Al-Mulla R & Bromage S (2021) Contemporary collecting - it's not just for Covid. Archives and Records Association UK and Ireland Annual Conference 2021, Online, 01.09.2021-03.09.2021. https://virt-us.app/e/ara-annual-conference-2021/sessions/666/
Abstract Contemporary collecting – actively gathering material you have identified as being worth saving for long term preservation often to contextualise a particular event either by going out yourself and doing it or empowering others to do the same – forms a large part of the collecting policy at the Scottish Political Archive (SPA) and has done since its inception in 2010.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing national lockdown, many archive services engaged in contemporary collecting and are therefore much more familiar with the practise than might have been the case had we spoken as planned in 2020 with no pandemic overrunning the world. But is contemporary collecting just for disasters and unprecedented events? Or can we incorporate contemporary collecting into our normal collecting practises and make it part of what we do?
This presentation will use the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum as an example of what SPA’s collecting policy looks like in practise, how we have maintained our collecting networks and why SPA couldn’t operate without contemporary collecting. We will also take the opportunity to reflect on the ways in which contemporary collecting has (and hasn’t?) diversified the material in our collections.