Ballast trust Understanding Technical Archives
Annual Report 2011-2012
Key achievements in 2011-12 • Held our first ‘Doors Open Day’ for the public • Awarded £3,000 for the business archives Data Mapping Project • Views of our photographs on Flickr have increased by 120% since we joined in 2009
Image: 2 Drawing office in William Beardmore & Co. Ltd, n.d. Glasgow University Archive Services
Contents Directors Report About Us Collections Management Operational Management Volunteers Raising Awareness Online Activity Projects
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Images from top: 1. Scotch Marine Boiler 2. Rolled Plans from Ferguson Shipbuilders 3. HMY Victoria and Albert III, 1899 4. Yacht Flags from Lloydâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Register, 1913 5. Iolair 6. Harry H Gardam & Co. Ltd, 1931
Directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Report It is pleasing to note in this 24th annual report the steady and effective extension of the core activity of the Ballast Trust. The increasing application of the Archivistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Toolkit in conjunction with the progressive development of processing guides for our technical collections has accelerated the ability of the staff and volunteers to make impressive progress with our collections. The Archivistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Report notes current work on no fewer than ten extensive collections, together with the completion of work on another two, and the arrangement for their return to the custodial repository. The importance of the work undertaken by the Ballast Trust is clearly underlined by the receipt of a further ten deposits for listing and classification in the course of the year. In addition to these active projects, the preliminary box listing of the long term deposits and collections in the Archive Store is identifying the scale and content of these collections for future assessment. Additional shelving has been installed to support the phased relocation and listing of these deposits. The scope and pace of activity at Walkinshaw Street has been quickened by the success of the Archivist in attracting a number of short term volunteer placements to work on pre-identified projects with collections. This not only assists the Ballast Trust, but the work experience provides valuable training for the participants, and may contribute to longer term career development in some cases. This initiative has extended the volunteer pool to no fewer than nine helpers in the course of the year, thus greatly enhancing the work ethos and environment. Some part of this success certainly derives from our participation in the Doors Open Day programme last September, an initiative we intend to repeat and develop in the coming year. The Open Day involvement was part of our effort to extend the local outreach of the Ballast Trust, this now being complemented by a renewed contact with local historical associations. In addition the expansion of our online presence has seen a considerable increase in visits to our websites and enquiries. The Archivist has also continued to develop her professional networking, linking the Ballast Trust and its interest to the broader archival community. She makes a significant contribution to the work of the National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland, and has managed the Data Mapping Project funded by the Archives and Records Association. She has also delivered a number of presentations related to the work of the Ballast Trust, and has enhanced the reputation and profile of the Ballast Trust through her participation in professional seminars and conferences. This has been a busy and successful year for the Ballast Trust, its core and volunteer staff expertly and congenially led by the Archivist, Kiara King. The Director gratefully extends his thanks and appreciation to Ms King and the Ballast Trust team, and on their behalf thanks the Trustees for their unfailing support and advice. Professor A Slaven Director, The Ballast Trust April 2012
About Us The Ballast Trust is a charitable foundation that provides a rescue, sorting and cataloguing service for business archives with an emphasis on technical records such as shipbuilding, railway and engineering plans, drawings and photographs. The Director of the Ballast Trust is Professor Anthony Slaven. The Ballast Trust has three members of staff; Kiara King (Archivist), Delaine Colquhoun (Archive Assistant), and Duncan Winning (Archive Assistant). We are supported by our regular volunteers Campbell Cornwell, Andrew Swan, Helen Lovell, Stephen Hall, Claire Fleming and James Sloan. The Trustees are Dr Kenneth Chrystie (Chairman), Professor John Hume, Lesley Richmond and Douglas Corner. Gordon Shearer is secretary to the Trustees.
