Archive for the ‘general’ Category

CAN GLAM Sector News Nov 24 Dec 6 2010

This is my pick of the week – Phylo – free online interactive game that uses players in the community to help decipher the origins of genetic diseases. The game resembles a horizontal tetris but is actually doing some serious scientific work in the background. Genetic sequences are difficult to understand and so to decipher their structure, we need to compare them to detect any similar regions they may have. Similar regions may indicate important elements of our genetic code. We have several genomes to align and we call this the multiple alignment problem. In essence this enables you to help scientists solve these problems by moving coloured squares around. Have a look at it at http://phylo.cs.mcgill.ca/eng/index.html

The Victoria & Albert museum commission author of Girl with a Pearl Earring to write short story based on their Quilts: 1700 – 2010 exhibition http://tinyurl.com/37zwc38

Are you a volunteer in Victoria? Take the Victorian Volunteer Survey at La Trobe University and you could win http://bit.ly/e1esuY

A good article on the Tate’s Online Strategy can be found in its research journal 2010–12 http://tinyurl.com/2dkrhpb

Why Gawker is moving beyond the blog. Layout changes include moving the blog scroll, to the right column, still prominent but subordinate; that reverse-chronological listing of the latest stories goes from about two thirds of the active area of the front door down to one third; and only headlines are displayed. Every inside page will hew to the same template as the front page. No matter whether the visitor keys in the site address or arrives from the side by a link on Facebook or elsewhere, he or she will be greeted not just by a story but by an index of other recent items. http://lifehac.kr/fazvVM2011

Bob Dylan’s Handwritten Lyrics for “The Times They are A-Changin’” went up for sale at Sotheby’s in New York City at an estimated value of $200,000 to $300,000 http://twurl.nl/qorblr

The State Library of NSW rare first edition of The prophet went on show http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/future.html

Upcoming Exhibition On the 21 January 2011 london’s Art Sensus will showing the first comprehensive gallery exhibition devoted to the artist’s Rodchenko’s photographic work. Curated by John Milner, Rodchenko and his Circle will feature three hundred powerful photographs revealing the artist’s response to Communism in relation to the professional photographers he worked with: Naum S. Granovsky, Simon Fridland, Max Alpert, Evgeni Khaldei and Georgii Zelma. http://bit.ly/eMx7jP

I really liked this idea which saw Paula Hayes’ living terrariums installed at the Museum of Modern Art http://tinyurl.com/2fc46cx

Australian Woman’s Weekly 1933-1982 search online at National Library Trove. I have been a bit late picking up on this resource which has been on TROVE for sometime but its a great resource. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/title/112

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) is commencing a review of the Telemarketing Industry Standard and has released a discussion paper which you can find at http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_312376

Tracking a rare tortoise? The latest example is an iPhone app called Mojave Desert Tortoise, which people can use to help researchers preserve the endangered species it is named after. With the app, visitors to the Mojave Desert (which stretches between California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona) can take photos of any desert tortoises they happen to encounter. The app adds GPS data to the photo and sends it to researchers at the Mojave Desert Ecosystem Program (MDEP) and Desert Managers Group. The information will then be used to track the turtles’ movements and habits. The data will also eventually be made public online. http://tinyurl.com/39eatb7

While we think we are consuming large amounts of data now the Science Daily believes the increased availability and access of broadband around the world could have serious energy implications for a society that is living within environmental limits. New research has analysed the potential future demand for downloaded data worldwide in 2030 will be around 3,200 MB a day per person and use around 1,175 Gigawatts of energy http://tinyurl.com/29hwre6

Something for the Christmas stocking for Sale by Tender HMS Invincible aircraft carrier 17000 Tonnes http://tinyurl.com/2eth37b

The Turner Prize winner for 2010 was announced. Susan Philipsz sound work of her singing an old Scottish song won the day. http://tinyurl.com/32tqcbu

The Australia Council announced some of its funded projects: residency in Antarctica, group exhibition in Croatia, Castlemaine Biennal. More at http://bit.ly/f4ZEvv

JuliensAuctions in Hollywood sold some Michal Jackson memorabilia this week included were his Smooth Criminal fedora which sold for $72,000 and a glove for 330,000. http://fb.me/HzWYpBmZ ps. An X-ray of Albert Einstein’s brain sold for 38,750

