Vicki-Anne Heikell and Bronwyn Officer - Creating Our Stories

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you by pride in z.com. And funded through a generous grant from the Legacy Fund of the second Asia Pacific Outgames, [00:00:10] Kira and Vicky n. And I'm a paper conservator by training. I currently work at the National Library as a field conservator. So my role is to advise organizations and institutions on the preservation of the documentary heritage collections. [00:00:28] cuna, Roman officer, and I'm the senior sound conservator at the Alexander tumor library, National Library. And my background is in music composition and audio visual management, and 25 years experience working in the Alexander tumor library, preserving the sound collections, which means working with curators to, to store and train [00:01:01] sound recordings now and digital medium. [00:01:03] Can you tell me the difference between what preservation is and what conservation it's [00:01:10] like its preservation is that broader context. And it's all the steps you take to minimize deterioration. So how you store it, the record keeping systems you use any policies related to access and display and disaster planning. So in a sense, conservation falls under the preservation umbrella. And then conservation is more about determining priorities for assessing the condition of items and repairing and conceiving them. [00:01:39] I will agree with it. And just Incidentally, restoration is about restoring an item to its original condition. But it's not usually practiced and library and archive preservation since it can destroy some of the essential [00:01:59] historic information related to a subject. For example, we have some recordings that are made on type of a cylinder, and cylinder that's [00:02:12] had a swishing of the stylus, so that on the tape, you wouldn't expect to hear that. But if you if you remove that, for some reason, then you wouldn't know what's the ground. What's provenance. [00:02:24] Just keeping with definitions for Can you tell me what the differences between, say, an archive or library in a museum. [00:02:33] And [00:02:33] that's a hard one, because they often appear to have a similar repository says this is kind of a personal definition, I always think of an archive as material that created or received by a person or a family and an organization. And it can be in the written form of the paper documents, but also audio visual material, textiles, three dimensional objects, and I see a museum as a place that devoted more actively to acquiring, conserving, and the study of objects or tower that have the scientific and Historic and Artistic value. So there's similar but different, [00:03:09] I think, [00:03:12] I think, and the different types of libraries as well, for example, you have a lending library, like a public library, and you can also have a research library, which performs a different function. So the Alexander tomb will not be performed more of a research library function. [00:03:30] And similarly, you can have, you know, in the course of business and business creates your own archives, the museum can have an archive, and, you know, people and organizations, [00:03:42] clubs. So there's no real clear definition between what the three are [00:03:49] not a mapping, I know there's specific functions. And like a government tagline has very specific functions under the public records it. And a national museum has a specific functions in the sense that it collects objects. So scientific, a starving artist to stick value to the nation. And more broadly, that is, those are things that curators and archivist would have more of an opinion on probably than a conservator. So say I'm [00:04:22] a queer individual, or I'm part of a some kind of queer group, and we've got material, do you think it's better to kind of archive that material in house, you know, as an organization, or actually, to some other archive or library, if you will donating it elsewhere? What kind of things would you be thinking of? [00:04:47] Well as, [00:04:48] as a conservator, if somebody came to me with the material, the first thing I'd be asking is, do you have a right to make decisions about this material? upset? Do you own the material? Do you have the right to to make decisions about us? Or even depositors or Linda to anybody? For me? That's the biggest things. And also, for us as an organization, do you want to be donating it to to a larger institution? And will you still want some connection? And how? How are you going to maintain that and how you, you know, and it's your relationship with those, those institutions, that's the most important. So I guess before you donate things, you've probably been wanting to develop the relationship with the key people who will be responsible for the care and preservation and maintaining that collection in the first instance, [00:05:40] you also have to be aware, the key people may leave and you have to think of the long term. Yeah, and how was that relationship going to continue? [00:05:50] And that they and those institutions may also have particular focus that that might not be yours. And for example, exhibiting it, they may have a particular view on how they might want to support it, and they might have a particular view on who they want to lend it to. So those are things you need to have clear in your clear before you donate the material, not after because once once it's donated those things, those were like those negotiations, I guess the power contract changes slightly, in my opinion. [00:06:26] In the New Zealand context, what kind of organizations are out there that would accept queer related material? [00:06:32] I don't know as a consumer sir. And and and I guess part of my role as a field conservator is that I talk with organizations with a view to preserving and keeping the material themselves rather than donating to larger institutions or archives. [00:06:56] Is Zealand leggings [00:06:58] be one group. [00:07:01] So the the family's been getting icons of music on bookshelves, what, specifically for creative content, these are the other places like to pop around that that have [00:07:14] to pepper has collections of Queen material, I don't know that it's held together as a queer collection. It's, it's a curator of history that is responsible for the acquisition of it, but I don't know. I also don't know how it's catalogued in terms of with a few searching for it, it would come up as a discrete collection, or just part of the history collection with them to pop up. That is, so they have a theme era, they have typical holds collections from the hero parade and things like that. But I don't know if it's, you know, house doesn't as a discrete collection. [00:07:58] And this the Charlotte, me see a map in Oakland, [00:08:01] where was [00:08:03] that specifically with Spinoza? [00:08:05] Nice, specifically lesbian, and the and logins. It's not just lesbian, gay, but campus material from all of the communities. [00:08:20] What are some of the benefits of even though [00:08:25] things might be a bit more dispersed in a larger place, say like to pop up what would be some of the benefits of depositing with a larger organization, [00:08:36] it would come under [00:08:39] the collection management process, which will involve storage and access to control environments, for the particular materials and just the whole collection management process. [00:08:54] And they are collecting organizations. So they have staff whose businesses about collecting and maintaining those collections, and I guess, the the appropriate environmental conditions and the policies which cover those collections. So it's a lot, it's a lot harder to do session, collection items, or, you know, get rid of collections, once they're in and they're collecting organization, then if you're doing it yourself, [00:09:26] and what about some of the benefits of donating something to say like the Charlotte museum always been going on New Zealand, that was kind of niche archives and museums, what would be some of the benefits, [00:09:40] I guess your collection as they within a continuum, other other than at least being archive or lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender archive. And so you can see how your collection fits within the wider New Zealand and international context, I guess. [00:09:56] If you didn't think it