For my last trip to a repository as graduate trainee we visited the Glasgow City Archives. The archives are housed in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, where they have been since the 1980s. This is an extremely worthwhile visit to make as Glasgow City Archives is one of the largest city archives in Scotland. They contain the official records of Glasgow City Council and its predecessors as well as the records of the Burghs that are now part of the city. They also hold multiple records from private companies such as the shipbuilders and the records of churches of all denominations.
The archivist provided us with a tour of the searchroom and discussed with us on how they directed customers to the information that they needed as the archives are accessed mainly through drop-ins rather than by appointment basis. This varied on what I had seen on previous visits to repositories as well as how we allow access to the archives at Ayrshire Archives. I was also able to experience how the Family History Centre was arranged at the Mitchell Library. The Family History Centre provides access to Scotland’s People online and works closely with the archives to provide a starting point for family research. The archivist had also set up a small exhibition to provide us with examples of the records they held. This included the poor relief records, Kirk Session records and private records. The exhibition included the original diaries of Thomas Cairns Livingstone, which were published in 2009 as ‘Tommy’s War.” This set of diaries highlighted the extremely personal nature of some of the archives. We are grateful for Glasgow City Archives for hosting this tour and it was an extremely worthwhile visit.