Building communities around special interests is what Flickr excels at. The State Library of South Australia content services librarian Jenny Scott has set up a Flickr social group for archivists around the world. Archivists are encouraged to upload photos of their peers. It could be a photograph of a staff member in the office or the VI European Conference on Archives dinner they went to in Firenze in 2001 or even at the COFSTA residential school in Bungendore in 1999. This means archivists can make contact with someone they had chatted to over coffee but never met again or they can approach a person they admire but have never had the chance to meet. Jenny does not want institutions or archival collections but the people responsible for the wonderful archival work that is done.
VI European Conference on Archives, May 30 to June 2 2001, Firenze, Italia. Conference dinner was held in the courtyard of the Palazzo Pitti. Flickr/Adelaide Archivist
Jenny has criteria Flickr members need to adhere to when uploading their photos: ‘It maybe educational or comic but never rude or illegal and it must be ARCHIVISTS. I know it goes without saying that a good archivist would not add an image without METADATA, not necessarily full DUBLIN CORE but WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN are likely to make your images interesting and CREATIVE COMMONS licensing will make your photos sharable.‘
Members of the Australian Society of Archivists Beer Special Interest Group entertain Eric during the ASA conference in Adelaide, 2003. Flickr/Adelaide Archivist
Like many cultural institutions, the State Library of South Australia has also uploaded its historic photographs to Flickr. Later this year in Brisbane Jenny will discuss the advantages of using Web 2.0 technology to build new audiences and allow the public to add information to the image descriptions at the Australian Society of Archivists Brisbane conference Voyaging Together.
Email Jenny if you would like to know anymore information about using Flickr or the archivist social group.