Speakers Abstracts and Biographies
Speakers Abstracts & Biographies
(* Joint presentations with one shared abstract where indicated)
Dr Matthew Addis
I am CTO of Arkivum, which provides data archiving and digital preservation services, and I previously worked at the University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre. I’ve worked with a wide range of organisations to help them solving many challenges in long-term data retention and access. Sectors include heritage, government, life sciences, aerospace, broadcasting and higher education. Over the last fifteen years, I have worked on the issues of long-term data archiving, including preservation strategies, system architectures, total cost of ownership and how to mitigate the risk of loss of critical data assets. I try to share my experience and knowledge with the community where possible. For example, I have contributed to the Digital Preservation Handbook; I speak at conferences and events such as those organised by the DPC, DCC, and PASIG; and from time to time I publish papers, reports and presentations (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3837-2526
Digital Preservation: Keep calm and get on with it!
This presentation builds on ‘parsimonious preservation’ from Tim Gollins at the National Archive. Being parsimonious means to ‘get on and do’ preservation in a simple and cost effective way. The approach is to target the immediate and real issues that digital content actually creates, rather than what the digital preservation community thinks might be problems in the future. Archives holdings are diversifying, digital content inexorably grows, but budgets remain limited. There is never more a pressing time to apply the parsimonious approach. This paper will present practical tools and techniques (e.g. DROID, Exactly, Archivematica) for parsimonious preservation, particularly in the areas of capturing metadata (know what you have), and safe storage (keep the bits safe). Just as importantly, the paper will review evidence that some of the perceived risks to digital content (e.g. file format obsolescence) and some of the candidate techniques for long-term storage (e.g. preservation grade digital media) are not cost effective when budgets are limited. Critical thinking is a skill that all archivists should develop when debunking some of the long-held beliefs of the preservation community. There are two main messages of the talk. Firstly, digital preservation is a growing and pressing problem for archives and there is a need for action right now. Secondly, digital preservation is an opportunity, not a burden, for achieving a future for digital assets. The good news is that recent evolutions in technology and best practice mean that action is now easier to take than ever - but only if an eye is firmly placed on keeping it simple. The complexities, theory and rapidly evolving technical landscape of digital preservation can also be a barrier, especially if the ‘best becomes the enemy of the good’. The danger is getting caught up in digital preservation as an aspiration, or, worse still, not doing digital preservation at all because of the fear of not doing it ‘properly’ – a form of ‘preservation paralysis’. This talk shows an alternative where preservation can done using basic tools, commodity IT infrastructure, or hosted services, and can actually deliver significant and real benefits, including making digital material more accessible and usable.
Rioghnach Ahern is the Digital Ingest Coordinator at the Wellcome Library. She supports the Wellcome Library’s Digitisation Programme by coordinating and overseeing the ingest of digital content from all digitisation projects; ensuring that content is ready for delivery to the Wellcome Library website. Past projects have included Codebreakers: Makers of Modern Genetics and London’s Pulse.
Previously she worked as a Project Cataloguer on the Irish Nursing Journal’s digitisation project in conjunction with University College Dublin Library and the UCD School of Nursing and Midwifery History. She graduated with a Masters in Library and Information Studies from UCD in 2010.
Wellcome Library Mental Health Digitisation project: a move towards more automation
As part of the Wellcome Library’s wider digitisation programme, in 2014 the Library embarked on a collaborative project to digitise and make available over 800,000 pages of archival material from psychiatric hospitals across the UK. Working with the Borthwick Institute for Archives, London Metropolitan Archives, Dumfries and Galloway Council Archives, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Archives, the University of Glasgow Photographic Unit and the Royal College of Psychiatrists to make their content available. The project unites documents from the York Retreat, St Luke’s Hospital Woodside, Crichton Royal Hospital, Gartnavel Royal Hospital and Camberwell House Asylum alongside material from private and public asylums from the Library’s own collections. By early 2017 the project will have created an invaluable resource where material held in institutions across the United Kingdom can be consulted together online in a single place. The project asked partners to create digital surrogates of material they held, and, along with the metadata describing that material deliver the surrogate to the Library. This project uses the existing Wellcome Library public facing interface for access to all digital material (known as ‘the viewer’) via the Wellcome Library on-line catalogue. The presentation explains how the project was set up, how third parties were supported and the systems that were put in place to automate the transfer of the material to the Wellcome Library.
The presentation aims to show the iterative approach it has taken to “move towards more automation” compared with past projects. This can be seen with the automation of steps such as image transfer and upload to our workflow tracking system; Goobi. This also works by automatically virus checking and quarantining the content over a twenty-four hour period before automatically uploading into Goobi. This used to be a very manual and time consuming task and the automated tasks have streamlined the work considerably. This in turn has aided the project significantly because of the high throughput involved. It has also lessoned the need for as much manual support as was required in past projects. Whilst this project will not be fully completed until Spring 2017, the presentation sets out both processes used and lessons learned at this point in the project. It will also be an opportunity to display highlights from the collections online.
In 1984 I began my bookbinding apprenticeship at St Deiniol’s Library working on Gladstone’s books and his incunabula. I attended college day release at Liverpool to do a city and guilds in bookbinding and did two years night classes with Paul Delrue, the well-known fine binder, in Chester.
During my time at the library I completed many rebacks and bound many volumes that had belonged to Gladstone and been annotated. Amongst many special tasks I was able to work on books owned by Robert Browning and Tissot.
In 1992 I moved to the Flintshire Record Office to the post of trainee conservator.
I gained the Society of Archivists Certificate in Archive Conservation in 1995 and became a registered member due to my work as the convenor for the Wales region.
Since taking over the studio in 2000 I have been involved in many conservation projects.
I enjoy being an Instructor in parchment repair and bookbinding on the ARA conservation course. I have just been madeChair of ARA Preservation and Conservation Group committee and have acted as an external assessor for MALD conservation grant applications.
Any spare time is spent playing saxophone!
A Quick Joint - It all hinges on this - Japanese paper, board reattachment
Repair to the outer joint of a volume is a technically challenging task and if it is to be successful, assessment of the strength of the repair required, the repair type and an understanding of its function are essential.
Many aspects that are affected by the strength of the hinge are unknowable and it is difficult to second guess future usage. Nowadays, in the conservation world we seem to have certain things under control, the environment, protection during storage, and Invigilation of handling. We cannot choose the materials used in the bindings of the past of course but we can influence the future of these materials by stabilisation and the use of sympathetic interventive methods.
Investigation of the range of solutions available to this reoccurring long term problem to enable access is an essential part of what we do and a conservator will constantly be assessing and adapting procedures and techniques to suit the situation. Stability of the repair material and adhesives is paramount and choices available will be discussed. Boundaries in terms of conservation and restoration will be addressed together with implications of physical change and losses to historical evidence. The opportunity to bring new methods for analysis and discussion with colleagues will be of great benefit and ensures that we can move innovation forwards.
I am Archive Manager at the Bank of England Archive. In a previous incarnation I was a researcher at the Business History Unit, London School of Economics where I worked on the commissioned history of British Rail, and then the Government Official History of Britain and the Channel Tunnel based at the Cabinet Office. I have a PhD in Economic and Social History. In my position as Chair of the Business Archives Council I work to promote the preservation and use of business records. Much of my day is spent underground.
‘My 12 month challenge’ – setting goals for your development
Please don’t be put off by the title! This ‘tutorial’ session is a new addition to the annual programme and is designed to make you think about how and what targets you might set in your working life. So it’s obviously part of professional development, but it might also be something that is a personal development in your career. Whatever, it’s always useful to have some clear goals. The idea is that this will become a regular conference feature and perhaps some of you might return to Manchester and share what happened to your 12 month challenge, whether a success or not. Warning: the session will include me jumping around in the audience and asking questions…
I have been City Archivist for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives since 2008. With over 20 years’ experience in the public sector, I have previously worked at Aberdeen University (2004-2008), the North Highland Archive (2003-2004) and the Orkney Library and Archive (1994-2003). I am a Trustee of the Scottish Council on Archives and an Honorary Teaching Fellow for the Centre for Archive and Information Studies at the University of Dundee.
The Aberdeen Burgh Records Project: Recognition, Collaboration and Innovation
The Aberdeen Burgh Registers (1398-1511) were inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World (UK) Register in 2012 in recognition of their unique status as the oldest and most complete set of records of any Scottish town.
Since then, this recognition has been the catalyst for collaboration between Aberdeen City Archives, the National Records of Scotland, and colleagues from the departments of history, law and computing sciences at the University of Aberdeen.
The collaborators have carried out two innovative pilot projects: Connecting and Projecting Aberdeen's Burgh Records, which created a database of metadata linked with images of records, and Text Analytic Approaches to Urban and Rural Histories (TALH), which semantically annotated transcribed records in order to support complex semantic querying and reuse by legal historians.
At the end of 2015 the Leverhulme Trust awarded the partnership £310,000 for a new three-year project, Law in the Aberdeen Council Registers, 1398-1511 (LACR), in which 5000 pages of the Aberdeen Burgh Registers will be transcribed from the original Latin, Scots, and Dutch and represented in the Text Encoding Initiative standard. This will make the registers machine-readable for access and processing.
The series of projects is of benefit not only to academics interested in Scottish and northern European history, but from an archival perspective the recognition and collaboration are also proving to be a significant lever to advocate for the local authority archive service. It has resulted in greater public interest in the service and in the records themselves.
The TALH project's innovative method of interrogating transcribed text is the basis from which wider access can be facilitated. The method enables the extraction of information from across the documents in complex textual patterns that would otherwise be very hard to find. For example, names can be associated with their roles and their rural/urban personas across the texts while translations of words are immediately available. The current LACR project will make more materials available for analysis using this method.
After a History degree at the University of York, I took my Archive Administration qualification at the University of Aberystwyth in 2003-2004. I have been an archivist at East Riding of Yorkshire Archives since 2004, concentrating on public service delivery and audience engagement. I have served on the ARA Northern region executive committee in a variety of roles for the last ten years and am the Vice-chair of the Training Group.
Elizabeth Baker and Gary Brannan
From filth to the future: one year on. ARA and emotional support for recordkeeping professionals
Last year, the speakers brought a challenging, provocative workshop to conference that served as a direct call to action to ARA. Based upon work undertaken in 2013, the workshop posited that ARA should take a greater, leading role in providing support mechanisms for recordkeeping professionals working with distressing, emotive and difficult content.
Sparked by the workshop at last year's conference, the speakers have been working closely with ARA to investigate the scale - and the potential ARA response - to these issues. This session will represent the results of this work, including the results both of a one-day workshop and wider online survey. This will present, for the first time, a comprehensive survey of the emotional support challenges faced by the recordkeeping sector and extent of the current emotional support landscape on offer to recordkeeping professionals.
Additionally, this session will consider what it means for the future of the recordkeeping profession and outline how ARA intends to go forward in supporting the diverse needs of recordkeeping professionals in working not only with emotionally challenging content, but also working in the challenging and stressful environment modern recordkeeping environment.
I am the project co-ordinator of the Archive & Access
project, working with the entire project team to deliver outcomes. Having joined Tate to take up this role in April 2015 I have seen the project move to a post-publication phase, and have been working closely with the Learning department as Outreach activities are facilitated. I also have a remit to embed project outcomes institutionally, whilst establishing practice sharing with colleagues in other sectors and organisations.
I am also a PhD student at Birkbeck University of London, researching communication strategies within digital cultures, having graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Communication Art and Design in 2009.
Hannah Barton and Allison Foster
Archives & Access: Publication, profile and partnerships
The HLF and Tate project Archives & Access has resulted in the digitisation of ~53,000 pieces from 52 artists’ archives held at Tate Britain. This was a significant undertaking for Tate – the largest Archive digitisation project undertaken by the institution - attended to by an interdepartmental Delivery Team. Comprised of members from a range of Tate departments (including Curatorial, Archives, Conservation, Photography, Information Systems, Legal, and Digital) the Delivery Team both formalised and worked to precedent setting approaches to archive digitisation, and in doing established frameworks for future digitisation projects, whilst providing critical learning recommendations.
The collections digitised for Archives & Access have now been published online, accompanied with a suite of bespoke digital tools designed to enable user exploration and engagement. Further to providing unprecedented physical and online access to an array of archive collections, the digitised content is central to a national Learning partnership programme in which Tate joins forces with five institutions across the UK: Tate Liverpool, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Turner Contemporary, Josef Herman Art Foundation Cymru, Tate Collectives.
Tate Learning is facilitating programmed activities with partner institutions to foster engagement with, and realise the potential of, the digitised collections. This national scheme sees Tate consolidate its ambitious approach to digitisation with dedicated outreach, ensuring that the collections reach a widened and diverse demographic. Notably, the Archives & Access outreach scheme is a pilot programme from which advocacy - along with facilitation - will be an outcome, with Tate offering ongoing consultancy and practice-sharing with colleagues on approaches to outreach within the sector.
This paper will describe the technical and planning stages of Archives & Access - from bid writing to establishing interdepartmental workflows to project delivery – with a focus on the approach taken to outreach facilitation. It will summarise by emphasising the role of digital, whilst highlighting the importance of dedicated programming to inspire audiences to discover the rich potential held in archive resources.
Professor Andrew Beeby
I am Professor of Chemistry at Durham University. My research interests lie in the area of photochemistry and photophysics, including optical spectroscopy—understanding how light interacts with a sample and how it can be used to analyse materials. I have turned these skills to the study of pigments used in manuscripts, paintings and other works of art, where the non-contact nature of the measurements allow a forensic analysis of materials without damage. My expertise in engineering and development of spectrometers has allowed ‘Team Pigment’ to remain at the cutting edge of portable Raman spectroscopy.
Professor Andrew Beeby, Professor Richard Gameson and Dr Kate Nicholson
‘Team Pigment’ Shedding light on pigment use in the British Isles
The identification of artists’ materials used on medieval illuminated manuscripts can provide insight into the technology of illumination and the evolution of the palette throughout the middle ages. The speakers will present their cross-disciplinary approach to the study of medieval manuscripts using Raman Spectroscopy on selected manuscripts of known provenance. The interpretation of the information gathered from manuscripts throughout the British Isles sheds a new light on our understanding of the use of colour in medieval manuscripts.
The group have assembled a mobile suite of high-performance instrumentation for the analysis of materials, allowing ‘Team-Pigment’ to visit libraries and museums and collect in-situ measurements. So far they have shed light on the pigments used in over 100 manuscripts dating from the 6th to 16th centuries.
The group hopes to provide a live demonstration of the portable analytical equipment as part of this showcase.
Martin Bradley is a freelance professional archivist with a specialisation in the digitisation of large multi-media archive collections. Since 1997 Martin has completed over 200 projects for clients such as U2, The Joe Strummer Archive, The Abbey Theatre Digitisation Project at NUI Galway and GPO: Witness History
-The Easter Rising 1916 exhibition. Martin has also consulted on a wide range of exhibition, cataloguing, records management, data protection, FOI and archives projects - for more, including current projects, see https://ie.linkedin.com/in/martin-bradley-0561761
Martin Bradley and Aisling Keane
The Abbey Theatre Digitisation Project at NUI Galway
The National University of Ireland, Galway and the Abbey Theatre embarked on a partnership to digitise the theatre’s entire archive in 2012. By means of background, the Abbey Theatre in Dublin was founded in 1904 by W.B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory. In 1925, it became the first state-subsidised theatre in the English speaking world, and to this day is known as Ireland’s National Theatre.
This new partnership leverages NUI Galway’s position as a leader in theatre and digital humanities research and home to a range of theatre archives. The result of the project is the creation of a major international resource for teaching and research with Irish drama, literature and history.
The project addresses two particular challenges faced by the physical archive: preservation and access. It allows unprecedented levels of access to the archive which until now, has been severely restricted due to space constraints and cataloguing backlogs.
The archive contains more than a million pages, 500 hours of video and 2500 hours of audio. The material ranges from posters, programs, photographs, minute books to lighting plans, set and costume designs, sound cues, prompt scripts and audio files.
The proposed paper will take us through the duration of the partnership project, addressing topics including the planning and management of a mass digitisation project; legislative considerations; release scheduling; user experience; scholarly engagement with the Abbey Digital Archive; lessons learned; the project’s after-life.
