These are a few of our favourite things…

Throughout April @ARAScot are running the #Archive30 promotional campaign on Twitter. Like many other services across the UK and internationally we are delighted to join in and meet the challenge of tweeting all 30 daily topics throughout the month! Today’s theme is #FavouriteItem. Below you will will find the items chosen by our Archives & Special Collections team along with some information on how they came to make their choices.

Script for the film Drifters, 1929 (ref. G2.1.8.1)

Our John Grierson Archive holds papers relating to Drifters, his seminal 1929 documentary about North Sea fishing. They include this copy of the script where the ink has run across the page. I like to imagine that it got wet when Grierson was on board the trawlers shooting the dramatic scenes of fishermen at work

Karl Magee, University Archivist
Draft design for the national flag of Malawi (ref. MK/1/3/1/68)

I love this draft of the new national flag of Malawi as the country prepared to move away from the name Nyasaland and gained independence. By itself it serves as an insight into all the preparations a nation has to make as it forges forward on its own. Not only the tough socio-political choices but the joyous stuff too – composing a national anthem, designing the flag and naming your new country, the things that people will be proud of in the future. It sounds like a hefty task but fun too! In the context of the Peter Mackay archive, it gives you a feel for just how involved he was in the process of independence and considering all the struggles and danger that had gone before and would come after, it’s nice to be able to imagine Mackay and his colleagues sat around a table taking a rare moment away from the political strife to decide just how many rays of sunshine there were going to be on their new flag.

Rosie Al-Mulla, Archivist
1869 edition of The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott (ref. Special Reserve O 00.95 1869)

I like this book because of its local associations. The Lady of the Lake is set at Loch Kathrine in the Trossachs. This edition, bound in Maucline ware, features the Wallace Monument on the front cover and was sold at Stirling Castle as a souvenir in the nineteenth century.

Helen Beardsley, Academic Liaison Librarian
Karak, mascot of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games (ref. CG/2/18/3)

Karak was the mascot for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and one of the first donations made to our Commonwealth Games Scotland Archive. It featured in our original Hosts and Champions exhibition at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow during the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Without doubt it was the object I had the most problems with when it came to setting up the display due to its habit of falling over every time I closed the exhibition case. In fact if I had a pound for every time I had to re-open the case to re-set Karak I’d have a very health bank balance!

Ian Mackintosh, Hosts and Champions Exhibition Assistant

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