4 Photo Sharing Alternatives to Flickr and Facebook – http://on.mash.to/eQgskw

December 2 was the International Day of People with Disability

MOMA announce brief series on collectible contemporary art editions commissioned by trustee Peter Norton. http://bit.ly/eAvwBz

The Sew South Wales Government announced a plan to explore the use of Social Impact Bonds in which private enterprise invests in community-based projects. http://tinyurl.com/336a6my

In America the National Archives & Nat Tech Info Service have reached an agreement preserve digital Scientific Records http://tinyurl.com/2aq4sxd

Dürer’s Conserved Adam and Eve Unveiled at the Prado blog and photos http://tinyurl.com/25hh6me

The HornsbyCouncil in Sydney’s new website went live: http://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au

Position Vacant Records Officer Remuneration, City of Wagga Wagga, Closing Date: Wed 15 December 2010 http://tinyurl.com/38wrat6

Historical Researcher, Canberra, Historical Publications and Information Section http://tinyurl.com/332eszf

Position Vacant Project Manager, Gen Operations Dept of Culture & Arts Perth, Closing Date Mon 20 Dec 2010 4:00 http://tinyurl.com/3yma492

Position Vacant Electrician, Sovereign Hill museums, Ballarat & Central Highlands App close Tues 13th Dec 2010, http://tinyurl.com/2c6rvdo

Position Vacant Tour Guides The Wax Museum, Gold Coast, part time, http://tinyurl.com/2wscs49

Position Vacant – Curator South Australian Maritime Museum, Port Adelaide, Closes 5pm Fri 7 Jan 2011, http://tinyurl.com/26bkk3l

Rotorua Museum is looking for a new public programmes manager http://bit.ly/eAYIVX

1

CAN GLAM Sector News 18 Nov 23 Nov 2010

News from our @Can001 twitter feed

Where do good ideas come from? 1-6 • Ideas don’t come from watching television • Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture • Ideas often come while reading a book • Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them • Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom • Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide – I thought Seth Godin’s list of was a good way to start this weeks CAN news update there are more at http://bit.ly/dV3upr

Geocommons – this is an amazing development and probably my pick of the week as far as occupying my time. This is an online repository of all kinds of database which you can add in layers to make up your own geo-coded maps. I made up a quick one on Museum Attendance Europe 2008 at http://geocommons.com/maps/38095 and I am working on one for Locations of GLAM sector in Australia which will be great if I can get it to work.

Turing Papers a few weeks back I posted a link to Christie’s auction of these papers and on Tuesday Google announced it was contributing $100,000 to help Bletchley Park acquire them. http://is.gd/hF6oG

The British Library announces its adopt a book program http://adoptabook.bl.uk/

The Portable Film Festival, an online film festival filmink.com.au

Herbarium Information Systems Committee meeting in Christchurch NZ. Agenda and evolving meeting notes http://bit.ly/ckUF10

Australian Government funding for schools —the first comprehensive government appraisal of school funding since the early 1970s. In 2009, the Australian Government restructured its funding for schools, particularly for government schools, as a result of a new federal financial relations framework established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) through the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations. http://bit.ly/a09vG3

Sad News – fire destroys the Western Australian Town of Claremont library and council offices in Perth http://tinyurl.com/34ns9rv

Congratulations to Perth Zoo Category 1 Major Tourist Attraction Gold Medal, Western Australian Museum Geraldton & Silver medal WA Tourism. Category 2 Tourist Attractions Western Australian Museum – Geraldton http://fb.me/KvI7wXmL

iPhone Photography Accessories – mainly tripods etc. http://ow.ly/1a5VkB

Crash Course in Social Media for Community Engagement: 50 Tools and Methodologies slide show http://tinyurl.com/287yho2

Evolving Face of Community Care NSW Conference Sydney 2 May 2011 http://tiny.cc/al1sw@tricommunity

Position Vacant – HEAD OF CREATIVE LEARNING – Museum of Contemporary Art MCA – Sydney http://tinyurl.com/36nxqq9

Position Vacant – Director- Human Resources – Department of Culture & the Arts – Perth http://tinyurl.com/3×7tglh

Job – Curator Role at RMITs Design Hub Melbourne – http://tinyurl.com/38g2r5x

Job – CURATOR, HARRY BROOKES ALLEN MUSEUM OF ANATOMY AND PATHOLOGY Melbourne close 21 Nov – http://tinyurl.com/3yj7qen

Institute of Museum and Library Services selects 5 US libraries and 5 US museums for the 2010 National Medal see what they are up to at http://tinyurl.com/3ajceel