was such a good idea to donate your college, to another organization, and you wanted to keep it yourself, or within your organization, what would be some of the things that you've needed to think about, [00:10:09] I guess, even the smallest archival, the smallest collection, and you've made a decision to keep it, keep it together and needs a policy, every small limit has small. And it might be as simple as why this collection exists, what's the purpose of your archive, because if you don't know that, then, you know, you're then open for it becoming either something else or dispersing and nothing in archive at all. So that would be the key thing for me. And I have this little mantra, I often say to groups, the other things you need to think about as [00:10:50] I guess your collection efforts, once you've decided you're an archive, what invariably happens is that your collection will grow. So you might have five boxes. And one, it's likely because you've decided to become an archive that you will grow and you have to be aware of it. And you have the medical matrix control content and condition. [00:11:12] If you're going to set up an archive, you need to know what you have. So that's the control, it's good record keeping, you need to know what's in it, the better the records, the better preserved there. So this is from a conservation point of view, and, and the condition of those works. So the range of things and items, and and all of that, again, relates to your policy, because what why do you exist and lots of papers, you might want to actively start retaining or acquiring things. So you need to know what you've already got, in order to make those decisions. [00:11:41] In your experience, why do people want to step up my clients, [00:11:47] because they believe they're important, they believe they're important to their community of interest, but they also believe their head. [00:11:55] They're important to a wider context. So and I think that the mementos, Memory Keepers and pointers to the future, I guess. So their mentality, crew just sit as a [00:12:07] as a recent conference that archives, their profits of the future, and they kind of do it right there. Because you, you go forward by looking back. So I think that's probably one of the key reasons most people want to keep things generally. [00:12:23] So within that foundation policy, what kind of language do you use as a quite broad or as a very specific? [00:12:31] Gosh, that's a big question. I think it's things that we grapple with as large organizations about, you know, collection policies. But I think [00:12:40] by answering, I guess, in a simple way, first, why do you exist, and then from then everything else [00:12:49] should fall, but you do have to get down eventually to the specifics. So why are you collecting? certain materials are Why are you not collecting certain materials, because that's important because he said, sensitivities around things like death. And I guess the only thing I would suggest is that you make friends with people who are doing similar things. And you look at other people's policies, because there's this general principles you want to apply. And then there's things specific to your organization. So he's made lots of friends with people like the soul archivists group, with community archives with all of those people who have people who have expertise and experience and, and doing similar things, sitting up archives [00:13:31] and running them. [00:13:33] new experiences that quite a hard process to go through four organizations to actually kind of work out why they're there, why they're doing something what what they want to hold on to, [00:13:43] is, and and I guess, because I also am, it's something you have to constantly revisit and revise because sometimes it changes over in teen 20 years, and you have to keep reviewing what it is you've you've done, particularly with small organizations, you often have a turnover of all and in a typically volunteers, if a turnover of volunteers, you have to kind of continue to review the material, we review your policies to make sure it is what you're you know, it's very easy to say I will take this material as well. And very soon you've got this kind of large collection with no particular [00:14:23] focus. It's not to say you are so focused that you don't you you dismiss other collections, but you've got to have, I guess archivists and curators in a particular mind that they know how to determine what what are the important things to retain. [00:14:39] And it's good to have that written down as a policy. And, [00:14:45] and you may, I like the idea of making friends, because you may find that your collection overlaps some other collections. And you might have to say no to some things. It's [00:14:59] Is it something that the national institutions do quite regularly innovate, they keep in contact with each other, they know what the others acquiring, because you don't want to be competing in there's only a small resource for, [00:15:13] you know, for maintaining your archives, and you don't want to be collecting things that other organizations are already collecting as well. [00:15:20] So if the start, how do you focus down your collection, what you're going to collect? How do you work out what you want to collect? [00:15:30] What presumably it's if you decided to there must be some sort of [00:15:36] a focus to it already. Under the big boxes under the bead may relate to a particular person or family or an organization. So you've got the basis for looking at what you are as an archive, or if you're the you know, and what your purpose was. And some of it collecting, particularly by people, it's very idiosyncratic, but it's then the archive of this particular personal this group. So you have, usually when you've made the decision to become an archive, you know, what you it's just about nothing out the person written down for monkeys, [00:16:10] what kind of things to people call it, [00:16:13] everything, [00:16:16] that they collect everything. [00:16:19] I know that some people have worked with a colleague to the range of paper bags from department stores from, you know, the 1950s, right through to now that you know that the brain things of the internet become interesting collections and themselves. And sometimes those collections become interesting for other reasons, when people have collected badges and pins from things and T shirts, t shirts. wigs are very popular. So there's all there's a whole range. And it's you know, it's a human endeavor of keeping something because it triggers a memory. [00:16:56] You mentioned the word resource before. And I'm thinking that kind of resourcing an icon, if, even if it's really small, can be really resource hungry, both in terms of people and money. Do you have any tips for when you're first starting to work out how much something is going to cost? How much time it's going to take? [00:17:18] I guess if you realize you're never going to have enough money, and in and there's always going to be less people than you ideally would want to do that work. And you and that you approach it by taking small bites at an end that you're there for the long haul. Once you've decided to create an archive. You're the if you've made the decision that you're there for the long haul, it's not a you know, two years, three years, five years, it is a longer 5060 years, at least. And if it's if, and I guess some of those are the those are the questions you have to ask to when you're thinking about should we donate this material as well. And it might be that the decision and 50 years with your archive is that it will be with business no longer people and resources to to continue it, then it goes to a larger institution if they wanted. But I guess planning is the key. You identify that you're right, you can only do small bits at a time and be satisfied with it because often people get demoralized that they can't do everything. And again, these will be most likely volunteers, people giving of their time and around their normal life in that they work and other things. So you're there for the long haul, and you're never going to have enough money. But there are people you're making friends and there are people in institutions who can assist you to, you know, minimize the [00:18:43] load through depressing. [00:18:47] And those simple thing of just adding to maybe even rehouse