I am Access Archivist at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York. My role includes fostering greater access to collections, online and social media engagement, management of specialist digital engagement projects and retroconversion. In addition, I am responsible for the Borthwick’s medieval collections and teaching medieval palaeography. I read History at the University of York, and graduated with my Msc (Econ) in Archive Administration from the University of Aberystwyth in 2006. I am also an active member of the ARA, being a former Northern Region Chair. I still live in Dewsbury. Somebody has to.
*Joint presentation see Elizabeth Baker for abstract.
I am University Archivist and Joint Assistant Director, Culture and Information at the University of Dundee. I am also Programme Leader on the Archive and Family History programmes offered by distance learning through the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS). I sit on a number of professional and academic bodies and am currently a Trustee of the Scottish Council on Archives.
Caroline Brown and Dr Craig Gauld – Session 1
Neither a prisoner of our past nor a slave to the future: archives in the 21st century
This paper will argue that the archival profession is in a curious bind – uncertain of the future and insecure about its past, the profession struggles to communicate and demonstrate to ourselves and others our role in the twenty-first century. At the root of this professional anxiety is an archival dichotomy between democratising – an act of ‘opening-up’, where something is, in principle, made ‘open to anyone’ – and the act of privileging - where information is filtered for preservation and dissemination and denotes a special right or advantage for a particular person or group. This is illustrated in our global, inter-connected world where a call for the democratisation of knowledge can disguise notions of control and mediation particularly in the digital realm. In this presentation Caroline and Craig will examine the issues surrounding democratisation and privileging from opposing sides and the presentation will take the form of dialogue between them. The profession needs to understand the transformative and democratic effects of the archive but is it only by emphasising our role as privilegers that we can be innovative, adaptable and firmly forward-facing? What is the future – opening up our collections or acting as a gatekeeper, filtering the information in them? The themes of openness, dissemination, digital technology, global information, communities and responsibility will be covered with a particular focus on whether the role of the archivist is to democratise or privilege the records they preserve and manage.
Caroline Brown, Emma Stagg, Tim Street and Simon Wilson – Session 2
Pushing Boundaries: rethinking recruitment practices to diversify the workforce
The CILIP-ARA Workforce Mapping has shown that we have not yet addressed the challenges of diversifying the workforce. The National Archives, the Scottish Council on Archives, the Archives and Records Association and our partners, through our Skills for the Future projects, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, are taking small steps in a long journey to rethink how we recruit trainees for skills, potential and motivation, rather than academic excellence. Can a focus on behaviours, shared values and potential help us recruit a talent pool for the archive sector to meet specialist skills gaps in areas such as digital preservation, palaeography or digitisation and help archive services address the challenges faced today. By rethinking the recruitment practices are we pushing at the boundaries of a ‘professional’ workforce and can we open up opportunities and widen awareness of, and access to, a career in archives?
During this panel session we will hear from the Transforming Archives project manager, from ‘Adopt an Intern’ (http://www.adoptanintern.org.uk/
) who have supported recruitment in Scotland as well as from hosts and from trainees about the challenges and successes so far.
You can find out more about the two Skills for the Future projects online:
Jenny Bunn is a Lecturer on and the Programme Director of the Archives and Records Management programme at University College London. She is a member of the Section for Archives and Technology’s committee, a founder member of the Cardigan Continuum and a co-editor of Archives & Records. She has a long-held interest in descriptive practice and standards, inspired both by practical experience with cataloguing systems at institutions such as the V&A Museum, Glasgow University Archives and The National Archives, and a theoretical exploration of the subject in the form of a PhD in Archive Studies.
Jenny Bunn and Simon Wilson
Cataloguing guidelines for our digital archives
This workshop will conclude the first phase of work by the Section for Archives and Technology to enable practitioners to evolve guidelines for Cataloguing Born Digital Material. This process kicked off at the UKAD Forum in March with a speedwriting event which resulted in draft guidelines, later published on the ARA SAT web pages for further comment and consultation. This workshop will act as the launch event for the initial version of the ‘Best Guess Guidelines for Cataloguing Born Digital Material’ and lead into a discussion of what the next steps should be.
(Friday Keynote speaker)
Since 2005 Anthea has been the Principal Adviser to the Arcadia Fund, a U.K. based grant making foundation, which funds endangered nature and endangered culture (www.arcadiafund.org.uk
). In that capacity she chairs the International Panel which advises on the distribution of grants through Arcadia's Endangered Archive Programme run by the British Library. Between 1995 and 2003 she was CEO of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund and until 2010 Chair of the Heritage Alliance. She currently serves on the boards of a number of arts and heritage organisations.
The Text or the First Folio
Many organisations which preserve cultural heritage focus on the tangible remains of the past or in creating new born digital records of the intangible heritage. This presentation looks at the preservation of cultural knowledge from the perspective of a funder, the Arcadia Fund, whose mission for over ten years has been both the preservation of endangered culture and open access to that cultural knowledge. Our funding of the preservation of endangered archives, predominantly in non-western countries, has gone hand in hand with a requirement that all material digitised should be freely available online. The context in which such preservation takes place can be particularly challenging. The paper reflects on some of the issues which arise.
Anita Chowdry is a London based artist, educator and researcher, with a particular interest in science, materials and processes in the visual arts. She has been using, preparing and researching historical mineral pigments since 1992, when she studied Indian manuscript painting techniques under a hereditary master in Jaipur. In 2007 she was awarded a Wingate scholarship to undertake an independent body of research into the materials and techniques of painting in Persian and Mughal manuscripts, and has presented papers and run professional seminars on the subject at major institutions with historical manuscript collections in Britain and abroad.
Learning from the masters: understanding the working methods of Iranian master illuminators
From her experience as an artist and practitioner, Anita Chowdry offers a unique approach to understanding the materiality of manuscripts. Based on primary historical sources, this approach is aimed at enhancing collaborative research projects into Islamic manuscript collections.
The presentation will focus on the visual analysis of illuminated Persian manuscripts of the 15th and 16th centuries and hands-on experimentation with pigments, design construction and painting methods. The speaker will share the working methods employed in specific case-studies, some of the discoveries made, and further questions that have been raised.
Dr Elke Cwiertnia
Elke Cwiertnia is a conservation scientist at theCollection Care Department at The National Archives. Her research interest is in material history (material changes and their impact) and the contextualisation of analytical findings (dating and authentication). She has worked as a Research Fellow at the ‘Wax Seals: Material and Context’ project with a focus on the examination and material analysis of the selected wax seals. She has collaborated with historians and record specialist on several interdisciplinary project, most notably the Francis Bacon (1909-1992) catalogue raisonné and has published results of her research internationally. She is an active member of ICOM and IIC.
Dr Elke Cwiertnia and Dr Paul Dryburgh
Materiality matters: New approaches to studies of medieval wax seals
Wax seals have been widely studied by medieval historians, art historians and sigillographers with regard to their semiotics and iconography. Their materiality and physicality, however, are still not fully understood. The National Archives (UK) ‘Wax Seals in Context’ project (February 2014 – August 2015) aimed to investigate the materiality, manufacture and use of medieval wax seals in our care, in order better to understand their creation and function, to pose new questions of both the physical and written evidence for the authentication of will in the pre-modern period and to provide new data for improved technical analysis and conservation.
Medievalists and a conservation scientist have investigated this topic using visual examination, material analysis (PLM, FTIR, PyGCMS, SEM-EDX) and archival evidence, focusing on English royal and governmental seals of the 12th and 13th centuries. This paper will present the initial results and describes the multi-disciplinary collaboration between the Collection Care and Advice and Records Knowledge departments. The material examination provided information which not only improves conservation knowledge but can also enlighten understanding of the documents – after careful contextualization. Therefore it highlights that the material of a record/the object itself includes information that cannot be easily digitized as this lies beyond the image, adding to the discussion of future (‘digital by design’) archives.
I have worked in the Conservation Department at the Borthwick Institute for Archives in York since 2007. I am a member of ICON and a committee member of the Preservation and Conservation Group of the Archives and Records Association. I qualified from the ARA Certificate in Archive Conservation in 2011, and since then I have worked on a large variety of projects and materials in the workshop, encompassing conservation, preservation and advocacy. My recent interventive conservation work has included a large scale remedial project on brittle architectural tracing papers and digitisation preparation of a collection of 13th
century parchment codices. My preventive work has ranged from staff training sessions and survey development through to exhibition and loans preparation and policy work.
Workshop: Working with a Dino-Lite: 101 uses for a digital microscope
This session discusses some of the ways that a portable digital microscope can support the delivery of day-to-day tasks in the workshop. It explores how the Dino-Lite can open up research options to bench conservators, and how it offers conservators a way in which to engage interested parties outside of conservation in the science behind materials, which can sometimes be challenging to communicate. The session also provides participants with the chance to see how the Dino-Lite works and a brief trial with the equipment. This is an opportunity to use a piece of equipment that is potentially affordable for workshops and that has multiple uses, but that otherwise might be difficult to trial to see whether it would suit an individual conservators' methods of work.
Steve Dorling is the global product manager for Porelle membranes. He has over 15 years of Marketing Management experience and over 10 years’ experience in Product Management. Steve is responsible for: marketing and branding for Porelle brand globally; co-branding with premium brands within sports and leisure and technical markets; developing new products from idea stage to commercialisation and launch; developing new products for new markets globally; developing new markets for existing products; and creating and developing commercial relationships with business partners.
Porelle Membranes for use in preservation & conservation application
A power point presentation with product samples discussing a range of Porelle products which are suitable for humidification and de-humidification or Parchments, textiles and papers. The presentation will discuss the chemistry involved, how the products work and the benefits to conservators.
Dr Paul Dryburgh
Paul Dryburgh is a qualified archivist and Principal Records Specialist (Medieval Records) at The National Archives, Kew. His research interest is in government, politics and warfare in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in the British Isles, more particularly the reign of Edward II. From this autumn he will be the designated seals specialist at TNA. He has published guides to the sources for medieval Ireland at The National Archives and edited the Fine Rolls of King Henry III (1216-1272). Paul previously worked as Access Archivist at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, York, where he worked on the Registers of the Archbishops of York 1225-1646 funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He is Joint General Editor of the Pipe Roll Society and Honorary Secretary of the Lincoln Record Society.
* Joint presentation see Dr Elke Cwiertnia for abstract.
Paul Dudman is the Archivist based at the University of East London. Paul has been responsible for the UEL Archives including the Refugee Council Archive and British Olympic Association Archive at UEL since 2002 and has over a decade’s experience working within higher education archives. We have recently undertaken several civic engagement projects including `Performing the Archive’ with our second year undergraduate performing arts students; creating a Mental Health and Wellbeing portal for refugees and mental health professionals and the creation of the Living Refugee Archive and oral history project.
Archives, Ethics and Civic Engagement: Refugee Voices, Participatory Performance and Oral History – the Role of Civic Engagement in Enhancing Archives?
This paper will be to focus on the ethical and managerial considerations involved in undertaking civic engagement and outreach activities with vulnerable communities and will consider the ethical challenges of turning existing testimonies held within the archive into participatory theatre. This paper will utilise case studies from our Refugee Council Archive – including our projects to create a Living Refugee Archive by attempting to preserve and document refugee and forced migration testimonies using an oral history methodology and engaging with second year theatre studies students and the ethical approaches needed for creating participatory theatre based on archival narratives.
I joined the Chester Beatty Library as Heritage Council Intern in November 2015. In September 2015, I completed a two-year MA course in Conservation of Books and Library Materials at West Dean College (U.K.). Prior to this I obtained an MA in painting conservation at the École Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc of Liège (Belgium) and I published an article presenting this research in the CeROArt journal n°4, 2014. My studies in conservation of painting and book conservation provide me with a solid background in the conservation field.
During the past few years, I have undertaken several short work placements in various institutions, including the University of Leuven, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (Brussels, Belgium) and the Oxford Conservation Consortium (U.K.). I am especially interested in painted surfaces, illuminated manuscripts, and bookbinding structures.
I am member of the Institute of Conservation ICON and the Institute of Conservator-Restorers in Ireland ICRI.
Investigation of sewing threads in hand-made West European bookbinding (12th-19th Century) – Visual assessment and Reflectance Transformation Imaging with Microdome
This research was developed as part of my MA research at West Dean College (U.K.) in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts of the University of Leuven (Belgium), the RICH project (Reflecting Imaging for Cultural Heritage) and the Maurits Sabbe Library, Faculty of Theology of the University of Leuven.
The sewing thread research project focused on the assessment of a corpus of twenty-four manuscripts and printed books from Western Europe, ranging from the 12th to the early 19th century. The paper will first briefly explore the history of sewing in Western Europe, and present the raw materials of the threads. To evaluate the corpus, a “sewing survey” template was created based on the “Ligatus Project” database, in order to visually assess the book sewing structures. Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) was then applied to the books using the “RICH Microdome” to measure and analyse in detail the thread characteristics. A comparison between the visual assessments and the digital imaging will then be presented, to allow a definition of the advantages of using one or another technique for assessing books. Finally, results obtained for the identification of the sewing thread fibres will be briefly presented. Small thread samples were analysed by stereomicroscopy, by micro Raman and by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels.
Evan Easton-Calabria’s work with refugees began in Kampala, Uganda, and has led her to study historical refugee self-reliance programmes for her MSc and DPhil (in-progress) at the University of Oxford. In her DPhil she is tracing the changes and continuities of refugees’ involvement with development since the 1920s, utilising archives that include the League of Nations, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Oxfam. Through academic research and piloting grassroots self-reliance projects, such as micro-finance with refugee women, she aims for her work to inform refugee policy and alter the structure of assistance to more fully incorporate refugees as partners.
Stepping Back: archival research on refugees to inform refugee assistance today
Refugee Studies faces an abiding lack of historical research that prevents in-depth understanding of current forces, ranging from global actors to humanitarian culture, which influence contemporary assistance to refugees. Without knowledge of past assistance practices or how they came into being, the humanitarian community lacks a means to identify true innovation or changes in assistance to, and perceptions of, the refugees they work with. Borne out ofcontemporary engagement with ‘self-reliant’ refugee communities in Kampala, Uganda, my archival research traces self-reliance programmes for refugees from 1919 to today, utilising archives of the League of Nations, International Labour Organization, Oxfam, and others.
In this presentation, I will document some of these historical shifts in assistance provision and discuss how an understanding of past and current assistance trends benefits contemporary refugee practitioners. A historical perspective on refugee assistance enables analysis of how it has been influenced by dominant economic, social, political, and broader development trends in different time periods; in so doing it provides a means of writing what Foucault terms a ‘history of the present’ in order to more fully comprehend what drives refugee assistance today.
After graduating with a History degree in 1997, I joined the UK Civil Service. I took on a variety of roles at the Department for Work and Pensions: in policy, governance, communications and regulation; as well as loans to the Cabinet Office and Railway Pensions Commission. Latterly I was Board Secretary to two public bodies implementing major changes to workplace pensions. In 2012 I left for a career change and break, completing the UCL Archives and Records Management MA. After qualifying I spent a year at Schroders, and am now Archives Manager at BT. Among my responsibilities at BT is digital preservation, and particularly the ingest of material to Preservica. BT Archives tweets at @BTArchives and I tweet at @jamesofputney and blog at willtherealjamespleasestandup.wordpress.com (both in a personal capacity).
First Steps in Digital Preservation and Online Access to the BT Heritage Collection
BT is the world’s oldest telecommunications company, with a direct line of descent to the first telegraph companies that were founded in the United Kingdom in the 1840s. Today BT is a global brand, serving customers in more than 170 countries worldwide. Its main activities are the provision of telephone, broadband, TV and mobile products and services, as well as managed networked IT services.
BT recognises the importance and value of its history and is one of the few major companies to have made a public commitment to safeguard its heritage, which is published in its Heritage Policy. BT Archives ensuresthat the company's extensive multi-media archive is preserved and made accessible for future generations.
In this session, James Elder, will discuss the benefits and challenges of digitally preserving and providing access to BT’s extensive and varied archive of digital content.
The session will share universal lessons learned from BT’s pilot project to ingest 800,000 digitised surrogate images into Preservica aand first steps towards a born-digital preservation strategy.
How far do the principles of good paper records management apply to digital records? What are the new challenges specific to digital media? How does the global reach of BT impact on its digital preservation and access strategy?
The session will also explore the value of synchronising digital content and metadata with BT's existing catalogue system (CALM) and plans for publishing digital material online. It will include demonstrations of innovative software to make digital records available to an increasingly global, remote user base, including the Qumu online video library and Axiell’s Arena web portal.
