My background is in paper conservation, so I can relate to preserving the past as well as looking after the present and future records for the next generation. After working in Australia and London, I came to Edinburgh to do a one year internship and ended up staying for 25 years.
Today I work as the community engagement officer for the Scottish Council on Archives (SCA). We’re a small team, mainly supporting archives and record managers across Scotland. Community archives is a relatively new role at SCA and is something that is part of a much bigger picture that helps us understand ourselves and where we live. Sometimes when you talk about archives people think it’s dusty old documents, but it’s actually lots of different things that are very important for communities including oral history and Gaelic culture, digital records, sound and film archives. If voluntary groups don’t look after them, then they are lost forever.
A community archive and heritage group could be interested in religion, politics, sporting history or LGBTQ+ and we want to encourage groups in Scotland to do more through learning from one another. I want to help stop groups from disappearing and archives from being lost and in that sense, providing professional support and encouraging archives to share case studies is important. This is why we have created the CAHG Scotland Network. We have a committee made up of heritage professionals and volunteers from across Scotland and welcome everyone; we are delighted to have people from all over the world attend our online events. More details of our events and training programmes are available through this website and the newsletter, www.scottisharchives.org.uk, @CArchivesScot or feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org