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Rescue AGM 2013: The archive storage crisis (27th April, Woking)
#1
Saturday 27th April 2013, 1.00PM at the Surrey History Centre, Woking followed by
2.00pm : The archaeological archives storage crisis
by Gail Boyle, chair of the Society of Museum Archaeologists


Admission free: all welcome

For further details of travel to the venue, please click here.

Trouble in store: the crisis facing archaeological archives


RESCUE has been aware of the problems surrounding the capacity of local museums in accepting archaeological archives for many years and has consistently sought to draw attention to it by highlighting specific cases. Most recently RESCUE has highlighted the fact that the actions of both local and national government in respect of archaeological archives have placed the United Kingdom in breach of the Valetta Convention and has drawn the attention of the European Parliament to this state of affairs.

The issue has come to a head, with the issue making the headlines very recently e.g. withWiltshire Museum telling the council they have ‘no more space’.

A recent initiative between the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME), the Society of Museum Archaeologists (SMA) and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) has sought to foster a greater level of collaborative working within archaeology and the museums profession to resolve the issue and to establish a proper level of care for archaeological archives within the UK while at the same time maximising their value to both the professional and amateur/voluntary sectors alike by increasing access to them and encouraging innovative research based upon them.

The approach has included a survey of undeposited archaeological archives held by archaeological practices, conducted by FAME, and a report commissioned by the SMA to “to quantify and qualify the current picture, and produce a set of recommendations for future storage strategies”.

Gail Boyle, Chair of the SMA, will outline the work done so far, and incorporate the latest discussion from a meeting of the Archaeological Archives Forum to be held on 7th March.
All welcome

Links to more information

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#2
talking, meetings, meetings and talking. like I said. Old story no resolution. But oh don't all the people in all the meetings doing all the talking feel SO good!
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#3
The proof of the pudding is a strategy... and then an implementation.
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#4
Bit of triage anyone? I've got plenty of archived sites where a postcard saying "we found nothing" and a sketch plan would frankly have achieved much the same record for one gazilianth of the space....
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#5
Oh Dino, I could kiss you... we keep more than we need.
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#6
Surely the solution to our problems is in the hands of the ever-shrinking MOD? They must have plenty of suitable giant warehouses going spare that can become "Central Archives"... (Cue scenes from Raiders of the lost Ark!)

And Beasley, if meeting were all on "unpaid" time, I wonder how quickly they'd make some decisions?... :face-stir:
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#7
I think the endless talk is a 'belling the cat" situation: everyone knows that we need some centralised purpose-built storage which meets archival standards and has sufficient staff to manage the archives and the trickle of visitors. The trouble is nobody wants to pay for it.
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#8
Martin Locock Wrote:I think the endless talk is a 'belling the cat" situation: everyone knows that we need some centralised purpose-built storage which meets archival standards and has sufficient staff to manage the archives and the trickle of visitors. The trouble is nobody wants to pay for it.
and therein unit has a salient point. if nobody will pay for it it cant be worth keeping
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#9
Quote:if nobody will pay for it it cant be worth keeping

Which rather neatly disproves his theories on copyright too.
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#10
Cartoon does the penny not drop. Just what of any of the thousands of context sheets filled in is "worth" archiving. Who will judge? Because you dont see it as copyright and how to utilise copyright to preserve ...copyright, you have no way of judging how to preserve anything 0r what to disseminate to where or why. These are economic problems but so called museum archaeologists dont see their assets in economic terms. As a result the majority of their so called archaeological archives are crap and just generate economic losses to the "public".

All these so called museum archaeologists are doing is organising a beggars convention and they want lots more money from tax because thats where public servants make their pensions. To an individual these museum archaeologists are public servants, their problem is economic, do they really want my copyright well pay me for it. What you would find is yes cartoon is most/all of it nobody wants. BUT currently these stupid public servants have no way of working out if they want it and I would stop producing what they dont want and start producing something that they might want. And yes I dont know what that might be but I know that it will be copyright.

Quote:A recent initiative between the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers (FAME), the Society of Museum Archaeologists (SMA) and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) has sought to foster a greater level of collaborative working within archaeology and the museums profession to resolve the issue and to establish a proper level of care for archaeological archives within the UK while at the same time maximising their value to both the professional and amateur/voluntary sectors alike by increasing access to them and encouraging innovative research based upon them.
So how this works is that ALGaO goes around putting conditions on planning applications and to jusify their conditions treat everything that FAME can get out of the landowners as archaeologically "significant" and to prove it ALGaO need SMA to prove that it is significant by them archiving the loads of crap produced in the name of archaeology in something called a museum. Its facinating that at every step they have somebody calling themselves an archaeologists although you will see very little evidence of living by the trowel. Its a throw back to when they all worked in the same government office with eh. It would be interesting to know how many people are in SMA are also in ALGaO.
Reason: your past is my past
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