Research Collections


Papers of David Affleck

Social Worker

Reference codes, titles and dates of Archive

Reference Code: GB1847 DC10 DA
: Papers of David Affleck
Date of Creation of material
: 1975-1993
Level of description
: Fonds
: 1.5 metres

Biographical history

Name of Creator: David Affleck.
Biographical history
: David Affleck was born in Leven in Fife, Scotland on the 4th April 1940.  At the age of twelve, a teacher spotted him as having a musical ability and his secondary school curriculum was then based on the expectation he would eventually study music. This plan was later rejected and he entered the Civil Service in 1956 to give him time to consider other options.  While there he developed skills in people management and leadership, with a particular interest in getting work groups to take part in collaborative activity.  In 1966 he trained for professional social work after having been involved in voluntary youth work and attending an international seminar in Germany in 1958 (which was to be a major experience in shaping his future).  Following organisational change in social work services in 1969, it was his management experience and a zeal for creative and strategic planning which was in demand and rapid promotion followed.

In his career as a manager of Social Work Services, he served as convenor on Scottish committees dealing with service development and planning with regard to mental health, learning disability, and criminal justice, over a nine-year period.  He was a member of the Executive of the Association of Directors of Social Work for slightly longer.  He held social work responsibilities in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, and Lothian Region.  On two occasions he represented Scottish social work departments within the Council of Europe in relation to young offenders policy.  His professional career was marked for his success in delivering interagency strategies and working with voluntary and community organisations, many of which he helped to establish with support from his management team.  Getting grass roots activities to relate to operational collaboration and strategic planning between agencies was an approach he both advocated and delivered.

In 1996, he retired from professional social work, and has since pursued interests in horticulture, history and music.  His long standing interest in how groups and communities function, and experience in assessing social history, found an outlet in a number of research projects.  Key examples are his research on James Balfour of Whittinghame, Pittenweem, Scotland  between 1800 and 1855, and the life of James Simpson, the Pittenweem Town Clerk between 1821 and 1851, (from which Pittenweem Arts Festival commissioned a play in 2004).  Other research on the early Auchinlecks and the contribution of the Jameson network to Scotland's heritage are examples of his retirement activities as a social historian with an interest in community and family networks.  All these studies have both a national and a local relevance which is a pattern carried over from his earlier career.  He continues to play an active part in his local community, where in 2004, he was Secretary of the History Society, President of both the Horticultural Society and Curling Club and organist of the local Kirk.
Archival history: Retained by David Affleck.
Immediate source of acquisition:
David Affleck, November 2003.

What is in the Archive

Scope and Content abstract: This archive holds various social work related papers in a number of areas relating mainly to the Lothian / East Lothian, Scotland area.  It also holds supporting documentation and publications in relevant areas –

  • Annual hearing reports for Lothian regions, 1975-
  • Children’s hearings policy planning, 1986-1989
  • Discipline in schools – Lothian region
  • Discipline in Scottish schools
  • Joint Links Committee on Housing and Social Work, 1978-1988
  • Papers on the review of intermediate treatment in Scotland
  • Report on residential care of children in Lothian
  • Services for learning disability, 1977, 1986-1990
  • Services to children
  • Services to the elderly in East Lothian
  • Services for the physically handicapped in Prestonpans, Scotland
  • Services to under fives, 1984
  • Young offenders policy paper
  • Youth strategy, 1983, 1985-1989
  • Youth strategy conference papers, 1993

Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Information: This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures.
Accrual: None expected. 
System of Arrangement: The collection is awaiting arrangement.

Getting & using the Archive

Conditions Governing Access:  Open by arrangement with the Archivist.
Copyright/Conditions Governing Reproduction: Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.
Language of Material: English.
Physical Characteristics: None which affect the use of this material.
Finding Aids: Handlist to folder level.

Other collections of similar subject matter

Location of Originals: This material is original.
Existence of Copies:
No known copies.
Related units of description
: Part of Glasgow Caledonian University Research Collections -   

Further details of related material can be found on the appropriate links page.
Publication note: None to date.

Archive contact

Carole McCallum (University Archivist)
Telephone - +44 (0)141 273 1188
Email -  

Notes relating to the preparation of this description

Description Compilation Details: Compiled by Carole McCallum, University Archivist, 9 February 2006.

Last Updated: 10 February, 2006
Edited by:

Photo: David Affleck