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Collecting new materials for the archive, museum or local history collections is what we do to help future generations know what was happening today.  Therefore we are always on the look out to ensure that we have as full a picture as possible of what is going on.

Archive Shelves showing bound volumes of minutes

Archive Store in the John Gray Centre.

So the general idea is that we as the archives and museums of East Lothian will collect items that relate to our geographical area.  This means collecting anything from photos of, or letters from, an individual to copies of minute books and accounts for a large organisation.  The museum service collects everything from small handicraft items up to, in the case of Prestongrange Museum, locomotive engines.

We have policies that set out the rules we follow when collecting, and what we are able to accept.  We are not able to take in everything, as there is only so much space.  But we hope that we are able to select things which represent the communities, and the changes, of East Lothian.  We look after everything that comes to us to high professional standards to make sure it survives as long as possible.  We have items going back seven hundred years, and think that it would be good to have them for at least another seven hundred! And we want to capture current events so they can be future history.

Our History. Our Future.

Recently we launched the ‘Our History. Our Future.‘ project to reach out to the harder to engage minority groups.  While we have good collections, they don’t currently represent the whole of East Lothian.  So what we are aiming to do is to bring balance to our collections.  This should help people understand the diversity of our county and appreciate what that means for all of us who live and work here.


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