Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives is committed to opening up its collections to new audiences.
Since 2012 the Archives have been a partner with the University of Aberdeen on a project focused on the UNESCO-recognised Aberdeen Burgh Registers. Following two pilot studies (2013-14 and 2014), a major Leverhulme Trust-funded project has now been completed (2016-19), and a major international Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft funded collaborative project is underway comparing finance, law and the language of governmental practice in late medieval Aberdeen and Augsburg (2020-23). A video game - Strange Sickness - inspired by the records is also being developed. Follow the Aberdeen Burgh Records Project blog at aberdeenregisters.org.
In 2019 the Archives was awarded funding from the Archives Revealed programme, which is supported by the National Archives, the Pilgrim Trust and the Wolfson Foundation, to catalogue the records of the Aberdeen Harbour Board. With additional funding from the Board, the project will make the records of the 900-year-old organisation available for the first time. Follow the project's progress on the Project Blog and see our YouTube video about the collection.
In partnership with the Florence Nightingale Museum, Aberdeenshire Local Studies and Aberdeen City Local Studies, the archives developed local displays exploring the impact of the pandemic in Aberdeen City and Shire using school log books, newspaper reports and Medical Officer of Health records. These accompanied the touring exhibition developed by the Museum which was based at Banff Academy, Woodhill House and Aberdeen Central Library in the Spring of 2019.
In September 2018, the Scottish Council on Archives received a National Lottery grant of £9,600.00 from the Heritage Lotter Fund for its ‘Theatre of Remembrance’ project. The project focused on using material held by local archives to create dramatic performances, bringing to life the voices and stories of individuals and their communities during the First World War.
The Archives were one of two local archives to take part in the project, working with groups of young people from Mackie Academy in Aberdeenshire. The young people worked together to develop scripts directly from WWI diaries, letters and archive material. The project culminated in a live community performance around the time of the 100-year commemoration of Armistice day on 11 November 2018. Amongst the audience at Mackie Academy was Aberdeenshire Council CEO Jim Savege, who wrote afterwards of the “poignant and inspiring” performance.
With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Aberdeenshire's Heritage Education Partnership completed the 'Hard Vrocht Grun' project in 2014, which created an education resource for schools, colleges and researchers that explores the effect of World War 1 on the North-east of Scotland. The resource can be downloaded on the NEFA website.
The 'Paper Treasure' project, led by Aberdeenshire Council, was developed in 2011 in order to show primary school pupils how to gather historical information from a number of available resources including Council Archives, Registrars' records and public libraries' local history departments. Available on the North East Folklore Archive website, the information available explores the different ways in which local historical sources can be used in education.
Charting the Nation was a collaborative digital imaging and cataloguing project which explored the early maps of Scotland. Thousands of high-quality images, together with important textual sources, were made available online. It is based at the Department of Geography of the University of Edinburgh and involves Edinburgh University Library and a core consortium of 9 other higher education and national institutions within the UK. The archives contributed a number of images relating to the north-east cartographer, James Gordon of Rothiemay.