This is an excellent collection of ideas about reinventing archival methods from the Recordkeeping Roundtable blog. I wish we had more discussions like this when I was completing my Master’s. The sections on Access and Description; Professional Identity; and the discussion of how archivists bring value to the management of records. I hope you enjoy it!
Originally posted on Recordkeeping Roundtable:
On November 29 and 30 the Recordkeeping Roundtable, in partnership with the Australian Society of Archivists, held a two day workshop in Sydney; ‘Reinventing Archival Methods. Attended by almost 70 people from around Australia and even a couple of visitors from New Zealand, the workshop was stimulating, inspiring and energised many of us to look to what we can do next to examine and test the many great ideas that emerged over the two days. A report on the event, including copies of presentations where available is provided below, along with a plan for continuing the conversation.
- Why the need to reinvent archival methods?
- Day 1: Defining the problem
- Day 2: Looking for solutions
- Radio National Future Tense program featuring ‘Reinventing Archival Methods’
- Read our Tweets #archmethods
- What’s next?
- Speaker biographies
This workshop came about following discussions amongst some of us in the ASA and the Roundtable in which we shared concerns that that our professional methods are not coping with the scale and complexity of contemporary recordkeeping challenges, and they are failing us at a time of critical risk. Early on, we recognised that this is not the first call to reinvent our professional practices. In 1986 David Bearman first argued that our core methods of appraisal, description, preservation and access were fundamentally unable to cope with the volumes of information that archivists were required to process. He called on the profession to completely reinvent its core methods. While much has been done in the intervening 25 years, as a profession our methods are still ill-equipped to deal with the volume, fragility and complexity of contemporary archival records.