or just order the clips, you can be quite satisfying. [00:18:58] Not so tomorrow, nice, nice. [00:19:02] So do you think it's good to have like in your kind of policies, that the fact that it's going to be there for a long time, if not for ever, but that you're actually working on kind of bite sized chunks. So you do like one project by project type things. [00:19:17] And I think you should have an overall strategy and that you plan at Les Brown. Once it's something like pulling your collection into folders or boxes or housing memory, we call up faced housing or phase three housing, you might decide that in your teen boxes that box two and six are most important. So near one, you're going to put all of those funds into new folders, and you can work and over five years, you'll have all your team boxes rehashed so that you don't come in and think I've done nothing with this collection. And because what happens is that people think, on not doing the best for my collection. And it kind of sits there on the shelf yelling at the mall sits under the big yelling at them. So it's just but your overall strategy is that you have business storage. And so you take bite sized, and I appreciate that approach. And often the project approach, sometimes you'll finish one project, and that's it. But if you have an overall plan, you can slowly with Colette small bits of it. And then galvanized the I've used the expertise of your volunteers that it might be that those people at different for different, some people are better at fundraising and raising awareness. Some people prefer, you know, things like registering the collection and being quite methodical about the record keeping another site practical thing. So there's about there's always a role for everybody, and it's just organizing it [00:20:48] and having a plan. And that's again, where your policy is that some people are overwhelmed by the word policy. So it's just some simple strategies for keeping your collection in a reasonable order. And ways to approach that over along to data and the Beast order possible in the best condition possible. [00:21:12] And you mentioned storage, and we didn't actually touched on, you know, how do you store material? When you're first starting out? What other things that you think of in terms of storage space? What what do you look for, [00:21:24] when I've got the principle that it will always be bigger than you think you need. [00:21:31] So and that's for two reasons. One, often the way you've currently got it stored isn't the most ideal. So you immediately will be doubling it, you know, all your folded, that sort of paper may need to be unfolded, and you've immediately doubled your space requirements. And also, often when you become an archive, you then start to grow the collection. So you have to take make allowances for at least 10 years at something that the libraries know. But part of the reason we had had this renovation as to accommodate growing collections. So expansion expansion. So that's really important. So we can talk about this types of spaces that you [00:22:13] need, you mean in terms of dry environment and well for collections, but particularly in the audio visual collections. [00:22:24] I know we talked about ideal temperature and relative humidity, but [00:22:30] the stability of the temperature and relative humidity is more important [00:22:37] to boiling those fluctuations. They're the most damaging to collections. And I suppose if you think about what we prefer, and you know, as people, we prefer it when it's not too hot or too cold, [00:22:51] then usually that's okay for your collections as well. But I mean, there's other things to think about to preferably, [00:23:01] you want, you don't want your collections under the bed or in ceilings or in basements. You want them up off the floor, and you want them away from a wall. Preferably you want any shelving to be on an internal war rather than external wall, that if you've got no choice, then you needed at least 30 centimeters 10 centimeters to 30 centimeters away from the wall. And the idea of that is that you get circulating air circulating your keeps your your, your environmental conditions as stable as possible. [00:23:33] And was that the reason why you wouldn't put it under a billion or the basement or [00:23:39] simply think about it and the ceiling is usually warm when damp, and under the bed or in the garage of the least ideal places. And the damp, think about the damp is that you raise your humidity, you've got more potential for mold, you've also got the warm those warm places and six like and said they'll come in, moisture off. So if you've got a dust the environment that attracts moisture in a sea just want to clean space with good circulating in a stable temperature. So not to be caught up on the notion that you need [00:24:13] expense of air conditioning or dehumidifiers. The idea is to have a clean room that's hopefully well insulators that doesn't get any external light, preferably and take it from there. [00:24:29] And remembering to the there's a as a buffer to the environment, you can how's your materials and many different layers, for instance, I can see it as inside the box, maybe in another box or on a shelf. [00:24:44] So that if you do have some small fluctuations, then they're protected by the layers that they have around them. This is if you imagine that each container as primitive buffers are from the external environment. And it's one of the we always suggest to people that it's always better to have your collection some sort of box than a no box or no container at all. Because if you imagine then that the box that you started doing all the work and not the original item. So And ideally, there's some there's two schools of thought Ideally, you want your essay or manuscript or a piece of paper, the the folder and direct contact with it is the one to be of the highest quality of conservation quality. And then you can move on with the folders and boxes. So that's one school of thought. But if you've got a huge collection, it might be that you start just putting things in boxes, that's all you can afford. And whatever the boxes and so long as it's neatly, put in the box, and that box on a shelf and on a wall that will also increase the lifespan of your archives. Team 200 fold [00:25:56] in terms of boxes, is there any difference between the having something that say some kind of plastic container, as opposed to say, a cardboard box? [00:26:06] It depends what sort of place that kid wants a little cardboard. So I mean, I would avoid [00:26:12] anything that's PVC, I would avoid. And I wouldn't eliminate anything because elimination except, you know, if you don't wish to keep it, then you know your posters, you could although even then it might be that in the future, those are important work. So I wouldn't eliminate anything, anything that can avoid PVC plastics, and you'd want to be going for things that you can get them now, even places like we have stationary, they say polyethylene or polypropylene [00:26:43] are [00:26:46] neutral is it call it plain old plastics [00:26:49] do degrade but the sound of [00:26:52] it and not to seal things into plastic or an they do still need to have a bit of circulating ear, you don't want to create a little micro environment where they can marinate away. [00:27:09] boxes and folders, you'd be looking at conservation quality, and they have names that acid free pH neutral, there's other products would lick them free. Typically the boxes that have brown, anything that's Brown, is acidic. And that's because it's it would pop paper, and it's the craft paper. And so last step before they bleach it to make it white, so but I guess if you approach storage, you're looking at good beta tastes have good storage is putting things in, in the boxes, and and folders. And this is all in about your planning. So it might be one, you've got all of these collections, you might put them in a box. And each day you might spend $100 to get some good quality folders into server to better storage. And then you know, year 10 you've got your collection, rehoused and the Beast possible manner, [00:28:01] what would some of the things be to look out for a few head of collections stored ever number of years, and you may be saw mold or whatever other other kind of visual signs that you say all that that thing was kind of degrading