Image: Shelving at the Ballast Trust
Collections Management The deposit of ten new business archive collections this year shows a continuing demand for the processing services and cataloguing expertise that the Ballast Trust offers. One of the treasures from our completed collections that we were able to highlight in 2012 via our blog and flickr website was an orderbook from the R. McAlister & Sons collection (TD 1347). This contains the order McAlister received in August 1911 from Harland and Wolff to build four Engelhardt collapsible lifeboats for the Titanic. British Rail (NRS) BT.X.004 The drawings for 3 out of the 5 pre-grouping companies have been completed (Caledonian Railway, Highland Railway and Great North of Scotland Railway). Work on the remaining two continues (North British Railway and Glasgow and South Western Railway). British Rail Civil Engineering Plans (NRS) Work has started on re-listing the final amount of plans (circa 100 items) from the work carried out by Tom McGhie in his last days at the Trust that need to be re-listed. They come under RHP numbers 135001-136299. Caledonian Railway Association Drawings and Plans (CRA) BT.2011.004 Four boxes of plans (about 20% of the collection) have been renumbered and listed for the Caledonian Railway Association. Edinburgh City Engineers’ Office (ECA) BT.2010.004 Four volunteers have worked on this collection, cataloguing c.500 items. John G. Kincaid & Co. Ltd (McLean Museum) BT.2010.005 This collection of drawings related to the replica PS Comet were scanned to create digital copies and the collection catalogued using the Archivists‘ Toolkit system. McKie & Baxter (GCA) BT.X.019 Two boxes of material from McKie & Baxter, Marine Engineers have been appraised and are ready to be added as additions to existing GCA collections TD 820 or TD 827. Montague Smith (NRS) BT.X.021 The remaining half of this collection is in the process of being rolled and numbered with two companies completed. Work has begun again on entering the handwritten descriptions into the Archivists’ Toolkit database. Once this has been complete the catalogue will be prepared for transfer to the National Records of Scotland and import into the NRS database. McLaren Ship Plans (BT/GUAS) Data entry work to input the index cards for volumes 3, 4 and 6 of this miscellaneous collection of ship plans is underway. Having this information in electronic format will allow for strategic appraisal and better use of the collection. Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. (NRS/GUAS) BT.X.021 A volunteer has begun box listing and appraisal of this collection of nineteen drawers of negatives and 14 registers.
UK Railway Photographs (Cody Images) BT.2011.001 This collection has been rearranged into companies and classes of locomotives. Final work is underway to document the appraisal of the collection and highlight the treasures. William Lind (BT/GUAS) BT.X.016 The cataloguing of William Lind’s 39 correspondence files has continued and 75% has now been completed. Returns and deaccessions • John G. Kincaid & Co. Ltd., - Replica P.S. "COMET", Machinery Plans returned to McLean Museum. • Campbell Cornwell Collection returned to Glasgow University Archive Services. Three collections belonging to Glasgow City Archives remain at the Ballast Trust completed and ready for collection. • GD1326 Fairfields/Kavaerner/BAE • TD 1347 McAlister • TD 1306 Fairhurst Deposits and accessions • John Hume Collection (15 lm) - Glasgow University Archive Services (GUAS) • Caledonian Railway Association Drawings and Plans (7 lm) - CRA • Fergusons-Ailsa Shipbuilders Papers (0.5 lm) – private collection • Papers of Robert Harvey (0.5 lm) – private collection • Kenneth Kirkwood MacKay Transport Photographs (3 lm) – private collection • Dan McDonald Slide and Glass Plate Negative Collection (0.5 lm) – Ballast Trust from GUAS • A.F. Craig & Co. Ltd (4 lm) – North Lanarkshire Archives • Marshall, Fleming & Co. (3 lm) – North Lanarkshire Archives • A.F. Craig & Co. Ltd plans (2 lm) - GUAS • Hanna, Donald & Wilson (0.1 lm) – GUAS Enquiries We had 47 enquiries this year, which was an increase of 30%. Enquiries continue to be sent by mainly by email but only 51% of requests have been ship related. We have instead seen an increase in enquiries about business archives and the work of the Ballast Trust.