Australian National Data Service cranking up – http://ands.org.au/partner/connections.html

The History of Social Media: http://bit.ly/9929ai

Join designer Orla Kiely as she discusses the inspirations behind her vibrant pattern designs. Fri 3 Dec, 7-8.45pm. http://ow.ly/3comU

Interested in TV drama and doco funding? See Screen Australia’s new draft blueprint for funding http://tinyurl.com/25ak44g

EXHIBITION: Annie Leibovitz – A Photographer’s Life, starts today @ MCA http://www.mca.com.au http://bit.ly/13SkYA

Calling contemporary musicians who want to get a little experimental – Soundclash grants close 6 December http://bit.ly/aoBkOb

H.P. Lovecraft meets TINTIN? http://goo.gl/fb/5dnWR

The Nature of Connectedness on the Web http://bit.ly/9lVHkL

Art-youth-culture report and Arts Council response http://bit.ly/cgOfsb

A competition for urban photographers: HHT is running a competition with a Nikon D3100 up for grabs: http://bit.ly/aKq9GM

AUSTRALIAN ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR was on 23 24 25 Nov Melbourne http://www.anzaab.com/anzaab/bookfair.cfm

University of technology Sydney – Design ’10 Exhibition showcases the… http://fb.me/OCh1IhNU

Scientist Fenner dies aged 95 http://bit.ly/9Xv5Cq

1

Australia’s 1st Petrol-Driven Lawn Mower – City of Canada Bay Museum

Mowhall Mower Canada Bay Museum

The story behind Lawrence Hall’s ‘Mowhall’ mower and Mervyn Richardson’s ‘Victa’

Lawrence Hall was a self-taught inventor who went on to become a Marine Engineer. In 1948, tired pushing a lawnmower around his mother’s lawn and around the grounds of the Cabarita Speedboat Club he set about finding an easier way to get the job done.

Using his engineering knowledge he set about building a motorised lawnmower. Using a disc from a plough, tin cans and steel pipe scraps he constructed a prototype powered by another of Hall’s inventions, a three-horsepower marine engine. In 1993 the Sydney Morning Herald interviewed his son Walter who claimed that “It was a heavy old monster and I nearly cut my foot off with it.”

But Walter also claims that this prototype of Hall’s ‘Mowhall’ mower, was used before Mervyn Victor Richardson’s ‘Victa’ mower was ever built. Richardson, who went on to be credited by most people for inventing Australia’s first petrol-engine rotary mower, started work on his ‘Victa’ mower in a garage in Concord in 1952.

Eventually the ‘Victa’ mower made Richardson a multi-millionaire but while many agree he deserved credit for his insight into the mower’s potential others, like Walter, also felt he copied the basic form and method of propulsion from Lawrence Hall’s “Mowhall” mower. The Hall family’s claim is backed up by John Longhurst who was a teenager apprenticed to Hall as a fitter and machinist around this time.

According to Longhurst, Merve Richardson, then an associate of Hall’s, visited the workshop one day when Hall was fitting his mower with a ’snorkel’ to prevent the engine being clogged with dust. After Merve commented on what a wonderful idea it was Hall proceeded to demonstrate how the mower could cut even the longest grass.

Eventually Richardson came up with the ‘Victa’ mower which was much lighter and more compact in design and which would go on to make millions. Hall’s ‘Mowhall’ mower while far less successful is arguably no less important to this great Australian story of invention. It is certainly rarer and this “Mowhall” mower has been on display in the Concord Heritage Society Museum since the 1980s, accompanied by a sign declaring it to be “the machine from which all modern mowers were copies”.

Concord Heritage Society Museum
Opening hours: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
1 Bent Street, Concord
Group visits by arrangement.
Admission FREE (donations welcome)
www.concordheritage.asn.au

Post from Lois Michel, Concord Historical Society

1

The Quest for Quolls (aka native cat and tiger cat)

Quests are adventures usually with a cause and a redemptive goal and it seemed fitting to term this blogpost as a quest for quolls. CAN received an email recently from Dr David Peacock (Research Officer – NRM Biosecurity Unit Biosecurity SA) asking for help from the Australian collecting community with finding artefacts with quoll fur and historical evidence of quolls. Dave and his colleague Ian Abbott are collecting historical accounts of the “native cat” and “tiger cat”, animals now called quolls, to advance contemporary understanding of these species. They have found that the eastern quoll in particular, now only found in Tasmania, was extremely common and was generally mercilessly persecuted, for reasons such as to prevent their raiding of chicken coops, as well as for the fur trade.

