Report to Heritage Lottery Fund

April 1999    

Report No 2




Issue 99/1  Contracts

The latest position is set out in the attached document, Contract Timetable Report (version 4), in Annex 1.


Issue 99/2 Request from Participant Archives on Finding Aids

This issue, raised in the last monthly report, was discussed at the evaluation meeting on 7 April.   and the advice of the HLF evaluators was strongly against the idea of paying participating archives to create their own TLFAs.   This was communicated to participating archives and resulted in correspondence from two: Dundee University and St Anbdrews University archives.  The position was explained clearly in a letter from Ishbel Barnes (copy atttached, Annex 2), but we expect that there may be further correspondence on the issue.


Issue 99/3 Cashflow

This issue, raised at the meeting with HLF evaluators on 7 April and in writing on 12 April, remains.


No other issues have been identified at this time.




Top Level Finding Aids


Team leader Alan Borthwick began full-time work on the project on 1 April, and his post was backfilled from 5 April.


He took part in the PRINCE training course on 27 and 28 April.


A meeting on finding aids for NAS staff has been arranged  for 12 May and so far 15 staff have indicated they will attend. 


Siimilar meetings for participating archives will be scheduled slightly later. 


Special Archive Services Project


Team leader Joanna Baird began full-time work on the project on 1 April, and her post was backfilled from 19 April.


She took part in the PRINCE training course on 27 and 28 April. Following discussions of issued raised on this course, she has begun prepared detailed project-level plans by using ‘MS Project’


Work began on collecting information about the sources in the National Archives of Scotland. This is part of the process of compiling entries for the Knowledge Base.  The first task is to survey a series known as the ‘H’ files. These are over 1000 files of past correspondence on particular subjects which staff have answered over the years.  Research into international archival websites has also begun.


Testaments Project


Team leader Hazel Andeson began full-time work on the project on 1 April, and her post was backfilled from 19 April. Peter Dickson, lead conservator, started full-time work on the project on 15 April; arrangements to back fill his post are in hand.


She took part in the PRINCE training course on 27 and 28 April.


Detailed preparations of material for digital capture have begun. The St. Andrews testaments have now been assessed for conservation requirements prior to scanning. The proposed requirements will be forwarded to  the NAS Conservation Manager prior to any treatments being carried out on the volumes.


The printed index for St Andrews has already been captured in electronic form, and tenders for the capture of the remaining CC indexes will go out once the contract with the HLF is signed.


The NAS Reprographic Section is about to start its programme of producing extra microfilm copies of CC material for use in the Robertson Wing once the testaments are withdrawn. In addition, discussions about producing hard copies of digitised testaments for the use of readers are progressing well.


Throughput Reports


Detailed proposals, as requested in Beverly’s letter of 25 March, will be submitted shortly.




Until the contract is signed, all costs will be allocated to Year 0.  All expenditure to date was detailed in our letter of 20 April.  A copy is attached for ease of reference, as Annex 3.

No request for drawdown is being made,  as the contract remains to be signed.




Total Staff Employed at month end


New Appointments


Posts backfilled







No procurement during the reporting period


Participating Archives


No of Participating Archives at month end


Changes since last report



Note: a List of participating archives is attached (Annex 4).


Statistics on Use of Network Facilities

Nothing to report



Nothing to report


Project Board


No meetings held


Annex 1

Contract Timetable Report




Current Position


Contract between Heritage Lottery Fund Trustees and Scottish Archive Network Ltd.

New draft received by Tods Murray 26 March; discussed with SCAN, 6 April.   Richard contacted Lavinia on some outstanding points (5.1, 7.3, schedule Part 1, 1.1) on 8 April, copied to SCAN; Lavinia’s reply receivd by RF, 20 April; his reply sent 26 April; Lavinia’s comments awaited.


Agreement between National Archives of Scotland and Scottish Archive Network Ltd. covering:



intellectual property

draft outline by Lynn Beaumont with SCAN; SCAN comments submitted 12 April, sent on 14 April to Lavinia and to Jim Logie. (McCabe Partnership confirmed no implications for VAT) Jim Logie to consider and respond by 5 May.




Reviewed with Richard and Lynn, 6 April; re-draft by Lynn sent to Jim Logie and to Lavinia. Jim Logie to consider and respond by 5 May.



(to include miscellaneous services)

SOLS asked SCAN to ask TM to draft; revised version discussed 6 April; re-draft back with SCAN 9 April; comments being made.  New draft from Lynn sent to Jim Logie 26 April.  Services schedule to agreement completed and sent to Jim Logie 30 April. Jim Logie to consider and respond by 5 May.


Agreement between Genealogical Society of Utah and Scottish Archive Network Ltd.

