Merging the past with the present: web archiving and the Scottish Parliament website

This blog post has been provided by National Records of Scotland (NRS) and reflects the partnership working between NRS and the Scottish Parliament on web archiving and the release of the Scottish Parliament’s new website.

The Scottish Parliament (SP) launched its new corporate website two weeks ago. One of the challenges they faced was – what do we do with the old site and web content going back to 1999, when the Parliament came into being.

The historical value of this older content was not in question, but the SP team sought options to safely remove this older content from their new site, so long as it remained available elsewhere. To do so, SP collaborated with NRS’s Web Continuity Service to create a solution which incorporated live and archived web content. Read on to learn how we were able to put theory into practice.

Read the full post

National Records of Scotland’s Web Continuity Service

At the end of last year National Records of Scotland’s blog published a short series about their new Web Continuity Service. Here’s a handy round-up of the posts:

  1. Websites as archival public records and the ‘looking glass’ into government

…government websites form an integral part of the public record. National archives, who capture, preserve and make available public records, are therefore taking steps to capture a representative record of this modern aspect of government. To do so, national archives are creating web archives…

Read the full post here

 

2.  What is web archiving? History, technology, collections

The World Wide Web was pioneered in the late 1980s to help share information more efficiently and effectively. Needless to say this new system proved to be a hit, leading to its global rollout in the early 1990s.  It didn’t take long for observers to ponder that there was probably a lot of content on the Web that would be worth saving for posterity (particularly due to its vulnerability to change), but how?

Click here to read more

 

3.  The NRS Web Archive and the NRS Web Continuity Service

The NRS Web Continuity Service went live in February 2017. Delivered as part of NRS’s Digital Preservation Programme, our service allows us to archive selected websites that fall within our statutory and strategic collecting remit, and make all archived snapshots accessible in the NRS Web Archive. After just a few months of operations, we are delighted to say that the service is fully functioning and delivering on what it set out to do.

To find out more, click here!

 

4.  Aiming for quality: selection, capture, QA and preservation of the NRS Web Archive

But what do we mean by ‘high quality web archive’? In web archiving, quality can be related to three elements:

  • Completeness – how much of captured website’s links, text, downloads etc. the crawler has been able to access and capture
  • Behaviour – how much of the navigational functionalities within the captured website snapshot have been preserved, compared to the live site
  • Appearance – how much the design, ‘look and feel’ and user experience of the website has been captured and preserved

See the full post here

 

Birds nest manuscript – National Records of Scotland

Shredded historical documents used to line a birds nest.This is interesting …and weird!

FYI: the exchequer office was, I believe, located in the building which now houses the Supreme Courts Library. Maybe the SCTS Library Service should keep an eye out for jackdaws!

Or, you could have a look for yourself when you attend the next SWOP meeting being hosted there! (see what I did?)

Open Book

We have a number of curiosities in our archives, but one of the odder items is the contents of a birds’ nest.

No ordinary nest, this one, found in the roof of St Giles Cathedral in 1961, was lined with papers from Scotland’s exchequer records.

Shredded historical documents used to line a birds nest. The contents of a birds nest found in St Giles cathedral by Dr Athol Murray.

Keeper of the Records of Scotland from 1985-1990 Dr Athol Murray identified the documents. He takes up the story:

“In 1961 The Scottish Record Office received some papers found by electricians in the roof space of St Giles Cathedral.

“A few were complete, including a copy of the Edinburgh Court from the 1770s, and I recognised others as being torn bits of exchequer documents, mainly eighteenth century.

“I was sent up to have a look around and found more torn papers surrounded by masses and masses of twigs and general…

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SWOP Tour of HM General Register House (NRS) 30th May 2017, 3pm

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GRH Exteriors

SWOP members are invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of HM General Register House (GRH), one of the oldest custom built archive buildings in the world which is still in continuous use. It is one of the six buildings which are home to the National Records of Scotland.

Opened in 1789, GRH today plays a crucial role as a centre for public access and engagement to our collections,  as well as continuing to serve as a physical repository for many of our records.

Tour participants will gain insight into the fascinating history and architecture of this iconic building, come to understand how it functions as a modern research hub, and, last but not least, have the chance to explore and view selected records from our celebrated collections which span over eight centuries.

The tour will begin at 3pm, and should conclude no later than 4:30 (including time to view original records). Places are limited to 15 members. Please apply for a place via eventbrite

Our public café, which is located in New Register House directly adjacent to General Register, will be open from 9:00 to 16:00, should members require lunch or refreshments before the tour.

General Register House address is 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY A location map is available on our website.