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Members' Newsletter

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Newsletter No. 80, October 2010

Click here to download printable version (PDF 2.97 MB) [Advertisements featured in pdf : Information Leadership; Port Nicholson Packaging; Conservation Supplies; Dexion; Silver & Ballard; Skudder Wilson Information Management; Audio Transcription Services; New Zealand Micrographics Services]

President’s Message

Following the AGM, Council has been very focused on the State Sector Management Bill 2010 and I hope you have all had an opportunity to look at the Bill and think about making a submission; submissions close 6 October 2010 – you still have time. Getting involved in the Select Committee process can be a little daunting and resource hungry, but it is a fundamental part of our democratic process and we should all seize this opportunity and participate. As I said in my email to you “ARANZ needs to demonstrate to the Government that there is wide spread opposition to the Bill not just from a handful of Wellington based members.”

ARANZ Council sends its best wishes to all our members and colleagues in the Christchurch area following the recent earthquake and subsequent seismic activity. We hope that you and your families are coping well and that you have good support especially for the cleanup tasks ahead of you.
Finally, a well deserved thanks to Seán McMahon and his team for organising the 2010 Conference in Wellington – a great success.

Warm Regards
John Timmins

Message from the Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand

It’s just over a year since I became the Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand and it has been an eventful 12 months.

I have recently visited Archives staff in Christchurch to see how they are recovering from the earthquake. Some of the shelving has been damaged but in general the building and collections are in good shape, which is a relief. Staff from the Department of Internal Affairs were sharing the building with Archives staff when I visited after their own building was closed.

One of the major highlights this year has been securing $12.6 million in new funding in this year’s Budget to develop a Government Digital Archive. This is a crucial investment to preserve valuable government information and make it widely available to the public online. It’s an important step in keeping up with technology and improving access to public information.

As I’m sure you know, the government’s finances are tight at the moment so gaining this extra funding is a real endorsement of the good work being done by Archives New Zealand. It shows how seriously the Government values the importance of preserving our content, records and heritage.

The other big issue has been the integration of Archives New Zealand with the National Library and the Department of Internal Affairs. As I write this, the first reading of the State Sector Amendment Bill has just passed in Parliament. I know that many ARANZ members have strong opinions on this issue and over the last year I’ve listened closely to the views of your organisation (and many other stakeholders).

I’m pleased that the legislation addresses nearly all of the concerns raised with me. In particular, the independence and integrity of the Chief Archivist is safeguarded. This position will be responsible to the Chief Executive of the new integrated department and will be protected from any improper influence in performing the independent statutory functions.
This is important to maintain the principle of an independent check on government recordkeeping. Overall, the changes in this bill for Archives New Zealand are largely technical and minimal. The Government has always made it clear that this integration is not about changing the major roles and functions of the departments concerned.

The integration will allow expertise and resources to be combined, while at the same time sharing back office costs. Savings will be redirected into better frontline services for the public. Crown Law Opinion confirms this, and that the nature of services provided by Archives New Zealand and the National Library will remain the same. I would urge the supporters of these important institutions to embrace this opportunity and consider how we can maximise these benefits.
I believe Archives New Zealand has an exciting future and will continue to be an iconic institution for future generations to enjoy.

The Hon. Nathan Guy
Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister Responsible for National Library and Archives New Zealand

Acting CE & Chief Archivist’s Update Archives New Zealand Integration

The current release of the Organisational Design Consultation Document heralds the next stage in the integration of Archives New Zealand with the National Library of New Zealand and the Department of Internal Affairs.
I am sure ARANZ members will be interested in the proposed organisational design and be reassured to know they can comment on the consultation document.

The document is available on the Integration Website and people have until 5 pm Monday 4 October to make submissions. Department of Internal Affairs Chief Executive Brendan Boyle will consider these and decisions on the final organisational design are expected in late October.
I know some ARANZ members are concerned about what integration means for the role of the Chief Archivist.
The State Sector Management Bill currently progressing through Parliament makes some minor amendments to the Public Records Act 2005 to enable integration, and most importantly contains provisions to ensure the independence of the Chief Archivist’s role.

With the current economic climate and no new funding anticipated from government for several years to come, being part of a larger organisation provides the resilience needed to maintain high levels of service delivery, particularly around information management. Staff in all three departments have been working together to ensure the integration goes smoothly and especially to realise all the business opportunities and improvements to customer service we can make.
The recent earthquake in the Christchurch region is a fine example of how business carries on regardless of circumstances. In the first week after the earthquake several weddings were conducted at the Archives New Zealand Christchurch office while the DIA building which is in the city centre remained closed.