62% - Personal Research
6% - Academic Research Breakdown of Enquiries
23% - Commercial or Business Related Research
Operational Management Policies and Procedures The existence of the Ballast Trust Manual created last year has proved very helpful when training new volunteers. A disaster planning procedure has been drafted and the Ballast Trust continues to subscribe to the Harwell Document Restoration Services’ Priority User Service. This is the UK and Ireland's oldest and most trusted emergency disaster recovery service for libraries, archives, museums, record offices and businesses. This year we have also become a member of the Glasgow Area Disaster Planning Network. Maintenance Extensive maintenance work has been carried out at the Ballast Trust this year. Two large projects were carried out following the recommendations of an Energy Savings Trust report to help reduce our energy bills and improve the working conditions in the main building. Other works were carried out to improve our security such as the installation of security lighting, upgrading our alarm system and the fitting of security grills to our office skylights. The works carried out were: • The ceilings in the kitchen and two office areas were lowered by 5ft. This has significantly improved the temperature. • CMC Electrical carried out work to improve heat circulation and management by installing sweep fans in the main room and digital thermostats. They also installed security lighting in our courtyard area. • New roof for storage area to protect existing fragile roof and prevent leaks. • Emergency repairs to reseal 12 skylights in main workshop area. • Repair to entrance wall. • Roof works and gutters cleaned. • Upgrading of alarm system by ESP Security Systems to a monitored system linked to central response centre. Space management An additional 50 metres of shelving have been installed in the outstore building. This will allow for material to be moved from pallets onto the shelves, increasing and improving our storage facilities for records. As part of our space management, we continue to monitor the temperature and relative humidity of our storage and workroom areas. Image: Plan of Dryburgh & Co. Brewery and Maltings showing proposed tramway works, 1890 Edinburgh City Archive
Volunteers Volunteers are essential to the running of the Ballast Trust. We rely on the work of our knowledgeable, enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers and without them we would not be able to understand collections and catalogue them to the same level of detail. In 2011/12 we have increased the number of our regular volunteers and improved awareness of the Ballast Trust has led to new short-term volunteer placements which we hope to continue to support. Andrew Swan Cataloguing the collection of pre-1923 railway drawings for the National Records of Scotland. Campbell Cornwell Appraisal and listing a collection of railway and locomotive photographs for Cody Images. David Morris A MSc Information and Management Preservation placement from the University of Glasgow to catalogue technical and architectural drawings in the Edinburgh City Engineers’ Office collection for Edinburgh City Archives. Helen Lovell Completed the data entry of information about the fishing vessels in the Dan McDonald collection which is now available online and carried out work cataloguing material in the Edinburgh City Engineer’s Office collection. Helen has begun the box list and appraisal of the Iain Muir collection. Stephen Hall Cataloguing material in the Edinburgh City Engineer’s Office collection and recently begun a box list and appraisal of the Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd negative collection. Clare Fleming Data entry of the index cards for the McLaren ship plan collections. Stacey Kerfoot Stacey returned to volunteer with us and has been weeding and renumbering the collection of drawings for the Caledonian Railway Association. She has also worked on the new Dan McDonald material that GUAS transferred to us to amalgamate the catalogue for the two collections, create an EAD version and repackage them. James Sloan Data entry of the index cards for the British Corporation ship plan collection. Digitisation project using the business letterhead collection and flickr and publicity and design work for the annual report, project leaflets and the Ballast Trust history. Anna Russell Completed a week’s work experience in March 2012 and catalogued material from the Edinburgh City Engineer’s Office collection and digitised items for upload to historypin.
Raising Awareness The profile of the Ballast Trust this year was improved greatly by our participation in the Doors Open Days programme. We have maintained our online presence through our website, blog and flickr accounts and have also joined historypin. Our lead role in the implementation of the National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland has kept the Ballast Trust at the centre of business archive sector developments throughout the year. Other practical actions to raise awareness include: • A meeting with members of the Johnstone Local History Society to discuss our work. We have agreed to give a talk to the society on 8 May 2012. • We continue to be on the list of autumn cataloguing placements for MSc Information Management and Preservation students at the University of Glasgow. • A talk about the Ballast Trust given to the Renfrew Workers Educational Association. Doors Open Day We had a very successful first doors open day on Sunday 11th September 2011 with 53 visitors and one new volunteer joining us as a result of hearing about us. We were open from 10am to 4pm and had arranged displays of over 50 plans and photographs in the main workshop area with information about the history of the Ballast Trust and how we work set out on notice boards. There was also a digital slide show of the images on our Flickr pages available to view and an display of a selection of company stamps for visitors to use.