woman that plastics, not again. So the structure for [00:28:21] this, they call it the agents of the agents of deterioration, there's two things if you're dealing with typically contemporary archives will be typically would pop paper for the paper stuff. And inherently poor quality materials have been used to make things so I was [00:28:43] on this is where I like to second say inherent device [00:28:47] is it's a term we use and conservation and probably other places. [00:28:54] Suffering from inherent fuss [00:28:58] that so we're dealing with [00:29:01] papers that inherently poor quality, so will degrade any way so so that's why we look at good storage, good environmental conditions. So if we can, if we can control those things, which we can have the control of it, I guess it's about risk management, we can control those things, this bit of paper will last longer than if it's Lyft. Under the bead and no folder at all. So those things under the bead will decrease, degrade or deteriorate much more quickly than those on a folder in a box on a shelf. So that is mark that the problems that most afflict collections in New Zealand Aaron sakes, we have a they love the sort of warm, muggy, temperate climates and mold mold, you'll get you'll know quite quickly, if you've got a mall, if you have a moldy collection, you want to keep it completely separate from the movie stipulation, because it will work it will generate a reaction that kicks off mold and all the rest of the connections the same within six if you're getting in collections, best to look at them away from the rest of your collection to make sure that don't happen six before you put it in. The worst thing that can happen as he puts a collection that's coming into your main collection, this silver fish usually in them. And that's just a feast for them to think about and six as they're nocturnal. You don't know they're there. They wait until you've gone and then they have a party party. [00:30:37] So I mean, if you could you could if it was possible, you could have an assessment area. Yeah, then we will systems as they come in so that then you're not automatically transferring it to your archive. [00:30:50] Yeah. So I mean, we talked about some of the things to think about with your own archive, it is those as Bermondsey, do you want a space that has a table. So at the very least, so you can be collections, away from your collections, in an ideal world, you'd have those in two separate areas, but at the very least table [00:31:09] separation [00:31:11] separation between where your collection is stored, and we look at collections, [00:31:16] and sort of new material came on would you suggest to kind of walking it up, but actually also read boxing if you're not transference of. [00:31:26] Yes. And and talking to the whoever's giving you the collection, where you're acquiring the collection of where it's been stored, giving as much information about your collection, and the collection you're acquiring is good practice anyway. But from a preservation point of view, sort of avoiding, it might even be worthwhile keeping those collections out for a while if they've come from somebody's house that's been damp, you might you might not see that mold, [00:31:54] initially. So it might be with just keeping it out. And if you've got a room, if your archives a more stable temperature, once the papers adjust to a stable, non fluctuating environment, then you shouldn't have a mold problem. If you have a mold outbreak in your [00:32:11] archive, it suggests an effect. If you haven't before, it suggests that there's been some change and you need to find out what that is, it could be something as simple as somebody knocked over the bottle of water. And that water then has created, you know, just in a small area has changed the environment that you're in, you might just have one, you know, box, it's got mold, or it's got damp or things that they need to identify where the where the problem has occurred. And then deal with it. [00:32:43] Do you have any suggestions in terms of with a, for instance, say papers laid flat or stood up other other ways of storing things horizontal or vertical? [00:32:55] Ideally, or paper flat, I mean, that can be especially unfolded. So large things newspapers unfolded. [00:33:06] And it can be though, if, if you have a group of papers in a folder, and net folder can then be stirred up right in a box, so long as it's got other supporting folders to keep it up right. The same with books like sized books that are in good, good, stable condition can sit upright on a shelf, your larger heavy books or your more fragile ones, you'd want flesh on the shelf, and making sure that the shelf accommodates the whole deal with this deep enough for your books. And if we are more fragile ones, they would have their own boxes, they have the thing about dealing with the material, you always want to [00:33:47] have some other support to carry the material, you don't want your objects having to support their own weight. So when you taking it off the shelf, it has to either be in a folder or box. Or even if it's a single piece paper, placing it on a on a just a piece of cardboard to carry at some ways is good practice and let's start then those works don't have to support their own way to looking after them. And that way [00:34:14] vertical storage is best for many sound recordings, rather than staking. And [00:34:22] then that tasted well making sure that there's no extra stress on the [00:34:30] on the yard. [00:34:31] So things like CDs, you would stack side by side rather than kind of a vertical tower. [00:34:38] And well the vertical towers they have little they have some they do have support I think well the ones that they have they find in a vertical town but as long as they have support and not using each other to support [00:34:55] what about things where you've got say newspapers pressing against each other on you know fairly when it does come through [00:35:03] can do although dippin least likely what you tend to have no you won't what effect for a couple of reasons. You don't want a whole stack of say newspapers, step one on top of the other one that makes us different difficult you it's always likely that the person wants the bottom newspapers of it risks damage to your collection, just retrieving it [00:35:29] that also that pressure from the top you know the pressure on the paper does does cause damage. So you probably want to look at and we haven't taught we've talked about shelves we talked about things like playing drawers and cabinets are you know things and archivists that you would use in your archive other forms of storage. And also but you probably want to box the newspapers at least newspaper is the is the poorest quality paper too. So me and small archive, you probably have all those materials together, probably bet you might want to make some decisions about either having them in a box so at least that keeps them slightly separate from your other collections rather than contact with other things. [00:36:18] What about other hazards to talk about things like mold and and six, but all the other hazards, you need to look out for people [00:36:29] to be [00:36:31] hesitant to sometimes add a goodness. You know, from all of those things, the way in which we handle material, the security of the collection. Some of the things that we do to the collections mostly through poor handling accidental damage, and also deliberate damage. And I guess you have to be aware of those things too, for some archives could be targets for some people who wouldn't that I've been at haven't been targets. So you know, when we think about the security of your archive, this is things you have to take seriously to mean protection in selecting a room that [00:37:14] in a building that is secure enough that you can lock up at night that is least prone to being vandalized. So it could be an internal room of a building or [00:37:26] you know, that's lockable, the windows are lockable, the doors are lockable. [00:37:29] So [00:37:31] things you have to be aware [00:37:32] of, what about things like so water or pipes going through the room or I mean, just to be aware of the [00:37:40] comments of me that more often than not library stole their collections and basements. But now that has changed over the years and and now being aware of it means that you keep them away from the