Preserving the history of social work: The Golden Bridge

Published on 4 Sep 2015

In 2007, Iriss undertook a digital preservation project to share - and safeguard - the migration story of 10,000 "orphans, waifs and strays" who emigrated to Canada between 1869 and 1939.

The Golden Bridge was first created as a exhibition at the Heatherbank Museum of Social Work in Glasgow. When the museum's public exhibition space closed, Iriss worked with the exhibition's curator and archivist to digitise the photographs, documents and stories and give them a home on the web. In this new format, the Golden Bridge exhibition is protected from age and damage. It's also become an interactive tool for learning and sharing this migration story - with the ability to provide new ways of seeing this part of Scotland's history.

The Golden Bridge website has recently been redesigned. Back in 2007, the original website wasn't designed to be responsive, meaning it wasn't designed to display on mobile phones or tablets. The advent of the Smartphone changed how people accessed the web, and given the growth in popularity of mobile devices, it was considered important to redesign Golden Bridge to ensure it was fit for purpose and continued to reach a wide audience.

This resource draws on the value of stories to understand Scotland's social services. As Alastair Ramage, the exhibition's curator suggests, this is 'a story that needs to be told again and again to remind us how easy it is to stigmatise a whole group of vulnerable people - especially children'.

Listen to Ellen Daly and Ian Phillip from Iriss tell us how the Golden Bridge resource was originally created.