Posts Tagged ‘archives’
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
On the 19 October the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) published its 8th Australian Bureau of Statistics report on Arts and Culture in Australia. Drawn from a range of sources, including the CAN-Partners list of Museums and Galleries. It is an attempt to provide a unified body of information relating to the those industries defined as being in the ‘Heritage’ or ‘Arts’ sector.
This post is my attempt to compile a bit of an overview of this rather lengthy report and hopefully encourage others to plumb its depths to drag out some of the interesting stats to be found in it. The main area that attracted my attention was Part B Profiles of the Cultural Sectors – 8.0 Museums, 10.0 Libraries and Archives, 12.0 Performing Arts, 13.0 Music & 14.0 Visual Arts and Crafts.
The first thing I noted from the table on page 11 – AVERAGE TIME SPENT ON SELECTED CULTURE AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES – was that in 2006 the GLAM sectors main competitor for leisure activity was still the TV with Australians over 15 spending just under 3 hours each day watching or listening to TV. The most popular cultural venue was the cinema and this perhaps accounts for the table noting that Australians spent triple the length of time visiting entertainment and cultural venues than they did attending Sports Events, although presumably many, like myself, tend to vegetate at home and watch the event on TV. Also I wasn’t sure if this included Australians visiting overseas events.
But even so it is an interesting statistic given the general perception that Australians would prefer to attend a sporting event rather than a cultural one. The reason for this is perhaps the definition of cultural venues which include 36% visiting zoological parks and aquariums 34% percent visiting local, state and national libraries, 34% visiting botanic gardens, and 25% visiting a popular music concert. Art galleries and Museums were next in line in terms of attendance.
It should also be noted that across the board women were more likely to attend a cultural venue with the visit to the library showing the largest discrepancy. In 2006, the ABS Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey found that reading was a favourite activity for 61% of people aged over 15 years. The activity was a favourite for 73% of females surveyed – compared with this sad indicator my genders general bookish interests – 50% of males.
Strangely in the period leading up to middle age (i.e. 44), people were more likely to visit museums and after this Art Galleries assumed the ascendance. I was surprised because of it is often the museum that is associated with the older market and the Art Gallery with the younger one … Hmmmmm? Also noted that Museums tended to get more one-off visits while galleries, libraries get more repeat visits.
The second table discussed is the 2009 OVERSEAS CULTURAL AND HERITAGE VISITORS. Arranged by activity we find 57% attending Museums and Art Galleries but the greatest number 62% visit historical/heritage buildings, sites or monuments. I’m thinking the Sydney Opera House and other major heritage building may have been responsible for quite a few of these however.
Australians took around 66 million overnight visits and 9.3 million of these visited: the theatre, a concert, performing arts, museum, art gallery, Art, craft workshops, festivals, fair, cultural event, Aboriginal displays site or community, or a historical/heritage building, site or monument.
When it comes to government funding the main part of Federal revenue, $1,391,100,000 goes to Radio and TV services while State and Territory Government spends the most on Performing Arts venues $241,200,000. By comparison table 4.1 with 2008-2009 figures shows
Heritage Expenditure by Australian Government in millions followed by %
Environmental heritage 207.0
Other museums and cultural heritage 266.0
Art museums 91.5
Total heritage 729.8
Heritage Expenditure by State and territory Government in millions
Environmental heritage 1,397.0
Other museums and cultural heritage 338.3
Art museums 175.2
Total heritage 2 313.8
Arts Expenditure by Australian Government in millions
Other arts 136.3
Film and video production and distribution 115.5
Radio and television services 1,391.1
Visual arts and crafts 33.4
Music composition and publishing 0.7
Performing arts venues __
Other performing arts 7.0
Music theatre and opera 24.0
Music performance 59.3
Literature and print media 31.2
Total arts 1 854.7
Arts Expenditure by State and Territory Government in millions
Other arts 124.2
Film and video production and distribution 122.7
Radio and television services 1.7
Visual arts and crafts 41.1
Music composition and publishing 0.5
Performing arts venues 241.2
Other performing arts 34.6
Music theatre and opera 16.9
Total state and territory government 3 033.7
Totals for Heritage and Arts expenditure were as follows: Australian Government 2,584.500,00 and State and Territory Government 3,033,700,000.
There are % figures on this but I have not included them as I wasn’t sure how they were worked out but if any one else can work out how they are arrived at please let me know.
I’ll leave it here for now and try to get out Part 2 on the report next week. All the best Geoff.
Lots to report on from the Can001 twittersphere this week
One of the most useful documents tweeted this week was released on the 19th Oct by the Australian Bureau of Statistics – A statistical overview of Arts and Culture in Australia – http://tiny.cc/ztcp4
Also this week we were finally given an erudite answer to the most pressing question on the internet – Why Does the Web Love Cats?
