Preparing the Way

This week our project archivist gives us the inside view from our Body Language Archives project, bringing us on (the project management) board, with a review of project progress and highlights how archives cataloguing projects prepare the way new research.

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The images above are a selection of some of the slides that we shared with our project board from our project progress report presentation at our virtual project management board meeting on Tuesday 11 August 2020.

At the end of our virtual meeting on Tuesday afternoon this week, our project board unanimously enthused over our project progress. We thought we would share some of the highlights.

  • Scottish Gymnastics collections catalogue complete and online
  • Dunfermline College of Physical Education Old Students’ Associaiton complete, online 
  • Dunfermline College of Physical Education 90% complete
  • Dunfermline College of Physical Education, 447 student files rehoused and listed.
  • Dunfermline College of Physical Education audiovisual / film – 180 new catalogue descriptions converted from legacy electronic data-set to online catalogue
  • Margaret Morris Collection Photographs – expanded the existing data-set from 406 catalogue descriptions to 1738 descriptions, uploaded to ArchivesSpace (online catalogue)
  • Margaret Morris Collection 2534 / 3596 catalogue descriptions completed on ArchivesSpace
  • Technical infrastructure for test project website in place with draft content

All of this work means that these collections will become more accessible and open up new areas of potential research around health, well-being, movement, dance, the history of sporting apparel, the history of sport management and so much more.  All of which afford us the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of these subject areas, their interrelationships, and the human experience as a whole.

We are helped greatly in our work by some fantastic volunteers. It is always a pleasure to report positive stories to our project board about the range of work we do to support new archive professionals. This was easy for me to do, as I had the pleasure of being supported by two up and coming professionals on the Body Language project. One of whom is just about to complete an MSc Information Management and Preservation and the second is now working as a fully qualified archivist with the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh. Well done to both Emma and Elise, and a great big thank you to both of them for their wonderful work on the project.

Our project board is made up of a group of academics, and curatorial and archive professionals with research and collection care interests in movement, dance and physical education collections. Together they make sure that our project stays on track, and help us to think outside the day to day activities of the archive cataloguing work. I always enjoy meeting with our project board as they are so incredibly supportive of our work and inevitably bring something surprising and valuable to the table that we hadn’t thought of. It usually starts with “what about…..?”  A huge thank you to Professor John Ravenscroft, Dr Wendy Timmons, Dr Matt McDowell, Dr Tiffany Boyle, Rhona Rodger, and Rachel Hosker for their continued support.

Elaine MacGillivray
Project Archivist




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