From Dust to Digital: Unleashing Aberdeen's Hidden History with Workflo Solutions!

18th March 2024 | Case Study

Discovering the Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives:

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Picture provided by the Aberdeen City Archive

The Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire archives are home to a vast collection of historical records that date back to the 12th century. Among the most fascinating records held at the archives are the Burgh registers, which have been recognised by UNESCO for their unique insights into the daily life of Aberdeen. To ensure that these fragile documents are preserved for future generations, the archivists have taken steps to make them as accessible as possible. Specifically, the Stair Society website has been designated as a platform for making these records available to the public. At the same time, the archivists have taken great care to store these documents in a secure and protected environment, ensuring that they will be preserved for many years to come.

An Encounter with Phil Astley, the City Archivist:

To learn more about the events and stories recorded in these documents, we had the opportunity to speak with Phil Astley the city archivist. Mr Astley provided us with a fascinating glimpse into life in Aberdeen during the year 1317 and shared his thoughts on the importance of preserving these historical records for future generations. Through his stories and insights, we were able to gain a deeper appreciation for the unique history of this beautiful city.

One of the accounts in the archive tells the story of Ada, a girl who had to go through a process to establish her ownership of her family's land. The account was written three years after the battle of Bannockburn and includes a letter from Robert the Bruce, ordering the officers in the burgh to handle the succession dispute fairly.

Our Role in Preserving History:

It's amazing to realise that Workflo Solutions ® Document and Records Management was trusted for digitising this intriguing historical record more than 700 years later. The team handled this job carefully and meticulously. The document, measuring 160cm and made of parchment from unidentified animal skins, consisted of four membranes sewn together. Unfortunately, the roll was badly damaged, with torn sections and staining that made it difficult to decipher the meaning in some parts. Working through the challenges, workflo digitised the text and stored it in a secure facility before handing it over to Aberdeen city and Aberdeenshire archives.

Through meticulous digitisation, we preserved the essence of the document, ensuring its longevity for future generations. Working hand in hand.

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