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LiveJournal Archivists' Journal
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Date:2008-10-13 11:56
Subject:voluntary work

The St Vincent de Paul Society is a major international charitable and voluntary organisation which has been in existence in South Australia since 1884. The principal role of the Society is to provide for or alleviate the various needs of poor disadvantaged people in the community.

The Society would like to recruit a volunteer Archivist to assist with the foundation and management of an archive. Attached is a position description that sets out the key responsibilities of the archivist.

The priorities for this position will be:

· To manage the appraisal and sentencing of a backlog of records.
· To lead a research project into the history of the Society in South Australia ahead of the 125th anniversary of the Society’s operation in South Australia in 2009, with a view to contributing to the curation of an exhibition.
· To review closed files submitted to the Archives by the Administration Team to determine the suitability of the retention/disposal action assigned to the files (appraisal), and oversee accessioning, preservation, recall services, and secure destruction where appropriate.
· To design, implement and manage a legal deposit system whereby copies of all Society publications are deposited with the State Library of South Australia and the National Library of Australia.

We would be pleased to receive expressions of interest from those with qualifications or experience in record-keeping or the administration of archives. This position is for immediate start, either as a part-time or full-time voluntary role. This position would suit a retired or semi-retired person or a person in part-time employment.

The position offers opportunities for research and publication, exhibition design, experience in staff and volunteer management, policy design and technical writing.

We would also be interested in hearing from archivists, records managers, clerks, and information management students who would be interested in assisting the archivist in a voluntary capacity.

A position description may be requested from the Officer Manager, St Vincent de Paul Society (SA) Inc , GPO Box 1804, Adelaide SA 5001 or email jpapps@svdpsa.org.au

Expressions of interest should also be addressed to the above.

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Date:2008-10-11 14:58
Subject:Graduate School... Help

I'm in the process of applying to Graduate Programs in Public History. I'm thinking about applying to Middle Tennessee State University (I'm from Nashville), Armstrong-Atlantic, Emory, Murray State, Appalachian State, and possibly SCAD. Emory is obviously my top tier of schools, MTSU is my bottom tier. Does anybody have any advice, insight into any of these programs, or knowledge of other good programs in the area? I'm really wanting to stay in or around Tenessee, the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and Kentucky. Once again, any and all insight would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Date:2008-10-07 15:09
Subject:Preservation book

I am selling a brand new  Preservation book: Issues and Planning.

Check it out:

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Date:2008-09-18 11:07
Subject:Off-site storage vendors

I currently work for a university that is having major issues with our current off-site storage vendors.

Do any of you work for universities that use vendors for their off-site storage needs? If so, who do you use? Do you like them? Do you know what criteria were used when choosing them?

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Date:2008-08-12 17:40
Subject:san jose state

Has anyone attended San Jose State's library school program recently with a focus on archival studies? What was your impression of the course offerings, instructors, institutional support? Any sense of how the archives specialization within the MLIS is going to develop with the introduction of the archives masters program this fall?

Also, I've frequently heard in a more general library context that the institution where you get your MLIS matters less on the job market than your work experience while in library school -- is this also true of archives?

(Context: I'm planning on starting library school in fall 2009, aiming for a career in archives. San Jose State is the school that makes the most sense logistically, but I would like to get a sense of whether it would be worthwhile to consider other options.)

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Date:2008-08-05 11:38
Subject:Records Management and Archives

I have an interesting work background but, long story short, I stumbled into records management and veered away from archives.

But, I have a question that I need assistance with. I'm currently the records manager for university and I'm in the process of developing our retention schedule. One of my major issues is what happens to a series of records when the University Archives only wants part of that series.

Let's take photographs for example. Our university archivist is very picky about what types of photographs she will accept. If she is given a large group of them she will pick out what she wants and throw the rest away.

How does your organization handle something like that? Do you accept everything they give you and then sort out what you want and get rid of the rest? Do you expect the donor or transferring department to do the sorting on their end according to your collection policy? What do you do with the stuff you don't want? Do you get rid of it or leave it with the donor or department? Do any of you work in an environment where a retention schedule helps dictate what is sent to the archives?

I guess I'm just looking for various viewpoints on how to deal with the "leftovers", especially in a setting with a retention schedule.

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Date:2008-05-09 09:45
Subject:Interesting new data archive technique

Via KurzweilAI.net: Storing Data for the next 1000 years: http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/37073/113/

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Date:2007-12-31 15:47
Mood: curious

Update on this post: http://community.livejournal.com/archivists/38866.html#cutid1.