The Australian Film Institute Award 2010 Nominees were announced http://tiny.cc/itd9s
Playing Australia, the Australian Government’s national performing arts touring program, Round 37 is open http://bit.ly/2Yf1E5 - This program is designed to assist the touring of performing arts across state and territory boundaries. A principal objective of Playing Australia is to support tours to regional and remote Australia and is open to theatre, music, opera, dance, puppetry and circus.
Digital Culture Fund deadline is coming up (Nov 22nd) a new round of the Geek in Residence program about to open- Ozco’s artsdigitalera want to talk about your idea for a digital arts project or a geek in residence placement? Adelaide 29 Oct – 1 Nov; Brisbane 3-4 Nov; Perth 8-9 Nov; Melb 10-12 Nov; Hobart 15-16 Nov; Syd 18 Nov – more details – http://bit.ly/digf2f
Had the pleasure of vicariously watching Tim O’reilly deliver his keynote @ Xinnovate conference on 26th. Some great ideas and the O’reilly innovation plan: innovating starts with fun – think of a great idea that could change the world – work on the business model – build an ecosystem – i.e. apple gives money to people to develop app platforms for its iphone – revalue people
I also came across this nice idea – a youtube version of the British Library exhibition on the stories behind 15 21st century British inventions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klzwXrGOD8I
Work of Aussie film photographers Greig Fraser (Let me in) & Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kingdom) showcased in October edition of American Cinematographer.
The Australian Maritime Museum listed a few new upcoming events including Matthew Flinders Return: 200th anniversary symposium, 31 October 2010, Bligh: Master Mariner – with Rob Mundle, Friday 12 November, behind-the-scenes at Wharf 7, 24th November – more at http://bit.ly/cur8fk
The 17th Biennale of Sydney advertised an exciting role to join the Biennale team as the Nick Waterlow OAM Curatorial Fellow. A unique opportunity to work closely with high calibre national and international artists, arts workers and venues in a fast-paced and exciting festival. Applications close Monday, 22 November. http://bit.ly/9eUdbZ
ABC Innovation, Sydney, is also looking for PHP/Python developer to work on exciting new mapping and education projects – close date 5 November – http://bit.ly/90JRgn
ABC Arts also posted a video of Gilbert & George in conversation with Virginia Trioli on Artscape Monday, 22 February 2010, video at http://bit.ly/c4F3XU
The Perth Institute of Performing Arts (PICA) performance space to continue operations into 2011 – http://tinyurl.com/38ajbsm
Darren Beauchamp John Hillier from AGIMO (Australian Government Information Management Office) present their slideshow at the IPV6 summit. What is this – well apparently Internet Protocol Version 6 offers the world simpler networks, enhanced mobility and security, and almost unlimited addresses for the next-generation Internet. – see more at – http://bit.ly/9dOz2K
The Museum of Islamic Art in Old Cairo opens after seven-year renovation project http://bbc.in/cUGxpd
Launch of “Sciences& curiosities at the Court of Versailles” – an exhibition on the scientific exhibitions held in Versailles – http://bit.ly/900vWT
A selection of impressive nature photographs – From the Guardian – top 40 – A polar bear dance, a doomed thresher shark, and a crowd of giant tortoises gathered at dawn in the Galapagos etc – http://ow.ly/2XQMt
Finalists from Guggenheim’s ‘Play’ a biennale of Creative video – saw 25 selected from 23,000 entries from around the globe including one Australian – the amazing work of Keith Loutit for his Bathtub IV – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us6kDalkqgM – more about the event http://bit.ly/b3P1aH
This is a link to check whether your Gallery Library Archive or Museum is listed in the world catalogue registry http://www.worldcat.org/registry/institutions/
Interesting – Edmodo – a social learning network for teachers, students, schools and districts provides free classroom communication for teachers, students and administrators on a secure social network. – http://www.edmodo.com/
This is a nice list of 200 old occupation definitions compiled by Jane Hewitt – @familyresearchr http://tinyurl.com/3×4ktdk
The National Library of Australia has acquired a rare account of an 1840s attack on a group of Indigenous people by white squatters in Queensland http://bit.ly/aZTPw9
More accolades for the sector as a librarian enters the Guinness Book of Records for collecting 22.1 grams of ‘belly button fluff ‘ – http://bit.ly/9zEsZ8
UK Museums – Renaissance in the Regions – An independent review of Renaissance, published in July 2009, endorsed the flagship funding programme as the most important intervention in English non-national museums since the Museums Act of 1845. Says the £300m invested since the programme started in 2002 has helped transform the regional museum sector across the country and boost visitor figures. 15 mill visitors to these hub museums per annum up 18.5% since 2002/03 http://tinyurl.com/nn6bgu
Librarians – Social Networking – Facebook – an interesting outline in the Course Wiki: http://bit.ly/a1onjI
National Museum of Australia has posted the ‘Caring for collections’ symposium – Audio downloads of speakers – http://www.nma.gov.au/audio/series/collections-2010-series
Open Library – open source – book reader – http://github.com/openlibrary/bookreader#readme
Melbourne Museum Exhibition has minerals online in 3D at http://tinyurl.com/36kjnvj
Australia Library Technicians Conference Perth Sept 2011 call for papers http://conferences.alia.org.au/libtec2011/call.html
A guide for using statistics for evidence based policy, 2010 http://bit.ly/a8yZGp
Mackay Council – Ooralea Local Area Plan – online consultation process up and running http://ow.ly/2WS44
Australian Poetry – two positions – NSW director and National Admin Assistant – details: http://ow.ly/2XtPz
An interface built by Tim Sherratt at the National Archives of Australia for searching on their fact sheets – [tip - make sure you click on the fact sheet links] http://bit.ly/bSg18L
Next Records Managers Forum for NSW Public Sector on ICT and records partnerships – Nov 8 – Register here: http://bit.ly/97NyBq
Interesting new museum experiences from launch of Powerhouse Museum Collection database API – Amped – http://tinyurl.com/2dn53bx
Post by Associate Professor Angelina Russo.
