Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Add your information to Canmore

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) has an excellent online resource called Canmore. This allows you to search "over 275,000 buildings, archaeological and maritime sites across Scotland" and where digital images are available you can view them. Its a brilliant tool and I can spend hours on it searching for places I know and just browsing.

Since last week you have also been able to contribute to a beta version of the site that is being developed.

"For the first time you can now contribute your own information online to Scotland’s national collection of buildings, archaeology and industry. As part of the ongoing developments of the RCAHMS searchable online database Canmore, you can add photographs, personal memories and additional information to over 280,000 existing sites, ranging from some of the nation’s most iconic buildings to the remains of ancient settlements and maybe even your own house. Another new feature - called MyCanmore - allows you to customise Canmore to help you search for and return results that reflect your specific interests, requirements and preferences."

More information from the full press release here.

The beta Canmore is here and there is also a short survey to complete once you've had a play about with the new features.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Archive birthdays

For work reasons I've had business archives on the brain and suddenly there are examples everywhere of businesses using their archives to mark anniversaries or sell their products.

125 years of Marks and Spencers

100 years of Persil

There's another one I've seen but I can't remember it just now and google is holding out on me with the answer.

Edit: Thanks to the helpful comment, I remembered which company I had been thinking of and it was Sainsburys.

140 years of Sainsburys

250 years of Guinness

Guinness celebrates 250 years in September and they have put together a whole website to showcase their history. It includes an interactive timeline with links to images and video content, previous adverts and even live music on 'Arthur's Day'. There is also of course a new advert using old images:

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Calling all Scottish archivists (and others)

The Scottish Council of Archives is currently carrying out a project to develop Scottish Archives online. A consultation is happening at the moment and the final report will be published in June 2009.

Comments can be left on this blog. So it gives anyone the opportunity to say whether better, wider online access to Scottish archive collections is a good thing (yes!) but to raise questions about how this will happen, who will find the time and money to process the backlogs of collections and put them online?

It would be wonderful if there was a way for all archives repositories in Scotland to have detailed searchable information about their holdings online and a way to join up the efforts of the many smaller projects that exist at the moment.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Archives for the 21st century

A new policy, archives for the 21st century, has been published by the TNA (in partnership with others) and is now available for consultation. The consultation exercise will run until 12 August 2009 and is available here.

The document states that it is "a call to action" and a response to the new information world that we find ourselves in. I thought is was interesting that the document says that the "leap into the future presents a major challenge for all archive services." I think opportunity would've been a better word here but hey-ho the document overall is very postive about online access to archives and demonstrating value to users.

There are some good examples of what other organisations have achieved and five key recommendations:
  • Fewer, bigger, better – working towards increased sustainability within the sector;
  • Strengthened leadership and a responsive, skilled workforce;
  • Co-ordinated response to the growing challenge of managing digital information so that it is accessible now and remains discoverable in the future;
  • Comprehensive online access for archive discovery through catalogues and to digitised archive content by citizens at a time and place that suits them;
  • Active participation in cultural and learning partnerships promoting a sense of identity and place within the community.
If you want to respond a questionnaire is available here. I think we can all agree that whatever the 21st century archive looks like, hopefully it won't involve helmut lamps:

(Image from life magazine via google)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Web 2.0 PhD

From the archives-nra listserve:

'We think, not I think' Harnessing collaborative creativity to archival practice; implications of user participation for archival theory and practice. A three year full-time collaborative doctoral award has been awarded by the AHRC to UCL and TNA for a research student to explore the impact on archival theory and practice of embracing greater user participation in professional practice. More information here.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Digital preservation gets animated

From the folks at DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE)


As part of their "committment to make digital preservation materials available to the widest possible audience and to breaking down barriers to access they've release a series of short animations introducing and explaining digital preservation problems and solutions for the general public."

Future releases will be available here

Facebook for birders

I discovered Birdpost whilst I was doing my bit for the Orwell Diaries blog and voting in the Webbys. It is a very slick, cleverly thought out site for 'birders' with all the web 2.0 features you might expect - user generated content, tagging, twitter and blog presence and even an iphone app. According to this info it will give 18 million US birders a way to chronicle, organize, map, and share their collective birding activities online.

It has nothing to do with archives except that I could see a similar resource working very well for certain user groups with an archival slant - perhaps railway enthusiasts or military researchers?? What would need to happen to get these archives enthusiasts to build a resource like this?

Anyhoo, it impressed me and I thought I'd share.

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