The Scottish Fisheries Museum is delighted to announce the launch of a new online database designed to host its photographic collection.
The museum’s photographic collection is Recognised as a resource of national significance, chronicling the technological economic, social and political development of the Scottish fishing industry from the later 19th century through to the present day. Until the creation of this database, it was only accessible by visiting the museum and browsing either the index books or the digital files stored on a hard drive. We now hope to bring the collection to a wider audience from all over the world.
The creation of this database was funded by the Museum Association’s Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund. Created in response to COVID-19, the fund was designed to help UK museums “kick-start, scale up and evaluate the innovations they so adeptly designed through the Covid-19 pandemic.” It was highly competitive. Out of over a hundred applicants, the Scottish Fisheries Museum was one of only fourteen to be successful across the country and received funding of £33,000 for its FishNet project.
The Museum’s aim for the project was to release the stories contained within its photographic archive. Prior to the current funding, half of the collection had been digitised and a further 8,000 were scanned in 2020 thanks to a grant from NLHF. Thanks to the Digital Engagement Fund, the Museum was able to work with the company iBase, using their software template to design a product specifically for its needs. All of the scanned images are now online, with 5,000 viewable by the general public and others awaiting cataloguing.
The launch of the database marks a major milestone in this project. The next step, which is currently underway, is the recruitment remote volunteers. The museum has been successful in attracting university students as well as people with links to the fishing industry from all across Scotland. We are keen to keep engaging with these and other interested people so that even more of our fantastic collection can be accessible online.