Endangered archives blog

2 posts from August 2009

24 August 2009

Society of Archivists Conference

After a break in posting last month, the EAP blog will be quiet for another two weeks. Next week I'm taking some leave and then I'll be attending the UK Society of Archivists' Conference. I'm looking forward to the holiday and to the Conference which should be particularly relevant to the EAP. The Conference title is: "Fast Forward: preservation and access in a digital world".

Preserving the material we receive is a big responsibility; providing access to it is a joy. The EAP has already accumulated a large number of digital files and microfilms. The data, stories, information and memories contained within these files and rolls of film are a treasure. They need only be accessed and researched to fulfil one of the original aims of the Programme, that of making the material available for use by scholars worldwide.

The dual focus of the conference is thus welcomed. I'm eager to be brought up-to-date on new theory and approaches to these ever-present digital challenges.

17 August 2009

New accessions

My apologies for not posting for over a month! Where does the time go? Unfortunately, I spent the past couple of weeks recovering from a bout of the flu. This explains some of my inactivity blog-wise. For the rest, well our new cataloguing system went live last month and we've been receiving final submissions of material from projects, keeping me busy cataloguing and accessioning.

The results of two newly-finished projects were waiting for me when I returned. The first consisted of over 300 DVDs worth of historical periodicals from Jerusalem. This project - Preservation of historical periodical collections (1900-1950) at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Library in East Jerusalem - successfully copied 24 titles, including 13 newspaper titles and 11 magazine and journal titles. These items record the history of Palestine in the first half of the 20th century, documenting important historic events and political movements as well as the development of the Arab press during this period.

EAP119_rma1326AH_02

The second project to submit material - Archiving 'popular market' Bengali books - copied almost 3000 examples of street literature from Bengali. These books cover such a variety of themes and genres it's impossible to adequately summarise thier content. But, to mention a few of the topics covered, there are books on local history, folk culture, songs, religion, cooking, agriculture and farming techniques, general knowledge, citizens rights and political reform, as well as astrology, films, plays and fiction of all types. Although immensely popular with their readers, literature of this type is endangered because of their short print runs, the quality of the paper they're printed on and the nature of their use.

EAP127_DFD_S_001