Christchurch Office Comes Through Earthquake

At the time of writing, our Christchurch office was in cleanup mode following the 4 September earthquake. Our thoughts go to everyone in Canterbury who has been affected by this devastating event and its after effects.
While there was no structural damage, the office remained closed to the public as assessments were carried out on the shelving in the stack areas, air-conditioning, lifts and sprinkler systems.
It is a little early to tell, but initial inspections indicate that damage to the actual archives has been minimal and hopefully this will be confirmed as time goes by. Not so lucky, the Department of Internal Affairs office in the city’s central business district remained off limits to its staff and customers. Space was provided in our Christchurch office for DIA services, including marriage ceremonies and issuing emergency passports. The Christchurch earthquake is a timely reminder for agencies to have in place policies and procedures to deal with records and documents damaged by earthquakes, fire and other disasters.

Preservation Services at Archives New Zealand's Wellington office can advise on what to do. The number to call is:
(04) 495 6221 or (04) 4961398
or email

ARANZ Conference

I was pleased to have some time available to attend the ARANZ annual conference in Wellington last month.and was impressed by the upbeat vibe. A great number of people from across the profession attended showing the community of practitioners is in good heart. It was also inspiring to see the broad community of people involved in ARANZ and the work we do.

The newly elected president John Timmins has been in this role before and I am looking forward to working with him again.

Your association also held a successful function in our Wellington office which was attended by Randall Jimerson, conference keynote speaker, Professor of Archives and Records Management at Western Washington University and the United States Ambassador to New Zealand, David Heubner.

Green Light for Digital Archive

In May Government allocated $12.6 million in Budget money to Archives New Zealand and the National Library over the next four years to develop and implement a full-scale industrial digital archive.
This new archive means we can take in transfers of government agency digital records, such as email messages, videos, databases and electronic documents. We’ll then actively preserve and maintain these records so they remain accessible to agencies and the public into the future. This is a hugely important development for Archives New Zealand and shows the Government’s confidence in our business in this time of economic constraint. Having the capability to manage digital archives is fundamental to the department’s continued position as the government’s lead agency on records and archives management and preservation.

New Standard on Disposal of Records

Archives New Zealand has issued a new recordkeeping standard on records disposal, under section 27 of the Public Records Act 2005.
Records disposal is about the destruction, transfer, discharge, sale, or alteration actions of records. Proper processes assists organisations to reduce storage costs, and save unnecessary time and expense managing records that are no longer required. The standard can be accessed on the Archives New Zealand website:

Archive Location Finder

Changes to Archives New Zealand’s online search system Archway will improve the way customers can search for and request records they wish to view in the department’s reading rooms.The new Archive Location Finder is a modern, robust system which replaces the department’s older systems.

Our customers will notice several immediate improvements. For example, once they have visited an Archives New Zealand office to register as a customer and received their new reader card, they can order records online through Archway before coming into the reading room to view them. The new system was piloted in Christchurch in July, before being implemented in Dunedin in August and Auckland and Wellington last month.

Greg Goulding
Chief Executive and Chief Archivist

Archifacts Digital Archive launched

Retrospective copies of Archifacts from 1974 to 2007 are now online from the ARANZ Website and can be downloaded as text searchable PDF files. The project was completed on time for the ARANZ 2010 Conference and officially launched by ARANZ President, Joanna Newman at the welcome drinks.

In his first editorial, “Introducing Archifacts” in April 1974, Stuart Strachan writes: “Its title is a sort of double pun: facts about archives; chief facts; and alliteration with artefacts. I did consider Acid Free, as emphasising conservation and conducive to a good tone, but decided it might lead to police raids which would be inconvenient. The purpose of this bulletin is to provide a regular and formal link between New Zealand archivists, manuscript librarians and other interested persons by facilitating the free exchange of information concerning archives and manuscripts in this country.”

