Tuesday, 4 August 2009

National Archives of Scotland

*photo courtesy of http://www.nas.gov.uk/

The National Archives strives to preserve, protect, promote and provide access to their collection. It is housed in three buildings with 160 staff members and eight websites. There are two divisions; Record Services and Corporate Services. Record Services deals with collection development, cataloging and sorting, while the corporate division is more for administration, reader services and conservation. Similar to most libraries or archives, there is an issue with space and receiving incoming items.

According to their website, "each year the NAS staff deal with about 12,000 visits to its search rooms and provides visitors with access to around 250,000 records. It makes around 750,000 copies from legal and historical records, provides customers with around 5,000 extracts from legal registers, and answers around 9,000 postal and e-mail enquiries".

We had the amazing opportunity to view some very interesting records. What was so special about this visit was that we were able to put on the white gloves and actually flip through the pages of some records. Most of the items we have seen have been either behind glass or in plastic, so this was very exciting! Some of the things that stood out for me were extensive records from a suffragette who refused to eat while in jail and the court minutes for Burke and Hare- convicted resurectionists.

The tour and presentation was very informative and professional. I was a bit surprised to see how many patrons were utilizing the libraries services, but I guess I shouldn't be if the the statistics above are correct! This is a popular place for locals and tourists alike!

Visit them online at http://www.nas.gov.uk/ don't forget about all of their other sites, too!

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