Tiger Quoll | CC-BY | Pierre Pouliquin

Tiger Quoll | CC-BY | Pierre Pouliquin

 

During their searches they have come across numerous accounts of “native cat” and “tiger cat” skin prices; and their skins for sale, being made into “blankets”, “rugs”, “carriage-wraps” and the like, including a 1922 advertisement for children’s coats manufactured at a place in Geelong, Victoria, from The Argus, 6 September 1922. Another example of these accounts is from 1886: ‘… A very handsome and remarkable rug, made from Tasmanian furs, is exhibited by W. A. Gardner, Esq., of Launceston. The centre is of the fur of the native cat, and is surrounded by the fur of the tiger cat and common native cat, with border of opossum’. Tasmania, for one, exported “native cat” and “tiger cat” skins to England as early as 1826, with material sent to Europe for the trade exhibitions as early as 1854, so perhaps such an historical artifact has survived in a European museum?

The Argus, 6 September 1922

The Argus, 6 September 1922


For Dave’s talks on these historical quoll accounts he has wanted an image of one of these “native cat” or “tiger cat” skin coats, blankets, etc. to help people understand (visualise) one of the reasons for the decline and regional extinction of these species. However he has been unable to locate such an image and wants some help from the wider collecting community here in sourcing useful support material and images. Dave and Ian want to know if anyone on CAN have such a “native cat” or “tiger cat” skin rug or blanket image, or one of a pile of quoll skins (such as exist for the koala), or perhaps might know of such an image? They would of course appropriately cite the image. If such an image existed, they strongly advocate that it be added to a heritage collection as it would be a very rare record of what was a very common species and the usage of its fur here in Australia.

With accounts such as “In Western Victoria the stony grassy plains are their great haunt, and every station has a permanent barrel trap, near the slaughter yard, for the sole purpose of catching these animals. I have frequently, after slaughtering a beast, caught as many as twenty of a night in one of these traps” (from 1879), it is a shame they don’t have a photo, or surviving “barrel trap”, as an artefact of the early settlers efforts to tame Australia’s now regionally extinct fauna! Dave and Ian have already used museum specimens, c.f. artefacts in their work. In their recent paper just sent to Australian Journal of Zoology entitled ‘The mongoose in Australia: failed introduction of a biological control agent’, they liaised with the state museums to detail what mongoose were held in their collections. From this they hypothesised that the approximately 1000 mongoose introduced into Australia to control the rabbit plague were probably the Indian Grey Mongoose, as this is the species of which Australia seems to have the most specimens. For this quoll research, originally the purpose was to help justify the reintroduction of quolls to South Australia as a native rabbit predator. Dave and his colleague are so glad of the National Library of Australia’s efforts to digitise old newspapers! With a search word and much time, but inordinately less effort than having to use a microfilm reader and luck with visual scanning, they have sourced many hundreds of records, and with them much insight into Australia’s faunal history. Seeking out collection items (artefacts) have not been a part of their searching, yet they represent an important tangible visual record of Australian history, and somewhat validate the relevant historical accounts they have located in their work.

Just to give you a bit of background on Ian and Dave’s research and how using unique collection materials is key to their work. Ian has also utilised old explorer and surveyor diaries to establish the origin of the feral cat arriving in Australia from 19th century European releases and not Dutch shipwrecks of the 1600s as others have hypothesised. Ian’s original paper, culminating from significant time researching, is ‘Abbott, I. (2002) Origin and spread of the cat, Felis catus, on mainland Australia, with a discussion of the magnitude of its early impact on native fauna. Wildlife Research 29(1), 51-74.’. Dave when writing his PhD he spent weeks in the Battye library in Perth going through reels of microfilm, mainly of The Western Mail, for accounts of wildlife, such as bronzewing pigeons, being poisonous to cats and dogs from their feeding on the 1080 poison-producing Gastrolobium plants. That huge effort should finally be published next month in Australian Zoologist

Dr David Peacock, Biosecurity SA

Dr David Peacock, Biosecurity SA

 

Dave and his colleague Ian would love diary, newspaper or other accounts and artefacts (like rugs, or skins) the Australian collecting community might have, or know of. Dave’s details are below if anyone has quoll related collection material in their collection they’d like to bring to light to help with this research.

