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Memento : Issue 25
These days it seems that if your archives are not on the web, they are nowhere. At least, that was the view of most delegates who attended the international seminar at Parliament House in Canberra on 31 October 2003, organised by the National Archives. January 2004 MEMENTO 9 Getting it online RECORDKEEPING CONTACTS For advice on recordkeeping standards and guidelines, including DIRKS, appraisal and metadata Tel: (02) 6212 3610 Fax: (02) 6212 3989 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.naa.gov.au/recordkeeping Preservation and disaster recovery Tel: (02) 6212 3424 Digital preservation Tel: (02) 6212 3694 Audiovisual preservation Tel: (02) 9645 0104 The Internet has undoubtedly improved the ability of archives to publicise and provide access to their often underutilised resources. But what works and what doesn't in this new virtual environment? Are researchers able to navigate the new online archives or are they finding them just as perplexing as physical archives? What standards should archives adopt in cyberspace? The seminar, entitled 'The Use of Standards in the Development of Online Access Systems for Archives', addressed these and many more questions. Held in conjunction with a meeting of the International Council on Archives (ICA) Committee on Descriptive Standards and attended by 150 delegates from Australia and New Zealand, the seminar brought together speakers from Sweden, the UK, the USA, Italy and Australia to compare experiences. Dick Sargent from the UK National Archives and Historical Manuscripts Commission discussed the use of National Lottery funds to develop archival portals and databases, making collections across the country more accessible and involving communities in the process. From the National Archives of Sweden, Per-Gunnar Ottosson described European Union online projects that aim to provide borderless access to Europe's dispersed archival heritage. Michael Fox from the Minnesota Historical Society demon- strated the use of websites to provide well researched and designed interpretation of significant issues in order to engage people with archival collections. Australian experience was explored by a number of speakers. From the National Archives, Adrian Cunningham spoke about the Australian Society of Archivists' project to publish a guide to Australian archival descriptive practice, while Derina McLaughlin's paper drew on her recent user research to deliver ten rules for successful online access systems. David Roberts and Joanne Evans from State Records NSW presented case studies on the development of free standards- compliant archival software for small archives in Australia. The day-long seminar concluded with Philip Dermody's presentation about plans for an Australian National Online Archival Network to give all Australians better access to the rich treasures in Australian archival collections. International archivists at our seminar on online archives (left to right): Dr Yolia Tortolero (Mexico), Dick Sargent (UK), Blanca Desantes (Spain), Michael Fox (USA), Stefano Vitali (Italy), Per-Gunnar Ottosson (Sweden), Claire Sibille (France), Vitor Fonseca (Brazil), Adrian Cunningham (NAA). Recordkeeping TRAINING Training for Commonwealth Recordkeepers This training will be reviewed in 2004. Limited sessions will be programmed to meet needs in the meantime. Please contact your local National Archives office to express interest. Introduction to DIRKS 24 February 2004, Canberra 25 February 2004, Canberra 8 June 2004, Melbourne DIRKS workshops Step A 23 March 2004, Canberra Step B 4 May 2004, Canberra Step C 25 May 2004, Canberra For more information, please look under 'Recordkeeping -- Training' on our website at www.naa.gov.au or phone (02) 6212 3764.