Council’s thanks go to Darryl Pike our Webmaster for setting up the Archifacts Digital Archive and to our digitisation partner NZMS who brought the project in under budget.
You can find Archifacts at

Christchurch Earthquake Disaster

Macmillan Brown Library

Originally posted by Jill Durney on the Cantage listserv, Monday 13 Sep 2010: "The Macmillan Brown Library has also survived remarkably well. Many thousands of books on the floor but our earthquake protection measures (and a good solid building!) proved their worth and the glass-plates, documentary archives and architectural drawings are all ok! UC's Central Library has been the most severely hit, so the branch libraries are all preparing to accommodate the many thousands of students who use that library day and night. The huge architectural drawings collection may prove invaluable over the next few months, we're just completing a comprehensive cataloguing project on that collection so accessing them is now realistically possible.

“The Macmillan Brown Library holds over 106,000 architectural drawings covering a 120 year period from numerous architects and architectural firms in the Christchurch and Canterbury region. We are very conscious of the fact that these drawings may prove vital in preserving historic Canterbury buildings that may have been placed at risk as a result of the earthquake and we will do everything we can to prioritise access to these collections as part of the community rebuilding effort.

Fortuitously we are just in the final stages of a massive Lottery Board and Miles Warren Trust funded cataloguing project on this collection, so we know exactly what we have and where it is located and while the database is not available publicly yet, staff do have access to the database and can quickly undertake a search as necessary. “

Radio New Zealand Sound Archives

Originally posted on the Cantage Listserv by John Kelcher on Monday 13 Sep 2010: "Radio New Zealand Sound Archives is fine. Some things fell over in the office and studio areas: a few computer monitors and PCs, but no damage reported there. Our mass storage system is good and offsite backups are up to date with confirmed restore tests. The archive was not too bad, actually, we are very lucky. We had quite a few objects fall off the shelves upstairs. Fortunately pretty much everything stayed in their boxes. Thus far: we have 1 broken DAT (already preserved), 1 broken vintage horn speaker and one microphone with a ding in the grill. It took me about 4 hours to sort out the fallen objects into short piles, near where they fell, and to tape up all the shelves, so nothing more could fall. We have yet to have a full staff meeting but are likely to restrict access to the physical archive until all objects are shelved, located and secured. We may permit access for preservation on demand. Access to our digital archives is not affected. However, officially we are in recovery mode and there may be delays. The quake has highlighted the need for every storage unit to be fully braced and each shelf to be protected. We will happily discuss and share any information with particular regard to boxes and shelving solutions. We are considering custom made boxes, any tips on this will be appreciated. “I am happy to advise on dealing with damaged or at risk audio collections or individual carriers. It goes without saying that Sound Archives is willing to share our audio expertise with anyone who holds audio collections of any size."

Methodist Archives

Originally posted on the Cantage listserv by Jo Smith on Monday 13 September 2010: "Our building was within the cordon but a manager had checked the archives and assured me all was well as our office was closed for the week. I can confirm that having checked them myself this morning, apart from a few shelves of books on the floor and a couple of boxes down, all seems intact.”

Archives New Zealand's Christchurch Office

Christine Seymour, Archives New Zealand reports: “Our building has survived the quake and the continuing aftershocks well, but the initial 7.1 earthquake damaged our mobile shelving in some parts of our ground floor stack. Some boxed archives were tumbled to the floor and also a handful of volumes, but to our great relief this has resulted in little or no damage to the archives themselves. Most of our holdings have remained safely on their shelves.
“We are closed to the public currently, as it will be some time before our shelving can be repaired and in the meantime we cannot safely retrieve archives from the stacks.”

Kaiapoi Museum

On Monday 13th Ivan Taylor reported: “The news is not good from Kaiapoi. The museum was demolished yesterday. The members managed to get almost everything out of the building. Everything was stacked into two large containers. The containers will be repacked by professional packers, in the near future. I was not present so I do not know if any material or artifacts were damaged. It was all done in great hast by the council who owned the building. The Christchurch Museum disaster team were booked for this week to remove everything. Somehow an Auckland Inspector wrote the building off on Wednesday as being empty and of no value. The Historic Places Trust wanted to send in a conservation architect but were denied permission. All the other museums in our North Canterbury Group have reported only minor brakeage and no building damage. The sad part is that this building was the center of all early Maori Land Court hearings and was our last link with this era.”

Christchurch Anglican Diocesan Archives & Christ’s College Archives

Jane Teal reported on 15 September: “The Christ's College Archives are in fine shape. All the earthquake strengthening which has been completed over many years enabled the school to be up and running very quickly.
“The Christchurch Anglican Diocesan Archives are messy but easily salvageable, it will just take time. The Lundia shelving which we moved from our former premises in Riccarton is being taken down, as it warped, twisted and popped within its framing. All the items will re-housed temporarily (after some judicious juggling) within the Hydystor shelving which did not miss a beat. The shelving will then be replaced ( we hope) with something a great deal sturdier.”