Annika Erikson studied Paper Conservation and Curation at the University of Arts, London, Renaissance Art History in Tuscany, and the Classics in Greece, both at the Aegean Centre for Fine Arts, before working in conservation and collection care in the Architectural Prints and Drawings Collection at St Paul's Cathedral, the Royal Horticultural Society's Lindley Library Art Collection, and then Tate, where she got the idea in 2010, with the launch of the first iPad, to create a mobile digital tool to streamline the production of conservation and collection care documentation.
Innovation in Digital Condition Reporting
While at Tate, Annika Erikson made thousands of condition reports. Acutely feeling the pain of this archaic process, and the frustration of not having enough time for collection care and conservation, Annika decided to investigate digital condition reporting, and designed a new system with a goal to create an industry standard, streamline the process and give museum professionals back more time for collection care projects. The presentation will explore the development and use of this system, highlighting how it may be applied to archives and records.
Dr Craig Fees
1981: MA in theatre and theatre history in Los Angeles. 1988: PhD in the Institute of Dialect and Folklife Studies, University of Leeds, completion delayed by stumbling into a residential therapeutic community for children as a place to live and trade my labour while carrying out field, archive, and library work. 1989: Asked by the Planned Environment Therapy Trust to initiate an Archive and Study Centre devoted to therapeutic communities and environments (see ‘”No foundation all the way down the line”: History, memory and ‘milieu therapy’ from the view of a specialist archive in Britain’, THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITIES: 19:2 (1998). Most of my 'published' work is in the form of acknowledgements and thanks from students and researchers. Registered Member of the ARA; course author/tutor in oral history, Centre for Archive and Information Studies, University of Dundee; Honorary Research Fellow in the History of Medicine, University of Birmingham; Trustee, Oral History Society.
Creating Places of Belonging: reflections on 'Therapeutic living with other people's children' - a transformational experience
In 2010 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a substantial Heritage Grant to the Planned Environment Therapy Trust (PETT) for a major Archive-based project entitled "Therapeutic Living With Other People's Children: An oral history of residential therapeutic child care c. 1930-c. 1980". PETT established its Archive and Study Centre, devoted generally to therapeutic communities and environments, in 1989, gathering several hundreds of collections of individuals, organisations and institutions involved in diverse forms of therapeutic group work with children, young people and adults.
The "Therapeutic Living" project involved five core therapeutic schools and homes whose archives are reflected in the collections. The institutions themselves had disappeared, but communities of former children, staff and others had persevered, in different degrees and kinds of physical and emotional connection, dispersal and fragmentation, locally and internationally. The project design and execution drew on the Archive's then-21 years of active experience to bring former children, staff, families and friends from these children's communities together - and together with archives and records about them - as active participants in exploring, preserving, sharing, learning, teaching, and interpreting their histories, archives, heritage. The project included the recording of oral histories; involved local schools, and performance; created extensive web-based resources and facilities; led to significant new accessions and developments in the Archive, and to important changes in the charity itself; and eventuated in the Community Archives and Heritage Group's "Most Impactful Archive" award and Your Family History Magazine's "Archive of the Year" award. Although financially complete in 2011, the project behind the Project has continued to develop and evolve.
2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, and the 5th anniversary of the end of a project which provided a fulcrum for change within the charity, and transformed the life of the Archive, the project staff and participants, and the archives, memories, and histories of individuals and communities which the project involved. This paper offers an opportunity which was not available in the tumultuous lee of the project to stop and reflect, and - bearing in mind the conference theme, and its statement "Our professional lives often focus on pragmatic response to everyday situations, but we face a constant requirement to communicate and demonstrate to ourselves and to others our ability to place our work firmly in the future" - to share insights and observations on a series of experiences which continue to reveal themselves and the futures immanent in archives as spaces of belonging.
Dr Andrew Flinn
I am a Reader in Archival Studies and Oral History in the Department of Information Studies, University College London. Until 2015 I was director of the Archives and Records Management programme at UCL and the chair of the UK and Ireland Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research (FARMER) between 2008 and 2011. Presently I am the vice chair of the UK Community Archives and Heritage Group, a member of the steering committee of the ICA’s Section on Archival Education, a member of the European team as part of the InterPARES Trust research project and the Archives cluster leader in the joint University of Gothenburg / UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies. In 2011 I was the Allen Smith Visiting Scholar in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College Boston and in September 2015 an invited visiting scholar at Monash University. I am presently engaged in on-going research with international colleagues relating to community-based archives activity, archival approaches to social justice, access to information and international archival education. (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dis/people/andrewflinn)
Dr Andrew Flinn and Professor Elizabeth Shepherd - Session 1
Researching international recordkeeping challenges: InterPARES Trust and access to open government data
In this paper we will share our research findings from UCL as one of the European partners in the InterPARES Trust, a multi-national, interdisciplinary research project exploring issues concerning digital records. ITrust’s goal is to generate theoretical and methodological frameworks to develop local, national and international policies, procedures, regulations, standards and legislation, in order to ensure public trust grounded on evidence of good governance, a strong digital economy, and a persistent digital memory. Funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the research partnership includes more than 70 institutional partners around the world. UCL has run several linked projects which have studied the role of the records manager and the recordkeeping function in the context of new obligations of public sector bodies towards open government data, the re-use of public sector information and more access for citizens to public data. Our research aims to outline a comprehensive account of literature and guidance relating to access to public information in the UK and Europe and then build upon this by developing an account of existing implementation and compliance in the field using case studies from different parts of the public sector (local government and NHS England) and consider the role and skills needed by records managers to meet their obligations in this environment. This research is then set within the comparative framework of other similar research carried by other partners in the InterPARES Trust. We will report on our findings and draw conclusions about implications for professional networks and education.
Dr Andrew Flinn - Session 2
Global futures and national traditions – archives and records management education across the world in the 21st century
The education of archivists and records managers is a topic that has significant global interest. For the past five years the authors have collaborated on a number of projects exploring the possibilities of greater international cooperation in archives and records management education. We have worked together to develop a shared digital records learning environment (the Digital Curriculum Laboratory) and have designed and taught joint courses between the UK, the United States and Sweden. We are currently engaged in broader research into archival education programmes and curriculum internationally. So far we have analysed over 200 archive and records related programmes (undergraduate and postgraduate) from over 80 institutions in over 50 countries to establish for the first time really systematic, baseline information about archival education globally. Among the factors we have analysed is the orientation of the programmes, the preponderance of country-specific content and national perspectives (legal frameworks, national history and traditions, governance) as well as the existence of commonalities in content among programmes and the identification of possible topics that might be worthwhile in proposing shared international courses. We have followed up on this analysis by interviewing a number of leading educators internationally to capture their more detailed views on the present and future trends in archival education and the possibilities for continuing international cooperation. Our paper will report on this research by presenting our baseline data on international archival education, give examples of some of the main trends in terms of the perspectives, processes and methodologies within archival education, and address the themes of this conference by examining the possibilities and challenges that more cooperative national and international archival education might present.
After gaining an MSc in Information Management and Preservation at Glasgow University, I worked at Leeds University and then took up a position as a cataloguer at Tate Archive. After several years working on cataloguing projects, I was appointed Assistant Archive Curator and then Archive Curator specialising in cataloguing and preservation. Since November 2013, I have been working on the Archives & Access project, looking after the creation of cataloguing metadata.
* Joint presentation see Hannah Barton for abstract.
Dr Patricia C Franks
Dr Patricia C. Franks is a professor and coordinator of the Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) program in the School of Information at San José State University, San José, California, USA. She is author of the book Records and Information Management and co-editor of the Encyclopaedia of Archival Science. She was team lead for ANSI/ARMA Standard Implications of Web-based Collaborative Technologies in Records Management and the ARMA technical report, Using Social Media in Organizations. As a member of the InterPARES Trust research team she currently leads two projects: Social Media & Trust in Government and Retention and Disposition in a Cloud Environment.
Software-as-a-Service enables students to master Enterprise Content Management and Digital Preservation skills and competencies
Innovation in technology requires innovation in education. This presentation is based on the premise that future record-keepers can master the theory and practice related to life cycle management of records and information through the use of enterprise content management and digital preservation Software-as-a-Service products and services. Students enrolling in Enterprise Content Management and Digital Preservation at San José State University are introduced to two cloud-based software solutions--Office 365/SharePoint Online and Preservica--that, when used in concert, provide a seamless solution to the information governance lifecycle dilemma. Teaching strategies, technology challenges, and student outcomes will be shared.
Professor Richard Gameson
I am Professor of the History of the Book at Durham University. I have published nearly 100 studies on medieval manuscripts, book collection and illumination, my most recent books being Manuscript Treasures of Durham Cathedral (2010); The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain I: c. 400-1100 (2012); and From Holy Island to Durham: the contexts and meanings of the Lindisfarne Gospels (2013). I am currently working on descriptive catalogues of the medieval manuscripts of Trinity College Oxford and of Durham Cathedral, as well as researching medieval inks and pigments as a member of ‘Team Pigment’.
* Joint presentation see Professor Andrew Beeby for abstract.
I moved to the UK in 1994, after working at the Royal Chancery Archives in Spain. I soon became Amnesty International’s Archivist (1994-2000) and later joined the then Public Record Office as the Senior Archivist responsible for training and communications for the first online catalogue (PROCAT). I worked as Catalogue Manager from October 2007 and became Head of Cataloguing in April 2010. Through my career I have been able to contribute to a variety of projects linked to the development of online services, search interfaces, Discovery and The National Archives taxonomy. As Head of Cataloguing I chair the Cataloguing Panel and work towards the development of cataloguing policy for both paper and digital records. I am also a member of The National Archives' Senior Leadership Team, the Discovery Board and the Take Down Panel. Currently I serve the Section for Archives and Technology of ARA as secretary and treasurer.
Jone Garmendia, Dr Christopher Hilton, Matt Tantony and Andrew Janes
'Fixing a (w)hole': taking action on inadequate legacy data
Archives and archivists now operate in a hybrid environment where both records and catalogues can straddle the divide between paper and digital, and between site-specific curation and the global sharing of information. Although online access to archive catalogues has long since matured into the expected norm, it remains far from universal in practice.
Many online catalogues and search tools have their patches of bad (i.e. manifestly inadequate and inconsistent) data, often as a legacy of hasty retrospective conversion of paper finding aids or attempts to clear cataloguing backlogs. Such poor-quality data can make search and retrieval difficult for researchers and archivists alike. At worst, it can hide records from view as much as if they were left uncatalogued.
Continuing with some themes from the March 2016 UKAD 'Data Matters' forum, this roundtable will discuss practical approaches to ensuring that descriptive metadata inherited from the past can be made fit for the future. We will explore how three diverse archive services have – in different ways – made progress in addressing the challenges posed by inadequate data, and reflect on what we have learnt from our daily professional practice.
Questions discussed will include:
- What do we understand by good, bad and adequate catalogue data? How does context change our answer? Where does the threshold of adequate metadata lie? And how far do descriptive standards help us to 'future-proof' our data?
- Is breadth of coverage more valuable than depth or richness of data?
- Do traditional cataloguing practices remain helpful when tackling bad data or are we hidebound by paper mindsets? Do data-centric perspectives offer new insights into managing paper-based collections?
- How can we harness technology to work quickly and efficiently? What can low-tech solutions using commonplace, non-specialist software such as Excel do for us?
- Should we replace 'More Product, Less Process' with 'More Product, Smart Process'?
- What impact does the inadequacy of our metadata have on our ability to fulfil our practical and ethical commitments to our collections and the wider community? Conversely, what benefits does tackling bad data have for ensuring the authenticity and integrity of collections, as well as for discovery and access?
- What should our vision be for the future of descriptive metadata? Can cataloguing still earn its place in the workload of today’s busy archivist?
Dr Craig Gauld
I am a Lecturer in Archive and Information Studies at the University of Dundee. I teach 3 of the core Masters-level modules offered through the Centre for Archive and Information Studies (CAIS) – The Theory and Context of Recordkeeping; Archive Management: Principles and Practice; Archive Services, Access and Preservation. My recent publication is available via Archival Science at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10502-015-9262-4
*Joint presentation see Caroline Brown for abstract.
Originally completing a BA in English Literature and BComm in Investment Finance at The University of Western Australia, it was not until starting postgraduate study in International Relations that my passionate belief in the importance of preserving, and accessing, empirical evidence inspired me to leave my home of Perth, Australia, and head to Aberystwyth, Wales, to pursue a career in archiving. Prior to leaving Australia in 2014 I worked for the Information Services Department of The University of Western Australia as a Senior Library Officer, after being employed as an Archive Cataloguer and Research Assistant for the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Journal during my studies. Having completed my MA in Archive Administration at Aberystwyth University in 2015, I currently work as a Senior Information Assistant at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and am the Marketing Assistant for the Memory of the World UK Committee.
We know it, but they don’t – shining a light on archives as cultural heritage in the international arena
One doesn’t need to look much further than the current international legal and regulatory framework to see that archives and documentary heritage has been marginalised within international ideas of cultural heritage. In fact, outside of the archiving and information sector, the key contribution of archives and documentary heritage to cultural heritage receives little attention. At a time when securing funding is as competitive as ever, the recognition and celebration of archives and documentary heritage as part of cultural heritage should be a priority for every member of our profession.
This paper does not seek to argue that our profession is not already engaged in this fight. Instead, it examines the profession from the outside in order to understand how we are perceived within the global legal and regulatory framework, what this means for us and what we can do to change it.
To do this, this paper examines what the current international legal and regulatory environment is, and what the challenges of this environment are to us as archivists and information professionals. It also touches on the current and potential future developments in the global legal and regulatory environment, and how individual archivists and record mangers in the UK and other nations can contribute to making this future a positive one.
Ultimately, this paper will illuminate the real problem faced by archives if their contribution to cultural heritage continues to be overlooked in a global context, what is being done to avoid this, and how we, as individuals, can change perceptions.
Keith joined Essex County Council in September 2015 to take on the role of Marketing Manager for the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford. The role being to identify commercial opportunities for the record office and mentor staff in marketing their knowledge and skills. Keith’s experience spans a wide range of businesses in the commercial sector, predominantly in sales and marketing roles. Keith is very active through both face to face and online networking and sees social media as providing significant opportunities for all businesses and organisations. In his spare time Keith is Chairman of Holdfast Credit Union in Witham, Essex.
The challenge of commercialising the services offered by a public record office
Confronted by the financial pressures faced by the wider public sector, the Essex Record Office built a business case based around income generation. The ultimate aim over the next 3-5 years is for the record office to become cost-neutral to Essex County Council. Not being what is classified as a ‘traded service’ the record office must perform a fine balancing act between providing a free at point of delivery service to the general public, whilst offering other services, on a paid for basis, to the heritage and commercial marketplaces. Keith details the progress to date and the challenges that lie ahead.
I graduated from University in 2011 with a BA (Hons) in Conservation and Restoration. In 2014 I completed a Master’s degree in Conservation. My dissertation was entitled “Could Historic Photographic Techniques allow Digital to overcome issues with cold storage.”
Since 2012, Matthew has worked as Conservator at the Royal Armouries; in this role I am responsible for the conservation and restoration of the national collection of artillery. The role also includes preventive conservation, as well as the conservation of a collection of photographic negatives. Research is another aspect of the job, I am currently working on a major research project, which involves investigating the corrosive effects of coatings ingredients used on artillery when combined with moisture.
Matthew is currently working towards accreditation with ICON, accreditation projects include, the conservation of the recently acquired Composite Minion Drake Gun and a personal project researching the history and conservation of Russian cameras.
Could Historic Photographic Techniques allow Digital to overcome issues with cold storage? – Session 1
I recently undertook a research project that investigates strategies for future display of photographic images taken on film and digitised by researching the quality of digital facsimiles, (negative and positive) created on ink jet printers to match as closely as possible the original historic printing process used by the Photographer in the period. Will the originals be satisfactorily conserved in cold storage in the future or will all collections be digitised out of necessity because of cost limitations in a time of austerity or the restricted availability of photographic materials in the future?
This Research will make the case to print in an old style to keep the integrity of the original images and why it’s important to display the print correctly even if the storage system is back to future technology. The reality about printing everything is that it is not necessary, but what is printed will require to be printed in the correct context to enable the viewer to appreciate the images as the artist intended, as apposed just viewing an image on the latest technology with little consideration given to the emotion and history behind the image.
