Everyday records or living archives? Creating a new standard for record-keeping in residential care homes in Scotland and Germany
Magee K & Hagan H (2021) Everyday records or living archives? Creating a new standard for record-keeping in residential care homes in Scotland and Germany (Presentation) International Council on Archives, Section on University and Research Institution Archives annual conference - Archives, Ethics and Society, Heidelberg, Germany, 26.07.2021-29.07.2021.
Abstract In spring 2021 a major research project will begin as part of a new UK-German collaborative research programme funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Project and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Back to the Future: archiving residential children’s homes in Scotland and Germany will address issues relating to the creation and preservation of personal and institutional records of children in care. It brings together a multi-disciplinary team of archivists and academics in information technology, social work, language and communication, and social pedagogy. The team incorporates partner agencies providing residential care in Scotland and Germany. Additional archival support will be provided by the National Records of Scotland, University of Stirling Archives, and the Landesarchiv Berlin.
The project follows a long period of examination and reflection centred around the extent and quality of record-keeping relating to the care of children in Scotland. In 2007 the Shaw Report, which examined historic cases of abuse, led the call for improved record-keeping. In 2011 the Public Records (Scotland) Act was approved by the Scottish Parliament, setting new statutory standards for the proper management of records.
This talk will introduce the aims of the project and trace the recent steps taken in Scotland towards recognition of the value and importance of records of care. It will reflect on the absences in the archive, the need for those in care to access their own personal histories, and the possibilities offered by digital record-keeping and social media to create new ‘living archives’ for children in care.