pipes, the essential services and [00:37:59] yeah, so off the [00:38:00] ground away from pipes as Vicki said earlier, [00:38:05] not against an outside wall. [00:38:08] entertaining and knowing where the kitchen and bathroom is will tell you where your piping so you'd want to be you know, locating your storage ideally not below the kitchen or bathroom or next door or your shelving up against the wall, that's again, where the next room is the kitchen or bathroom where your main pipes of being a kind of a domestic seating. So and, [00:38:31] and to think about other things like installing smoke detectors. And, and part of the planning could be to that eventually, this is a working archive you have to you do have to address the issues of sprinklers and, [00:38:49] and manual core points to the fire service. Now a security system that's monitored those sorts of things. And, and, and you have to make that decision about and you're planning process and what you what sort of archive you are and what sort of risk. [00:39:05] You know, so you I guess you would look at the risks to your collection. And most often it's dealing with people first how to handle material that's good policy or having someone there whenever the people access material through to how you access the building who has access, simple things like not having, you know, I've seen a lot of archives that have been destroyed by just support the least the heat heaters kicked on, or accidentally Lyft on overnight and the collections gone. So that's another, I guess another point to about deciding to have an archive, you are then centralizing this collection of one space. So there's a certain responsibility to the end of your scenes realize that you have a responsibility to ensure because you could end up losing an entire collection, an entire history of a particular group, because the collections been centralized. And fire and it's all gone. So those are some of the things without being schema related, kind of need to think about [00:40:06] two other advantages to having a collection of multiple locations. So like you're actually split up the collection. [00:40:15] Well, that would have advantages and disadvantages. [00:40:20] Some of the disadvantage might be x's. [00:40:23] And losing collection says if you have one access point, and somebody has to retrieve material from different locations, and it suggests that there's a lot more handling of your collection, as well. So [00:40:38] yes, there is advantages and disadvantages. But all the key to having multiple collections is you have to have a good intellectual access, you have to know what you have. You can't say I think it's down the road, you have to know that it's there, you have to know where everything is in relation to every silver collection. [00:40:58] So in archives I've been on for you people are wearing white clothes handling stuff with with white gloves, why is there [00:41:05] the oil from our hands is acidic, and particularly in no sense protection, sometimes from some of those older collections, you don't know what they've been treated [00:41:18] until the oils are acidic, and you transfer that material to the paper or textiles or documents that you know white gloves are good. But always it's a I guess an approach. So you want to good, you want to have clean hands whenever you handle the material. Also for your own health to serve washing your hands before you deal with a collection and immediately after just for your health and for the health of the of the objects so [00:41:48] and just the wheels on the hands can I mean even if something like a record an LP if it's not inherently mote, it doesn't find that attractive, it might it will find the oils in your hands. With sound recordings are very dependent on [00:42:10] machines or the machine readable they have to be machine readable. So that is the thing that presents a barrier to how you replay it. But it's a problem. white gloves and always helpful. But there's Vicki and see it clean hands. [00:42:32] When you are holding collection, say of sound recording this white LPs or cassettes? Is it really important as well to have the machines to play that material back on [00:42:43] their machine to pay that and it's equally important to have maintained equipment, paying them back on not just any equipment? [00:42:57] Yes. Which leads on to another whole top of the chains, video collections? And how do you change [00:43:05] to another form like a digital form? [00:43:09] We'll get there very shortly. And one thing that we haven't actually touched on the fact that you've come back to a number of times is that all describing of collections describing stuff when somebody gives you some new objects, what are the kinds of things that you would be asking a diner in terms of you know, what, what will it come from what kind of questions [00:43:32] when just that you'd want to know the provenance of the item you want to know, you want to know about the owner, the owner who owns it, when they always the owner or somebody else the provenance or history of the item to impact as much information as you can, because it gives you the context. And often you get one chance at it. It's fun to get as much to get as much information as possible. And in a good curators and activists research librarians know how also how to ask the right questions to elicit the information and then probably [00:44:07] have all the tricks that conservators don't we're not very good with people. [00:44:15] But when something was created, why it was created, just use is your mind. It's peaceful. [00:44:25] But it's also that I might have interesting stories to tell about why an object doesn't the status and as well. And that can be important when you make decisions about what you do with it. So [00:44:36] this week, this has got divorce, torn, because it was us, you know, there was a meeting and somebody took an exception to something and worked at whether you wouldn't want to be repairing it, because it's its own story. So those sorts of things are very important to know when something comes into your collection as well. [00:44:56] That that's a really good point to hang on to that you may only get one chance of finding out about that. And once it's in your collection, it's almost like an orphan, in terms of it doesn't have any any other context around it, [00:45:09] you have to create the context. [00:45:13] And there's a really important that and you know, very often large institutions have lonely objects, because they don't know their provenance, or they've got a donated 1955. And that's all the information. And so that makes it a lot harder. So those very often those objects or collections don't see much research, or they don't see any time exhibited, because there's people simply don't know about them. So they do become lonely [00:45:41] objects, although sometimes they can find their found over again, because someone's seen them or or it's a deliberate move on the part of the archive to say, do you know, you know, who's in this picture? Or can you enhance our record by letting us know, [00:45:59] this, so I guess, the catalog record or the register shouldn't is not a static? No. And then you keep working on it. And that's your biggest [00:46:10] when keeping the archive, that's what you want to control over as your what you have in the collection and knowing about that the more you know, the BC your archive, I'd suggest [00:46:19] to you know, of any resources where somebody could go to actually work out what kind of questions I need to ask, and because of what the object is, or what kind of we're talking about metadata around me, like we're talking about kind of subject, title, date, those kind of things. Somewhere, somebody can go to a kind of dip those fields. [00:46:41] Again, I would be making friends, you know, we're small enough as a, as a New Zealand small enough that we can find those people and, and often people, you know, archives New Zealand has a different approach to how does things to say that Alexander temple library, so it's getting to know who the curators archivists and the sorts of questions they would ask as well as kind of maybe doing some courses that are offered by community archives on general principles. But that's what I would be doing and looking at. And in fact, even looking at the records that the temple has on [00:47:19] top of it doesn't have