National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

NRS Welcomes its First Skills for the Future Trainee

NRS Welcomes its First Skills for the Future Trainee

Tuesday, 2 Dec 2014
Photograph of Callum Duff, first Skills for the Future trainee

NRS is taking part in the Scottish Council on Archives’ HLF-funded traineeship scheme Opening Up Scotland's Archives by hosting one of six archive trainees. Callum Duff will be working in the Electronic Records Unit based in West Register House, assisting the team there in the development of the Digital Preservation Programme. The one-year traineeship will see Callum explore the many aspects of NRS’s work on digital preservation as well as exploring the use of social media to communicate the work of the organisation to a wider audience.

As part of the traineeship Callum will gain a greater understanding of the theory and practice of the management of records and archives. This will include learning about the issues surrounding the preservation of born digital records and the approaches taken by NRS and other institutions. The culmination of the 12 month scheme will see a range of digital preservation training materials prepared by Callum, designed for use by NRS staff.

Deputy Keeper Laura Mitchell says: ”I am delighted to welcome Callum to NRS as part of this project, which aims to improve skills and service delivery within the Scottish archives sector. Archives have a significant skills gap around digital preservation, and it is therefore particularly fitting that Callum will not only develop his own skills in this area during his time with us, but will also be instrumental in engaging with record creators and producing training materials which will help others develop their skills too”.

Over the course of the year Callum will be producing a regular blog detailing his progress on the traineeship, impressions on working for the organisation, experiences at workshops and training courses, links to articles of interest and building relationships with other host organisations involved in the traineeship scheme.

As a trainee Callum will be able to take advantage of a range of training opportunities, including a week long “basecamp” at the UK National Archives in Kew and studying for the module in Digitisation and Digital Preservation run by the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS) at the University of Dundee.

Callum says: “I’m looking forward to learning new skills, consolidating previous experience and gaining a greater understanding of digital preservation and its impact on the information environment. This is a unique opportunity which I intend to grasp with both hands. The traineeship not only provides practical experience but also allows me to immerse myself in a progressive community with the opportunity to attend meetings, placements and workshops”.

Callum has worked for over 20 years in all aspects of Information Management with organisations such as Teesside Archives, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Historic Scotland and Heriot Watt University. He has also managed a number of events designed to encourage the public to discover more about the heritage of his hometown of Saltburn-by-the-Sea through the use of social media. One event involved liaising with the Northern Regional Film and Television Archive and ITV Archives to secure material filmed in Saltburn for screening at an event to commemorate 150 years since the town was founded in 1861.

Callum has set up a Twitter account and can be found at @CallumDuff68. Please feel free to follow Callum and recommend any organisations or individuals which could be of interest to Callum in his time with NRS. Callum can also be contacted at callum.duff@nas.gov.uk.

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