 

Postal address: GPO Box 1671 Adelaide SA 5001
Location address: Building 1, Soil & Water Environs, Entry 4, Waite Rd, Urrbrae SA
Phone: 08 8303 9504
Fax: 08 8303 9555
Email: david.peacock@sa.gov.au
Web: www.pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity

1

Collectors: Keepsakes and Mementos

The Collections Council of Australia

The Collections Council of Australia (CCA) closed on 30 April 2010. It seems a fitting moment to reflect upon the nature of collecting and acknowledge the energy, support and intellectual insight Margaret Birtley and her team at the Council brought to the business of collecting in Australia.

Collections Council of Australia (CCA)

The CCA have found two new custodians for four of its major projects: the Department of the Environment, Heritage, Water and the Arts (DEWHA) and The Powerhouse Museum. Significance 2.0 and Australian Collecting Organisations Register (OZCOR) are to be handed over to DEWHA. Collections Law: Legal Issues for Australian Archives, Galleries, Libraries and Museums and SAGE (a.k.a Standards And Guidelines: an E-directory) are to be handed over to the Powerhouse. The CCA website remains up and it has been archived in PANDORA by the National Library of Australia. The CCA versions of these sites will be accessible via the Council’s static website until further notice.

 

Sector Events – Preservation

In the next two months there are two collecting sector events focusing on preservation – a symposium in Melbourne ‘Between Creation and the Collecting Institutions’ 3 June 2010 and a conference in Sydney ‘Digital Preservation: Ensuring the Longevity of Born-Digital Records’ 12-14 May 2010.

Digital Preservation conference 12-14 May 2010

The symposium in Melbourne focuses on two aspects of art collection: the benefits of keeping collections ‘today’s creations are tomorrow’s heritage’ and that most art is not held in national collections, it is held in private hands and by small associations. The conference Sydney focuses on the ‘how’ of digital records management, looking at approaches, methods and tools. These two events raise the same questions: what is kept?; what is discarded?; who keeps it?; how do they keep it?; who gets access to it?; what it costs to keep it?; and why keep it?. These can be hard questions to ask let alone answer. In the realms of digital preservation it is worth noting a change in directorship from Chris Rusbridge to Kevin Ashley in the Digital Curation Centre in the UK and checking out the news on the Twitter archive recently donated to the Library of Congress recently in the National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program. It is also worth looking at the tools page on the DCC and NDIIPP sites to see just what resources are out there. While the realities of physical collecting are being solved, the realities of virtual collecting remain a challenge.

 

Putting Collections Online

Last year at the Allsorts Online forum in Adelaide collectors from the arts, media, academy and the GLAM sector were represented as presenters. The presenters talked about their online projects and making collection items available online. Whether these practitioners see themselves primarily as collectors, researchers, broadcasters or publishers of collection information is another debate. The aim of having the discussion was to get those actively and those incidentally in the business of collecting in the same room to share thoughts about what happens when organisations put collections up online. For example, an implicit expectation that a collection is ‘a click away’ is set up in the mind of the searcher or researchers online that seems to be quite different to the reality of of actually accessing a collection. For collections filled with moving image, images and text there is some ready translation into the online world via the computer screen. For artefacts, the representation is mostly 2D with some representations that permit zooming and rotation.

 

The physical spaces of libraries particularly are changing to enable a space that once housed more physical collection material to house searchers and researchers to access the collection online in the library space (or beyond its walls and anywhere). An historical society might find itself in very different circumstances in that they seek a basic requirement, i.e. a permanent home to store the precious local history collection they’ve gathered up with the help (often) of volunteers. The extent of difference in challenges faced by collecting organisations reflects the wonderfully diverse and the highly practical nature of collecting…the intriguing aspect of collecting lies in the collection items themselves and in the kernel of intent embedded in the rationale for collecting.

Maize kernel

 

Collection Policy
Archives of data, footage, images, and records and artefact and library collections are often developed as an adjunct the the core business of an organisation. This is why having collection policy is so important to enable the brief for collection management to be identified and guide decision-making. The strategic and operational policies express the rationale and identify constraints which can give direction on how issues on legislation, scope, location, access, preservation, assessment, retention and deaccession can be resolved. An opportunity arises through short term gathering or incidental collecting to make use and enjoy the benefits of artefacts and resources close at hand. At some point an assessment of what to let go and what to keep is needed to be more efficient with managing the collection, to change what is collected or made accessible because of a change in collection focus or governance; or to accept a fate of reduced means or recognise the significance of what is collected and to disperse, dispose, sell, or donate a collection.