Accessing LINZ Land Deeds

Property records provide a rich history of land ownership in New Zealand. They’re used for research purposes, for example by people researching land owned by past family members or for other genealogical purposes, or to help with research relating to the Treaty of Waitangi. Most land records are held on Landonline, Land Information New Zealand’s (LINZ’s) electronic database, but LINZ also manages the original historic paper land records. Until the twentieth century, Deeds were in common use as the main original records of property ownership in New Zealand. They document most aspects of land ownership including records of mortgages, purchases, sales and leases. These early land transfer records are among those being transferred from LINZ to Archives New Zealand (Archives). The Wellington District records are now available at Archives in Wellington. Canterbury, Nelson, Westland and Marlborough Land District records have moved from LINZ’s Christchurch Office to Archives in Christchurch, where a majority can be browsed in their new Register room.
Otago and Southland records will transfer from LINZ’s Dunedin Office to Archives in Dunedin on 13 September 2010, with Auckland records moving to Archives in Auckland in early November 2010.

Using Deeds records

Deeds records are found by looking up a person’s name or the location of a property in a deeds index. From there you can find the original document copied into a Deeds register. You can also find a land record by using a land title's legal description. More recent legal descriptions look like ’Lot 2, DP 456789’, while older legal descriptions are more varied, for example ‘Section 1019-1022 Town of Christchurch’. You can find legal descriptions on rating valuation notices or rates demands, or by searching maps on local council websites. Rating rolls, which are held by some city and district councils, also list the history of legal descriptions for properties. With a legal description (or ‘appellation’), you can track any sale,

While LINZ records may be considered harder to use than the records held by Councils, each Archives office can now provide purchase or other transaction on that land through to present day assistance. This includes some specially developed guides explaining how to research different types of information in the records that Archives now holds.

Improving accessibility

As part of their commitment to improve accessibility to the early land records, LINZ are partnering with New Zealand Micrographic Services [NZMS] and Archives New Zealand to digitise the most commonly used index volumes. These will include a range of Deeds Indices, and the Index to Crown Grants. Records from around the country will be transported to Wellington, where they will be digitised on a state-of-the-art volume scanner, to ensure quality images with minimal risk to large and sometimes fragile volumes. Some records will be temporarily inaccessible while they’re offsite, but they will be returned to the local Archives offices once they have been digitised. Dunedin indices will be digitised first, followed by Auckland, Taranaki and then Christchurch indices. The digital images will be passed to Archives, who will provide long-term storage and ongoing public access for both the images and the original records. Eventually, it’s hoped that images of index volumes for the entire country will be viewable remotely, allowing users to identify and order a copy of a deed without having to visit a different city.

Alison Midwinter
Land Information New Zealand

104 Year Old Film Clip

"Lost" for many years, this is the first 35mm film ever that has come to light. It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car 104 years ago as it was travelling down the street. You feel as if you are really there, standing at the front of the cable car looking down the street. This historic silent movie was filmed only four days before the Great California Earthquake of April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing. To experience a cable car ride in San Francisco in 1906 “as if you are there" go to:

NZFSA Deploys Alfresco to Improve Recordkeeping

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) has deployed Alfresco an open source enterprise content management system, to manage documents and records created by new online services. Alfresco provides a cost effective easy to use solution that can meet both information and record management objectives. Alfresco supports embedded recordkeeping in business processes with its metadata, workflow and rules capability. This activity has been taken as part of a suite of system changes to move from being a predominantly paper-based agency to having the web as the primary service channel, and all transactions being undertaken on-line. These changes are occurring to support NZFSA’s mandate to protect consumers by providing an effective food regulatory programme covering food produced and consumed in New Zealand as well as imports and exports of food products.

This means that online services will replace paper interactions with electronic information enabling the streamlining of food sector processes and systems. The resulting efficiency improvements allow new service demands to be met with existing resources. It also, and critically, supports increased focus on higher value activity and responsiveness.
One consequence of the move to online services is a need to license software for a large number of external users. While online services could be built using existing technology platforms, the additional upfront software licensing costs were not affordable. The decision was made to use open standards compliant open source platforms with the goal of obtaining financial benefits, and to sustain flexibility and choice.