all the information, but it gives certain pointers to how things are arranged and described. [00:47:26] And there are missing data standards such as Dublin Core, which you can search online. To get some there are many different metadata standards, but you might find something that suits you that has creation date titles, empty [00:47:42] fields that you can use, I think I've seen on some sites on the internet, where you've got things like DC doc title, not assuming it's more doc type or VC box object. [00:47:54] That's right. That's how it's formulated. [00:48:00] Squad. [00:48:01] And I think also if you have an active if you're in it, if you are archived, so community archive is the organization to have a current program of collecting that information. For example, if you're taking photographs, at a function or an event to make sure that you get all the names, which is essentially the meat of death of those people and the so that you have this approach for your things that aren't in your archive yet, but will be so you've got all that information beforehand. So you're not retrospectively having to collect it. I think it's a good practice to. [00:48:35] And just in terms of not sure we're talking about digital things here, but [00:48:41] you want to know what software was used to create something and as much you want to get as much information about how something was created and what system it was. [00:48:52] For its future preservation. [00:48:55] We've touched on digitalization, and I'm wondering, what are the elements for digitizing [00:49:05] an archive? If somebody's got material, I'm thinking that maybe material that's not already in digital form. So like old photographs, or old sound recordings? Why do you need to do it? And how do you go about doing them? [00:49:19] And I'd save some easy question. [00:49:22] I'd say also that for things like photographs, and then the digitized version, there's no substitute for the original, just saying it first, because often people think that once they've got a digital copy that the original doesn't need to be cared for. So that would be my first [00:49:40] pan would agree. [00:49:44] But more and more with sound recordings, we've moved away from trying to prolong the life of the carrier of content, and all to [00:49:58] preserving the data that you've created when you've transferred the content. [00:50:04] It doesn't mean that you don't still like look after the original, but they paper will last hundreds of years, hundred years. But sound recordings weren't. So that's that's the problem. We're facing deterioration just through the materials, and also the inability to replay them as the years is we lose the players or as they become obsolete. And how do you go about transferring them. [00:50:38] You make friends, for all about making friends making friends, but [00:50:45] you have to, you have to be able to replay them and also have a good system. So that had to say what a good system is, but it's all in the quality of it. [00:50:58] The interface the animals to the digital quantity that determines the quality of your finished product, [00:51:04] is it I get some of the principles behind that as a as a transferring, or try to do that transfer at the highest possible resolution so that you're not actually losing anything. [00:51:17] That's right, you are trying to extract the highest, the best signal from your from your recording, if it's a recording, is to make the highest resolution as you say, recording or photograph [00:51:33] and a straight [00:51:36] straight down the process processed. Transfer. [00:51:40] So you don't want to a bit like the digitizing photographs, you don't want to Photoshop that, right, because that's a personal aesthetic, you don't want to through for your sound recording. So you know, in a way that you think sounds better. You couldn't have subsequent [00:51:57] can with the what you might call an access copy, but you wanting a direct path from the the the [00:52:10] original [00:52:11] from the original to the to the copy, [00:52:13] because that might provide it might provide it might be source of information to that you don't you're not necessarily aware of of other interesting things about like the solicitation downloading. So and the same with the photographs, it might be information in there that we don't, we don't necessarily see but somebody else might see. So that's really important. [00:52:35] So something like the type of files that you would save things is one thing, obviously you don't want to do kind of Photoshop on an image. But then I'm also thinking you may not want to do like saving the image as a JPEG, which is a kind of a lossy format or saving music as an mp3 because you're actually reducing that information, you're saving file size, but [00:52:57] you engineering and you want to get us as much information as possible because you've safeguarding its future. So you do want [00:53:08] a well, uncompressed OR, [00:53:12] or NOT data, reduced file [00:53:16] server photography, if you're looking at the TIFF or raw, some software, however, a lot of your if you might be receiving files that are only in JP or I'm not on the highest resolution, but you still have to retain them. The other thing with what you've got, [00:53:36] sometimes, while I know in our library situation, sometimes people have transferred something from an mp3 or WAV file. But that doesn't mean that that's in the video quality. I mean, you want to make create WAV files as your preservation file. But if it's come from an mp3 to a WAV file, then not going to improve the quality. [00:54:01] So you can increase the quality by going from an mp3 to our way of [00:54:05] it's great, you know, you can't [00:54:09] similarly for photographs, so we can't [00:54:14] a JPEG is never going to be any better. saved as a tip, it's always going to be a JPEG and you've already lost either inside of the color spectrum, for example. [00:54:25] So [00:54:27] yeah, this digitalization resource hungry doesn't take a lot of time and a lot of people. [00:54:33] It takes equipment, people power in time. And so and it doesn't end there, because then you have to safeguard its future. And it has to be sustainable system that you set off on, it's a bit like setting up an archive in the first place. It's not just done after a week, you know, it's you have to take responsibility for it. [00:54:58] And at least playing for its future. [00:55:01] Why is that? Why can't I just, you know, put Microsoft into a hard drive and just leave them there. [00:55:10] And you want to be able to see that it plays. After you know, after a year, you want to see if you can play it. And also you may want to change to another format or another [00:55:23] type of hard drive and say, two, three, maybe five years time. So it's an ongoing cycle [00:55:33] is unlike paper that chatbots rather deal with. And anything that it always that sometimes you can see that paper is deteriorating, or you can see that often with the digital things, you can't see that there's a problem. And so you have a problem of equipment becoming obsolete that some 01 and the digital file is corrupted. And so you don't know unless you periodically check that these things are still able to operate, just changing systems [00:56:03] to how would you cheat color, what are some of the ways to actually keep the integrity of Finance. [00:56:10] I'm just thinking in that transfer of files, there are software programs that can check that you've moved one to another format, [00:56:20] achieved some fixing the cheek. [00:56:24] Or just simply by saying this file is the size. And I'm moving it to this place. And it's always better to copy and paste than others to drag and drop. [00:56:37] Because you can lose things or beating on software use. But just by counting one not literally counting the bites but comparing the bites and to make sure you've made a great [00:56:50] copy. [00:56:52] So that again, that's all part of your planning, in your planning your archives that you'll have some sort of a case ordered repeater [00:57:01] chick spot to order your collection, which you do with your analog or paper based collections as well. [00:57:08] If you were doing an ongoing migration, how many what was what would be the time frame that you would migrate off of data. [00:57:19] But I was thinking you should check it maybe every year to check that you can