit other archive services. On Monday 27 February the assistant archivist and I visited the University of Glasgow Archives situated on Thurso Street. This is the repository for the official records of the University of Glasgow as well as the Scottish Business Archive, which contains collections of important Scottish businesses such as House of Fraser and Stoddard-Templeton. We were given a tour of the archive centre including the search room, offices and stores. The duty archivist provided a very thorough and interesting tour which provided us with the knowledge and understanding of how a higher education archive is run and how that differs to working with in a local authority context.
The afternoon consisted of an event on digital preservation run jointly by the Digital Preservation Coalition and the University of Glasgow. This enabled multiple organisations to get together to discuss how they are dealing with digital preservation as well as what the future of digital preservation is. The programme included talks from JISC, BBC Scotland and Glasgow School of Art. This allowed us to see how other companies and archives were using technology in order to provide access as well as preserve digital archives. This is an increasingly important topic as archives will increasingly be ‘born digital’ and the digitalisation of paper archives is being used in order to prevent damage to fragile or important documents. These reasons mean that digital records will be increasing and we have to understand how this will impact the way we look at the storage of archives.