There is no software license fee for Alfresco or the other open source software NZFSA uses. Therefore, avoiding software license costs for a user base expected to reach tens of thousands made for a lower overall software cost of ownership. However, there are costs associated with deploying and maintaining the software. There are also costs for commercial support (should these be required). Therefore, even with open source software a financial case had to be made for each online service.

In addition to low acquisition cost, Alfresco was chosen because of its content management functionality and strength of commercial, community and local support. Another important factor was its ease of adoption and integration because it is built with open standards compliant components that are common to other open source systems used by NZFSA.
Alfresco’s compliance with the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard and its modern web-based architecture mean that it can be deployed as a back-end repository for traditional and web based applications. NZFSA uses it this way to manage an electronic publications library for its consumer web site, as well as for managing import clearance, audit, application and certification documents for various operational systems.

NZFSA is planning to use the backend repository to provide recordkeeping services. A functional classification scheme and recordkeeping metadata will be used to manage the record collections. These will be alongside other organisation, application, customer and web site information architecture metadata/taxonomies required to support users.
In addition to application generated documents, NZFSA has trialled Alfresco for managing user created documents. Users can manage documents within a defined folder structure via business specific workspaces. The folder structure implemented business and recordkeeping rules (access, versioning, deletion, classification, etc) to guide, automate or constrain user and administration actions. Further, a new instance of the business workspace, complete with embedded folder structure containing document templates and rules can be launched from a workflow. Alfresco also provides a standards compliant record management module that NZFSA has not yet evaluated
Alfresco is recommended as a mature capable enterprise content management solution with low acquisition costs. However, it is a solution that will require extensive technical knowledge to enable it to be deployed. That said, there appears to be a lot of potential for government agencies to leverage the open source model and collaborate to develop reusable solution components that sit on top of the standard Alfresco platform.

Patrick Butler
Programme Manager Application Delivery
New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA)

Crown Records Management Award Recipient

Attending the 2010 ARANZ conference with the generous assistance of the Crown Records Management Scholarship illustrated the complexities and importance of archives and archival development at government, national, local and community level. As a brief respite from the progression of packing the archival collection at Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery, the conference offered both a reinvigorating intellectual experience and one from which I could apply practical measures.

The Wellington Town Hall was transformed into an archivists’ paradise for two magnificent days. I was already prepped by the pre-conference activities of Wednesday. The marvelous trip to offsite storage at Online Security Services highlighted the amazing capabilities of synthesizing access, fortification and state of the art archival conditions. I rather enjoyed going to the very top of the dauntingly high shelving on the specialised lift too. I also attended the productive Open Forum on Digitisation Initiatives, at Archives New Zealand in the afternoon, where people from different institutions presented case study examples of their experience in setting up and maintaining digitization projects. This allowed me to compare our own digital projects and consider areas for future development.

The pre-conference day was an appetizer for the sumptuous banquet that was the two-day conference. The stimulating environment resulting from company that was so passionate about the importance, place and wealth of our archival heritage and its posterity set the tone for the conference speakers. The variety and range of issues and ideas discussed by the speakers afforded me a much greater understanding of the role that archives play in the community and in the preservation of historical records. Randall Jamieson appropriately opened this theme of discussion with his keynote presentation on the power of the archives to sculpt the political, cultural and historical landscape. On the last day of the conference Joanna Sassoon from the National Library of Australia reiterated this responsibility. She elaborated on the practicalities of preserving oral memories in accordance with these responsibilities through her part in the National Project recording the memories of Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. Linda Evans from Alexander Turnbull Library gave a complimentary account of Oral Histories in Archives, illustrating the different dimensions involved in capturing and appreciating oral records in all their richness and complexity. For instance, one could not appreciate in any other format the audio samples of the Sheepdog Community or gain an understanding of the History of the Post Office and telegraph wire by the playing of spoons on a kitchen table. The speakers moved from the theoretical philosophy of the power of archives into the practicalities and method of collecting oral memories. The combination of the speakers gave me a greater appreciation of the philosophy and theoretical applications of the work of archivists.

As the staff of Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery are in the process of packing and moving our collection the conference topics on the practicalities and planning of collection movement were invaluable. Georgia Prince’s presentation on the movement of the Auckland City Libraries Sir George Grey Special Collections gave fantastic practical and logistical advice and support. Many of the small details she addressed such as customising trolleys and creating a daily “operations centre” were very useful. Just to see how other institutions had achieved positive and productive moves made our undertaking seem more manageable.

