Report to Heritage Lottery Fund

July 1999     

Report No 5




Issues Resolved:

            Issue 99/1  Contracts

            Issue 99/2 Request from Participant Archives on Finding Aids


Issue 99/3 Cashflow

It was agreed to keep this matter under review.  


Issue 99/4  ICT Report

Verbal agreement to the conclusions were given by phone by Seamus Ross to Rob Mildren on 22 July and restated in an e-mail received on 4 August.   To avoid further delays, procurement will now go ahead.


Issue 99/5  Communications

No response has been received to the Project Initiation Document, sent to HLF and evaluators on 18 June. 

No response has yet been received to the first drawdown request, sent on 13 July. 

A mechanism for formal sign-off of such documents is needed. 


No other issues have been identified at this time.




Top Level Finding Aids


Dr Borthwick attended a 2-day Encoded Archival Description (EAD) workshop, held at University College, Dublin, 15-16 July.  The course was led by Michael Fox (Minnesota Historical Society) and Kris Kiesling (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin).  This was a very useful opportunity to learn about the application of EAD from tutors who were in from the start of its development.  SCAN requires to consider the application of EAD to the TLFA part of the project, and this course together with the Conference in September provides the opportunity for informed consideration of the matter.

Arrangements are in hand for some informal visits to participating archives to view the ‘lie of the land’.


Special Archive Services Project


Joanna Baird has continued work on the prototype Scottish Archive Network web-site. The main features developed during this period were the ‘Yellow Pages’, together with some ‘Features’ which included the ‘document of the week’ as well as a glossary of useful Scottish words.  Joanna Baird has been working with Hazel Anderson on the prototype of the ‘Scottish Wills’ section of the web-site which will include images and transcripts of testaments. Joanna Baird and Ishbel Barnes met with two photographers from the National Railway Museum in York regarding a future exhibition for the Scottish Archive Network web-site.  Arrangements were made for informal visits to participating archives to be made during the month of August.



Testaments Project


Checking of the St Andrews commissary index is almost complete. With the help of  Joanna Baird and Rob Mildren the search fields for the on-line index have been determined and the re-keyed index converted to a data base.

A number of 16th and 17th century testaments have been digitally captured for the prototype web-site and transcripts made of the earliest (and hardest to read) ones. A glossary of words unfamiliar to the general reader is being compiled in co-operation with Joanna Baird.

Preparation of the conservation database is now complete, and already some of the volumes from St Andrews commissary have been withdrawn for treatment.

New microfilm reader-printers have been installed by NAS Reprographic Branch in the Historical Search Room in readiness for the withdrawal of the original St Andrews testaments.



Throughput Reports


As no comment has been received from HLF to the Project Initiation Document submitted on 18 June, it will be presented at the Project Board meeting on11 August for approval, together with the first detailed monthly plans (initially for the period to 30 September) for the different sub projects (TLFAs, Special Services, Wills, IT).  Measurement of throughput will in future be judged against these plans.




As no response has yet been received on the first drawdown request, submitted on 13 July, the second request is being held back until the result of the first is known, to avoid duplicating any errors. 




Total Staff Employed at 31 July 1999


New Appointments


Posts backfilled





Recruitment of two conservators from outside NAS is expected on 2 August and 14 September respectively.


Applications for 5 curatorial posts closed on 16 July.  There were 116 candidates for these and several NAS posts.  The initial sift took place on 30  July and interviews will be held from 18 August.




No procurement during the reporting period.


Participating Archives


No of Participating Archives at month end


Changes since last report



Royal Bank of Scotland archives have indicated they wished to participate.  While not eligible for equipment, they will be able to supply finding aid and other data to the network.


Statistics on Use of Network Facilities

Nothing to report



Nothing to report


Project Board


The first meeting is scheduled for 11 August at 13.00 at Thomas Thomson House, Edinburgh.







6 August  1999