It’s been just over two and a half years since we established Museum3.0. What started as an idea for connecting cultural professionals online, has grown to a network of over 2500 members and is still going strong!
Earlier this year, the network provider (Ning) announced changes to it’s structure. While these changes didn’t make a huge difference to us (we already paid for premium services) they came at the same time as we were realising that the network was now larger than we could have ever anticipated. With so many members, Lynda Kelly and I put our heads together to try and come up with a structure which would enable the network to grow and give us some entity through which to manage and sustain this growth.
We decided to incorporate as a not-for-profit organisation! This gives us a legal entity through which to advocate, create and develop new knowledge, projects and collaborations. It also means we can do simple things like book venues for conferences!!
With an initial executive board made up of the members of our current research project (Timothy Hart, Melbourne Museum; Sebastian Chan, Powerhouse Museum, Lynda Kelly, Australian Museum and myself, RMIT University) we are currently finalising the constitution so that we can establish ourselves in the next few weeks.
To begin with, Museum3 was supported by our current collaborative research project Engaging with Social Media in Museums. This project explored the impact of social media on museum learning and communication. The project supported Lynda and my time to explore the potential of the network. As the project nears its end, neither of us would have a remit through which to maintain the network. By establishing as a not-for-profit, we are able to demonstrate an outcome of the project which, while unexpected, has benefits well beyond the academic papers which were written throughout the three year research program.
What came out of Museum3
Throughout the past 2 1/2 years a number of groups have formed on the network, enabling like-minded professionals to contribute to discussions surrounding the changes in the sector. Additionally, two specialised groups were formed by students to share their research and to create a global network of up and coming museum professionals. We are particularly proud of this outcome and hope to be able to support it further within the new organisation.
Earlier this week we published the ‘objects’ or aims of the organisation which will become part of our constitution. We asked the network for their thoughts and received terrific feedback which has enabled us to hone the objects to meet the needs of our network. It is this type of participation which is of particular interest to me as it demonstrates a dedicated, supportive and critical discourse within which to evolve.
We’re currently trialling the new graphics and establishing new features which will include tiered membership (an issue which we also posted to our network for feedback), our inaugural conference and first AGM (14 – 15 April 2011, Melbourne) and specialist research workspaces.
In the future we want to develop webinars, podcasts and teaching resources.
We’re very excited about these developments and are particularly proud of the thoughtful contributions we have received all the way along.
So, in the next few weeks, this is what we will become:
Museum3 – www.museum3.org
Museum3 is a global network for those interested in the future of museums, galleries, science centres, libraries & archives. It seeks to:
(a) Develop and maintain an engaged, creative and connected community of global cultural institution professionals and advocates; encouraging innovation through knowledge exchange, networking, research, design development and outreach activities.
(b) Provide an environment that promotes the evolutionary development of the cultural institution sector fostering the exchange of innovative online and onsite practices in a critical and supportive space.
(c) Develop positive perceptions by members, visitors and the broader community about the cultural sector’s role in inspirational and sustainable programs of communication, both onsite and online.
(d) Enhance and effectively share knowledge, ideas, skills and innovations about the cultural institution sector (libraries, museums, galleries, archives and broadcasters) by promoting movable cultural heritage.
(e) Provide advocacy and support to the cultural institution sector to develop and maintain partnerships with media, business, government and other cultural services organizations to facilitate cross-fertilisation of ideas, information exchange and joint projects to the benefit of heritage collections and places.
In the meantime, you can find us at www.museum30.ning.com
All thoughts and comments greatly appreciated!
Associate Professor Angelina Russo, PhD
School of Media and Communication
Building 9, Level 2, Room 4
Phone +613 99252753
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.