The British Library has admitted an historic diary was damaged while in its care, but refused to confirm reports the book had been left in a car boot.

Owner Peter J Tyldesley handed over the manuscript in 1994, believing it would be safer in the Library than his home. The solicitor told The Times he "wanted to weep" when he discovered oily stains on the pages seven months ago. He claimed the book had been removed from the library. A Library spokeswoman said there had been an investigation.

"The diary was damaged. It was discovered earlier this year," she said. "We are working with the owner to restore the damage."

She confirmed there had been an internal investigation, but said the details would remain "confidential". A member of staff had since left the Library, the spokeswoman added. However, she refused to confirm allegations in the Times that the diary had been stored in the boot of a car.

Rebellion diary

The 18th century manuscript was written by Mr Tyldesley's ancestor, Thomas Tyldesley, a prominent Jacobite who used the diary to record his preparations for the 1715 rebellion. Among the entries, the diarist noted the celebrations he attended after learning of the death of Queen Anne - an event which was expected to trigger the uprising.

"Wee spent 2s (shillings) each," he wrote, "beeing invitted to a pige feast" .

In May this year, the British Library issued a statement describing the damage to the diary. The original binding had been removed and replaced, it said, although this action "was authorised neither by Mr Tyldesley nor the Library".

"The staining appears to have occurred when the diary was not in its archive box. In addition to the staining the diary has at some stage unfortunately been damaged by damp, mould and mildew."

"The diary was in good condition in 2002," the statement continued. "The damage occurred sometime thereafter."

Mr Tyldesley has criticised the Library for not making public its report into how the book came to be damaged.

"There certainly seems to have been a complete absence of effective management controls," he told The Times. "Obviously the wider concern must be whether this was a one-off incident."

Story from BBC NEWS:

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Date:2007-09-29 16:37
Subject:Open source archive management systems

Hi all,

I was wondering if there are any open source archive management systems. There are now quite a few for libraries, but I haven't come across any which allow hierarchical cataloguing. Does anyone know if there are any tools like this?

If there aren't, does anyone have any tips for making it easier to catalogue manually? Is it best just to do it in Word, or is there a cunning way of making the hiearchical arrangement easier to visualise?

Not a professional archivist myself - just making this query on behalf of a friend who's just been asked to catalogue the archive material accrued by the school she's librarian for.


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Date:2007-08-21 12:36
Subject:Publisher authority data

Hi all,

I'm currently revising the corporate authroity records for our catalogues. Most of these are for publishing houses, due to the nature of our collection. I'm having great difficulty in locating reliable sources for this information, particularly in the case of publishers who have been absorbed by bigger companies. Any tips of good reference sources?

Thanks in advance!

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Date:2007-08-16 22:22
Subject:What should I do?

Hi everyone,

Im currently working on my MLIS with an emphasis in archives at San Jose State University. Im about half way through. (I plan to graduate Fall of '08) Im starting to get worried about getting a job when I graduate. I have never worked in a library or archive. My current job and most of my past jobs have been receptionist/admin type jobs. I need to work full time at about $12 or more an hour in order to survive, so I have not even bothered to look at part time jobs in a library or archive, and I dont have time to volunteer. (I work full time, do school work when Im not working or sleeping.) I plan on doing an internship of corse before I graduate, hopefully two if possible. Basically, my question is, how likely am I going to get a job after I graduate with this kind of work background? It seems like all of my classmates have so much experience in libraries and archives, frankly Im kinda scared! What should I do before I graduate to make myself more employable????

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Date:2007-08-03 10:08
Subject:Interview Presentation on Digitization Project/Budget - need advice.

Hello everyone,

A friend of mine has an interview for a Canadian public library next week and he'd appreciate some advise from anyone that has worked on large digitization projects. The job would involve digitizing 3000 daguerreotypes in 6 months.

As part of the interview he is required to make a presentation on how he would go about this project, including the budget, equipment needed, outsourcing vs. in-house, etc. The second part of the presentation involves being able to put together and present a large budget in order to obtain a grant from 'Library And Archives Canada'.

He has been given no details so the presentations will require researching things from scratch. This wouldn't be so bad but we're heading into a long weekend here and many people he'd be contacting to ask about pricing probably won't be getting back to him until Tuesday ... the day before the interview!

