Wednesday, 1 October 2014

We've moved!

We're suspending the use of this blog and moving our activities over to the news section of our (relatively) new website - We're leaving this site up as there are lots of interesting stories and items about our collections here, but please use the link above if you want to keep up with us from now on. As always, we'd love to hear your feedback on what we're doing so if you've any questions about us or our collections, please just drop us a line.

With best wishes from everyone in ARMMS and CAIS.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Memories, identities and communities - conference tweets

Our conference last week went incredibly well with a combination of fantastic papers and spirited discussion. Thanks to everyone who attended. We'll post more in due course, but here are the conference tweets to give you a flavour of the event:

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Murthly Hospital 150 years old today.

Murthly Hospital (also know as the Perth District Asylum) was opened to patients on this day 150 years ago. The Asylum, which cost £30,000, was built to cater for 'lunatic paupers' and was Scotland's second district asylum. It was built following the 1857 Lunacy (Scotland) Act which ​had created district boards that could establish publicly funded asylums to provide care for people who could not afford the high fees​ charged by private asylums. Out of town locations were common for asylums at the time as it was believed that separation from the possible causes of anxiety, and fresh air, might help patients recover. Murthly, however, was fairly remote (see its position here), but access was made easier by the fact that the Highland Railway ran nearby. In 1894 the hospital built villas within its grounds as part of a pioneering attempt to provide accommodation for patients based on the colony or village system​.

 The hospital closed completely in 1984 and has now been demolished. Archive Services hold its records (THB 30) as part of the NHS Tayside Archive. These include patient records dating back to its opening, records relating to staff and various reports. The records are available for consultation, although all clinical records are subject to a 100 year closure period. For more information contact or visit

Friday, 7 March 2014

Are you ready?

We thought this was interesting so we’re cross-posting it from Alan’s personal blog.

socially awkward

One of the headings on the front cover of the latest issue of ARC, the magazine of the Archives and Records Association, asks ‘Are you ready for Skype…?’. I found that frustrating, as did some of my colleagues.

Asking that in 2014 makes recordkeeping (and recordkeepers) look out of touch and disengaged. The lazy metaphors - dust, parchment, basements, cardigans etc - are hard enough to shake without the magazines of our professional bodies reinforcing them, however inadvertently. ARC should be a tool for advocacy as well as a way of keeping up with news and other developments across the profession.

Social media isn't the coming thing. We've had fifteen years of blogging. Twitter has been around since 2006. Facebook moved off university and high school campuses and opened up to everyone in that year too. Kate Theimer and Steve Bailey began writing about Archives 2.0 and Records Management 2.0 in 2007.

Skype launched in 2003.

Surely we've moved beyond asking people whether 'they're ready'? Platforms change. The desire of people to create and communicate doesn't. If you have the means to get online, the use of this technology isn't exceptional. It's ordinary. It's routine. It's normal.

I'm not downplaying the challenge of social media. The difficulty of securing organisational and personal memories in such volatile environments is clear. But so is the relevance of recordkeeping principles to that process. Isn’t that the message we want to communicate?