 

The Collection Horizon
Meanwhile, across the Tasman in New Zealand there are moves to integrate the National Library of New Zealand and Archives New Zealand into the Department of Internal Affairs. The strategic intent behind keeping these collections is enshrined in legislation and this forms an important aspect of societal fabric and democracy. One of the key issues raised in this process of integration are the statutory independence of the National Librarian and the Chief Archivist and statutory provisions for the role of a Chief Librarian for the Alexander Turnbull Library. In the light of two reports published recently: Culture is not a Department: The Role of Governance in National Cultural Institutions and A Balancing Act: Balancing the need to Protect Collections and Save the Earth – the horizons seem to be changing in Australia too in the collecting sector.

1

Archival knowledge and know-how…and collection level description..

There is nothing more satisfying than to hear collecting experts talk about what they know, how they go about doing what they do — sharing their knowledge and know-how. Archival theory is fascinating…and a domain language emerged immediately: evidence, entities, relationships, data models, ISAD(G), ISAAR(CPF), ISO 23081, ISO 15489, Continuum, InterPARES, end-of-life, fonds, series, files, documents, records…and these words are loaded with particular meaning to archivists, archival collection management systems and archival practices.

Birmingham Central Library, Photo Archives

 

I had the pleasure of attending the Standards, Software, and Strategies – A & D in Action seminar put together by the NSW Branch of the Australian Society of Archivists on Wednesday 29th July hosted by State Records of NSW at the Sydney Records Centre in the Rocks.

Sigrid McCausland (Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga) chaired the event and the talks and speakers (aka leading lights) were:

National and international descriptive standards – Kate Cumming (Government Recordkeeping, State Records NSW)

Archival software – Mark Stevens (City of Sydney Archives) – Archives Investigator, Anne Picot & Julia Mant (University of Sydney Archives) BOS/TRIM – , and Chris Hurley (Commonwealth Bank) – MS Access, Lyn Milton, (The Fred Hollows Foundation) – Tabularium, Michael Smith, (University of Western Sydney) TRIM, Prue Heath, (SCEGGS Darlinghurst) – Archive Manager and Judith Seeff, (Sydney Theatre Company Archives & Australian Theatre for Young People Archives) – FileMaker Pro

My thoughts in the main after a day immersed and amongst these professionals was how much talent and experience the archival community has to offer in terms of developing a community of practice. There were presentations from archivists working in entirely different contexts. The benefit of this exchange is sometimes just the perspective I suspect, rather than the exact solution to any immediate challenges.

some leading lights in archival practice

 

Collection Level Description
I raised some questions about what is happening with the Register of Australian Archives and Manuscripts (RAAM) and where the archival community is heading with standardising different levels of description. My theory is that collection level description is where the single most benefit may arise for cross-sector searching. At the moment it seems that the diverse domains in the collecting sector are wrestling with describing collections at item level. My personal view is that the archival community have the head start and are well-practised at describing collection material at various collection levels. This is not to diminish the value of item level description…each description level has a place and value to searchers and researchers alike.

The international (though locally oriented) leading light (for me) as far as offering comprehensive collection level description goes is the Southern Cross Resource Finder that lists collections that hold information useful for studies on Australia and New Zealand. A local leading light for me is also the ANDS project, in particular the Register My Data initiative…more on that another day.

1

Links: a blog directory for librarians

The national and state libraries across the country are producing some excellent blogs that are worth subscribing to. In particular, that National Library of Australia discusses the ‘Michael Jackson Effect’ in its Library labs Blog. It focuses on the same questions discussed in last week’s CAN Outreach Blog about whether the cultural sector should be reacting to international events to attract audiences. The State Library of Queensland engages in an active and dynamic dialogue between its library and exhibition space and its community. The John Oxley Library Blog is very connected with its community, focusing on social history. At Our Table publishes recipes and stories from the people of Queensland. There is a childrens book club and exhibitions blog.


Links: Film star Helen Twelvetrees on an elephant, Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney, 1936-7, photograph by Sam Hood, Flickr Commons/ State Library of NSW

Here is a list of the blogs from their peers around the country
National Library of Australia
State Library of Queensland
State Library of Victoria
State Library of Western Australia
State Library of New South Wales has embarked on their blog sites with limited enthusiasm. A successful exhibition promotion used a blog to promote Andrew Zuckerman’s Wisdom by running a competition for the person who could submit the best ‘words of wisdom’. The entries can still be read online. My favourite is: ‘Wisdom is a measure of how much you know you do not yet know’. Posted by: Austin Caffin, 18 October 2008 12:55.