still play it. [00:57:25] As we can see, that's very hard, you can see what's happening. [00:57:30] It's also a big investment to to what is once your archive gets quite large, because if you're digitizing at a higher resolution, you're creating high files and you're needing more storage. And so it's quite an undertaking. I mean, I know I've heard of advice being given every five years, but just worried a little about how fast things change, not that you you move with every challenge, but maybe a bit less than every five years, you're thinking of [00:58:02] moving migrating your data. [00:58:07] And otherwise, they say and then the industry that one copies no copy. [00:58:14] And that you should always backup backup backup, to use a couple of Malaysia. [00:58:20] So that if you've got even if you've got another form like a DVD or CD, which we only we don't consider long term storage, medium media, but, but those are spreading around the copies, to my main show that you have a copy of the end, [00:58:41] I guess also have an office copies in one place one physical location, it's not such a good space to [00:58:48] move. I mean, it's a little bit the opposite of what we were talking about before but to have it in another geographical location. And even a lot of the details about your archives. [00:59:01] I'm not sure if we're going to talk about I'm just setting up your your file structure. Now, [00:59:09] just to make sure that [00:59:11] you've made a note of how you secure your iPhone, and not just or even a screenshot of what you've what you've done and keep their documentation somewhere else as well. [00:59:23] file structure and kind of naming conventions, do you have any tips for things that, you know, won't? Will that will make sense 100 years fine. [00:59:34] Um, well, I have heard said that you should organize your files as if an alien was to come to your computer and, you know, so that they would they know how you had organized your work. [00:59:51] So [00:59:56] just just creating [01:00:00] directory and file structure and files that can be the human readable that you get a lot of information from the naming of a file just through the title. And including a day this can be good to include the date. And it can be a problem to use certain characters and your file naming such as brackets and asterisks dashes, it's, it's easier or better to use something like an after school [01:00:31] to cause this or on or nothing at all, you know, to [01:00:37] make separation to make it intelligible. [01:00:41] I'm guessing one of the issues with destroy ization is that when you've got physical objects, you've got say like a cassette cassette box that might have a label. So you've got all that written information. But when you're in the digital environment, you've just got a file name, very, maybe up to 32 characters. So how do you capture all that other information around that casino? [01:01:09] Well, some programs allow you to put some of that information, what's the header of the file within like to take the file itself with written information and certain fields, but you can also just documented and, and words, you know, document what you've got. [01:01:32] And separately from the file, so you can do that you can do both of those things. [01:01:39] One of the things that strikes me is that if this is not just a volunteer organization, or even individuals, will you start off with a number of objects, and you kind of identify them with a number. But then as years go by all numbering systems change and ideas change, do you have any tips for creating kind of unique identifier IDs for objects and making it easy for people to find in the future. [01:02:07] But I guess in for analog up to paper objects, he would start with the simple index or list and you you could assign a archivists will be probably better to answer this. But each that each series or groups of things have a unique number. And you do have to stick to that. And it's one of the key things in your policy that you do have a system that's consistent. And otherwise, if you then suddenly change numbering systems, and you've, you've probably lost control of your of your archive. But [01:02:41] I've dealt with groups with just small collections of finite collection of four, five boxes. So we've given each box to box name. And then it's each group of items and then has a series name. And then they've because sometimes you can collections are too big, you can't give every single thing and none of it would be GIFs possibly ideal, but series and file folders and boxes, so that you at least have some list. And again, it's about planning seven new one we did, we labeled all the boxes. So f4, five boxes were all then we knew what was in generally then the next year was all of files. And this is as we rehearse that. So everything got a folder in the folder number and then and onwards and onwards. So it's just a game. And usually the people who want to do that work usually have a sort of a methodical mind. And you probably need to get advice on how to then approach it. So you can come to the tune ball or to community archives, and they probably give a steer on how you do that sort of numbering, the digital its whole whole other [01:03:45] way. Even from analog [01:03:48] sound recordings, you can future proof your your your numbering system by adding zeros like you don't just call the first one, you may be called that was the first as a miss see 00001 so that you build on a future for that series. [01:04:14] So when you're digitizing those, say that number sequence your parents performant, [01:04:21] you could do it, then you'll know exactly what it's been transferred from. And you could put something else like [01:04:29] preservation copy your PC preservation copy, access copy, I see. [01:04:36] So what does preservation copy mean? What What is the [01:04:40] preservation copy is your highest resolution file that you've created from your animal object. And, and that's the one you look after? Well, as well as you would the original item. [01:04:57] For it'll be quite a large file if you created as a large with a high resolution. And, but any, any sort of excess copy after the much lower resolution, as long as it doesn't get in the way of listening to the recording. [01:05:16] So the excess copy would be used by what researchers coming into your archive to listen to. [01:05:22] Yes. So if you wanted to put things online, [01:05:26] what about the idea of with digital files now that you can have multiple copies of the same file? So you have 100 originals? Do you have any thoughts on? [01:05:38] Is that a good bad thing? [01:05:40] It's a good thing and that you can we reach a wider distribution, but you want to know what you've got in terms of an archive, and you want to have that kind of version control. So you want to assign that particular file and not have a whole lot of them. Because don't know if you really exact copies. [01:06:04] And file integrity is important. So I think it's best to keep that secret. [01:06:13] So thinking of say like a small archive of a variety of things, you've got kind of digital objects, you've got kind of photographs, paper, wondering, can we go through the list of different types of things that people collect, and maybe see if there are any tips for storage and preserving those things. [01:06:32] So things like TechStars, again, and your space. And usually you'll find TechStars and three dimensional objects are quite large. And they're all they have unusual shapes. And unlike paper that you can store, typically flat. So I guess the key thing for storage is that it has to have some sort of support said textiles, but like paper, you don't want them folded where they get crushed or crazy. And you can do simple things like making little tissue roles to keep them supported and to the don't form creases, or little sausages made of Calico and debt Chrome. [01:07:13] And ideally in a larger because the thing with TechStars and 3d objects that they can get crushed quite easily. So you'd want them and another box that can be carried around into the don't get crushed or other sort of injuries. And you want to have also, we talked about having a table to view things, you've got your table big enough. But you might also want other things with it like cushions for large books, you might want cushions to support. Large book. So when you're turning