Friday, 25 May 2018


We are crying again in the archive. This happens a lot... probably the dust or something...

But today, it is because of GDPR, otherwise known as General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force today. You may all be aware of this new legislation as we have all received numerous emails from companies keen to hold on to our data and put up with irritating pop up windows every time we want to check on handsome movie men.

Basically, the idea is that we have to specifically consent before someone takes and keeps our data and they can only keep it for as long as they need it. This is obviously a good thing. Orkney Archive will securely keep your data for only one year after you get in touch with us for an enquiry.

But oh, readers! We are an ARCHIVE which means we hate to throw anything out. One man's rubbishy pile of old papers is our delightful and informative gold. Our storerooms heave with old negatives, notebooks, receipts, cash books, diaries and letters and we LOVE IT.

It is with a heavy heart these last few weeks that Dusty and the Fonds have scrolled through our vast database of past enquiries, deleting the names and addresses  of people we have come to know as old friends.

"Goodbye Bob Bunting"* whispered Dusty* through tears as she deleted our first ever enquiry.

"Farewell Mavis Moobs"* wept the Fonds* as he shredded an enquiry regarding 18th century paving stones in Stromness.

We can still hold on to any information uncovered during the course of investigation for future reference but our enquiries seem all blank and impersonal now that they contain correspondence addressed to and signed by no-one... Sob...

For more information see here

* All names have been changed for this blog post re: GDPR


  1. I feel for you. I have been doing the same thing.
    Please don't delete me (if you haven't already of course!)

    1. It's hard isn't it? We find that regular primal screams into our special book-spine supporting cushions help.

  2. Throwing out the baby with the bath water... Future Archivists will deplore this vandalism. But hey! Paperless society - pretty soon no records will exist because the technology has moved on / broken down / lost power, and we'll wallow in another "Dark Age". Man doesn't learn. We deserve to go extinct before we wreck the rest of the world.

  3. Don't worry anonymous, we are keeping hold of the main body of information from each enquiry, just removing the name and address of the enquirer as we do not require these. The only records being shredded are those which ONLY contained contact information as they were quick questions requiring no paperwork.

    We are also holding on to the contact information of anyone who has deposited material with us as it is information we need in order to maintain the archive.

    Rest assured anonymous that, any hard-copy of information or archival document will have to be prised from our cold, dead hands. We also back up all digital enquiries with hard copies on paper which are then lovingly filed and locked away in temperature and humidity controlled strongrooms.

    I don't think we necessarily deserve to 'go extinct'.

  4. Man. I just saw this, as I was preparing to go touring in the Wild, Wild West. I am sad for you, too, and have wept copious tears over this new thing, as it also affects my work at Distributed Proofreaders from what I understand. SIGH. Well, if we want instant communication (which I don't, always) I guess we have to pay the piper.


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