The case for printing continues, everything that is to be viewed in context requires printing to preserve the emotion history and context on the image. As discussed in this Research.
Avoiding changes in digital images – Session 2
To keep the integrity of an original image is one of the most important aspects of a Conservators work, just imagine if Van Gough’s sunflowers were swooped with Monet’s water lilies by a Conservator, I don’t think even the most unethical Politian would be comfortable with the change, however much money they could make. Even a forger does not make chances and merely copies the artwork. This research will discuss the problem of changes in digital by human interference and change by software updates and how it’s these changes are potently not unnoticeable or small changes similar to a fading print but are changes that can alter the characteristics
of an image. This could change the context of an image or the emotion behind the image to the extent of a sound track played on electric guitar that should have been played an acoustic guitar, the question is plugged or unplugged does the digital image equivalent matter? The answer is yes it does as an image is a permanent record in our history a music recording is a record of a moment in time designed to be repeated.
Digital technologies are subconsciously affecting our approaches and decisions to the care and treatment of our collections. This is because the speed that digital develops is as sublime as the changing from a spring to neap tide or the moon from full to new moon. These changes are only regularly observed by few interested groups; digital changes are not currently even observed but developed by creative programmers who have little interest in the past as their objective is to develop. A photograph taken on a 1999 digital camera will appear very different to one taken on a 2016 camera. This is true with different scanners as well, making a photograph scanned in 1999 very different to a photograph scanned in 2016. The changes in images from digital drift need to be discussed as conservators and collections care professionals have a knowledge gap in this area because of a lack of technical education in the science of image development.
Dr Melinda Haunton
Melinda has led the development and management of Archive Service Accreditation since 2013, on behalf of The National Archives and the Accreditation partners, managing a UK-wide programme that aims to support improvement in all parts of the archives sector and to raise the profile of archives nationally. In addition to her advisory and programme development work, she is part of a number of workforce initiatives with the Archives and Records Association, including the CPD Steering Committee, Registration Sub-Committee, Volunteering Committee and the 2014-15 CILIP-ARA project on workforce mapping.
Dr Melinda Haunton and Dr William Kilbride FSA
Archive Service Accreditation and digital preservation futures: next steps in developing the standard
Archive Service Accreditation is the UK standard for archive services, encouraging and supporting development across the full range of service types and sizes. At launch in 2013, Accreditation specified relatively little from its applicants in terms of digital preservation, while recognising that digital thinking is essential for the sector to progress. Current applicants are expected to be planning towards delivery of digital preservation capacity within the immediate future, and to incorporate thinking on digital materials into policy and procedures. It is recognised that they may not at present have the capacity to implement these in full.
Although this was a realistic position in 2013, it has always been the intention to revisit the digital requirements, asking more from Accredited Archive Services in future. This is critical to ensure that the entire archive sector moves forward in its capacity to preserve the digital, fulfilling its mission to document the present and recent past. The partners anticipate implementing such revision of the Accreditation requirements once the initial roll-out period comes to an end in 2018.
This paper explores the collaborative work of the Accreditation partnership and Digital Preservation Coalition in moving this process forward. The landscape of digital repository standards is complex and under constant review, and this paper will introduce some of the key elements in this landscape. Current standards are being mapped to Accreditation, identifying a pathway for developing the standard within a shifting context. The paper will outline key decisions and explain the thinking behind them, examining how standards and requirements can be used to drive improvement, and how pragmatism and aspiration each have a role. It will also discuss next steps and the challenges of implementation, grounding the paper in the experience of the sector.
I currently work as Records Manager for the Central Bank of Ireland, having qualified as an archivist from University College Dublin (UCD) in 2012. I was previously employed as archivist for the (Irish) Labour Party from 2012-2015. I have served as Outreach Officer (2012-14), Treasurer (2014-15) and Chairperson (2015-present) of the ARA Ireland region.
Transformations and Transfigurations: the role of the Records Manager
This paper explores the evolution of the role of records managers in light of the digital revolution. Scholarship has repeatedly highlighted how the rise of the personal computer has, since the 1970s, devolved & decentralised record keeping across organisations. Two questions emerge for records managers as a result of this process:
- Has our profession developed a business model that reflects the organisational realities of our employing institutions?
- Has the transformation of the role of records manager been reflected in how the profession perceives itself?
This paper argues we have failed to address these questions and employers are not deploying our expertise effectively as a result. This presentation, rather than trying to provide comprehensive answers to these questions, hopes to provoke further discussion on the future direction of or our profession.
Sarah Higgins is a lecturer in the Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth University, where her research focuses on the lifecycle management of digital materials by archives services, libraries and other information professionals. She was formerly employed by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) where she led the DCC Curation Lifecycle Model Project and the standards advisory function. Previously she delivered technical strategies for digital archives and libraries at the both the British Antarctic Survey and Edinburgh University Library.
Sarah Higgins and Sally McInnes
Digital preservation: collective responsibility and technical innovation
This paper reports on continuing work to develop shared digital preservation provision in Wales.
One strategic objective of the Archives and Records Council Wales (ARCW) is "to address the preservation and maintenance of digital records and the provision of access". Barriers to implementing digital preservation across Wales, identified through a survey of ARCW members, include lack of conﬁdence, skills, technical infrastructure and resources. Partnership working has been established as a way of pooling resources and skills, sharing risks, raising standards and facilitating interoperability. Participants from across the sector in Wales (the Community of the Willing) are working together to develop both the administrative and technical infrastructure required. Aspects of the work are funded by the Welsh Government.
Work currently being undertaken includes: the development of a National Digital Preservation Policy for Wales and requirements scoping for acquiring a shared cloud-based storage and management system. This work is being undertaken in tandem with the development of the National Conservation Strategy.
Achievements to date include:
A survey of current provision and audit of digital holdings
A business case for national digital preservation provision
Establishment of the Community of the Willing
Selection and testing of an open source technical infrastructure
Development of cloud interfaces and storage, as a proof of concept, to remove IT barriers to participation
Provision of digital preservation training grant
Documentation including: an ITC support business case for, guidance for depositors of digital records, recommendations on inclusion of digital records in collection policies and risk registers
Dr Christopher Hilton
After doing a doctorate in English literature I trained as an archivist in the early 1990s via the former Society of Archivists distance-learning course, whilst working in local government. I joined the Wellcome Library in 1993. As Senior Archivist here, my remit covers archive metadata and our CALM system, how these interact with other library systems, and how we develop our descriptions to handle born-digital material, mass digitisation, remote searching and new directions such as Linked Open Data. I have been known to read cataloguing standards for fun.
*Joint presentation see Jone Garmendia for abstract.
Rachel leads the Archives team at the Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh. With many years’ experience in Universities, consultancy, business and local authority she has delivered large scale projects and worked engaging a wide range of people with collections. Professional interests include the influence of archives on creative processes, flexibility in approaches to cataloguing, and cross-sectoral working in the cultural heritage sector and has published on a number of archival practice issues. She is also performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on archives.
Film Archives in Context: Dealing with Films as part of Wider Collections
In this workshop you will discuss current metadata options for describing film, whether it captures the richness of this format and how in the digital age we need to do more to make our film, sound and image collections available. This will be a practical workshop with participants watching film and testing options for description and discoverability, including connecting it to its contexts. There will be opportunity for discussion on preservation options including investigations into the 'to keep, not to keep' debate on original deteriorating physical media and digital preservation considerations and cost.
I am a part time PhD student at the University of York, working on a collaborative doctoral project sponsored by City of York Council and funded by the AHRC. This project – Within the Walls: Heritage Values and the Historic City – brings together perspectives from archival science, archaeology and cultural heritage management to explore how and why different forms of heritage has value and how that value is understood and articulated by stakeholders. It aims to develop methodologies for connecting heritage practitioners (including archivists) to communities using participatory approaches.
I am also City Archivist with Explore York Libraries and Archives, and am responsible for the management, preservation and use of York’s 800 year span of archives. Since 2010 I have worked on the design and delivery of the HLF funded York: Gateway to History project, a £1.6m project to build a new archives repository and to develop engagement and education programmes.
Who Do Archives Think They Are? Boundaries and Archival Encounters
The archives sector is structured around a body of documentation – produced at international, national and local levels – that defines its realms of influence and activity. International declarations and standards, government policies and institutional strategies employ a shared language of assumptions that shape the work that archival practitioners do and feel able to do.
This paper will suggest the wide-ranging influence of this documentation on the ways in which archivists, researchers and diverse communities encounter archives. It will consider how intellectual boundaries are reinforced by the regulatory and political environments in which we work. It will argue that the conceptualisation of archival material in England and Wales is reinforced by an underlying discourse about what archives are and can be, what they do and why they have value.
Drawing on current PhD research the paper will present a critical analysis of key policy and strategic documents. Inspired by Laura Jane Smith’s theory of the Authorised Heritage Discourse, it will explore the possibility of an underlying framework that “naturalizes a range of assumptions about the nature and meaning of [archival] heritage” in the West. Discussion of the International Declaration on Archives, the UK government policy Archives for the 21st Century, The National Archives strategy Archives Inspire and UNESCO’s Safeguarding the Documentary Heritage of Humanity will suggest the rules by which archival heritage is understood, the boundaries constructed to contain it and the ways that certain cultural subjectivities are consequently privileged over others.
The existence of rules or boundaries may limit archival encounters in ways that work against desired social and emotional outcomes. For example, our professional discourse has practical implications for the design, delivery and success of projects to engage communities with archives. Using the case study of the Heritage Lottery funded York: Gateway to History project (a two year community engagement and outreach project nearing completion), as well as interviews conducted with archives practitioners from across the sector, my paper aims to stimulate debate about the ways we think and speak about our work.
I am a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), where I am based in the International History department. My doctoral research looks at the historical development of the Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East, and the role of the United Nations therein. Since September 2015 I have been a member of the IASFM Working Group for Archiving and Documentation of the History of Forced Migration.
I have presented research papers at academic conferences in Oxford, London, Beirut, New York and Boston. In March 2016 I spoke in the House of Commons at a UK parliamentary seminar on problems facing Palestinian refugees from Syria. Before starting my PhD I graduated from Oxford University with a First-Class Honours degree in Modern History and I have a Dual MA/MSc in International History from Columbia University and LSE.
Over-researched, Under-represented: The Case of the Palestinian Refugee Camps
The case study of the Palestinian refugees typifies many of the problems surrounding the collection of testimonies and records from marginalised communities. As the largest and oldest refugee population in the world, the Palestinians’ statelessness has major repercussions for how their individual and collective narratives are recorded. In the absence of a national archive and official record-keeping institutions, they must too often rely on others to speak on their behalf. This means that the risks of silencing and misrepresentation can be great.
At the same time, the case of the Palestinian refugees is unusual in its high profile. As the Palestinians are central to a highly politicised conflict of great international significance, their institutional voicelessness is juxtaposed with an unusually high awareness of their case. This paradox is typified by the situation in the refugee camps, which continue to shelter around a third of registered Palestinian refugees today. The camps represent extreme marginalisation for the refugees living there, but are simultaneously hugely appealing to academics and activists conducting research. For several decades, Palestinian camps in the West Bank, Lebanon and Jordan have played host to a succession of researchers doing fieldwork. This usually centres around recording the refugees’ testimonies and gathering evidence of their narratives and experiences. There is a clear structural disparity in this set-up, whereby the researchers in question are often privileged Western citizens pursuing careers of choice, while those being researched are marginalised, stateless and formally powerless.
This paper probes the ethical challenges that this juxtaposition creates, and considers possible ways forward. Focussing in particular on the testimonies and records that result from such fieldwork – often never seen by the refugees themselves – this paper will look at how the nature and form of record-collecting can better represent the voices of the refugees. In doing so it also examines the relationship between the refugees and archival collections, asking how the high level of academic interest in the camps can more directly empower their residents. In this way this paper ultimately explores how academic research can go hand-in-hand with respecting and promoting the agency of refugee communities and other marginalised groups, using the Palestinians as a case study.
I joined The National Archives in 2008 as a records specialist and map curator. Since July 2014 I have held the role of Senior Archivist (Future Catalogues). My responsibilities include the State of the Catalogue programme which assesses and enhances the adequacy of descriptive metadata about The National Archives’ holdings. I have an MScEcon in Archive Administration from Aberystwyth University, and am a registered member of ARA and a mentor on the Registration Scheme. I am currently Treasurer of ARA's Diversity Working Group. With my colleague Rose Mitchell I am the co-author of Maps: Their Untold Stories (London: Bloomsbury, 2014).
*Joint presentation see Jone Garmendia for abstract.
Aisling Keane is an Archivist at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Aisling’s research interests include intellectual and long term access to archival material through interoperable metadata and digital objects. She is currently listing the archive of the cartographer Tim Robinson, and is building a digital map visualisation to extend the reach of this collection. She has worked on the Abbey Theatre Digitisation Project, and is a member of the University’s Digital Library Strategy Group which exists to actively promote and support Digital Scholarship at NUI Galway.
*Joint presentation see Martin Bradley for abstract.
After graduating from Northumbria University in 2006 with a MA in Preventive Conservation, Zoe took up an ICON internship based at Lancashire Archives. On completion of the programme she worked on the British Steel Project for the University of Teesside before moving to the National Media Museum, Bradford as their first conservator. In 2012 she returned to Lancashire Archives as a conservator, where she has combined archival work with supporting Lancashire Museum Service Conservation team.
All for one and one for all: working together in collaborative practice
Boundaries between conservation disciplines are becoming blurred. We work alongside other highly skilled individuals with varied skills and interests with who we can collaborate with to develop and increase our abilities. Over the past year Lancashire Archives’ and Lancashire Museum’s conservation services have been working closely together. A story of collaborative practice will be illustrated though various projects to show how we can work together to provide stronger services, skill share and further professional development opportunities. This presentation aims to demonstrate how important talking to conservators in other disciplines can be and how as archive conservators our skills are valued by others.
Dr William Kilbride FSA
William Kilbride is Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), a not-for-profit membership organization providing advocacy, workforce development, capacity and partnership in digital preservation. William started his career in archaeology in the 1990s when the discipline’s enthusiasm for new technology outstripped its capacity to manage the resulting data. He joined the DPC from Glasgow Museums where he was Research Manager and before that was Assistant Director of the Archaeology Data Service in the University of York. Before that he was a lecturer in archaeology at the University of Glasgow where he retains an honorary position.
*Joint presentation see Dr Melinda Haunton for abstract.
Jason King is Head of Records Services and Deputy Departmental Records Officer at the Department for Communities and Local Government. He is a professionally qualified Government Records and Information Management specialist and has 10 years of experience in the records management field. Jason is an Executive Committee member of both the Association of Departmental Records Officers and the Archive and Records Association Records Management and Information Governance Subgroup. He is also a member of the Information and Records Management Society and several Government RM working groups. Jason has spoken at a number of records management events but will be speaking at the ARA annual conference for the first time.
The need to adapt service provision in a changing records management world
The world of Records Management is changing and so is the Civil Service. We are all told that we need to ‘Do more for less’. That means less staff resources and less budget.
The Civil Service Reform Plan of 2012 made it clear that sharing services across Whitehall would be mutually beneficial for everyone in order to meet the resource and financial challenges ahead.
In this presentation, I shall be discussion how my organisation (the Department for Communities and Local Government) has met the challenge by offering shared-services to other government organisations. However, the problems, issues and solutions offered could be applied to any organisation seeking to review its future records management service provision.
In addition, I shall also be looking into the future and suggesting how further we could all go to cope with our common problem – how our organisation could manage its records and comply with legislation when there is hardly anybody left to turn the lights off!
Dr Anne Lama
Anne Lama received her PhD degree from the School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton, UK. She is currently working at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies, The University of Northampton, UK and, involved in teaching and research activities. Her research interest includes clean technology and sustainability of the leather manufacturing process, deterioration of leather and historic leather, as well as collagen stabilisation chemistry.
Acid-deterioration (red-rot) in historic leather
Conservation of acid-deterioration (commonly known as red-rot) in historic leather is a concern due to limited treatment options. Various research has been carried out to find a suitable treatment to conserve acid-deteriorated historic leather. A number of reagents including, consolidants and compounds with acid buffering and collagen stabilising properties were investigated. Consolidants do not have acid buffering or collagen stabilising properties, and therefore may only provide short-term protection against acid-deterioration. Similarly compounds with acid buffering properties may also provide a short-term effect as these compounds do not stabilise collagen. Among the various products trialled, aluminium di(isopropoxide) acetoacetate ester chelate (referred to as aluminium alkoxide in this study) was found to be the most effective as studies showed that the reagent increases hydrothermal stability and pH of the aqueous extract when applied to the leather. However, aluminium alkoxide was also found to provide a short-term stabilisation effect.
