- Do you have a personal, organisational, local or subject related archive?
- Have you been following our training blogs?
Since April 2020, we’ve posted over 20 blogs to help you care for, manage and develop your collection. We hope you’ve found them helpful. Here’s a quick re-cap of what we’ve covered:
- Thinking about making copies of items/collections?
- Keen to save time and avoid damaging originals?
- Want to know how best to prepare?
Making copies of fragile or popular items reduces handling and the risk of physical damage, the number one cause of deterioration in archives (see blog CC#4 on causes of damage to archives.)
It’s good to keep an eye on how often items are used so you can see which ones are most at risk of damage. Keeping a note with your catalogue or list is a great way to do it – even a simple ‘five bar gate’ tally will do.
- Want to avoid damaging items?
- Want to find out how to take a book off the shelf correctly?
- Keen to handle and display things carefully?
Then read on for our top ten handling tips.
- Want to be prepared in case things go wrong?
- Like to be able to sort out problems fast?
“I have never been in an accident of any sort and have never been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort” E J Smith (SS Titanic)
It can happen to anyone! The best thing we can do is be prepared just in case!
- Want to avoid uninvited guests eating your collection!?
- Keen to make sure the surrounding environment is safe for archives?
Let me introduce you to our silverfish, a Grey Silverfish (ctenolepisma longicaudata). They are fairly new to the UK, and this is the first one we have found. We will be keeping the traps out and our eyes peeled just in case he has brought friends and relatives! They are more tolerant of dry conditions than regular silverfish.
- Need to list your archive collections?
- Want to learn more about cataloguing archives?
The documentation you create when you take in (“accession”) new material should include a brief description of each batch of material you’ve received (see blog CM #2). But you will probably also want to list in more detail (or “catalogue”) the material in your personal or community archive. As well as being very useful for you, catalogues can be shared, for example via a website, so that other people can see what material you have.
- Want to learn more about data protection?
- Need to understand how it relates to your community collection?
In blog CM #2, we noted that the process of ‘accessioning” new material into your collection presents an ideal opportunity to consider whether the records you are offered present any issues in terms of copyright and access. We’ve looked in more detail at copyright (blog CM #3). Now we’ll take a closer look at access- in particular the requirements of the Data Protection Act and “GDPR”.
- Are all your treasured family photos digital?
- Does your community archive include CDs and scans?
Digital documents can be easily shared and copied, and take up no physical space. But the very characteristics which make them so convenient also present us with risks and challenges. There is no single, magic bullet solution which can protect your digital material or ensure it will last for decades. But the good news is that there some simple, low tech, no/low cost steps you can take to manage and minimise the risks.