Endangered archives blog

News about the projects saving vulnerable material from around the world

2 posts from June 2012

27 June 2012

Survey Reports online

In this post I want to throw a spotlight on the Survey Reports produced by our EAP Pilot Projects. You can find out more about funding for Pilot Projects on our webpages.

The aim of a Pilot Project is to investigate. The project team will look at known archival collections or explore the existence of collections within a geographical area that relate to a specific subject or are held on a particular format (such as gramophone discs). They will investigate these collections, and gather information that will help determine the feasibility of a major digitisation project. They therefore need to collect data on the vulnerability, significance and age of the material as well as practical details on location, size/extent, format, physical condition and contextual background. This information is gathered by talking to the record owners and visiting sites to view the material.

All of this involves a lot of hands-on work. The results are written up in a Survey Report (for which we provide assistance in the form of our Guidelines for Producing Surveys). The Report can be accompanied by tables or spreadsheets showing data on specific records or institutions. They can also include examples of the form used by the project teams when collecting data. And, they can contain images of the records themselves: individual pages from volumes or files, images of the rooms and shelves or cupboards holding the records, images of the record owners, and/or images of the geographical area where the records are. These provide an immediate impression of the archives and are valuable as illustrations of the main findings.

In short, the Survey Reports contain a wealth of detail and contextual information about endangered archival collections which can be used by the owners of the records, the project teams (to help plan a future major project), the EAP, researchers, and anyone else with an interest in the records. They are made available on the project's pages on the EAP website. Here are some that are available now:

EAP026 Rescuing Liberian history: a pilot study to preserve and enable access to Liberia's Presidential and National Archives

EAP030 Identification of the potential corpus for a Mapuche special historical collection

EAP030Ngünechen ñi dungu Interior copia

 EAP046 Pilot project to seek, identify, contact and report on collections of the endangered archives of the states of Maranhão and Pará in the Amazon region of Brazil

EAP050 Making Professor Ade Obayemi's life work available to the world

EAP086 Archive of Buddhist photographs in Luang Prabang, Laos


EAP086 A0007 Phra Khamchanh with disciples 1965

EAP093 A survey of the endangered court records of Nevis, West Indies

EAP150 Documenting regional artistic traditions: Peru ca. 1750-1950


EAP188 Rescuing text: retrieval and documentation of printed books and periodicals published prior to 1950 from public institutions in Eastern India

Pilot Projects also aim to produce digital surrogates. They can copy a whole collection of archival records or part of a collection. These are catalogued and made available through The British Library's catalogue and the EAP webpages.

11 June 2012

International Archives Day, 2012

On Saturday, June 9, the world celebrated International Archives Day, 2012. This annual event gives archivists and archival institutions an opportunity to promote the value of archival records and the importance of the archival profession. As they did last year, the International Council on Archives (ICA) has details on activities occurring in different countries. Lectures, exhibitions and behind-the-scenes tours were organised for national and regional archives across the world. In Belgium, 15 archives opened their doors for site visits, exhibitions and some show-and-tell presentations. Public talks were held in Senegal, Morocco and Japan on the topics of accountability in archives and recovering from disasters. Bosnia and Herzegovina is hosting a whole week of planned events. Slovenia is focusing on digital heritage, with the publication of the UNESCO charter of the Preservation of Digital Heritage in Slovene. Spain marked the Galician translation of the Universial Declaration on Archives, and the Municipal Archive of the Girona City Council is organising a tribute to thank the many donors who have contributed to their collections. It is great to see so much enthusiasm and interest in archives.