Revision received from GSU and passed to TM,  26 March; revision by Richard discussed 6 April; further revision by Richard sent to Lavinia and to GSU on 13 April.; GSU re-draft received 28 April, passed to TM for comment (e-m failed, faxed on 30 April).


Agreement between Scottish Archive Network Ltd and participant archives (a model agreement)

Initial outline by SCAN, 6 April, discussed with Richard and Lynn; revised outline by SCAN (including definitions) to Richard and Lynn by 9 April for them to consider further.  Revised version received from Lynn, 28 April; requires simplicfication



Annex 2


Correspondence from Pat Whatley, Dundee University Archives, and Norman Reid, St Andrews University Archives,  to Alan Borthwick, with reply by Ishbel Barnes,  14 April 1999


Dear Pat and Norman


I thought I would reply to you together as you share the same worries - as you will see from your letters. I will also forward your letters and my reply to the HLF. I think at least some of your worries are unfounded as I hope I explain.  Ishbel



I note with some unease the comment in George's last news report that the HLF are not happy about the proposal that we should receive grants to enable us to do our own TLFA work.  This is very disturbing - we were working on the assumption (based on conversations with Ishbel and others) that this would be possible, and I think we will have very significant problems if it is not.  There is a great

deal of work to be done here - as I said in my previous note to you, I guess about a year's full time work for a professional who knows the collections.  I cannot see that it would be either logical or politically acceptable here that people will be sent in to do this work who are clearly less able for it

(because they don't know the material) - and will thus take longer, at the same time as I am paying off good staff on temporary contracts who are eminently suited to the task.  Secondly, there is the question of how it is to be done.  Do you envisage one person coming in for a year?  Or is it to be a team for a shorter time?  If the latter, again we have problems, since I do not think it would be possible for us to accommodate them.  I suppose one way round it would be for you to employ someone (of my choice)

specifically to work here - but there may well be employment complications with such an arrangement.

At any rate, this is clearly an issue which will have to be discussed with some urgency, since it could well affect the very principle of participation of some archives.  (I know that I am not the only one who is worried about this.)  I'm sorry if this adds to your list of headaches - but I'm sure you agree that it is an important issue which we need to settle a.s.a.p.

Best wishes,




I was very disappointed to see in the last SCAN report that HLF are not happy with the suggestion that archives should receive funding do prepare top level finding aids.  I can see a number of practical and political problems arising from SCAN staff 'parachuting' into repositories.  e.g., Will SCAN have

enough staff with sufficient experience to do this?  Is someone going to travel to Dundee for 6/12 months (possibly longer as they will have no knowledge of the collections)?  If a team are sent in how

will we accommodate them, and how will the existing staff, who know the collections feel?  As a result of Follett the Univesities are fairly advanced electronically; the problems will be greater in 'manual' offices.  I expect you will have a number of queries along these lines in the next few weeks and I would be happy to be involved in any discussions.



SCAN replies.


The information SCAN will be collecting.


What is meant by a top level finding aid.

The top level finding aid of a collection will comprise - following ISAD(G)

1. ref no

2. title (following NCA rules)

3. covering dates

4. scope/content/administrative history ( exact details still to be decided by participating archives and SCAN. These will however be brief, no more than 1 screen)

5. note explaining what further more detailed finding aids are available and in what form (electronic or paper) and if they are available electronically a link to them.

This is all that SCAN can realistically provide.


This was our proposal to the HLF and this is what has been accepted by them on the advice of their outside advisors (who were many!). This is the only information we will be collecting.



The idea of simply giving money to archives to do it themselves was not in the original proposal. It was put to the HLF (and can be put to them again) by ourselves at the request of a few of the participating archives.

The HLF don’t like it because they feel it could get out of hand. Their worries and the questions they put to us are as follows:

What happens if you give money to an archive and after three years it hasn’t done what it said it would? You couldn’t in fact do anything about it and public money would have been lost.

How would you control content? (Content now agreed, as above, between SCAN and HLF). SCAN people will be trained and able to do the work quickly. If the local archivists didn’t follow content standards, how could you enforce them? Again public money could be wasted.

The HLF will have a legal contract with SCAN; if money goes elsewhere HLF cannot realistically monitor it and HLF must by law keep complete control over the project’s expenditure.


If you can think of practical answers and solutions to these questions and worries we will of course take them back to HLF.


Financial Accountability

The nearly £3,000,000 provided by the HLF will be monitored by their accountants: the money provided by the NAS will be monitored by the Scottish Office. Both as public bodies will also be scrutinised by the National Audit Office. As a charitable company reclaiming VAT, SCAN will also be scrutinised  by Customs and Excise.

