Would you like to help West Lothian Council Archives in its work of preserving and enabling access to its historic collections? Anyone with spare-time and an interest in history or considering a career in the archives profession can volunteer in the Archives and Records Centre.
Volunteering provides an opportunity to work within a small friendly team, to use existing skills and learn new ones. It offers a unique perspective of archives and allows you to get up close and personal with historical documents and photographs.
Volunteers can assist in a variety of projects such as cleaning, sorting, listing and re-housing records, or help in the digitisation of some of the thousands of photographs and negatives held in the archives. Recent volunteers have been listing estate papers and the records of the Soroptimist Club of West Lothian; assisted with putting together exhibitions and promotional material for Livingston 50; and digitising negatives from the Bob Wallace collection and hundreds of LDC photographs.
The Archives has been awarded funding from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives to catalogue our Livingston collections. The funding award recognises these collections as being of national and international significance and the project coincides with the 50th anniversary of the new town. Entitled “Livingston New Town, from Plan to Community, 1962-2012”, the project will involve cataloguing and preserving the records of Livingston Development Corporation; local Community Councils; Craigsfarm Community Centre; the Livingston Players; Tam Dalyell, MP; and the Reverend Dr. James Maitland. The project archivist will begin work on the 18 month project in July and there will be opportunities for volunteers to work on a number of different tasks and types of record. If you are interested in helping in this exciting project then please contact us by the end of July.
We also offer week-long work placements to local school pupils throughout the year, through the West Lothian work experience programme. The pupils are shown all aspects of the work carried out at ARC and are given small pieces of digitisation, preservation and indexing work to complete. We also encourage them (and our volunteers) to write blogs about their experience!
We consider all requests for voluntary placements or work experience, we provide basic training, and work with volunteers to develop an interesting and varied programme of work. If you are interested in volunteering some of your time please feel free to contact or visit the Archives and Records Centre.