On 21 March I presented a Quickfire Poster Session about the Project to the Archives Discovery Forum at the National Archives. The Forum enables archivists to catch up on exciting new projects and developments in online access to archives and archival data and is always well attended, so it was a great way to bring the Project to lots of archivists.
The important work of the UK Archives Discovery Network is of course a key area for the Project to consider. Archives are by definition unique and (usually) distinctive and discovery is about making more of them by exploiting new technologies, for the benefit of users and parent organisations.
Over the last week or two, I’ve been publicising the project to librarians, archivists and other curators via mailing lists such as lis-rarebooks, archives-nra and lis-link, as well as social media.
Two soldiers in an observation balloon's basket, France, during World War I, from the National Library of Scotland flickr commons stream
The response has been very gratifying, lots of enthusiasm, and invitations to write and talk about the project. Mailing lists still seem to be the best way to reach most curators, so will be at the heart of project communication. The lovely WordPress blog statistics mean I can see exactly which mailings are attracting attention – nice!
I’m pleased that people seem to understand what the project is about. It’s also good that the “unique and distinctive” name makes sense (I explained why we use this name in this earlier post).
Clearly curators feel the need for help in making the case for the value of these collections. We know their value and potential, so do our users and friends, but how do we convert this knowledge into evidence that will convince those who don’t yet appreciate these things? This project is going to try to find out …
Anyway, I’d be delighted to hear any suggestions for bringing the project to curators or other audiences. Certainly not limited to the UK … Publications, blogs, conferences, events etc … I’m also looking for great images for the blog and the project webpage, so if your library has a flickr commons presence or other website with lots of engaging out-of -copyright images, please let me know!