the pages of those books, you're not damaging the spine, you might also want that for some of your more fragile textiles, you might want small weights for holding down rolled objects or textiles or paper. [01:07:58] Because they have a memory, they have a memory [01:08:01] paper has a memory and it likes to that's been rolling for a long time it likes to stay rolled. [01:08:08] And again, having a few people are accessing it you want for photographs and talked about clean hands, but also those policies about when people access materials, I would suggest that if you're the person who runs the archives, you retrieve the material for the people for whoever's wanting to access it. You give a quick talk about why, you know, we want you to use what we want to have wash your hands or use cotton gloves. We only want pencils used in here and other policy decisions about things that can you take a photograph, you know, with digital cameras and things people say can we photograph it, you have to make a call on whether you allow that. And you might make a decision that some things are too fragile to be viewed, or any excess with you the whole time, those sorts of things. But I guess if you approach the storage handling, you never want to you never want to take things off the shelf and be wrestling through them to find the stuff and then giving it to people you want to take the box, put it on the table, open the box, take it out of its father all on a table or on a surface because you know, it's it's easy to drop things or if things are too heavy, you want more than one person [01:09:25] to be maybe moving the stuff with you. And simple things where we store things best to have your heaviest things, possibly our mud shelving, and your lighter things on your top shelf. And so those are the kind of key things for an archive from from my point of view, [01:09:41] I'm [01:09:43] just just thinking of emails, because email, software, [01:09:52] email programs come and go. Mostly go. It's best to save your emails away from the the program itself. So and some kind of open source format. [01:10:08] But the same principles of the physical items, the CDs and the cassettes and records LPs, as as Vicki in is described, when you're moving them from Make sure you're moving from a stable area to another clear area. So when you take them out of the covers their supporters, and just those things about removing a CD, not using the not getting your fingers on the CDs have been from the touching everything on the outer edges. [01:10:46] Just thinking about those CD, various CD showing arrangements, some of them may even require you to take your CDs out of boxes, it's not advisable. And even some of the slum land cases just just be too flexible. And that's it's better to have something that where the case itself isn't pressing down on the CD. So you have to look at your storage in terms of [01:11:15] make sure that they've got support. [01:11:19] Yeah, [01:11:20] when you're out in the community, do you find that people are knowledgeable about how quickly things degrade? I know that I was quite shocked. I think a lot of people were quite shocked with things like CDs were originally when they came and I was like all these are gonna be for a lifetime. And then Valley five years of fat in terms of lifespan, do you find that you have to kind of educate people in terms of the lifespan of particular objects within afflictions? [01:11:52] Well, just as we've had to educate ourselves, because I think when we were transferring items, and the analog, well, just when digital came and it was CD that you were transferring to that was going to be you know, an archival medium, but [01:12:12] also some people transferred some archives transferred to debt. But we've had to educate ourselves about the attendees empties. [01:12:21] Is this what we have to do? [01:12:25] And probably less so our people know in it does leave it there. You know, what happens to their papers and books, they leave the newspaper out, it turns yellow, the sunshine, [01:12:36] the people know about that. And then it's just developing an approach to caring for it. That's the key. And again, most people know the the kind of they're in the [01:12:47] ballpark of knowing how to look after things, people generally know that they'll put things in a box that will be better for a thin directly under the beet salad. It's about just developing an approach to having an overall, I think so often, conservatives after we've given workshops, people are quite the priest. [01:13:08] doom and gloom but in fact, if they stop, and they'll actually already know a lot of this stuff, so it's just channeling that energy into methodical approach, I guess, to caring for the things. [01:13:20] But it's interesting, because when you mentioned our dinosaur things in the basement, on the roof, or under the beard, [01:13:27] I mean, I think probably most people would probably get sweet stuff. [01:13:32] And that's available and in space considerations and things stored in my wardrobe. Because you know, I don't want actually archives boxes on display in my house, but just those things, but once you become an archive, then you take on a responsibility that in a different in a different way. So [01:13:53] and it's not insurmountable, even though we might just fix that the way we describing it. But [01:14:02] yeah, so and it's small, I think it really is important to take those small steps. Otherwise it as I've very often overwhelming and you stop. And that would be [01:14:13] said, [01:14:14] one of the things we haven't talked about is the actual access of material. So you pointing this material? Do you have any tips for how people access that, you know, in terms of either restrictions or use? Or how do you go about that. [01:14:31] And in terms of physical access, I would suggest that that's always done with the person who's the archivist or whoever. There's always somebody there when the person accesses the collection, there's all sorts of other things, I guess about how what how the material is going to be used, if it's going to be used by researchers or those other questions. a curator or an archivist would be Peter to answer but terms of physical access, I would suggest that sort of all reference or close connection so that there's always somebody there when that person is using the material, not sitting right beside, but but being there for the security of the collection would be my [01:15:14] biggest thing as a conservator. [01:15:16] And if you can have the sound recordings, [01:15:21] if you could try and access a copy, only to preserve the original. [01:15:29] And like a similarly FIFA very fragile paper, paper records, that might be better if you are able to provide a copy to that person [01:15:40] rather than the original. Although then again, you might that person might want to see the original for whatever reason, and that might provide more information to them. So [01:15:51] I guess thinking about the for us as consumers, it's thinking about the object first when accessing it. [01:16:00] Yes, that's right. And I know that if you're creating preservation copy a digital copy, then it's relatively easy to produce an excess copy from the but if you think of preserving the original, then you're getting the access [01:16:19] for free. Well, you're not I mean, you get the access, rather, you know, easily once you've invested the time and the effort into creating that first copy. And then I guess there's all those other things about restricted restricted collections and gaining permissions before people can use certain parts of the collection. And again, that comes right back to the beginning about your policies, and why you exist and what your purposes and what sort of objects and collection you have. So before I guess researchers or people come to use your collection, you have already identified what the potential issues are and how you as a archival deal with those [01:16:59] can be difficult. I think if if you've got the the archives got the relationship with the donor directly, but if it's passed through civil hands, then it's hard to know. [01:17:11] But I agree it's in the policy and you'll know for each item or collection if there were any particular restrictions place to while the person was alive. [01:17:24] various reasons. It's quite individual

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