The interest of the conference was not only in what directly related to my work at the moment, it also broadened my perspective on archival work in general. I enjoyed learning about film preservation; the challenges of digital mediums at Alexander Turnbull through the case studies of the Maurice Gee and Michael King collections; and the sustainability of community archives through the interesting research of Jo Newman.

I would again like to thank the Crown Records Management team for the opportunity to be further educated in the archival and records field. The conference was of great benefit to me professionally, reinvigorating my approach and perspective on my work in the archives. I would also like to acknowledge the ARANZ members and the wider archives community who welcomed me so warmly. One can never underestimate the value of discussions over a precariously perched cup of afternoon tea.

To read the Hon. Nathan Guy’s 8 September Speaking Notes for the first reading of the State Sector Amendment Bill go to

ARANZ Scholarship Award Recipient

I would like to thank the ARANZ council for the scholarship to attend the 2010 conference. I am currently working in arrangement and description at the Alexander TurnbullLibrary half-time while also studying fulltime towards the Master in Information Studies at Victoria University. Attending the conference was a valuable opportunity and experience.

This year’s ARANZ conference saw diverse voices arguing for the significance of archives and records in our country. Professor Randall Jimmerson’s keynote speech, insisting on the political force of archives, was the first of compelling series of papers considering both the technological and theoretical forefronts of recordkeeping and archival practices. The conference heard perspectives ranging from maritime museum archives and archival projects in the Pacific to film digitisation and a government department’s behemoth of a records backlogs.

Professor Jimmerson argued against complacently perpetuating the mistakes which can be made by traditional archival practices, which strengthen political elites with their inherent failure to preserve and document the margins of society. The call to promote diversity in the capture and preservation of records is not a novel proposal in itself. However Jimmerson’s vision of a profession which abandons a pretence of neutrality in order to interrogate the relationship of its ‘professional ethics’ to ‘personal morality’ was eloquently, passionate and considered.
The conference’s sessions were divided into two streams which struck a nice balance between grouping similar topics and providing a variety of perspectives. The second plenary session was particularly well received. The papers delivered by Dr Joanna Sassoon from the National Library of Australia and Linda Evans from the Alexander Turnbull Library palpably demonstrated the evidential importance and social value of oral histories. Sassoon’s large-scale project to orally document the governmental custody of the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, and the social histories showcased by Evans, neatly reinforced Jimmerson’s call for more inclusive archives. In post-session conversation, delegates from widely divergent backgrounds were convinced by the importance of oral histories.

The conference sessions were well balanced with social occasions and association business. The pre-conference tours were another highlight. I attended the tour of Online Security’s records management facility in Porirua, where the technology was impressive, and was accompanied by tasty catering. I was particularly pleased to experience the strong collegial atmosphere throughout the conference. While the professional registration discussion stirred strong pleas for the continued recognition of the contribution of volunteer and part-time archivists, there was overwhelming support from those present for further investigation of the concept. I’m looking forward to continuing to take part in the organisation—see you in Rotorua.

Terry Cook, Newly elected member of the Royal Society of Canada

Only a handful of archivists have been members of the very prestigious Royal Society of Canada since it was established in 1882, and they were elected for their outstanding scholarship as historians. Terry Cook is the first to be recognized for scholarship about archives, and for his prominent role in defining and shaping the contours of the very field of Archival Studies as a distinct intellectual and academic pursuit now judged worthy of RSC recognition. Terry has done this not least at the University of Manitoba, where he has been a stellar and indispensable colleague of mine in the Archival Studies Program for 12 years and counting. His formal RSC citation is as follows:

COOK, Terry, History of archives and of recorded information, University of ManitobaTerry Cook has transformed archives from being perceived as storehouses of old records to sites of power worthy of scholarly attention. In rethinking appraisal to decide what records become archives, responding to the challenges of digital records and critical theory and exploring archival history, Cook has developed, nationally and internationally, a distinctive voice for Canadian archival scholarship.

The full link may be found at:

Tom Nesmith, Ph.D.
Master's Program in Archival Studies, University of Manitoba

Community Archives Update

Kia Ora Koutou, Malo e lelei, Nǐ hǎo, Talofa lava, 'Bula Vinaka and Greetings!
Those of you who attended the 2010 ARANZ conference may have met me already but for those who didn’t, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Polly Martin and I am the new Senior Adviser for the Community Archives Team at Archives New Zealand.