This study was therefore undertaken to develop a product that will increase the longevity of the acid deteriorated historic leather by delaying the deterioration rate. The results obtained indicated that a formulation containing aluminium alkoxide and oxazolidine II (5-eEthyl-1-aza-3,7-dioxabicyclo[3.3.0]octane) not only showed acid buffering and collagen stabilising properties, but was also capable of providing long-term protection against an acidic environment created artificially using sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
Kirsty has been working in the Library and Archive sector for the last 10 years taking on various project roles in relation to collection development, service delivery and user experience. In 2014, she gained a Master’s degree in Archives and Records Management at the University of Dundee, specialising in Digital Preservation.
After moving into an archiving role within the University of St Andrews and gaining first-hand experience of managing and preserving digital assets she moved to Edinburgh to take on the role of developing a digital preservation programme within the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh.
Kirsty has delivered a number of well received presentations on her work and on the topic of digital preservation generally. She also has a strong online presence through her twitter account and successful blog site, Bits and Pieces.
Kirsty is a member of the Archives and Records Association and the Digital Preservation Coalition.
The path to developing a digital preservation programme: the view from the bottom
It can seem like a daunting task being asked to develop a solution to digital preservation within your institution. When money is tight, data is multiplying and technology is evolving faster than you’re able to manage its output you can be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed. It’s akin to standing at the bottom of a mountain, wondering how on earth to scale it when all you have is your wits. There has, however, in the last 30 years been considerable thought and effort invested into how curators might begin to tackle the issue of long term preservation of digital assets. A wealth of information, reports, projects, resources and standards are available to refer to that are focused on digital preservation, which, whilst helpful, can also be somewhat overwhelming to someone new to the profession. However, step by step, it is possible to make some sense of it all to suit your institution or organisation, its goals and available resources. This ‘warts and all’ presentation looks at the highs and lows of starting out from the bottom and getting on the path to building a practical, scalable preservation programme.
I am a lecturer at the Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies. Previously, I led records and archives management projects in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Russia Trinidad and Tobago, and Tunisia as the Deputy Director of the International Records Management Trust. I was the lead researcher for the Trust’s Aligning Records Management with ICT, e-Government and Freedom of Information in East Africa research project, which examined public sector records management capacity across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi in relation to government priorities for computerisation and access to information. Currently, I am a member of the International Council on Archives Africa Working Group. My work is aimed at supporting transparent governance, particularly in the developing world. My recent publications include Integrity in Government through Records Management, which I edited with Justus Wamukoya, published by Ashgate in 2014, and I am the editor of Routledge’s forthcoming volume Displaced Archives
International Collaboration on the Repatriation of Displaced Archives
Displaced archives have been subject to international treaties and conventions over a long history, as may be seen from Bautier’s 1961 survey covering from the thirteenth century to the 1950s. After a period of activity in the 1970s that culminated in the (failed) 1983 Vienna Convention, in 1998 Auer’s Disputed Archival Claims: Analysis of an International Survey was published. This appears to have been the last on the matter until the 2004 ICA Congress, when the Algerian National Archivist raised the issue of displaced archives. As a result, in May 2009, the ICA approved the establishment of the Displaced Archives Working Group. Though the group struggled to define displaced archives, it agreed on two lines of work: one towards the creation of an updated bibliography on the subject, the other for a revision to Auer’s questionnaire, for circulation to the international community.
As at 2016, this work has not been undertaken. Although the international archival community has recently been silent on the issue of displaced archives, archival disputes have persisted. This paper will consider the history of the international archival community’s attempts to tackle the issue, and set out some thoughts on the role of the community in facilitating the repatriation of displaced archives. Should the work of the international community be focused on practical interventions, such as the establishment of a fund for copying projects as proposed by the ICA’s Displaced Archives Working Group? In 1981, Kecskeméti and Van Laar envisaged an arbitration role for UNESCO / ICA. Is it time for this idea to be revisited? What solutions are possible through international collaboration?
I am an archivist managing the physical and digital collections of the University of Kent across campuses and centres in Canterbury, Medway, Paris, Brussels, Rome and Athens. Previously, I have worked in a variety of roles with diverse library and archival collections at the British Library, the Museum of the Order of St John, Altonaer Museum Hamburg and Bishopsgate Institute London. I qualified in Archive Administration at Aberystwyth University and am a member of the International Council for Archives, and sit on the Archives and Records Association Committee for the Section for Archives and Technology. I volunteer with Kent Refugee Action Network.
Archival borders to informational democracy
This paper considers the nature of archives in a shifting political climate, exploring the how collection management decisions can create open or closed borders to archives.
Based on a case study, it explores how archives can and should support social integration for refugees. Europe in 2015 has seen an increase in refugee intake, and an explosion of press coverage on asylum seekers and refugees. Evidence is the deciding factor on successful asylum applications, and can be written or verbal, and is cross-examined. This is how people are introduced to what evidence is in the UK; a refugee’s personal evidence is questioned, re-questioned and assessed, before being accepted or denied. This is not how archival evidence is treated.
Archival institutions have a glut of evidence and information that can help support a persons’ understanding of British society, culture and history. Furthermore, it can be the foundation and exploration of shared history as evidence.
Welcoming young refugees into the archives at the University of Kent was a mutually beneficial experience, and inspired staff to identify and consider deeper meaning in the archive from a practical and theoretical perspective.
David Leon Margulies
Following a degree in history and history of art at Westfield College, London University, my interest in the techniques and materials of oil painting led me to a fascination with lapis lazuli. It was while studying restoration under the guidance of Helmut Ruhemann that I became interested in the scientific and empirical approach to the study of pigments. To that end I had the privilege of studying microscopy with Walter McCrone, of the McCrone Institute, Chicago. My fascination and interest increased exponentially when selling pigments in our art shop (which was named ‘Lapis’) between 1989 & 2002. Spurred on by my reading of Cennino Cennini, I attempted to replicate the recipe attributed to him. After many attempts my results were extremely inconsistent. At first I blamed my own inadequacies. However, trials with other colleagues, and correspondence with several highly reputed experts confirmed the same unpredictable results. This became a greater spur to question all the accepted wisdom about lapis lazuli. In more recent times colleagues and I have instigated a number of research projects, some of which will be referred to in the talk.
Myth, Matter & Manufacture of Lapis Lazuli
The following subjects will be examined with the use of images:
1. Etymology of terms. Confusion in nomenclatures.
2. Geographic locations. Errors in some of the attributed locations.
3. Geological examples. What crystal?
4. A very brief survey of objects created with lapis lazuli and genuine ultramarine.
5. Three processes to manufacture genuine ultramarine; illustrating them with the use of unique images.
Dr Janette Lisa Martin
I am an archivist and curator at the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester. I care for the Theatre and Performing Art Collections and have a special interest in embedding archives and special collections in University teaching and learning. A qualified archivist since 1999, I have also spent time working in Higher Education as a lecturer and in the museum and heritage sector. I covered Claire Mayoh’s maternity leave at the Henry Moore Institute which is where my interest in questions posed by challenging acquisitions arose.
Dr Janette Lisa Martin and Claire Mayoh
Tutorial: Beyond the collecting policy – establishing boundaries in archives
This tutorial examines the elusive boundaries between what should and should not be accepted into an archive. While the majority of institutions have clearly defined collecting policies few, if any, offer guidance on material which is challenging because of sexual or criminal content. On an anecdotal level, most archivists have experience of finding material probably never intended for the hallowed environs of an archive. In such cases pornographic magazines are discreetly removed from personal papers or evidence of misconduct is closed or lodged with the appropriate authorities. Is it possible to establish best practice when faced with a collection that contains pornographic material or documentary evidence of criminal wrong doing? How can we be sure that what we define as ‘porn’ does not have intrinsic literary, artistic or informative value? In the realm of culture, practitioners often do not follow the establishment and their methodologies lead them on alternative routes.
In an ideal world, appraisal takes place before an archive is acquired. However, collections are often hastily acquired due to buildings being sold or material being rescued from poor storage conditions. It is when the initial listing process takes place that potentially dubious or unsavoury material is uncovered. This tutorial gives delegates the opportunity to informally discuss and debate a series of real acquisition scenarios which exemplify the challenges in setting boundaries. All the examples are taken from anonymised case studies of personal papers acquired by the Henry Moore Institute Archive of Sculptors’ Papers and The John Rylands Library. Delegates are encouraged to share and discuss their own experiences of challenging acquisitions.
This tutorial offers a timely opportunity to debate these challenges, share good practice and make practical suggestions for archival good practice.
Since qualifying as a professional archivist in 1997, I have worked with a variety of archives including local authority collections and business archives, and in an advisory capacity for a government agency. I am currently the archivist at the Henry Moore Institute and manage the Archive of Sculptors’ Papers. I work with colleagues at the Institute, and Leeds Museums and Galleries, (as the owner of the collection), to develop the Archive which focuses upon the theory and practice of sculpture in Britain. I am interested in new ways of collecting, having facilitated the acquisition of the archive of a fictitious sculptor in 2013. I have written about other artistic interventions into the Archive, including an article published in The Henry Moore Institute’s ‘Essays on Sculpture’ series, (no. 71), regarding artist Neal White’s work with the papers of sculptor Jacob Epstein.
* Joint presentation see Dr Janette Lisa Martin for abstract.
Sally McInnes trained as an Archivist in 1988 and worked for Carmarthen Record Office prior to joining the National Library of Wales in 1989.
She was appointed Head of the Unique Collections and Collection Care Department in March this year, with responsibility for the archives, manuscripts, pictures, photographic and maps collections, traditional conservation and digital preservation. She is chair of the Archives and Records Council Wales Digital Preservation Group and Chair of the WHELF Archives and Special Collections Group.
*Joint presentation see Sarah Higgins for abstract.
Sharon McMeekin is Head of Training and Skills with the Digital Preservation Coalition and leads their workforce development activities. This includes the successful workshop series’ ‘Getting Started with….’ and ‘Making Progress with Digital Preservation’, the annual student conference, its scholarship programme and contributions to DPC projects such as the new edition of the ‘Digital Preservation Handbook’. She also manages DPC’s input to the E-ARK project as well as previously participating in the APARSEN project.
With Masters in Information Technology and Information Management and Preservation, both from Glasgow University, Sharon is an archivist by training with a specialism in digital preservation. Before joining the DPC she spent five years as Digital Archivist with RCAHMS. As an invited speaker, Sharon presents on digital preservation at a wide variety of events, which have included ULCC’s Digital Preservation Training Programme, ARA training, and as a guest lecturer for HATII at the University of Glasgow.
Sharon McMeekin, Laura Molloy, Edward Pinsent and Stephanie Taylor
‘Would like to know more’ – Digital Preservation Training and Professional Development
What do you want from digital preservation training? In Autumn 2015, The University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) worked with colleagues from the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) to conduct the Digital Archiving & Preservation Training Needs Survey. Moderator / chair Ed Pinsent (ULCC) will set the context for this session, introduce the survey and explain why we did it, and summarise the current landscape of digital preservation training. Steph Taylor (ULCC) will discuss how the Training Needs survey has shaped ideas about how such training could develop and improve. Sharon McMeekin (DPC) will look at training from a continuing professional development angle, and what this means for archivists and other information professionals. Laura Molloy (OII / RSA) will address the issue of training for non-scientific audiences, and whether the language and delivery of digital preservation training needs to change. Lastly, a panel discussion and questions will allow exploration of some of the key findings of the training needs survey.
I am an artist and researcher currently based at the Ruskin School of Art and the Oxford Internet Institute, both at the University of Oxford. I'm interested in creative practice both actively and theoretically. My doctoral project, supported by the ESRC and DACS, investigates digital curation practices of visual artists. I was preservation researcher at the Digital Curation Centre until 2015 and continue to represent the value of DCC tools and services as an affiliate researcher at the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute, University of Glasgow.
Co-chair of the Research Data Alliance Interest Group for Education and Training for the Handling of Research Data, and the RDA IG Archives and Records Professionals, I previously managed the pilot phase of the Jisc-funded UK Research Data Discovery Service, led development of the EC-funded DigCurV skills framework for digital curation, worked across the JISC Managing Research Data programme to support UK universities in research data infrastructure development and led training for the EC PLANETS project. I publish and speak regularly on digital curation and preservation practice, policy and skills development, particularly for researchers and professionals working outwith the natural sciences.
*Joint presentation see Sharon McMeekin for abstract.
I have been working as a Book and Paper Conservator at Cambridge University Library since graduating from Camberwell College of Arts with an MA in Conservation of Books and Archival Materials three years ago. Prior to this I studied Fine Art and History of Art BA at Aberystwyth University.
I have worked on many different materials at the Library; Indian mica paintings, paper and parchment Genizah fragments and WWII archives from Singapore. I am a key contributor to the BioArCh collagen analysis project and I am investigating the use of spectral imaging to analyse moisture damaged paper. I have written articles for Icon News and PNAS, and presented at the CC16 Conference in Copenhagen.
I am a member of the ARA Conservation Training Scheme committee, ARA, Icon, SoB, East Anglia Conservators Forum and Midlands Conservators Group. I am a scholar of the Anna Plowden Trust, Clothworkers’ Company and QEST.
Short Term Contracts & Your Long Term Career: Personal Experiences of Surviving in the World of Temporary Conservation Contracts
In this presentation, drawing from my personal experiences, I will discuss and reflect on the challenges and rewards presented by temporary conservation jobs, in particular conservation for digitisation contracts.
Cuts and financial pressures on institution budgets have left many conservation departments relying on external funding to carry out projects and to provide them with conservators. These positions are regularly filled by conservation graduates or conservators early in their professional careers, eager for experience and more able to live around short term contracts, which require them to be flexible and adaptable.
Working within a conservation department as a temporary conservator can benefit more than just the individual if an inclusive and invested approach is taken. If this is carried out successfully, temporary conservators can learn more than just the skills needed for their specific project, an outcome which can benefit both themselves, their current employer and future positions, whether within their current department or elsewhere.
Since graduating from my MA three years ago, I have been working as a Book and Paper Conservator in the Conservation Department at Cambridge University Library. During this time I have worked both in teams and on my own and I have held three different temporary contracts, two of which were conservation for digitisation projects that presented similarities and differences. I will discuss how the lessons I learnt from the first project informed my approach to the second, and I will reflect on my experiences of team working within the department and the wider Library. I will talk about the need for efficiency and good communication, the necessity of well-organized team and individual working, and how to maintain high levels of professional standards despite restricted time frames.
I will share how I put together a proposal for a research bursary and how such schemes can help the temporary conservator and their institution, through offering exciting opportunities and extensions of contracts. I will also talk about the opportunities networking and outreach can bring to temporary conservators through engaging with the wider conservation community and the public.
I hope this presentation will be of use to and inspire other contracted conservators, current students of conservation who are about to enter their first contracts, and institutions who have temporary conservators working in their team. Despite the difficulties which can arise from temporary contract work, a successful outcome can be achieved with persistence, communication, mutual support, and the drive and determination to seek further opportunities.
Dr Kate Nicholson
I am a lecturer in Applied Sciences at Northumbria University. I have turned a decade of working with spectroscopic analysis of polymorphic compounds and nanocrystals to a new application of pigment analysis on medieval manuscripts. My expertise in developing portable spectrometers along with Professor Andy Beeby at Durham, has led to the publication of the first major spectroscopic study of the Insular Gospels (Scriptorium, 2015) and I was awarded a Royal Society of Chemistry Mobility Fellowship to extend the study to the collection at the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge, collaborating with their MINIARE project.
*Joint presentation see Professor Andrew Beeby for abstract.
I am the Rambert Archivist. I am the Co-Chair for the national subject specialist group, the Association of Performing Arts Collections (APAC), and a board member for the Transforming Archives Skills for the Future project. I convene the APAC Digital Preservation Working Group. From 2012 – 2014 I planned and managed the move of the Rambert Archive collections to their new home on London’s South Bank. Previously I worked on the Connecting Histories project for Birmingham City Archives, at the Hull History Centre and at Toynbee Hall. I have presented papers at various conferences in the UK and internationally on a variety of archive development topics.