The directors of SCAN share the legal and financial responsibilities of the directors of every charitable company, our accounts must be audited and supplied to Companies House.

We are all therefore very concerned that all financial dealings are open and can be legally enforced, monitored and accounted for.


Worries about SCAN staff taking up scarce accommodation in local archives.

SCAN hopes to keep disruption to a minimum. We would foresee (and again we will discuss this with participating archives as soon as we sign the contracts and have money) that there would be an initial visit by SCAN staff in years 1, 2, or 3 as already agreed  with each participating archive. SCAN staff will then continue their work in Edinburgh using NRA(S) surveys and the summaries published in the Keeper’s Annual Reports, Scottish Records Association lists, Charge and Superintendence lists etc. and then return for further work. We do not expect to be in any archive for anything like a year. We are estimating, following fairly detailed trials, that the largest archive the NAS, will take us 9 months. I think each archive will in fact have its own peculiar problems, though one worthy archive has already done it nearly all for us already - and gave it to us on a disc.

SCAN cannot do anything with uncatalogued collections. If they cannot be consulted by the public there is really no point in putting them on the network. If participating archivists wanted we could however maintain lists of uncatalogued material with a note of where it was located- we would of course leave it to each archivist to decide if they wanted to contribute to this list, it might just be making a rod for their own backs.


We know that our estimates for the time involved in compiling the TLFAs are only that, estimates. However we are clear that we won’t be parachuting into participating archives and taking up your scarce space for months and months.


There is one other ray of light. Having now looked at the information already put up by Scottish archives on the Internet it has become very apparent that often what is seen as a single fonds in one archive is in fact just part of a fonds. For example, the Dundee and Newtyle Railway. This will be initially worked on as a railway fonds in the NAS, when we come to various archives round Dundee and find material related to it there will just need to be an electronic link inserted, no further cataloguing. We think in fact as the TLFA snowball grows this will become one of its great strengths.


I do  know all this is difficult for some archivists and we very much want to continue our meetings with participating archives as soon as possible. The Scottish Archive Network has at the moment no money of its own whatsoever and relies entirely on the financial backing of the NAS. We don’t want to put any further strain on the finances of the NAS at the moment and as soon as we sign the contracts we will continue with our interrupted series of meetings. We did suggest to the HLF the idea of a “float” for a few months just to avoid these sort of problems, which are partly problems of communication, our idea was not accepted and cannot be accepted for legal reasons.


Finally the NAS and SCAN will be jointly advertising 14 archivist posts in the next two weeks, it would be good if we could get some of the Follet people.


Sorry to go on for so long but I thought it best to let you both know as best I can where we are at the moment.

On Monday I am off to Tuscany for two weeks but will return to SCAN and its “challenges” at the beginning of May. Meanwhile Alan will continue to do his best!



Annex 3




See Attached spreadsheet SCAN Costs 1 to 7


Actual costs incurred to date are given against Year 0.

Annex 4

Scottish Archive Network List of Participating Archives April 1999


1.    Aberdeen City Archives

2.    Aberdeenshire Archives

3.    Aberdeen University Special Collections and Archives

4.    Angus Archives

5.    Edinburgh University Library Archives & Special Collections Dept.

6.    Ayrshire Archives Centre

7.    Clan Donald Centre

8.    Dumfries and Galloway Archives

9.    Dundee City Archive and Record Centre

10.Dundee University Archives

11.Falkirk Council Archives

12.Glasgow Caledonian University

13.Glasgow City Archives

14.Glasgow School of Art Archives

15.Glasgow University Archives and Business Records Centre

16.Glasgow University Library

17.Greater Glasgow Health Board Archives

18.Heriot Watt University Archives

19.Highland Council Archive

20.Lothian Health Services Archive

21.Jordanhill Archives

22.Midlothian Council Archives

23.Mount Stuart Trust

24.National Archives of Scotland

25.National Library of Scotland

26.National Register of Archives (Scotland)

27.National Trust for Scotland Archives

28.North Lanarkshire Archives

29.Northern Health Services Archives

30.Orkney Archives

31.Perth and Kinross Council Archive

32.Royal College of Nursing Archives

33.Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

34.Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

35.Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre

36.Scottish Film & Television Archive

37.Scottish Jewish Archive Centre

38.Scottish Theatre Archive

39.Shetland Archives

40.South Lanarkshire Council

41.St Andrews University Library

42.Stirling Council Archive Services

43.Stirling University Archives

44.Strathclyde University Archives

45.West Lothian Council Archives

Analysis: 6 national institutions; 18 local authorities; 10 universities; 3 health boards; 4 professional associations and several specialised archives