For over five years, the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at The University of Edinburgh has been taking forward the Edinburgh Fire Digital Preservation Project. This project comprises the cataloguing, indexing and scanning of some 40.000 documents which originally belonged to the BRE Fire Research Archive.
Back in 2009, the Archive was relocated from its initial location at the BRE headquarters in Watford to the top floor of the structures lab in King’s Buildings, Edinburgh…a monumental effort! The overall objective of the project is to make the Archive’s content publicly available online. To date, documents uploaded to the online Edinburgh ResearchArchive (ERA) receive anywhere between 12.000 and 14.000 visits per year (not an negligible number for the Fire Science community). Many of these documents are not available anywhere else in the world, hence not available online.
The Archive contains a wide range of topics related to Fire Science and Fire Safety Engineering (e.g. wildland fires, smoke behaviour, flame spread, fire dynamics, egress, structural behaviour, material science, combustion, and many, many more). Furthermore, the website hosting the Edinburgh Fire Group collections is the most visited website out of all of the Edinburgh Research Archive. To date, we've found some very interesting documents which include:
- WWII Fire Safety Propaganda found in our Archive is now exhibited at the NFPA museum and toured around the USA during Fire Prevention weeks (yes, the ones at the stair case in JM building are the copies of the originals).
- This year alone, this Civil Defence Manual of Fighting Training has received more than 3000 visits.
This project is a venture undertaken by the Edinburgh Fire Group as a whole. The next step comprises a huge indexing effort in which all of us in the Group (academics, postdocs, PhDs, master students, undergrads, alumni, and friends of the Edinburgh Fire Group) will be spending a full day indexing documents from the Archive. This indexing task will be closely overseen by the Library Resources for the School of Engineering and the Edinburgh Research Archive, experts in indexing and cataloguing.
During Indexing Day, we'll have lunch, schedule coffee/tea breaks, and head down to the local pub in the evening. Up to date 28participants have signed up to join us on Tuesday 9th December. For those of you who haven't signed up, but are interested in participating, feel free to sign up.