Report to Heritage Lottery Fund

September 1999    

Report No 7





Issues Not Resolved


Issue 99/3 Cashflow

This remains unsolved, currently awaiting response from HLF. This is now a “second nag.”


Issue  99/6

Delays in appointing staff.

While the appointment of curatorial staff is proceeding smoothly there are delays with the appointments of the remainder of the staff. These are being held up by Scottish Executive personnel bureaucracy


Issue 99/7 Drawdown Process

HLF have still not responded to the outstanding issue on the first drawdown and we have had no response at all to the second drawdown request.

We are not receiving staff cost information from Scottish Executive Personnel section regarding the staff costs incurred by the project.




Top Level Finding Aids


In the absence of the Project Administrator, still to be appointed, Dr Borthwick undertook the role of Conference Organiser for the EAD Conference held on 24-25 September He attended all the sessions (and chaired the final discussion) of what was a successful Conference, attended by about 70 delegates, including speakers, who came from 3 continents.  The interest expressed in the Conference showed that it met the archive profession’s need for information from a variety of informed speakers, whose lectures will greatly assist the Sub-Project in particular and Scottish archivists in general, in deciding best how to incorporate EAD into the data collection which will shortly be undertaken.


Special Archive Services Project


Joanna Baird compiled a report highlighting the initial results of her informal visits to two participating archives.  The reported included suggestions for surveying forms, database formats and strategies for future visits as well as a list of 100 topics to comprise the first 100 Knowledge Base entries. She  attended a one-day course in London entitled ‘The Effective Web Page’ on September 23. Joanna has been carrying out some research for the ‘North by Northwest’ exhibition to be carried out in conjunction with the National Railway Museum in York. Work continued on the development of the Scottish Archive Network prototype which included the development of the initial prototype design, layout and navigational structures as well as the regular addition of weekly features such as the ‘SCAN News Roundup’ and ‘Document of the Week’ and additions to the Yellow Pages database.  It was unfortunately not possible to add any images to the prototype web-site during September as the Kontron digital camera was not functioning during this period.



Testaments Project


Editing of the database of the index to the St Andrews testaments was completed. One positive result of the considerable work involved was a revised schedule of requirements for the re-keying of the remaining commissary indexes, which should make conversion to the database quicker and simpler.


The first part of the conservation work on the St Andrews testaments registers up to 1800 (CC20/4) was completed. As a result, projected conservation treatments have been simplified. Handling guidelines for GSU digitisers have also been completed by the Conservation Supervisor.


Mrs Anderson, Mr Dickson and Ms Hinz visited the National Library of Scotland to see their digital camera and book cradle in action. They also attended the trade fair of the Museums Association Conference in Edinburgh, which provided some useful contacts with suppliers of conservation equipment and services. Mr Dickson attended a demonstration of a Book Examination System for the digital capture of tightly bound and fragile books, though it proved to be impracticable for the testaments project. Finally, he attended the Society of Archivists Annual Conference at Trinity College, Dublin, which also provided some useful information on preservation issues in digital capture of archives.


Throughput Reports




Invoices to the value of £19,890.43 were submitted for drawdown in September. No payments have been received from HLF.


As requested at the last evaluation meeting, a spreadsheet showing actual expenditure against the project budget has been produced.  This is initially being sent to Dr Smethurst for comment.  Once the format is agreed, this will be added to future reports.




Total Staff Employed at 30 August 1999


New Appointments


Posts backfilled









10 Pcs

3 Printers

Internet connection and ISDN installed

Licences for Microsoft Office

1 Network hub


In Progress

Digital cameras for Testaments project

Data capture requirements for index to Testaments


Participating Archives


No of Participating Archives at month end


Changes since last report





Statistics on Use of Network Facilities

Nothing to report



Dr Barnes met with the chairman of the Users Group, Dr Murdoch. The  first meeting of the group will be held at the beginning of 2000.

Project Board

The board met on 1st October. Minutes already circulated.









18 October  1999