As an aside, I thought I would publish two wiki library blog directories. Blog Without a Library is an international wiki for public libraries. It breaks down the blogs into categories: academic, public, school, special libraries which includes corporate and government or anything that is not part of the former libraries listed. There is a list of blogs for internal staff communication within a library, library associations and library directors.

There is also the Australian public library blog directory Aussie Library Blogs: Libraries Interact. Many of these blogs have not been updated for a while but it is interesting to see how individual librarians are using Web 2.0 compared with public institutions. While this article focuses on cultural institutions Lorcan Dempsey’s blog is highly regarded and has pride of place on the CAN Outreach Blogroll.

1

Blowing one’s trumpet and trumpeting success/failure..?

 
What is trumpeted and valued differs between people, communities and cultures.

No Trumpeting, Please!

No Trumpeting, Please!

 
CAN is running a survey on outreach to see what kind of outreach activities CAN Partners and collection sector participants want and value. We are learning what outreach has worked, what isn’t seen of value, what will be of value, and sometimes why it is of value. This feedback is very informative and is useful for planning and targeting CAN’s outreach. So how does this relate to trumpets and what does this have to do with a Clint Eastwood movie?

 

Good-Bad-Ugly

Good-Bad-Ugly

 
This constructive feedback is critical and I’d like to thank those survey participants for their time in providing it and invite more of you to complete the survey. We want the good, the bad and the ugly… and we’re ok with hearing what you do and don’t want or value… so trumpet away.

 
Luckily, on occasion there are pluses to these processes of consultation… last week Sarah received some very positive feedback from a practitioner in WA that looks after a private collection, that she followed up because of rich nature of her feedback.

 
“what I like very much about what you are doing, is the emails you send with links to information that is both educational and interesting. I also like that topics are often about things that I don’t have the time to research, but after reading about, I may decide to utilise at a later stage in my workplace. Thank you and keep up the good work – we’ll be digitised yet!!!”

 
In effect we in CAN are trumpeting this success by sharing it with you, but also, we are aware that there are many practitioners in the sector that need help getting to the point of making the collections available online. So comments like this… are really helpful reminders of where outreach energies can be targeted and there is still plenty of work to do.

 
We aim to get out a summary of the feedback at a later stage.

1

Kia ora, Greetings..

Ingrid Mason: CAN National Project Manager

 

 

I started last week as the national project manger for CAN. I decided it would be good to put a face to a name, and I look forward to meeting some of the CAN Partners at the Museums Australia conference in Newcastle in a couple of weeks (16-20 May) in Newcastle, NSW.

Outreach

As you know, CAN is posited in the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and CAN service reach out across Australia and beyond. The Powerhouse Museum is familiar territory for me – I worked here as a web content editor and reference librarian about six years ago.  The rest of the community out there however are a big ‘unknown’ and I hope to become better acquainted with you.. and to learn some more ways of saying ‘hi’.  My latest acquisitions are ‘buongiorno’ and ‘privet’ thanks to Italian and Russian colleagues at University of Sydney (where I’ve just been working). The greetings above though, along with talofa lava, malo e lelei, kia orana, are a means of giving you all a hint that I’m from Aotearoa – New Zealand and I am an Australian citizen, with a soft spot for Pacific culture, and a love of diversity, different cultures, and things digital.

Handover

Work-wise, gladly, I am in very good hands: Seb Chan from the Powerhouse Museum is briefing me on where CAN is at strategically, Joy Suliman (now in the SoundHouse Vector Lab at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney) is in the process of handing over CAN operations to me, Luke Dearnley is slowly acquainting me with things technical and Sarah Rhodes is easing me into the CAN website and blog.

Professional Background

To give you a bit of professional information about me: my background is in library and information management and I have interests in technology and research and a background digital cultural heritage and business development.  Prior to taking up this role I worked as the special projects manager (Digital Innovation Unit) at the University of Sydney.  In previous roles I have: managed a university digital repository, lead a web archiving team, and contributed to developing the requirements for the National Digital Heritage Archive in New Zealand.  So… I have a bit of cross-sector experience.. and I’m keen for more…and I look forward to working with the CAN community and across sectors.

1