If any of you have any advice or sources to check out, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

x-posted to library grrls

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Date:2007-06-25 19:14
Subject:Here's where we've been going wrong all these years!
Mood: infuriated

The Department of Culture, Media & Sport today published a report "Caring For Our Collections" into the funding of the UK's heritage. For those of you outside the UK, let me explain that, unlike museums and libraries, archives don't have ringfenced government funding. 'Proper arrangements' must be made by local authorities for records but they are free to define 'proper' as they see fit. The UK also has a national lottery, which gives a certain percent of ticket sales revenue to good causes. Heritage is one of those good causes, and the HLF is the body who doles out lottery money for heritage projects. In the absence of secure and substantial central funding, archives rely heavily on HLF money.

From Vol 1 Pg 65 of the report:
"HLF has awarded £100 million to archives. . .compared to the over £2 billion awarded to museums and built heritage over the same period. . . HLF explained that archives would have a low priority for lottery funding because the archive services' first priority was the preservation of the original material and housing it to appropriate standards, and then its digitisation, cataloguing (and computerisation of existing catalogues)"

Oh, what fools we have been! Wasting our time, money and energy actually putting the welfare of our collections first! Can people not understand that no survival = no access? We are effectively being penalised for doing our jobs. *cradles head in hands*

Provenance: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmcumeds.htm

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Date:2007-06-20 17:03
Subject:portland archives

Does anyone in this community work in Oregon, more specifically Portland? I'm thinking of moving out there after I graduate and I've been doing research on archives out there, but I'd like any first hand accounts!

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Date:2007-06-14 21:25
Subject:just wanted to share...
Mood: satisfied

I finished my first finding aid yesterday (says the baby archivist). I'm so happy, partly at the milestone, partly just that it's done!

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Date:2007-06-13 18:40
Subject:Ever feel superfluous?
Mood: geeky

This is the final paragraph from a book review (a biography) that appeared in The Independent newspaper last week:

"This book is also important in another way. Instead of being born of the labyrinthine archives so intrinsic to biographers' lore, it is a product of the internet and other new technologies that allow the historian and "anyone else" to explore manuscripts, literary catalogues and genealogical websites across the world. This new breadth of access, [the author] reminds us, would be inconceivable even a decade ago. "The ongoing impact of this information explosion on the envisaging of history, and on the nature of biography, will only expand in the future.""

The internet is undoubtedly a Good Thing and has benefited archives, but the enthusiasm for the brave new world, where (supposedly) factual histories are constructed using the IGI and the 1% of material that has been put online, is concerning. Surely our profession is in trouble when even historians consider us unnecessary!

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Date:2007-05-23 19:03
Subject:Has anyone else been following this?
Mood: cynical

It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but the proposed changes to the UK's Freedom of Information Act barely 18 months after coming into force - and the mutterings about even more draconian restrictions - seem to be slipping under everyone's radar.

Essentially, MPs are trying to exempt themsevles from FoI. OK, so the Bill is unlikely to be passed without some alterations, but the essence will remain.

Quite apart from the implications for the democratic process (and those tabloid shock! horror! exclusives), any fiddling with the law has an impact on us as profesionals. The grounds for the changes are very shaky - protecting constituents' privacy when it was already protected. And just who has been consulted as to whether these measures really will cut costs and boost efficiency? Does that include the costs of retraining people who have only just been trained in FoI?

This BBC blog is dedicated to FoI and sums it all up rather succinctly: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/opensecrets/

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Date:2007-05-15 21:05
Subject:Please tell me this is made-up.
Mood: distressed

It doesn't seem to have been picked up by the rest of the media:

How British Library allowed 300-year-old diary to be ruinedCollapse )

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Date:2007-05-04 14:38
Subject:Establishing copyright holders?

Hi all,

The archive I work for is currently engaged in a digitisation project and as such is seeking to establish the copyright holders of some of our materials. We're having great difficulty identifying who holds the copyright for the estate of the late James Mason (the actor), as we have some of his letters which we'd like to digitise. There is an online database of copyright holders for authors, but I cannot find anything comparable for other public figures. Does anyone know of anything which might be of use?

Thanks in advance!

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Date:2007-05-03 15:43
Subject:Certification Programs

I am considering changing careers and getting the training to become an archivist, something I've thought about on and off since I was in college. I'm currently a high school teacher and I already have a masters, so I am looking for a program that offers certification instead of a degree and which I can complete one or two classes at a time while I continue teaching.

I am wondering if anyone can tell me how much it matters where you get your training from, or whether it is better to get the masters as a opposed to a certification?

I'm considering the certification program at East Tennessee State University because several classes are offered as distance courses and I would like it if I didn't have to sell my house and find a new teaching job. Does anyone know anything about this program? Or does anyone know of any other archival programs that offer distance education courses?

Thanks a bunch.

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