Image: Drawing of a Four Ton Mineral Wagon for Glasgow & South Western Railway, 1866 National Records of Scotland
Online Activity Online Presence Both the website and blog have seen a continued increase in visits on top of last year’s improved figures. Visits to the website rose by 10% and 30% for the blog, which saw a 28% increase in page views as well. This year volunteers have been encouraged to blog about the work they are doing and interesting finds which has resulted in specific enquiries related to some of those posts. The two sites continue to serve different purposes and their different levels of visitors can been seen in the statistics for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 below. Ballast Trust Website • 643 visits (441 unique visitors) • 1,654 page views • 66% new visitors • Visitors from 33 countries - Top 5: UK, USA, Brazil, Ireland and Australia • Top 5 pages: home, our collections, about us, current projects and contact us Ballast Trust Blog • 2,356 visits (1,835 unique visitors) • 4,989 page views • 76% new visitors • Visitors from 78 countries – Top 5: UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Germany • Top 5 pages: Home, July 2010 Archive, May 2010 Archive, Replica PS Comet, Friday photo – Empress of Britain and March 2011 Archive The graph below provides a comparison of visits to the blog in 2010-11 to 2011-12.
Flickr Throughout this year we have continued to uploaded new photos from the Dan McDonald collection, completing our project to work through the print collection alphabetically. We have seen a 56% increase in views of our photostream on top of the previous year’s increase of 65% so our images of ships seems to have found an enthusiastic audience. We have now had comments on 43 of our images, these are mainly corrections or additional information about an image or vessel so are very useful. As a result we continue to find Flickr to be a valuable tool for sharing images from our collections. This year we have also uploaded images from collections such as the business letterhead collection and images of the Royal Yachts from Bill’s postcard collection.
20,659 views in 2011-12 9,140 views in 2010-11 Historypin In March the Ballast Trust joined Historypin to provide us with a different way to share images from our collections. We have a channel at http://www.historypin.com/channels/view/9892428 and so far have had 65 views of 9 images. Historypin is a way of sharing photographs onto a map interface. “These images can be of any location outdoors or indoors - at any time in the past. Some of these images, if they are taken outdoors, at street level and at certain angles, will be able to be layered onto Street View (this is a bonus, not a requirement).” The Ballast Trust has been pinning images from the Dan McDonald collection and its ‘views’ series, which are images of towns and villages that Dan took in the post-war period.
Projects National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland The Ballast Trust has continued to take a lead role in the implementation of the National Strategy for Business Archives in Scotland throughout 2011-12. The first year of implementation has seen the strategy secure ÂŁ3,000 of funding for a data mapping project, the creation of more case studies to inspire businesses and archives to make the most of their collections and over 1500 visits to our blog. Working on the strategy and its implementation continues to provide an excellent opportunity for the Ballast Trust to work with partner organisations, make a contribution to strategic thinking about how the business archives sector works together and places it in the best position to help preserve business archives. Data Mapping Project The Archivist was responsible for managing the project officer recruited in December to carry out the data mapping project funded by the Archives and Records Association. This project worked with data provided by the National Register of Archives to create a single consistent and clarified dataset for business archive collections in Scotland that will be shared in an improved and flexible online manner to provide information for creators, custodians and users of business archives. Crisis Management Team The Archivist is the Scottish representative on the Crisis Management Team which was created in 2009 as part of the English and Welsh strategy. The team represents different regions of the business 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. This year in Scotland, five companies have been approached about their records directly or through the administrators for the company. So far agreement has been reached that the historical records of Stewarts of Edinburgh (printers) will be transferred to the Ballast Trust so that a permanent home can be found for them. Electronic cataloguing The Archivistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Toolkit continues to work well for us with four new volunteers using it to catalogue collections. The Archivist has given three demonstrations of it to other archive repositories interested in using it for their own material. Knowledge capture So far this project has created a general guide to processing collections at the Ballast Trust and retention guidelines for shipbuilding records. It aims to document and capture the working practices of the Ballast Trust to share our knowledge of industrial and technical records with others. Future documents are planned and drafted. These include retention guidelines for general technical records, engineering records and railway records.
Trustees: Dr Kenneth Chrystie, Chairman Professor John Hume Lesley Richmond Douglas Corner Director: Professor Tony Slaven Archivist: Kiara King Secretary: Gordon Shearer McClure Naismith LLP, 292 Saint Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5TQ Scottish Charity Number SC008790
The Ballast Trust 18-20 Walkinshaw Street Johnstone, PA5 8AB Scottish Charity Number SC008790 t: +44 (0)1505 328488 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.ballasttrust.org.uk | b: www.ballastblog.blogspot.com | f: www.flickr.com/ballasttrust