Dancing outside the lines: choreographing new approaches to the collections
Rambert is Britain’s oldest dance company. It dates its birth to 1926, to the first performance of a ballet ever created by a British choreographer. The Rambert Archive pre-dates even this seminal beginning, containing the papers of Dame Marie Rambert, a pioneer of dance internationally. In 2012 the Rambert Archive received HLF funding to help it not only to preserve, catalogue and physically move the collections, but also to create a new learning and participation programme. To develop this programme a new role of Archive Learning Manager was created, and a dancer-choreographer was recruited to the role. In 2016 Rambert is 90. The HLF are again supporting Rambert to use its archive to celebrate the anniversary on a nationwide tour.
This interactive tutorial will examine the steep learning for both the archivist and the learning manager about each other’s professions, and how the meeting of worlds culminated in a new and unique approach to using the archive for dance education.
This tutorial will be useful to archivists considering working with artists or creating activities within an HLF context. It will aim to provide an alternative insight into using collections for outreach activities.
Participants will consider methodology for using objects as creative stimuli, and come up with strategies for providing ways into the collections for creatives who don’t have a starting point or research criteria.
Professor Nicholas Pickwoad
Professor Nicholas Pickwoad trained in bookbinding and book conservation with Roger Powell, and ran his own workshop from 1977 to 1989, and has been Adviser on book conservation to the National Trust since 1978. He was Chief Conservator in the Harvard University Library from 1992 to 1995 and is now project leader of the St Catherine’s Monastery Library Project based at the University of the Arts London, where he is director of the Ligatus Research Centre, which is dedicated to the history of bookbinding.
Professor Nicholas Pickwoad and Dr Athanasios Velios
The Language of Bindings Thesaurus: a first step towards linked data in bookbinding descriptions
Ligatus has recently launched the Language of Bindings Thesaurus which is a thesaurus of bookbinding terms based on SKOS. The concepts of the thesaurus are made available through the thesaurus website at www.ligatus.org.uk/lob
. This presentation will give an overview of the Semantic Web technologies and why they are important for conservators with particular emphasis on thesauri. It will explain the value of the CIDOC-CRM in conservation documentation. It will showcase the structure of the Language of Bindings thesaurus, its capacity to be used as Linked Open Data and the different ways of searching on the thesaurus website which include web-services for software lookup. Information about the methods of the conceptual development of the thesaurus will be provided and a timeline for its future development including structuring new hierarchies and translating it in other languages.
My early career was in teaching where I was head of department in Theatre Studies and Performing Arts. Since moving into heritage learning I have been responsible for project management and developing and running London Metropolitan Archive’s outreach and interpretation programmes, many of which have been HLF-funded. These programmes include school, higher education, community and family learning initiatives which explore history, culture, science, arts and skills based activities.
I have been responsible for developing the London Metropolitan Archives LGBTQ+ annual History and Archives conference, now in its 14th year. I am currently leading on the Speak Out London LGBTQ+ community history project, funded by HLF, which is building a digital collection of oral histories, images and resources which will be available via a website and at LMA.
Without borders: LGBTQ+ collections across the world
In June 2016 London will host the Archives, Libraries, Museums and Special Collections LGBTQ+ History and Archives International Conference. The conference focusses on the work of public, private, academic, and grassroots organisations which are collecting, capturing and preserving archives of LGBTQ+ experiences, to ensure these histories continue to be documented and shared. The conference began in Minnesota in 2006 when the Tretter Collection and Quatrefoil Library co-hosted the first LGBT ALMS Conference. London Metropolitan Archives, Bishopsgate Institute and Westminster University are the 2016 hosts.
To reflect an emerging global LGBTQ+ community, the 2016 conference is titled ‘Without Borders’. The aim is to generate a dialogue within the co-dependent fields of LGBTQ+ historical research and collecting, and share experiences, ideas and best practice through a programme of presentations and short talks that explore
margins, borders, barriers and intersections, past and present.
This tutorial will explore how Without Borders developed, how people from across the world, working in varied and sometimes challenging circumstances, were brought together and how the aims of the conference were met. The tutorial will examine the impact the conference had in terms of professional archival / collecting practice, particularly where the work of formal institutions meshes with and supports the activities of community groups and individuals.
There will be a focus on the global relationships created through the ALMS project and how new ideas generated at the Without Borders conference will influence the ongoing work of this international forum, specifically around how archives are built and accessed in different situations as instruments of change, protest, campaigning and activism.
The ARA conference themes linked to this presentation are: Boundaries – considering intellectual; physical; legislative; regulatory or political boundaries; Dissemination – through platforms; discovery networks; and other publications; Communities and Collections – those in transition; undergoing change; movement; their location and access and users and Responsibilities – including corporate; social; individual; considering advocacy.
Ed Pinsent is a Digital Archivist who has worked at University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) since 2004. He has a background as a traditional archivist and records manager working for the Church of England General Synod, The National Archives, and others. He is a tutor on the Digital Preservation Training Programme, and a former Board member of the Digital Preservation Coalition. He is part of the ULCC team offering consultancy in digital preservation, and has experience in web-archiving, repository management, metadata projects, migration, digitisation, policy design, and project management.
*Joint presentation see Sharon McMeekin for abstract.
(Wednesday Keynote speaker)
Colin Prescod has over four decades, been an academic, a documentary film and theatre maker, and TV commissioning editor. He served as a member and Vice-Chair of the (London) Mayor’s Commission on African and Asian Heritage, 2003-2005; and as a member of the Greater London Authority’s Heritage Diversity Taskforce, 2008-9. He was advisor to the development of two ‘permanent’ galleries launched in November 2007 – London, Sugar and Slavery
, Museum in Docklands, London, and Atlantic Worlds
, National Maritime Museum, London. As co-Director of the cultural animation company, Manifesta, he has devised a series of creative video workshop projects for young people –Video ART – Anti-Racist Trails
, in London (2007); Belonging, in Paris/Lisbon/London (2008/9); Breaking Into The Museum, in Paris/London (2010/11), in partnership with the Museum of London and the Musee Carnavalet. Has also made four films for the IRR, Struggles for Black Community
, at the beginning of the 1980s, that chart the milestones in Black people’s fight for justice – ‘race riots’ in Cardiff in post-war 1919, Notting Hill in 1958, Powell and the numbers game, the strike at Imperial Typewriters, the death of anti-fascist Blair Peach.
There are records … - archives, race, class, and rage
My keynote is framed by the received wisdom of a loosely accredited African saying - “Until the lions have their historians, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”. This aphorism also serves as a kind of call for what some present day academic historians have termed ’reparative history’. And the notion of reparative history might well be used to describe a largely unacknowledged project of Black British ‘here to stay, here to fight’ anti-racist campaign struggles since the second half of the 20th century - the struggle to belong. I will contend that the coming of age so to speak of Black British archives in the early 21st century, as evidenced by for example the arrival and active intervention on the London scene of the Black Cultural Archives (BCA), the George Padmore Institute(GPI), the Friends of the Huntley Archive at the London Metropolitan Archives (FHALMA), and the Black History Collection at the Institute of Race Relations (BHC-IRR), underlines and accelerates this ‘belonging’ aspect of Black British struggles. To give some context to this apparently sudden surge of interest in Black British archives, I will cite the heritage-sector mobilisation of diasporan Africans around the 2007 two hundredth anniversary of the formal ending of the Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans as a kind of watershed in regard to this Black British ‘belonging’ agenda - see for example the Museum of London’s (Docklands) ‘London, Sugar and Slavery’ permanent gallery. Finally, I will argue that the collection, conservation and animation of archives related to late 20th and early 21st century Black British history has become an essential and urgent, if not militant, part of continuing struggles to ‘belong’ in contemporary Britain. And the animation of these archives must perforce include a fresh assault on existing dominant historical narratives. An alternative title to my keynote then might be - “How the lions discovered their duty to refute the hunters’ historiography”.
Dr Margaret Procter
After qualifying in 1987, I held professional archival and records management posts in the public sector before joining the Centre for Archive Studies at Liverpool University in 2001 where I’ve directed both Masters and CPD programmes in Records and Information Management. I held a number of roles in the then SoA in the 1980s and 1990s, particularly at a regional level and, for a decade, as part of the Diploma Course Committee. I have been active internationally since the 1980s, particularly through the publications work of the International Council on Archives; in 2008 I became Editor-in-Chief of its multi-lingual journal Comma. Beginning with the Manual of Archival Description, I’ve also had a long association with research activity; I’m now particularly interested in taking a historical perspective on the development of archives, examining how professional practice and information have been disseminated through national and international networks.
Globalisation and internationalisation: what do they mean for archivists?
The adoption of an explicitly international outlook (‘internationalisation’) is one response to the process of ‘globalisation’ and, indeed, the extent to which internationalisation is occurring in organisations is used as a performance metric in many sectors. Successful internationalisation requires, by definition, active engagement beyond predefined borders, yet it is borders, whether administrative, geographical or jurisdictional – which often define the archival identify. In a globalised world, however, borders themselves - whether political, economic or cultural, are increasingly fluid; at the same time geopolitical tensions, technological advances and understanding of shared cultural heritage are hardly twenty-first century phenomena. This paper will consider the concepts of internationalisation and globalisation within the archival context from both historical and contemporary perspectives, will consider how they have benefited the archival community and why, and how, recordkeeping professionals should continue to engage with the world beyond their own 'borders.'
Mike has more than 25 years' commercial experience in the software and IT services industry. In his role as Commercial Director at Preservica he ensures that organisations are aware of the importance of active digital preservation and helps them plan appropriate technology strategies to safeguard vital institutional and cultural electronic records ensuring they remain readable and useable in the future.
Creating Value with Digital Preservation: The Living & Dynamic Digital Archive
This session will start by examining a recent benchmark report from the Information Governance Initiative (IGI) on why organisations need long-term protection and access to digital information, and what this means for the Archivists tasked with creating, curating and managing a Digital Archive. The role of the Archivist is evolving at pace, this talk will highlight a number of real-world examples of organisations across the Academic, Public Sector and Corporate communities illustrating how a Living and Dynamic Digital Archive can be created through a well thought out and executed Digital Preservation strategy. This talk will also consider the technology advances which are helping to shape the future of Digital Preservation, and explain why it's important for Archivist's to have a flexible strategy whilst delivering institutional value by raising the profile of the Digital Archive.
I graduated with a degree in Art History and Paper Conservation from Camberwell College of Arts, London (1991) and a postgraduate diploma in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester (2001). I became an accredited conservator through the Institute of Conservation of Historic and Artistic works in Ireland (ICHAWI) in 2000.
After working in a private studio for a number of years, in 1999 I took up a position as research fellow in the National Gallery of Ireland working on the Jack B Yeats Archive. In 2002 I moved to the National Archives of Ireland, were I established the conservation workshop. I was appointed Head of Conservation in 2014.
Since 2012 I have been an Honorary Teaching Fellow at the University of Dundee, on the distance learning Archives and Records Management post graduate program.
I am currently on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Conservators- Restorers in Ireland (ICRI) and a member of the Conservation Working Group of the Council of National Cultural Institutions (CNCI). I was appointed Ireland’s representative to ICCROM in 2015 and was elected to council at the 29th General Assembly.
From 1916 to 2016, the journey of documents from the conservation bench to the twitter post
Looking at key projects, worked on in the last two years by the conservation division of the National Archives of Ireland (NAI), this paper will reflect on how the increased volume of material requested by colleagues and members of the public, placed demands on limited conservation resources. This presentation will discuss how this led to the adjustment of workflow plans, treatment methodology, and record keeping practices. The paper will present the issues and challenges faced by the conservators to improve the condition of the documents, enable smoother processing for the digitisation team and facilitate access both in the reading room and online.
It will also look at the public appetite for these archives, coupled with the professional historical researcher devouring the material and transforming it into websites, twitter feeds and postings on Facebook. The paper will demonstrate how this has provided a platform for conservators to advocate their role and promote the work that is carried out in the conservation division.
Projects and related websites which will be discussed include:
- Dublin Metropolitan Police daily reports which describe Republican activity during the 11 months preceding the Easter Rising.
- Property Losses (Ireland) Committee, (PLIC) was established in June 1916 to assess claims for damages to buildings and property as a result of the destruction caused by the 1916 Rising. The files consist of applications from individuals and businesses.
- The 1916 Letters Project is a digital collection of letters written around the time of the Easter Rising, it includes letters the from the Chief Secretary's Office, the centre of the British Administration in Ireland.
- Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper, published fortnightly that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.
- Inspiring Ireland 1916: Weaving Public and Private Narratives, an online repository which brings together material from public and private collections, to explore both large events and everyday lives during 1916.
Yuki Russell studied for a MA in Conservation for Cultural Property specialising in Painting and Paper at Tokyo University of the Arts (Japan). During and after the initial training, she worked in a private conservation workshop for Japanese scroll paintings and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. In 2008 she finished a second MA in Conservation of Fine Art specialising in Works of Art on Paper at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle.
Since summer 2008, she has been working within the Conservation Section of the Norfolk Record Office at the Archive Centre. In 2009-2010, she had the opportunity to learn techniques in parchment conservation under the Society of Archivists’ Conservation Training Scheme. She is a member of International Association of Book and Paper Conservators (IADA).
Demonstration of Local Flattening of Parchment Items Using Porelle® Microporous Membranes for Humidification
Local flattening, in varying degrees, is one of the most common and necessary techniques in improving the condition of archival items. Of the many gentle humidification techniques available in preparation for flattening, the use of Porelle® microporous membrane (Hydra 3D), which was recently introduced to conservation, has proved successful in reducing a variety of distortions in items treated at Norfolk Record Office.
Taking parchment as an example of a highly moisture sensitive material, gentle, local humidification for local flattening will be demonstrated using the microporous membrane. The demonstration will be followed by a brief presentation illustrating how the new material has been regularly used by the record office conservation team in the past year, particularly in treating multi-membraned parchment items with complex creases. As a challenge being frequently faced by conservators dealing with archival collections, it is intended that the session will introduce the application of this innovative material and its facilitation of a more efficient means of treating such damage.
Dr Louise Seaward
I received my PhD in History from the University of Leeds in 2013. I am now a research associate on the Bentham Project at University College London, where I work on the scholarly edition of the writings of the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). I am the coordinator of the digital humanities crowd-sourcing initiative Transcribe Bentham. My other research interests relate to the political and cultural history of eighteenth-century Europe and the history of the book.
Transcribing with Technology: Transcribe Bentham, Digital Archives and Handwritten Text Recognition
The Bentham Project at University College London is responsible for the scholarly edition of the writings of the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Bentham wrote on a huge range of subjects but is most famous for formulating the doctrine of utilitarianism. Since 2010, the Bentham Project has been supported by the community of volunteers working on Transcribe Bentham. This is a crowd-sourcing initiative which asks the public to transcribe digital images of Bentham’s papers. Over the past five years, volunteers have transcribed over 15,000 manuscript pages. Through Transcribe Bentham, the public have become engaged in research and the contents of Bentham’s writings have been disseminated to a wider audience. This paper will explain how the next phase of Transcribe Bentham is using new technology to facilitate closer collaboration between archives, scholars and the public. The Recognition and Enrichment of Archival Documents (READ) project is an international collaboration focused on making archival material more accessible through the use of handwritten text recognition technology. Archivists appreciate how digitisation and OCR have opened up documents to a global user base but the latest developments in handwritten text recognition technology have not yet received widespread attention. The project will develop and disseminate this technology thereby allowing archives and their users to automatically transcribe, index and search historical documents. This paper will demonstrate how Transcribe Bentham users are testing and using handwritten text recognition and explore the benefits and challenges of integrating new technology into crowd-sourcing projects. It will also discuss other elements being developed by the READ project, including the Transkribus transcription tool and mobile apps designed to help individual users digitise and decipher documents. Transcribe Bentham offers an important example of public engagement with historical manuscripts and the READ project promises new opportunities to use technology to strengthen the connections between archives and their users.
I am currently a doctoral candidate at University College London (UCL). My first engagement with records and archives was in 2007-10 when I was an undergraduate in the Library Department, Faculty of Arts at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Internships at the National Archives of Thailand and elsewhere deepened my interest in recordkeeping implementation. In 2011 I received a Thai government scholarship to study for a Master’s in Records and Archives Management and a PhD in Information Studies at UCL. My Master’s dissertation was entitled “Commentary on the Bill of National Archives Act of Thailand” and the course allowed me to enrich and broaden my horizons of archives management issues. In 2012 I enrolled in UCL’s PhD program and began researching “Standards and Standardisation for Archival Practices in Thailand”, focusing on how standards are impacting the quality of management practices at the National Archives of Thailand. I am a member of ICA and ARA.
