Hugh Hagan is an archivist in the National Records of Scotland (NRS) where he is responsible for implementing and regulating of the Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 on behalf of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland.
Hugh had an illustrious career as a Clydeside shipbuilder before finding his
way into the world of archives and information management. He was a
shipwright on the lower reaches of the Clyde until the shipyards were closed in the mid 1980’s. His trade union helped him into further education, which led to him completing undergraduate and post graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies. His PhD research focused on the lives of women in the shipbuilding communities of the Clyde’s lower reaches in the 1930s.
Interviewing twenty-six women and men from that community over a number of years, he explored the lived experience focusing on aspects of culture, religious beliefs and ethnicity, work, domestic management and gender roles in his thesis, it this work that has brought him into collaboration with GaelGals, as a producer, writer, and researcher.
Hugh worked with Caledonia TV to produce Time Quines, a documentary of his work and the lives of those he interviewed and which brought their
experiences to a much wider audience. His research also featured in the BBC programme The Scots at Sea. His work has led to articles in historical journals and papers delivered at international conferences.
Hugh is currently secretary to the Scottish Oral History Group and a trustee of the Scottish Working People’s History Trust, which is dedicated to researching and publishing works about the lives of working people in Scotland and which relies heavily on oral history techniques to further its aims.
Hugh’s role in the NRS stems directly from the Historical Abuse Systemic
Review (Shaw Report) published in 2007. This Report highlighted systemic
failures in Scotland’s child-care sector against the backdrop of claims of
abuse suffered by those who relied on it for care. The current Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has its origins in the Shaw Report. Along with others, including survivors of abuse, care leaver groups, archivists, academics and social work professionals, Hugh has been researching an oral history project to tell the story of care in Scotland from a care leaver and care professional perspective.