Glennie celebrates International Women’s Day

Hello, Glennie L Amp here!



Today at Ayrshire Archives we are celebrating International Women’s Day. This is an opportunity to commemorate the achievements of women all over the world as people continue to campaign for female rights and gender equality. By looking at archives, we can see how the everyday lives of women have changed throughout the years and the economic, political and social progress they have made. Staff have recently been working on some of the catalogues and found an interesting careers booklet by the Central Youth Employment Executive called ‘Engineering Work for Girls.’ It dates from 1958 and I think it highlights some pretty big differences in the attitudes towards women and their capabilities sixty years ago!



Let’s take a look at what engineering employment was like for girls in 1958 then….


AA/DC/47/13 page 2


Attitudes towards women’s skills changed throughout the wars, however it was still believed that they were only suited to certain tasks such as “light and delicate work for which deft fingers are needed.”


AA/DC/47/13 page 5

As a result it could be said that their physical abilities of women were often undermined when it came to employment.


AA/DC/47/13 page 8

During this time it was often thought that women had qualities of “patience and reliability,” – more of this than men.


AA/DC/47/13 page 13

The booklet also discusses the limited chances of females furthering their careers in engineering through craftsmen apprenticeships.


What an interesting snapshot into the employment of young women in engineering in 1958! I think it’s quite fitting on International Women’s Day to gain an understanding into the difficulties women have faced with regards to gender inequality over the years. Within this collection we also hold other career booklets on different occupations from the time. The online catalogue for AA/DC/47 will be uploaded onto the website soon so keep an eye out!







Moving Image Archive



Ayrshire Archives staff recently made a fact finding trip to the Moving Image Archive at the National Library of Scotland, Kelvinhall, Glasgow. We received a tour which gave a great insight into the specialized archive’s collections of Scottish film. The variety of formats these are composed of include reels, tapes and DVDs which also reflect the changes in technology and filming over the past 100 years. The tour allowed us to learn more about preservation and requirements for storing the material. The repository uses specialist equipment for cleaning, restoring, film grading and various other processes required before the archive is catalogued and becomes accessible to the public.


The Moving Image Archive also provides online access to records from your home as over 2,000 films are available to view via the online catalogue. The films originate from various areas of Scottish history including wartime, education, industry, theatre and many more. However the archive holds written records too which include photographs, press-cuttings, cinema programmes, papers of film societies and film production companies to name a few. An array of eye catching posters relating to cinema and film are on display throughout the building for researchers to marvel at.


NLS exhibition on film going


NLS exhibition on film going


The ways in which films and other forms of archives differ in the way they are accessed, was reflected in the searchroom. Computers are available to access the film collections while the written records can be viewed in a separate viewing room. A drop-in service is offered and there are interactive screens to quickly and easily view the archive’s most popular films – the Ayrshire Archive staff particularly enjoyed this. As the Kelvinhall is a multi-purpose building containing a gym and sports facilities, many of the archive films are even available to view via an app while exercising in the gym!


We would like to thank staff at the Moving Image Archive for providing a great tour and insight into film archives!

SCA Event – Towards a Shared Collecting Policy


Courtesy of the Scottish Council on Archives

Staff from Ayrshire Archives recently attended a training workshop ‘Towards a Shared Collecting Policy’ organised by the Scottish Council on Archives. Held at the Mitchell Library, it involved a series of enlightening talks by speakers from various organisations including the National Register of Archives for Scotland, the National Archives, and the National Records of Scotland. This provided a good insight into the history and theory of collecting records and how it has evolved on a local and national level. The ways in which this has been affected by historic events such as war and industrial decline was highlighted too. As a result we discussed how collections are multi-layered and relate to a variety of themes interconnecting them with other archives.

Another feature of the day involved archivists sharing their experiences in relation to particular challenges they have faced within the context of repositories. Models for collections mapping was discussed and the archivist of the Hebridean Archives provided an interesting account into the challenges and rewards of devising a collecting policy. Additionally, the Moving Image and Sound Collections Manager of the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive discussed specialist collecting as the only archive service in Scotland to conserve and preserve films. This part of the workshop highlighted various contributing factors of what makes a repository unique and different methods of how collecting policy could be approached in archives.

The day proved to be extremely valuable in relation to the information and experiences shared. We would like to thank the Scottish Council on Archives for organizing the event!


Glennie at Ayrshire Archives for Valentines Day

Hello, it’s Glennie L. Amp!

