Posts Tagged ‘discussion’

Archiving a digital collection

Digital archiving is an extremely important part of managing a collection yet it can be a little overwhelming. In reality, the hardest part is deciding on which system to use. A museum or gallery’s approach depends on the size and the resources of the institution.

Valuable advice has come out of CAN’s discussion groups on this topic, mainly for the smaller gallery or even independent artist.

One contributor advises all material should be backed-up onto hard drives, as DVDs deteriorate after two years. Hard drives are not completely reliable so all data should be uploaded onto a pair of hard drives and then upgraded every two years. Additionally, in case of fire, a digital collection should also be stored in another location. There are several companies which offer off-site mirrored network storage, such as Amazon S3 who offer 120GB at around USD13 per month. The CAN discussion group suggested partnering with other organisations to host your own mirrored network storage at a fraction of that cost.

Larger cultural institutions have engaged in extensive consultation on how to approach preserving digital heritage. The National Library of Australia has taken a lead role in this area and have set up a guide to Preserving Access to Digital Information, as well as a web archive called Pandora. The NLA has also published a set of digital archive initiatives.

The State Library of NSW has outlined guidelines for digitising images and preserving our digital heritage.

Sarah Rhodes


How to subscribe and post to an email discussion list

Discussion groups and forums are a great way to develop a community around your museum or gallery. Not only do they connect audiences with your institution but they create an opportunity for people to discuss issues and share ideas. CAN has its own discussion lists which are free to subscribe to and free to post to. They work through email, so if you have an email account, you are ready to subscribe. CAN lists are moderated, so you won’t get junk mail, and it’s a great way to know what’s going on in the sector and let people know your information as well. The most popular lists on CAN are can-talk, can-jobs, can-exhibitions, can-news, can-events and artbooks.

CAN has also posted a directory of its favourite international discussion groups for museum professionals. Professional organisations and groups providing support to the sector may have their own discussion lists that you may be eligible to join, check each list for membership requirements.

National Library of Australia
Australian Archivists

Sarah Rhodes