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Scottish Records Association Conference blog


Anne Cameron and Fiona Musk report from this year’s Scottish Records Association conference, held in Linlithgow on 6 November.
This year, the Scottish Records Association conference addressed the theme of researching Scotland’s common lands and common good. The packed programme included nine speakers, plus a showing of film footage compiled by the Scottish Screen Archive during the lunch break and a slide show of records held by the National Records of Scotland during the afternoon refreshment break.

The conference considered how the common good or ‘commonty’ – a form of property where every common proprietor has a proportionate share – developed in different parts of Scotland over time, what happened to common good following local government reorganisation, and how it is still relevant today.

The speakers were uniformly excellent, and with their presentations covering everything from the introduction of Southland sheep on common pasture land in Tillicoultry, to the ‘rabbit wars’ on the St Andrews Links, there was plenty to keep the seventy delegates interested. We daren’t give too much away here, however, as the papers from the day will be published in volume 21 of the Association’s journal, Scottish Archives, in due course.

The AGM of the Association took place during the lunch interval, when Dr Annie Tindley of the University of Dundee was elected as an Ordinary Member of Council. The Council of the Association currently has one vacancy, and is particularly keen to recruit an owner of private records; anyone interested in filling this vacancy is encouraged to get in touch via the Scottish Records Association website.

Linlithgow Burgh Halls proved to be a fantastic conference venue. Situated in the town centre near Linlithgow Palace, and close to the railway station and parking facilities, it was easy to get to and the staff were helpful and welcoming. The Halls also boast possibly the plushest dining area that the Association has ever had for its conference, along with truly delicious catering! 

The Association’s Membership Secretary, Fiona Musk, wore two hats at the conference, as she was also present in her capacity as Archivist for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives (ACAA).  It was under this second hat that she utilised ACAA’s Twitter account, partly to inform followers of what was being spoken about at the conference, but also to remind herself in the future!

Tweets were sent using the hashtag #SRAConf2014, and discussed the overall theme as well as highlighting interesting points made by the speakers. The tweets were popular, with many being retweeted or favourited by followers, and represent a record of what Fiona saw as the salient points to emerge throughout the day.

During the lunch break, she grabbed the opportunity for a look around Linlithgow Palace, and took a few pictures to tweet to the ACAA followers. (Note the typo – it’s difficult to keep things correct when using your phone all day, along with hoping the battery won’t die before you send your last tweet!)

If you would like further information about the Scottish Records Association, or are interested in becoming a member, please see the membership section of the website.

(Burgh Halls image copyright Sarah Charlesworth)



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