This site is run by me, Stevan Lockhart. I have documented some of the realities facing communities when setting up and running their own community digital archives, based on experience here in Assynt.

I have decades of corporate IT experience including, since 1998, the extensive deployment of Linux and  Free and Open Source infrastructure in trans-national corporate environments.  After taking a deep breath, I left the salaried IT world and studied for a degree in Scottish Cultural Studies with the University of the Highlands and Islands as a student of Orkney College. In 2013 I was awarded a First Class Honours BA degree and was the recipient of that year's "Best Graduating Student" award.  The combination of technology and cultural skills proves to be helpful for community digital archiving projects.

I live in Assynt, in the north west Highlands of Scotland. In 2009, the Assynt community in the form of the Assynt Community Association won funding for a community development which included a cafĂ©, bunkhouse and marine visitor attraction when the community took over the building vacated by the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen after their services became less needed in the area.  The community also wanted an archive to preserve cultural and heritage artefacts, but the physical space and specialist facilities were not achievable.  With my background, and also as an ex officio section of part time job I then had, I was asked to develop and run a digital archive to meet the community's requirements. The digital archive sub-project was delivered on time, under budget, and fulfilled all funding conditions.

Many of the documented aspects of running digital community archives on this site originate from learnings from the Assynt Archive, along with other community heritage expressions. Other communities have similar requirements;  It was with the intention of helping their ideas that the Assynt Archive may ber seen as a learning project, allowing others to take advantage of a working solution. This site documents some aspects of the project   and provides an insight into some principles at work. 

I have addressed a number of groups at early stages of their archiving projects and have provided training for archivists and community leaders. I may be contacted at commarch@vasten.co.uk In addition to digital archiving specialism, I has extensive experience in the development and running of Linux-based infrastructure.