This week while browsing the Ayrshire Archives website, I noticed that some online catalogues had been added very recently. Some of the records peaked my interest so I booked an appointment to come and view them in the searchroom. As it is Valentines day I requested images of Ayrshire from the J. Valentine image collection and some postcards produced by Valentines and Hendersons – quite fitting! On arrival I was asked to complete a registration form. I also had a read of their searchroom regulations – I was on my best behaviour this time! There is no food or drink of any kind allowed so I put my fizzy juice in my bag and placed it in the lockers provided. There are book rests available to use so researchers don’t lean or make any marks on the volumes, and we need to be careful we don’t disturb the arrangement of any loose documents. It was pencil only if I want to take any notes, so I got sharpening!

Once settled in I had a look at the images I had requested. I was particularly interested in viewing older photographs of Ayr and they transported me back to a day trip I took there once many years ago…


Print showing Burns’ Statue, Ayr.
38059 J Valentine. AA/DC/146/1/5

It was a hot summers day when I arrived at Ayr train station with the intention of going to the beach, I gave a nod to Robert on my way past Burns Statue Square!


Print showing High Street and Wallace Tower, Ayr.
37242 J Valentine. AA/DC/146/1/10

I was able to admire Wallace Tower as I walked down Ayr High Street….


Print showing Burns’ Monument, Ayr.
38062 J Valentine. AA/DC/146/1

Then I walked through Wellington Square gardens to get closer to the beach…


View of the sands, Ayr addressed to Miss J
McDowall from Grace. AA/DC/303/4

But the beach was far too busy for a small lamp like me! Nearby I spotted something moving into the pier…


Print showing Ayr Pier. 24564 J Valentine. AA/DC/146/1/11

A boat going to Arran! It didn’t take much to convince me to hop on…

AA_DC_208_3 Lamlash JPEG

Postcard showing Lamlash, East End from Sands.
Valentine’s “Bromotype” Series. AA/DC/203/3

I arrived at the beach in Lamlash, Arran. Nice and peaceful just how I like it – the archives held a lovely postcard which I think represents my memories of my day out and Valentines Day very well!

AA_DC_208_1 At Lamlash JPEG

Postcard of Lamlash, Arran “Mixed Bathing” By The
Seaside. Raphael Tuck & Sons “Oilette” “By The
Seaside.” AA/DC/208/1

The First Female Police Auxiliary of Ayr Burgh

Today marks the centenary of the Representation of the People’s Act, 1918 yet it also  marks a significant event in Ayrshire too. The Burgh of Ayr Minutes of Corporation and Committees show that 100 years ago on the 6th February 1918, the decision was made to appoint a female to the Ayr Burgh police force for the first time. This was the outcome of a meeting of the Works Committee at the request of the Vigilance and Rescue Society. Throughout Scotland during this time, it was believed that the appointment of a small number of policewomen would be beneficial to the police force. The female contribution to police work which was demonstrated during the First World War, primarily through rescue work and voluntary patrols helped to achieve this.

BA_18_54 COPY cut 6th feb p76

Minute of Works Committee, 6 February 1918, Burgh of Ayr Minutes of Corporation and Committees, 12 November 1917-18 November 1918 (BA/18/54)

Mrs Sutherland was subsequently appointed for the position. Although she would be supported by the “authority of the police,” she was not to be sworn in as a police constable, but recognized as an auxiliary member of the force. However during this period, female members of the police were to undertake tasks that were believed to be suited to their gender, in particular working in the interests of women and children . They were also subject to separate rules and regulations which became the Police (Women) (Scotland) Act and not the Police (Scotland) Act, 1890 which affected other employees of the police.

BA_18_55 cut p415
Minute of Finance Committee, 9 October 1919, Burgh of Ayr Minutes of Corporation and Committees, 11 November 1918-7 November 1919 (BA/18/55)

Although the appointment of Mrs Sutherland was significant as it was a paid position for a female under the Ayr Burgh police, Minutes of the Finance Committee have highlighted issues Mrs Sutherland had in relation to her income. Her story highlights the achievements and struggles women faced during the early twentieth century in the drive for equal rights.

BA_18_56 COPY

Minute of Finance Committee, 5 February 1920, Burgh of Ayr Minutes of Corporation and Committees, 10 November 1919-5 November 1920 (BA/18/56)

University of Glasgow Archive visit



For our last training visit of the year, the assistant archivist and the graduate trainee visited the Glasgow University Archive Service. A very insightful tour was given by the graduate trainee at the archive which allowed us to view some of the exhibitions, the searchroom and the wide-ranging collections held in the stores.


