Archive Surveying and Rescue

Archive Surveying and Rescue

A major role of the Council is to undertake archives surveys of collections of records relating to business and industry in Scotland.  Since the Council's inception in 1960, hundreds of surveys have been carried out.  Organisations that have been surveyed include:

  • trade unions
  • trade associations
  • manufacturers
  • engineers
  • ship owners
  • saw millers
  • small independent traders
  • undertakers
  • drinks companies
  • prominent industrialists and businessmen.

Until 2011 this work was funded through a grant from the National Archives of Scotland and contributions from businesses and our members. From 2014 the role of the Business Archives Surveying Officer been funded by a partnership comprising of the Ballast Trust, the William Lind Foundation, University of Glasgow Archive Services, the Business Archives Council of Scotland and the Capturing the Energy project at the University of Aberdeen.

Occasionally a business will fail and its assets, including its records, will either be sold-off or will be earmarked for destruction.  The Council has a watching brief to be there to help rescue archives in such situations.  Again, since 1960s, BACS has helped to rescue a large number of archives and see them safely transferred to archive repositories where they can be accessed by the public. 

From 2009, BACS has worked with the UK wide Crisis Management Team.  This team was created as an outcome of the English and Welsh Business Archives Strategy and in 2011 the Scottish Strategy. The team was created to represent all parts of the archive sector to organise agreed responses to business archives under threat and it exists to monitor and assist in steering records at risk into suitable homes.

Details of the team members are now available on the Managing Business Archives website.  The Scottish Representatives are Chris Cassells, Business Archive Surveying Officer and Kiara King, Ballast Trust Archivist.  If you are aware of business records at risk in Scotland then please contact Chris or Kiara or on 01505 328488.