Graduate Trainee trip to University of Glasgow


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.


Monumental Inscriptions

A list detailing the Monumental Inscriptions booklets held at Ayrshire Archives is now available on our Resources page. These have been produced by local family history societies and contain details of headstones in cemeteries in the local area. These can be used in order to identify where your ancestor was buried. Please check back as we will be adding more helpful resources to this page.

Snapshot of the Archives: Valentine’s Day

Today for our mini exhibition we have chosen to display the marriage contract of Abe Shockley, one of Cromwell’s soldiers and Margaret Campbell who got married in 1657. This details the financial agreement between the two families which occurred before the marriage.

Please see below for some of our other collections which offer insight into marriage and love throughout the ages.


ATD59a/63.  The above is a pre-nuptial contract of marriage between Susanna Kennedy, daughter and heir of Alexander Kennedy, and Robert Mure of Cloncaird which was signed in Ayr on 18 November 1604. Marriage contracts were important for heiresses as their inheritance transferred to their husband on marriage


ATD144/1/2. This is an extract of the register of marriages of the Parish of Kilmarnock. This page details some of those that took place in 1862 – 63. The registration of marriages was introduced in Scotland in 1855, nearly 20 years after they were introduced in England and Wales


ATD28/3/31. The above is a marriage certificate between William Fairlie and Florence Osborne who married on 1 July 1879. Marriage certificates were introduced in Scotland in 1855,  nearly twenty years after they were introduced in England and Wales.



AA/DC/197/5. Golden Wedding Flyer of Mr and Mrs Pollock. These flyers were very popular when celebrating milestones like fifty years of marriage




The above is an extract from Ayr Burgh Minutes on 4 December 1963. It details the finding of the Finance Committee regarding married women. How times have changed!

Graduate Trainee trip to Edinburgh


As part of my role as graduate trainee at Ayrshire Archives I have been given the opportunity to experience other archives as well as attending courses and conferences. Last Tuesday the assistant archivist and I went to Edinburgh to attend a workshop on writing a disaster plan at the National Records of Scotland


This workshop was run by the Scottish Council of Archives to enable archivists to be fully prepared if a disaster should happen. As the graduate trainee, this provided valuable insight into how an archive building is managed as well as the preparation that is necessary to ensure that valuable records are protected as much as possible. It emphasised the different roles people played if anything were to happen – including the importance of a cup of tea! We were also able to get a brief look at the inside of the NRS building when we were guided to the conference room, we passed through the legal library which was truly impressive.


After the workshop was over we were able to go to the National Library of Scotland in order to view the exhibition, ‘A journey through maps.’ The exhibition contained a range of maps from the modern day to those where Scotland was barely recognisable from what we understand today. This was extremely interesting as we hold a significant collection of  maps and plans at Ayrshire Archives.


Burns Day

Today at Ayrshire Archives we are celebrating the life of Robert Burns who was born on this day in 1759 in Alloway.  Burns has had an extraordinary impact on the cultural heritage of Scotland and this is celebrated by feasts throughout Scotland and the world today. Below is a small snapshot of some of the records held by Ayrshire Archives that relate to Robert Burns.


AA/DC/16/4/2/17/3 – Burns’ Cottage (no date)




AA/DC/143/2/2/1 – Black and white postcard of Burns Cottage, Alloway, Ayr (c 1930)




AA/DC/146/1/2 – Burns’ Cottage and Museum, Ayr (no date)




AA/DC/146/1/5 – Burns’ statue, Ayr (no date)




AA/DC/146/1/7 – Tam O’Shanter Inn, Ayr (no date)




AA/DC/146/1/9 – Robert Burns (1878)




AA/DC/146/1/13 – Tam O’Shanter and Souter Johnny (1878)