Exhibition on Inspiring Internationals

In addition to holding official material of the university, the repository holds a large variety of records – the oldest being the Blackhouse Charters which date from 1304. It is also home to the Scottish Business Archive, which consists of material from businesses in Scotland. This not only includes records such as those relating to Glasgow’s infamous Clyde ship building industry, but covers nearly all types of Scottish business. Many of these collections also relate to the rest of the United Kingdom such as the House of Fraser archive and the James Finlay & Co. collection.

During the tour we received the opportunity to view some of the university records. These included student matriculation records, Glasgow University calendars, prize list indexes and plans for the construction of the university buildings. Demonstration of how these can be used allowed us to understand how the university records can correspond in order to find out certain information. We also spoke to the duty archivist to find out more about their role within the service and view some of the catalogues of some of the fascinating collections which they had catalogued.

We would like to thank the staff at the University of Glasgow Archive Services for a very interesting visit!



Mini-exhibition on International Women’s Day

Lothian Health Services Archive visit

Staff from Ayrshire Archives recently made a training visit to Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA), situated in the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh. A tour was given by the archivist which gave a fantastic insight into the records and health related objects they hold. Much of the material within the LHSA has come from NHS hospitals within the Lothian region, in particular the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. However the collections are also composed of records from non-NHS agencies and personal records which have been deposited, adding depth and different contemporary aspects to the holdings.

The LHSA was awarded Accredited Archive Status in 2014 and over 3,000 shelves hold the material which makes it one of the largest health archives in Scotland. The collections are composed of a variety of records including case notes, staff records, a range of objects, films and photographs – holding approximately 40,000 images. From the tour we were able to view the LHSA stores and some material from the collections. We were also able to gain an insight into the accessibility of the records and archive service, in addition to some of the issues which the LHSA face with preservation of a large range of materials.

The LHSA is well known for the Edinburgh and Lothian HIV/AIDS Collections. These records have highlighted the growth in the levels of HIV/AIDS in Edinburgh and Lothian from 1983 to 2010 and demonstrate different responses to this increase. The eleven collections were recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) inscribed on the UK Memory of the World Register in 2011.

We would like to thank the archivist and members of staff at the LHSA for welcoming Ayrshire Archives and for a very interesting tour of the facilities!

LHSA plaque (3)

The Edinburgh and Lothian HIV/AIDS Collections, 1983-2010 recognized by UNESCO and inscribed to UK Memory of the World Register 2011 plaque.

Isabella_Lamont_1 GD1_140_3

Drawing from the scrapbook of Sister Isabella Lamont who worked at the Edinburgh War Hospital (P/PL44/P/013). Courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

LHB1_89_4_1 Chicken in Jelly

Recipe card from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh dietetic kitchen (LHB1/89/4/1). Courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

George Lumsden GD16

Patient George Lumsden drawn by artist John Myles. From GD16 Physician Superintendents of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital collection. Courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.


Staff and patients from the Edinburgh War Hospital (P/PL44/P/013). Courtesy of Lothian Health Services Archive, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.










Rozelle Remembrance Woodland

Recently at Ayrshire Archives, our Assistant Archivists and Graduate Trainee paid a visit to Rozelle Park to view the Remembrance Woodland which was created as part of South Ayrshire Council’s World War I Centenary Commemorations 2014-2018. This project was established in honour of the 100th anniversary of World War I and includes a range of sculptures and carvings which have become key features of the Remembrance Woodland. Also situated within this area is the recently laid memorial stone dedicated to Lieutenant Robert Shankland, born in Ayr. He was awarded the Victoria Cross on 26 October 1917, an event recently commemorated in Ayrshire. Take a look at our previous blog post to find out more about the Robert Shankland Memorial Stone. 

Rozelle poppy

‘Poppy Carving’ by Iain Chalmers

Rozelle soldier

‘Kilted Soldier’ by Andy Maclachlan

Rozelle standing soldier 2

‘A Tommy’ by Craig Steele

Rozelle soldier with machine gun 2

‘Gunner’ by Craig Steele

Rozelle soldier sitting on tree

‘Letter from Home’ by Peter Bowsher

Rozelle wonded soldier

‘Bereaved Soldier’ by Peter Bowsher and ‘Fallen Soldier’ by Andy Maclachlan

Rozelle statue with bird

‘Flighted’ by David Powell

Rozelle bench

Memorial bench

Rozelle info of Robert Shankland

Rozelle’s information board on Lieutenant Robert Shankland


Memorial Stone to commemorate Lieutenant Robert Shankland