The Explore Your Archive Campaign is run in conjunction with the Archives and Records Association, the professional body for archivists in the UK and Ireland. The University of Edinburgh is joining in this campaign, running from 18 to 25 November, led by colleagues in the Centre for Research Collections. Throughout social media you will see archivists promoting their archives, whether they are interesting, intriguing, puzzling or pleasing, using the hashtag #exploreyourarchive.
Here at New College Library we have made a significant step to help you explore your archive. For the first time, the catalogues which have previously only been available in the Library itself are now available online. There are over 530 catalogue entries for New College archives now freely searchable on archives.collections.ed.ac.uk . You can browse the whole collection, or search by person, organisation, place (in some instances), and limit searches by date.
The process of creating the online catalogue has revealed the strengths of the collection and the breadth of topics covered. Far from being simply a treasure trove of Scottish church history material, the collections include:
- centuries of theological thought and sermons: https://goo.gl/xw46oZ
- records on 20th century ecumenism: http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/85506 and
- photographic materials relating to the Holy Land and teaching in New College http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/86230
- 17th century correspondence on the provision of Gaelic bibles to the Highlands and Islands, http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/85389
- journals of devout protestant women, http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/86326 and http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/86286
- newspaper cuttings on the Scottish Potato Famine, http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/86426
- a letterbook belonging to Hugh Miller, geologist, http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/86490
- 1970s student cartoons, and http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/85709
- botanical drawings and samples http://archives.collections.ed.ac.uk/repositories/5/resources/86596
In addition, digital images of some of the archives and special collections, including our copies of the National Covenants can be found on https://images.is.ed.ac.uk – click on the New College icon.
Should you wish to consult any material you find through the online catalogue you are welcome to visit New College Library or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All archives and manuscripts are consulted in the Funk Reading Room at New College Library.
The first of the daily hashtags for Explore Your Archive week is #archivecatwalk. The annual class and graduation photographs taken in New College, the earliest of which is from 1857 (ref. AA1.8.2), provide a fascinating timeline of fashions. The students below would look quite at home in today’s hipster cafes, especially those with the extra cachet of having a cane.
Kirsty M Stewart, New College Collections Curator