As humans are the storytelling animal, it comes as no surprise that there are many examples of recordkeeping and archiving in ancient times. In this post I introduce you to my favourite; the archives of ancient Greece. As archivists, we should not only emphasise our historical knowledge regarding our collections, but celebrate our own… Read More The Ancient Origins of Archives
And so, without pause, another year is coming to an end! (Does anyone else feel like they’re skidding wildly over the finish line?) In many ways this post is the sequel to one which described a crazy pact Nicola Laurent and I made for the year of 2016. The pact was to grab all opportunities… Read More 2017: A Reflection on Smashing Goals and Burning Out
A new method of storing data in the nucleotide bases of DNA is the highest-density storage scheme ever invented (Service, 2017). As information and heritage professionals will realise better than most, our world is creating exponentially more data every day than ever before. Data storage manufacturers can not keep up with the increasing rate of… Read More Is DNA the Storage Method of the Future?
Country = Record. Any landscape represents an archive of the interaction between humans and that environment. This interaction is bi-directional; just as humans influence the environment, the environment influences humans and studying the environment (through whatever method), can help us to understand this interaction. Within this blogpost I consider the nature of archaeology as a… Read More Place is Bigger than Metadata: Country as Record
What maps and place names are not: Passive Neutral, or Accurate Instead, maps and place names are both the legacy and the tool of continuing colonisation. Consider this; each time that someone looks at a map of Australia and sees Wurrundjeri country being described as ‘Melbourne’, has the space once again been colonised? An understanding… Read More Place is Bigger than Metadata: Maps as Colonial Tools
I’m sitting in Sydney Airport, absolutely wiped out from archival consulting work, and yet so exhilarated. In some ways it’s the opportune time to take a moment and reflect upon the GLAM Blog Club‘s October topic; ‘How I Ended Up Here’. During my undergrad (majoring in archaeology) I went on a dig and, rather… Read More Becoming a Research Archivist: Lessons Learned
Broadly speaking, research is a “goal-directed problem-solving activity” (Bruce Archer, 1965). When I first read this definition I thought “well hell, that means every person is engaging in research everyday”. The main difference between a practitioner and a researcher appeared to be that one did research in an informal way and the other formalised it… Read More How Archival Practitioners can do Research
The Australian Society of Archivists’ 2017 conference explored the theme of ‘Diverse Worlds’ and had an element of activism throughout. The conference featured two keynotes passionate about decolonising the archival space (Jarrett Drake and Verne Harris) and had a strong Indigenous Australian focus. The conference reinforced Cassie Findlay’s view that: “[Archivist/recordkeepers] have a unique view… Read More Being an Activist Archivist
In my last blogpost I examined ‘The Power of the Archive’ and concluded that records themselves predominantly don’t hold inherent power, but are assigned power through interactions with people. I concluded that the only inherent power of the archives lies in their materiality. Thank you to everyone who engaged in the resulting conversation. You definitely prompted… Read More Is the Materiality of the Archive its Power?
We regularly hear about the ‘power of the archive’ and know about the importance of the archive for accountability and identity within our societies. But do we ever actually stop to think about the term ‘power of the archive’? What is the nature of this power? Do archives have inherent power? Or is it those… Read More Considering “The Power of the Archive”