Standards for Archival Practices in the National Archives of Thailand
The presentation is extracted from my research into “Standards for Archival Practices in the National Archives of Thailand”. The data was collected between 2012 and 2015 from literature reviews, surveys (of officials from six ministries and of users), and interviews (of archivists). It covers four areas: 1) the concept of ‘international standards’ and Thai understandings of ‘archives’; 2) opinions on the effectiveness of the use of standards to manage archives; 3) the role of the professional in standardisation; and 4) the attitudes of archival professionals towards international standards and the future standardisation of archival practices.
Following the enactment of the National Archives Act 2013 records and archives have increasingly been seen as potentially significant sources for portrayals of Thai national history, as they document the people, events and cultural heritage of the nation. Management of Thailand’s records currently rests with the National Archives of Thailand, a major institution that performs its duties in line with the 2013 Act. However, the traditional archival practices employed by the National Archives under the current directives and standards are increasingly being challenged by an ever-evolving environment, especially now as we enter the digital age. In order to preserve Thailand’s national legacy it has become crucial to identify ways of measuring effective performance through the use of appropriate indicators. Examining the standards currently employed in the National Archives is essential in order to establish whether they remain valid against this changing record management background, and whether the national interest would be better served by further international standardisation.
Using the National Archives of Thailand as a case study the presentation will examine how Thai archival practices compare with international standards, how they function and how effective they are in developing archival practices. The presentation will examine the implementation, whether complete, partial or under consideration, of such international standards as ISAD (G) and ISO15489, and how the process of adopting international archival concepts has worked in practice. It may thus be of particular interest for practitioners in other parts of Asia who are considering the adoption of international standards, as the Thai experience highlights some of the issues generated by international standardisation since we all belong to an international community of archivists who are seeking to jointly develop our field in an international spirit of cooperation.
Dr Sally-Anne Shearn
I completed my Archives and Records Management diploma with the University of Dundee in 2014, having previously studied Welsh history at Bangor University. I began working at the Borthwick Institute in York in March 2014 as an Archive Assistant. In 2015 I was appointed Project Archivist for the Genesis project, with responsibility for developing the Institute's first online catalogue. I have been a member of the ARA since 2014 and was administrative assistant for the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register in 2012-2013.
Up and AtoM: Project Genesis at the Borthwick Institute for Archives
In April 2015 the Borthwick Institute for Archives launched Project Genesis to create the repository’s first online catalogue using AtoM, or Access to Memory, a web-based open source application developed by the ICA and Artefactual Systems. Its implementation has encouraged us to look critically at our own practices in comparison with those of other AtoM users, and to consider how to meet the changing needs of staff and users in an increasingly global archives world.
The flexibility and functionality of AtoM has enabled us to create an archive management system that balances old and new in the interests of greater accessibility, whether by reappraising the value of traditional hierarchical catalogues online, by providing digital surrogates of records at item level, or through the incorporation of born-digital records via integration with Archivematica.
More broadly, Genesis has explored new ways of sharing this information via external aggregators such as Archives Portal Europe (APE), creating not a single point of truth that can only be accessed through our own website, but updated, authentic and reliable catalogue information that can be harvested from AtoM by multiple agents worldwide.
Using Genesis as a case study, this tutorial will explore the rationale behind the project, its progress (and pitfalls), and the opportunities AtoM offers for cooperation and collaboration between archive repositories and sister professions. It will argue that collaboration, together with the creation of catalogue information that can be easily shared across borders and platforms, is not only desirable but essential if our organisations are to stay relevant and inclusive.
Professor Elizabeth Shepherd
I am Professor of archives and records management at University College London, Department of Information Studies (DIS) where I teach on the Masters programme in Archives and Records Management. I am currently Director of Research for DIS. My research interests include the relationships between records management and information policy compliance (the subject of AHRC and ESRC-funded projects) and the development of the archive profession in England in the 20th century, which is the subject of my book Archives and Archivists in 20th Century England
, 2009. (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dis/people/elizabethshepherd
*Joint presentation see Dr Andrew Flinn for abstract.
Martin is an expert in software development, information technology and product management. He has extensive experience working with government and business organisations, as well as end users, to define and implement digital preservation strategies and systems.
Martin’s recent focus, as Product Director at Preservica, has been on developing technologies and solutions that enable organisations to integrate digital preservation into the overall information lifecycle in order to ensure vital long term and permanent electronic records are still readable and useable when required.
Making digital preservation part of the overall information lifecycle: From automated ingest to global public access
This session will explore the benefits and challenges of making Digital Preservation a seamless part of the overall information life-cycle. It not only means it’s easier to share and showcase with a global public or research community audience – but also enables archivists to more confidently reach “upstream” and engage with donors, other organisations and departments to acquire and safeguard important digital content earlier in its lifecycle.
Martin will be walking through practical examples and Case Studies will be used to explore the importance of automating the ingest of digital content and records from a variety of systems, sources and other departments– including SharePoint and Email, as well as new ways of providing global online access to the digital archive or collection using an easy to customise browser interface.
I currently manage the Skills for the Future
'Transforming Archives' project at The National Archives and previously managed the 'Conserving Local Communities' Heritage' traineeship project led by Glamorgan Archives. I am a qualified archivist (and a Registered Member of the ARA) and I have specialised in workforce development, including working for a Sector Skills Council to develop National Occupational Standards (NOS), apprenticeship frameworks and vocational qualifications. I am also a qualified assessor and verifier and have assessed candidates at Level 2 and 3 working in libraries, archives and museums.
*Joint presentation see Caroline Brown for abstract.
(Thursday Keynote speaker)
Tina Staples is Global Head of Archives at HSBC. She completed an MA in Archives & Records Management at Liverpool University and worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum as the Archivist for the Arts Council of Great Britain. In 2000 she joined the HSBC Archives team in London. She advised on the development of the bank’s regional Archives for Asia-Pacific in 2004. Having then taken over responsibility for the department in 2007, she also established a new regional Archive for the US. She now manages a team across London, Hong Kong, Paris and New York - with the collections meeting high demand from internal and external stakeholders around the globe.
Big Data in a Connected World: friend or foe?
As a planet, we have completed half a century of the Computer Age and are now facing unprecedented volumes of data. Statistics suggest that more data was created over the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race. It’s thought that 1 trillion photographs were captured in 2015, with billions of them shared online. Experts predict that by the end of this decade 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second, for every human being on the planet. As a profession, are we keeping pace?
We are all stakeholders in this revolution; from collecting and preserving a mind-boggling barrage of born-digital records – to disseminating our data and assets to ever-growing global audiences. This paper will consider how well archive and records professionals are coping with, and taking advantage of, 21st century technology. And where might the digital world be taking us in the future…?
This paper will draw on Tina’s experiences in overseeing a digital project at the bank, which culminated in the implementation of HSBC’s Global Digital Archive system in 2015.
I started at Lancashire Archives as an Archive Assistant in 2010; I immediately felt drawn to Conservation and joined the team in January 2013 as an apprentice, training towards ARA's Certificate in Archive Conservation.
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to become a Churchill Fellow of 2016, this life changing award has meant that I could travel across Europe to develop my knowledge of the ancient craft of papermaking by working alongside artisan Papermakers in their mills.
The Paper Trail
In my talk I will share the experiences from application to return of my travelling fellowship, awarded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
I want to share the knowledge gained through working with European papermakers. This July and August I will follow the 'Paper Trail' led by the oldest paper documents held in Lancashire Archives, taking me to the Netherlands, France and Italy. One of the key aims of this journey is to investigate if it is possible to develop a type of western paper, with similar properties to Japanese Kozo, to create a true like-for-like repair paper to use on our western archives.
I hope to invite discussion and inspire others to seek out funding opportunities to travel to learn.
Having started my career in a trade bindery and following my graduation from the London College of Printing, I have worked as a library and archive conservator at the Oxford Conservation Consortium since 2002, undertaking conservation and collections care for 14 colleges of the University of Oxford. I also work in private practice from my own workshop. I am an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation and a strong advocate for my profession. I have previously served on Icon’s Book and Paper Group committee as deputy Chair and Chair of the Co-operative Training Register sub-committee, where I co-ordinated and edited the post prints for the Book and Paper Group sessions at the 2013 Positive Futures Conference. I currently serve as a committee member for the Care of Collections Group as part of the events team.
A Forward-looking Tradition: Textile dyeing for book conservation, using the Daubeny Library board slotting project as an exemplar
Dyed textiles have been used extensively throughout the history of book binding for lining, protecting and covering. Through the study of various dye and filling systems for textiles in historic book manufacture combined with an investigation of techniques used in textile conservation, their use in book conservation practice has been informed and advocated. More specifically, this process has identified custom-dyed textiles as a suitable component in the recently developed method of board reattachment known as board slotting.
Using the treatment through board slotting of a collection of hollow-backed bindings in the Daubeny Library, Magdalen College, Oxford as an exemplar, this short presentation aims to highlight both the historic and current use of dyed textiles in book binding and conservation. It will explore the dye systems available to conservators and demonstrate how the tradition of dyed textile use has been modified for current book conservation. It will detail the inter-disciplinary co-operation that informed the choice of dye system for the project as well as the refining of the dye method and cloth preparation through collaboration between book conservators. It will show how the use of board slotting, a new machine technology, has improved the outcomes for specific categories of book treatments, whilst demonstrating how the use of dyed cloth has other book conservation applications. Furthermore, it will show how both the dye method and the binding technique have been disseminated through both practical demonstrations and a permanent online presence in the form of a board slotting blog.
This workshop session will be centred on a demonstration of the main stages of dyeing and filling cloth for use in book conservation, showing how the method has been adapted for a conservation studio setting. Participants will be able to view sample swatches of dyed textiles as well as the simple equipment, dyes and auxiliary chemicals used to produce satisfactory results from this versatile addition to the materials and techniques available to book conservators.
I joined the Adopt an Intern team in September 2011 and manage the recruitment process, which means I have personally been involved in setting up well over eleven hundred internships. I have a varied background as a freelance trainer, coach, and consultant, prior to which I gathered extensive management experience in the public and third sectors. My experience has been gained through work in men's health, homelessness, drug use, youth work and the benefits system. I have managed large scale projects in various settings, including the helpline industry, within the criminal justice system and pan-European research.
Behaviour change is a key interest running through all the projects I have been involved in over the years. Amongst other experience I have led personal development programmes, volunteered as a person-centred counsellor for a GP practice in one of Glasgow's most deprived areas, and been Chair of two Scottish charities.
*Joint presentation see Caroline Brown for abstract.
I’m one of the archivists at The Postal Museum, formerly The British Postal Museum & Archive, in London. I work on a number of cataloguing projects, as well as helping to prepare our collections to move to our new Museum (opening next year).
I have an MA in Classics from Cambridge University and I obtained my MScEcon in Archive Administration from Aberystwyth University. Apart from my time at The Postal Museum, I’ve also worked for The National Archives, London Metropolitan Archives and The Marks & Spencer Company Archive, as well as other volunteering over the years.
While I've not been a qualified archivist for long, I've been very lucky to have catalogued some wildly varying collections: business records; photograph libraries; refugee case files; museum objects; nonconformist church archives; children's books; WW2 army papers... I've even catalogued Henry VIII-era Latin legal manuscripts by torchlight at the bottom of a salt mine!
*Joint presentation see Jone Garmendia for abstract.
I am the Digitisation Manager at the Borthwick Institute for Archives. I graduated with an MA in History and Politics from the University of York in 2011, after which I took up a role at the Borthwick as a Digitisation Assistant on the York Cause Papers project.
Towards the end of 2013, I helped to develop a successful bid to the Wellcome Trust to fund the digitisation of the Retreat archive. I became Digitisation Coordinator at the start of the Retreat project, installing equipment, establishing workflows and managing project imaging. In November 2014 I also took on supervision of the digitisation of the York Archbishops’ Registers project. I oversee ongoing internal digitisation and the external digitisation service at the Borthwick as Digitisation Manager. I am a member of the Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography, of which the Borthwick is a member of the Libraries and Archives imaging group.
Christopher Taylor and Tracy Wilcockson
The Retreat Digitisation Project: A case study on the necessity for collaboration between conservation and digitisation
Drawing on their experience from the Wellcome funded digitisation of the Retreat archive at the Borthwick Institute, Chris Taylor and Tracy Wilcockson will talk through the practicalities of the process from start to finish. The session will focus on the importance of the original object, and show how all aspects of a digitisation project can work to preserve the condition of the original while enabling global access. Fundamental to this aim is collaboration between the departments of Digitisation and Conservation, ensuring that each one works in the other’s interests.
This tutorial session will draw on the speakers’ experiences in a large scale digitisation project to provide practical guidance on how to approach such tasks, enabling effective action in several key areas to help others bring about a successful project.
What we did. Choices made around digitisation equipment will be explored, with an explanation as to why photography has been deemed to be a more suitable approach to image capture than scanning. A summary of document survey and preparation will be given, and highlight the necessity of this process in a successful digitisation project. We will also highlight some of the approaches developed during the project to ensure the best treatment of the original items as possible, whilst capturing as much information as we can.
What we would do differently. Whilst we believe the project to be a success, we have learnt valuable lessons. This section will run through some of the issues encountered, highlighting how we dealt with these issues and what we believe to be the solutions for future projects.
An overarching theme of the session will be the success, and necessity, of the relationship between the ostensibly separate disciplines of Conservation and Digitisation. The session will highlight the success brought about through bridging that boundary. In maintaining and developing that bridge, we can look forward to greater dissemination of collections through future digitisation projects. In doing so, we can be safe in the knowledge that we are also maintaining our responsibilities to the archive and ensuring that we do not compromise our care of the collections in order to achieve that dissemination.
Steph Taylor is a ‘born digital’ information professional, and has rarely handled any hard-copy books or journals in her career. She has a background in libraries, working in academic libraries in the UK. She went over to the ‘dark side’ to work for a library software company, before working freelance, specialising in consultancy in all aspects of digital libraries. She combined this with work as a researcher at UKOLN, University of Bath, specialising in institutional repositories, research information management, metadata and research data management. She currently works for the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC), where she is one of the tutors on the award-winning Digital Preservation Training Programme and also offers consultancy services in digital preservation.
*Joint presentation see Sharon McMeekin for abstract.
Tamara has over 10 years’ experience working in archives and records management roles, currently in the position of Corporate Archives Manager at Transport for London (TFL).
At TFL Tamara is responsible for the management of a corporate archives collection consisting of over 150,000 files of material, as well as thousands of digital files, dating from the 17th century through to the modern day. Tamara has an Undergraduate degree in Ancient and Medieval History, Masters in Medieval Studies, and qualified with Masters in Archives and Records Management from UCL in 2006.
Tamara is a firm believer that archives should be accessible and used. After all, if they are not then why are we keeping them? She also believes archivists need to be as proactive as possible in the capture and preservation of material. And in the modern world this increasingly means addressing born digital and digitised material. In an organisation as large and complex as Transport for London the challenges involved in this are numerous but the risks in doing nothing are enormous.
Digitally preserving over 150 years of unique London history
Transport for London (TfL) will discuss how they are using Cloud hosted digital preservation to safeguard and provide access to a global public and research audience to an archive of over 140,000 digital and digitised files dating back to 1857, including all transport records from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Dr Elizabeth Tilley
Liz Tilley is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health & Social Care at The Open University. Her research and teaching interests include learning disability, participatory methodologies and the interface between disability and sexual and reproductive health. Liz chairs the inclusive and internationally renowned Social History of Learning Disability Research Group (www.open.ac.uk/hsc/ldsite) and is Principal Investigator on the AHRC funded Living Archive of Learning Disability History Project.
Co-producing a living archive of learning disability history': exploring ethics, consent and inclusion
The life stories and experiences of people with learning disabilities are all too often missing from archives and historical accounts. The Living Archive of Learning Disability History Project wants to make sure that all people with learning disabilities, including those with the most complex needs, are given every opportunity to deposit and share their stories, both online and in local archives. This means we are working through a number of ethical issues related to consent, such as:
- what do we mean by ‘consent’ in relation to archives?
