Historic Aberlour Children’s Charity records available online for the first time


11 August 2021
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The University of Stirling is to archive more than a century’s worth of records from Aberlour Children’s Charity – making the historic documents accessible for the first time.

The move, which has been enabled by a grant from Archives Revealed, will improve access to historical records for those with direct experience of care and for researchers. 

The new archive, which will include administrative records, case files, annual reports, photographs and issues of the charity’s magazine, will preserve a detailed record of the organisation’s work caring for children across Scotland since the establishment of its first orphanage in 1875. 

SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive of Aberlour Children’s Charity, said: “The archives will make a significant difference to individuals with a personal connection to the organisation through direct experience of growing up in the orphanage or through having a family member raised there. They will enable us to supplement and enhance our responses to individual’s requests for access to their records in line with data protection, with photographs, contemporary magazine articles or other information about life in the orphanage. 

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“Records of the lives of children in the current care system are much more comprehensive than in the past and we aim, through these archives, to enhance knowledge and insight for past residents and for their families.

“As well as being an important source of information for our 150th anniversary reflections, (due in 2025) these archives are important for their potential contribution to our collective understanding of social care and social work history.”

Revealing hidden stories

Dr Valerie Johnson, Director of Collections and Research at The National Archives, said: “The phrase ‘cataloguing a collection’ only begins to hint at the immense impact that these projects will have for communities and researchers. By cataloguing archives, we can reveal hidden stories representing the lives of people across the UK and, most importantly, we can help people access these records for themselves for the very first time. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with The Pilgrim Trust and the Wolfson Foundation to make these discoveries possible.”

Report and image courtesy University of Stirling.