| The National Archives of
Scotland (NAS) have made available around 4,000 government files
which would previously have remained closed for 30 years. This
follows the decision by Scottish Ministers to reduce the closure
on 'historical' records from 30 to 15 years under
The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
This is the second tranche of files to be released under this
new initiative, and they contain government papers from the
years 1984 to 1988. These latest releases reflect topics as
diverse as the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Scotland,
the BSE cattle crisis, the impact of alcohol on public health,
early proposals for constructing a road bridge to Skye, and
the further development of winter sports in the Highlands. List
of files to be released (Phase 2) – Acrobat PDF 1058KB
The first release phase took place on 28 September 2009 on International
Right to Know Day. It covered the years 1979 to 1983. Read
more about the first tranche release.
Other government files from the current release period are already in the public domain having been passed to NAS after FOISA was implemented in January 2005. Those files reflect subjects as diverse as determining fishing rights around Rockall, the Piper Alpha oil platform disaster, drug misuse and the onset of the AIDS epidemic, and events such as the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival.
A final release of files to the year 1994 will take place later in 2010.
Using images of records from the 15th century to the 20th century, it shows how successive governments initially sought to keep information secret and from the public gaze, while later recognising the need to satisfy increasing public demand for freer access. Read more about the 'An Open Secret' exhibition.
One of the exhibits is a Scottish parliamentary record from 1488 which gave rise to a medieval conspiracy theory. Read about the mysterious death of James III. Another concerns a futuristic 1930s high-speed monorail system, whose prototype was tested in Milngavie near Glasgow, but was never built commercially Read more about the George Bennie Railplane.