- what actions does consent relate to (e.g. sharing photographs or personal stories)?
- how can consent be recorded? and
- how can the process of obtaining consent can be broken down and made more transparent?
The learning disability archive is being led by people with learning disabilities, which means we are addressing these research questions through an inclusive design method. This also raises important ethical and methodological issues for our project, and is leading us to explore fundamental questions about the nature of archives. In our presentation we will reflect both on our work on consent and archives, and also our inclusive research processes. We will also discuss how our project is adopting a multi stakeholder approach which involves people with learning disabilities working alongside families, advocacy groups, archivists, practitioners, educationalists and academic researchers.
Marja van der Made
Marja van der Made qualified as a Systems Engineer and worked in Information Technology projects at the Hypo Vereinsbank, before moving to the Central Bank. Holding a BSc (Hons) in Information and Records Management from Northumbria University, U.K., I was recipient of the UK Records Management Team Award in 2008 and published an article in the Records Management Journal. A Masters in Business Analysis at the University of Villanova, U.S.A. with a focus on customer relationships provided skills in eliciting customer requirements and stakeholder management. Currently, I am completing an MBA with the focus on information management and information technology systems. I am a member of ARMA.
Managing information and managing customers – in what ways can we support and encourage partnerships?
Good information management implies good customer management and this presentation seeks to make customer management and building partnerships more accessible to information managers. The presentation topics have been chosen to give information managers the need-to-know information on current issues in managing customer relationships. It is a fast moving topic, especially with the rate of technological development and the pace of increasing information, data and customer interactions, both locally and globally.
The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview on managing information and managing customers and how to support and encourage partnerships. With the main focus on the customer it looks at how information managers can have an impact on customers in their daily relationships and activities.
This paper is divided into four sections:
1. Managing information and managing customers
2. Managing Partnerships
3. The benefits of information management and customer management
4. Technology and the future
Managing information and managing customers looks at what customer management is and what we hope to achieve by managing customers. Information management (IM) must understand customer requirements and deliver on expectations to meet the customer needs. This entails measuring the quality of services delivered, so as to continuously improve and keep up-to-date with latest developments and demands for information. Carefully managing the customer base contributes to good information management. Doing an excellent job of meeting or going beyond customer expectations is key.
Managing partnerships covers the topic of forming strong customer bonds, relationships and how best to support partnerships. It deals with product and service quality and how to ascertain whether customers are satisfied, to monitor customer satisfaction and how to go about attaining total customer satisfaction. It also includes how the information manager can influence customer satisfaction and deal with customer complaints. These are key to customer service and to building and supporting partnerships. Benefits of information management for business, lists the benefits of customer management which also contributes to innovation.
Finally the presentation looks at future aspects such as new technology and the customer. What is the information manager of today and to what extent does this role go beyond managing information? This covers tasks from integrating long-term strategies into advice on business processes, proactive design of information management requirements and ensuring compliance with regulatory and preservation requirements upfront and efficient delivery of information for decision making within tight deadlines.
Dr Athanasios Velios
I graduated from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens with a degree in Archaeological Conservation in 1998. I then moved to London to complete my PhD at the Royal College of Arts and the Imperial College. My PhD work focussed on Computer Applications to Conservation and more specifically Conservation Documentation. In 2004 I joined UAL as a Research Assistant working for the St. Catherine's Project. I later became a Research Fellow, Reader and recently the co-director of Ligatus. I have been a Principle Investigator and Co/Investigator in two large AHRC grants and I have contributed to a number of successful research projects. I am a member of the AHRC peer-review college, the webmaster for the International Institute for Conservation and the chair of the Icon Documentation Network. I have supervised and examined PhD research and contributed to departmental assessments in the field of Conservation. I support open source software and open distribution of knowledge.
*Joint presentation see Professor Nicholas Pickwoad for abstract.
Laurence Ward is the Head of Digital Services at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) with responsibility for digitisation, digital licensing, websites, systems and A/V (among other things). He has managed exhibitions at LMA and other London venues since 2010 and in 2015 wrote ‘The London County Council Bomb Damage Maps, 1939 – 1945’. He is a long standing member of the London’s Screen Archives steering group and a committee secretary for the International Council on Archives.
Rip it all up and start again? Rebooting Collage, LMA’s Online Image Database
Collage is a web platform for digital copies of photographs, paintings, maps and prints, created in 1998 to be the front end of a ground-breaking digitisation project in the heritage sector. In 2015, the team at London Metropolitan Archives embarked on a project to recreate and improve the website from the ground up, reviewing every aspect of the system and the service it provides and attempting, within limited budget constraints, to deliver a new and improved user experience. The development process has included analysis of the digital assets created by the original project, quality of our descriptive data, review of available usage patterns and user consultation. This session will review our key steps in rebooting Collage, look at the longevity of a digitisation project designed and implemented twenty years ago and consider what the future might hold for the platform.
I have worked in the heritage sector since 2003, and obtained my MA in Preventive Conservation from Northumbria University in 2012. I was House Steward at Knole from 2010-2015, and with the National Trust overall for eight years. In 2015 I moved to the British Museum as Storage Project Officer. This storage moves project involves moving the ethnographic collection of Africa, Oceania and the Americas to the newly built World Conservation and Exhibition Centre. One of my key tasks was implementing the HLF volunteer programme into the project. Since April 2016 I have held the position of Collections Care and Conservation Officer at the Royal Air Force Museum. I am working on the Centenary Programme with responsibility for creating a small object conservation studio, working with the design team on new exhibitions for the centenary celebration of the founding of the RAF, and managing the overall preventive conservation of the collection.
Knole unwrapped: Exploring group volunteer participation in preventive conservation
In 2013 the Conservation Team at Knole, a National Trust property in Kent, embarked on a new volunteer and conservation project. They were looking for a means of working through a backlog of object condition checking in the collection store room. Inspiration was taking from the Natural History Museum after learning about their V-Factor volunteer participation project.
The first objective was to complete the task of condition checking and re-packing objects in store. The second objective was to create a new opportunity for people looking to volunteer in conservation. Knole wanted to engage existing Knole volunteers in a different role within the property and also be able to offer people currently not volunteering at Knole a taster of what might be involved.
A series of five-week intakes throughout the year were scheduled. The volunteer commitment was for one day a week and made up of a combination of learning sessions and hands-on work in the store room.
Results from the project included positive feedback from the volunteers who participated, some even signed up to volunteer regularly at the property. Not the entire backlog of work was completed, but a significant start had been made. A lot of lessons were learnt about how to organise group volunteering and conservation work, which all helped to shape Knole Unwrapped 2014. ‘Knole Unwrapped 2014 – Books and Paper’ saw the concept step up a gear with volunteers supervising other volunteers in the cleaning and basic repairs of a newly acquired collection of books and paper.
This paper will discuss how the project was planned, implemented and evaluate the results of this experimental engagement and conservation project.
I began my conservation career as a stained glass conservator spending over 9 years working in the preventive and remedial conservation of Stained Glass for a number of clients, including York Minster and New College, Oxford. In 2013 I moved into the preventive conservation of collections through working for the Borthwick Institute for Archives. There, I currently coordinate the conservation of the Retreat Archive digitisation project and, through funding by the Shepherd Trust, coordinate the Conservation Volunteering program for the care of the Atkinson Brierley Architectural Archives.
I also lecture for the University of York, promoting and teaching conservation to a wider, non-professional, audience and chair the York Conservation Alumni Association to support and promote the work of graduating and established Alumni from the 40 years of conservation MA programs at the University of York. I am a member of various conservation organisation including ARA, ICOM and ICON.
A professional response to public and community loss: York floods, December 2015 – Session1
In December 2015, York and its surrounding areas suffered devastating flooding. Faced with substantial damage to buildings and the possessions of private houses, businesses and historic institutions, many volunteers and emergency professionals rallied to help those in need.
In the face of such a catastrophe, and loss to the local community, what is the role of the conservator? What could, or should, be our professional response? Today institutions and conservators are well versed in disaster plans for our own historic collections and buildings, but what about the communities surrounding us? Do we, and should we, help them become prepared for such events or help them tackle the damage left in their wake?
With frequency suspected to increase in many scientific minds, how do we face this challenge as a profession? This paper will reflect on a professional response to community disasters. It will ask where our responsibility lies, and consider how we decide on appropriate responses to such local tragedy from the institutional and personal perspective. With reflections from the work carried out by the Borthwick Institute for Archives, heritage professionals and the public in the aftermath of the York floods, this paper will provide an appraisal of actions taken and lessons learnt, in the hope of providing practical guidance for those faced with similar disasters and dilemmas in the future.
*Joint presentation see Chris Taylor for abstract - Session 2
Dr David Willcox
I am the Digital Sensitivity Review Lead at The National Archives. My responsibilities include understanding existing and future options to support UK government departments in reviewing their digital records for sensitive issues.
I joined the Civil Service in 2009 as a Policy Advisor for Research Council funding before moving into knowledge and information management. In my last role before joining The National Archives I managed a project to implement an open source records management system.
I studied history and in 2004 completed a PhD on the Gulf War and Kosovo Crisis. I then worked as a post-doctoral research associate on the history of British chemical and biological warfare experiments on humans during the Cold War. I have also worked as a researcher for a law firm on the atomic test veterans’ trial. I later studied Information and Records Management completing my MSc in 2015 on enterprise content management in government.
Technology-assisted review for digital information. The future.
How will organisations manage and interrogate digital information and ensure that content released to a global public is free from sensitive material? This is a question relevant to all organisations trying to manage their digital information including government departments and archives. The presentation will explore the challenges of digital and the opportunities to address them through the use of technology to support human review.
For the paper world the processes for handling information were well established but these processes cannot be applied to digital records where instant global access to information released on the web or online catalogue introduces greater risks. The National Archives has been researching ways in which existing technology can help organisations to make sense of their digital collections and filter them to identify valuable content for preservation and sensitive material to be removed.
There is no fully-automated solution but the presentation explores the technologies, both existing and on the horizon, that may enable organisations to meet the digital challenge in the future. It will provide insights from recent software trials and show how The National Archives has been able to draw from the legal sector to find approaches and tools. It seeks to stimulate discussion about the applicability of technology to the challenges of digital and promote a dialogue on other areas to examine.
My professional life has been spent working chiefly as a practitioner and educator in archives and records management. Since 2010 I have been an independent archival consultant: my clients are derived from the higher education sector (e.g. JISC, Research Libraries UK, various universities) public/private organisations (e.g. TNA, Duke of Westminster’s estate) and professional associations (e.g. ARA, Scottish Council on Archives). I am Visiting Professor at Liverpool John Moores University and immediate past President of the Archives and Records Association. I was Head of Research and Collections Development at the TNA (2007-9) and Director of Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies (1996-2007). My research interests include the history and analysis of the record and the interface between theory and practice. Recent publications include ‘Fuzzy or fixed? Pushing boundaries and developing services’ Archives and Records (2014) 35:1; ‘Records and archives: concepts, roles and definitions’ in Archives and Recordkeeping: Theory into Practice, Ed. Caroline Brown.
The ‘archive effect’: users, emotions, and global impact
In many ways we know our user communities well. We know who they are, how they use archives, where they do their research, what they find. We welcome new communities with new needs, and offer new approaches and solutions. But how well do we know how archives make people feel? What effect do archives have on individuals? And why do we need to know?
A few people have written about this. Historians in particular discuss ‘fever’, ‘possessiveness’, ‘archive pleasure’, ‘physical and emotional encounters’, ‘palpable delight’ and the ‘intense jolt of recognition’ accompanying ‘the shock of archival discovery’ and even ‘an unstoppable flow of tears’.
Others are less articulate, though the ‘archive effect’ may be profound and life-changing, involving identity construction, memory, historical justice, or mental and physical health. There may be hostility when access is denied ‘it makes you feel robbed’ - or fulfilment: ‘It is not my file. It is my discovery manual. It has given me a new lease on life’.
Do these emotional responses matter? Human emotion, like archives, is universal: there may be some global truths about their interaction to be discovered.
Museums are discussing ‘the museum effect’: so too the ‘archive effect’ needs investigation. If we understand the range of emotions evoked by archives in our visitors we can be more sensitive to their research needs, representing these to our funders more effectively, providing additional evidence when making the case for our services. We can argue that the emotional effect of archives can change people’s lives because the evidence of this comes from their own mouths.
Our ability, globally, to enable our users to make best use of our collections will be incomplete unless we understand better the emotional effect that archives may have on them. How can we ‘use the ‘archive effect’ creatively and innovatively to strengthen the reach and impact of the profession?
At this session I will invite the audience to consider the role of emotion and its effect in the use of archives. In particular I will be interested in any examples where archivists/records managers/conservators have personally experienced or observed emotional effects that using archives can generate.
Dr Andrew Wilson
I am currently Senior Research Fellow on the European E-ARK project (http://www.eark-project.com/) at the University of Brighton. Formerly, I worked as Principal Research Analyst in the Digital Archives Unit at the Queensland State Archives where I worked on digital archiving strategies, policies and technical requirements. Prior to joining the Queensland State Archives, I was Senior Data Policy Advisor at the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), working on development of a policy framework and standards for sustainability of research data. Prior to that I worked for many years at the National Archives of Australia (NAA), in most areas of archival work, but for the last decade I developed metadata standards and managed the NAA’s digital preservation R&D project. I also worked as Manager of Preservation Services and Projects at the UK Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) at King’s College London in 2005-2007.
E-ARK Project: Progress & Outcomes
Digital archives increasingly provide an indispensable component of our national, regional and local social and cultural record. Their function is key to supporting new e-government policies, but practice has lagged behind, and there are no standardised, pan-European digital archival systems currently available to implement such policies. The situation is similar across higher education where research data centres are required to preserve data for re-use in accordance with new open policies. Hence harmonisation of currently fragmented archival approaches is needed to provide the economies of scale necessary for general adoption of end-to-end solutions by stakeholders of all types across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences from both governmental and educational institutions.
Simon Wilson is University Archivist at the University of Hull, based at the Hull History Centre. In 2010 Simon was seconded to the role of Digital Archivist on the AIMS Project (a collaboration between the Universities of Hull, Stanford, Virginia and Yale) which sought to identify commonality in processing born-digital archives. The experiences of the four project partners led to the AIMS White Paper published in 2012 advocating good practice with regard to born-digital material. Since then Simon has spoken widely on practical digital preservation and in particular seeking to encourage individuals and organisations to take their first steps in digital preservation. Simon is currently Chair of the Archives and Records Association Section for Archives & Technology.
*1st Joint presentation see Caroline Brown for abstract.
*2nd Joint presentation see Jenny Bunn for abstract.
Chris Woods has worked in the heritage sector for nearly 30 years. In a long and varied public sector career he worked as a practicing conservator and conservation manager for Dorset County Council, a senior manager (Head of Preservation) at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, and as Director of Collection Services for the Tate. He has been providing consulting services since 2007 and, following its genesis while a Senior Research Fellow at University of the Arts London, Chris founded NCS in 2010. NCS is a not-for-profit membership organisation for archives, libraries and museums and currently has over 120 members across the UK. He is noted as a specialist in the conservation of archival manuscript and photograph collections and is chairman of the committee for BS PD5454 and BS 4971, the standard guide for archive and library repositories and for conservation, having led their recent revision. He is also convenor of the new European standard that will replace 5454 and PAS 198. He is currently advising and supporting over 50 institutions UK wide on the care and storage of their collections, including many new building and building redevelopments and funding bids.
Farewell 5454 – Introducing EN 16983 & BS 4971, the new standards for the archive sector
This lecture will be the first opportunity to present the new European standard and the revised BS that will together replace BS/PD5454 and PAS198, which will both be withdrawn. The changes that these standards represent will affect new and existing archive, library and museum buildings and become the benchmark that all archivists and conservators can us to specify buildings and the approaches necessary when commissioning and implementing conservation/care of collections. It will also explore how standards are used both in a regulatory environment (e.g. Accreditation) and in practice.
This talk will be relevant for all practising archive professionals and fits into the themes: Action, Stability, Boundaries and Responsibilities. National and European standards in the area of archive buildings, environmental and other protective measures and decision making for the long term care of collections provide our profession with a framework for much of what we do and benchmarks for those from whom we seek revenue and capital funding. The changes both in these standards themselves and in the increasing need for additional funding opportunities as revenue sources reduce, require us to update and evolve the ways in which we are working if archives are to continue to be preserved and accessible.
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 08:55