As the GSA Archives and Collections Team continues to work towards the recovery of our existing holdings (and their expansion!), we are continuing to reflect and share information on the Mackintosh Building Fire and how we responded as an archive. It is fortunate that large disasters such as fires and flood are quite rare occurrences that many archives and archivists will never have to respond to in their lifetime. However, because responding to a disaster is a rare occurrence it makes the experience we have gained as an archive invaluable for the heritage sector as we can share many of the recovery actions we undertook after the fire, and the lessons that we have learned in the process.
Our Archivist Susannah Waters recently gave a talk at the Scottish Council on Archives event ‘Fire in the Archives: Experiences Shared, Lessons Learned’ about this very subject, titled Archives from the Ashes: Recovery work after The Glasgow School of Art Fire. This talk looked to provide information on the immediate recovery actions that were undertaken during the following two weeks after the fire, as well as the long term plans for the archive that have developed since. This talk is now available online here where the full presentation by Susannah – as well as presentations by Conservation Unit Head Iwan Byrn James on the National Library of Wales fire and Gavin Gray, Watch Manager from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – is available to download.
Following this, the Museums Galleries Scotland will be hosting ‘Fighting Fit: Ready for Anything MGS Conference 2015’ in Edinburgh next week on Thursday 22 October. This conference will focus on developing long-term resilience in the museums sector in facing challenging funding and political environments. Our archivist Susannah Waters will once again be speaking at this event in Are You Prepared? Organisational and Operational Health in a Crisis. The full programme can be seen here and for more information on how to book see the MGS website. Until next time!