As well as 2019 marking 50 years of Dundee City Archives. It also marks the 30th birthday of the Friends of Dundee City Archives. The FDCA was created as a charity in 1989 to support and promote the work of Dundee City Archives. They do this in a variety of different ways. Many members of the friends volunteer at the Archives for about half a day a week. They have worked on a variety of projects including:
- indexing poorhouse admission registers
- transcribing council minutes
- indexing school admission registers
- cataloguing the records of Dundee High School
- listing the contents of the Wedderburn collection
- indexing the registers of burial for the Howff
- digitising slide collections
Many of the indexes that they create can be viewed and searched on their website. This has been of great use to researchers both locally and abroad. Particularly people that live in far off places such as Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand and find that their ancestors came from Dundee.
As well as volunteering and indexing, many of the members are regular researchers and are well versed in Dundee History. Some give talks to local groups about the research or work they have done whilst at the Archives. The Friends also organise a monthly lunchtime lecture, which we feature on this blog. There is a variety of topics, generally with a historic angle but not always about Dundee. Talks take place on the first Thursday of the month at the Glasite Hall beside St Andrews Church on King Street. They are free and everyone is welcome to attend.
Members of the Friends have also written books, including most recently about The Great War: Dundee and the Home Front, and the Street Names of Old Dundee. They also organise social occasions for members. There is an annual lunch in March/April every year. There are also a couple of outings a year to local places of interest. Recently members were given a tour of the Caird Hall to find out more about the building the Archives is housed in.
The FDCA also provides some financial support to the Archives. Although most of our collections are donated to us, there are other items of significant interest that come up for sale at auctions. In these cases the Friends very kindly purchase these on the Archives’ behalf. Recently they have bought a photograph of the Dundee Police Pipe Band and some postcards of Victorian Dundee. They have also funded the conservation of some of the damaged items in our collections, in particular the Crawford map of 1776.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank current and past members for all that they have done to support the work of the Archives over the past 30 years.
To celebrate this anniversary, the theme of the 2019 FDCA Conference will be “30 Years of Working Together” covering 50 years of the archives and 30 years of the FDCA. The conference will take place on 19th October. Stay tuned for more information or please contact us.