Over the course of 2011 LHSA started to work more closely with the Scottish Council on Archives (SCA). The SCA is funded by the Scottish Government to support and promote archive and records management services across Scotland, and we've been involved in a couple of their initiatives so far.
Last year we took part in the pilot process to develop a scheme through which archives could evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses in a number of key areas. This was a lot of work for our team but it is hoped that this new framework will help archive and record management services meet the challenges we all face and be a useful tool to implement the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011.
On a much lighter note, we also provided the SCA with recipes from our collection for their Edible Archive. And thanks to the SCA staff we got to sample the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh's recipe for invalid fruit tart dating from the 1950s!
This year we've started to contribute to a new piece of work via our links with the SCA: a UK-wide archive accreditation scheme. The expectation is that accreditation for archives will work in much the same way as it has for museums: increasing the sector's strength and helping with planning, improving and financing services.
Today Ruth went to the first of four workshops held across Scotland, England and Wales where members of the archive sector can help shape the accreditation scheme and comment on the standards that archive services will be assessed against. There will then be a period of wider consultation using an online forum.
Participants came from all over Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as from The National Archives, to take part in the session held at the National Records of Scotland. The workshop was led by a private archive consultant who has been developing the scheme for the last two years. The scheme and the work so far was introduced and then there was plenty of time for us to look at what was being proposed and make suggestions to ensure that the scheme suits all areas of the archive sector. It looks very promising so far!
For more information on the scheme, including the high profile organisations that are leading on its creation, please see the SCA website.