I come from a background in community development and relationships, social work and teaching which I have found extremely helpful in my new job. My main role is to provide advice on the strategic direction for services to communities while raising awareness of the importance of archives and recordkeeping within communities; supporting communities through training and advice in the management of the archival records, and helping to develop professional skills in recordkeeping and archives throughout New Zealand.

I work closely with the Archives New Zealand Pou Whakataki (Iwi Research and Training Advisor) on the administration and where appropriate the development of training for The Community Archive website. Our Iwi projects team provides invaluable assistance in developing training which is particularly focused toward Māori as there is a rising interest post-Treaty settlement in the care of archives and tāonga amongst Iwi.


I will be facilitating a consultation hui with various stakeholders including ARANZ representatives on 15 October at Archives New Zealand’s Wellington office to ask grassroots archival practitioners what training they consider to be of most use in the community.
Community archives face particular challenges which require some innovation to balance the tension between best and appropriate practice. Any training provided needs to take into consideration the needs and aspirations of the particular communities involved as well as the actual management of archival material.
It is envisaged that the contributions from our stakeholders will help develop a community archival training strategy which, if all goes to plan will be completed by the end of 2010.

The Community Archive

One of our main tools to assist community with archival holdings is The Community Archive website We have added a number of new features to the site including registering as a user, secure access, EAD importer for bulk import of collection and item data using XML and a discussion forum for people around the country interested in archives and their use.

Recently we were asked how to take care of a large leather-bound volume of John Bunyan’s tales which had been left in a damp place for 30 years. The inquiry included pictures and we are about to load it into the News & Views section for all to see. The website also has a space where you can post notices of upcoming events or exhibitions in the community.

ARANZ Conference Sponsorship

I was very pleased that our team was able to offer a sponsored registration for a volunteer community archivist to attend the ARANZ conference this year. Nominations were accepted from around the country and were accompanied by a description of why the volunteer was being put forward. Marilyn Wightman was the winning name drawn from the hat by Archives New Zealand’s acting Chief Archivist, Greg Goulding.
Marilyn is not only a volunteer archivist for the Fielding Districts and Community Archives but she manages the other volunteer staff, and works with her husband in their family business. Marilyn was one of the team who worked collaboratively with the Fielding & Districts Historical Society, the Fielding branch of the Genealogists Society, the Manawatu Historic Vehicle Collection trust and Manawatu District Council, to develop the archive which was successfully opened in February of this year.
All the volunteers who were nominated provide a high standard of work and commitment to their communities and I regret that we couldn’t sponsor every one of them.
Community archives often utilise the assistance of volunteers and in fact, some would not be able to operate if it wasn’t for this support. Accessing appropriate professional development through conferences provided by organisations such as ARANZ can assist in maintaining enthusiasm and passion, whilst increasing the level of skill and knowledge of archival management.

Polly Martin at the 2010 ARANZ conference with Marilyn Wightman winner of the conference sponsorship and Archives New Zealand Repository Officer, Catriona Logan.

Polly Martin
Senior Advisor Community Archives

ALGIM Toolkit Wins International Award

The Association of Local Government Management (ALGIM) was awarded the International Excellence in Municipal Systems Award for its innovative Information Management Toolkit, in June to become the inaugural winner of the award.
The ALGIM Information Management Toolkit is an easy-to-follow guide for developing an information management strategy. It covers tools and technology, best practice, and foundation modules. The majority of local authorities throughout the country now utilise the Toolkit in a number of areas, particularly the development of retention and disposal schedules.
For further information contact Mike Manson, Chief Executive, Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM), Phone (06)3516335.

Ian Wards Award

The Ian Wards Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding piece of writing using primary resources. First awarded in 2001, the Prize honours the contribution to New Zealand scholarship of Ian McLean Wards, Chief Government Historian between 1968 and 1983, and one of the principal architects of New Zealand’s modern archival system. The winners this year were Adrian Humphris and Geoff Mew for their book Ring around the City : Wellington’s new suburbs, 1900-1930 based on material held mainly in two archival repositories – from the Wellington City Archives and the Alexander Turnbull Library.

More on Christchurch Earthquake

Canterbury Museum

Joanna Condon of the Canterbury Museum reported on 16 September: “As access to collection stores is restricted at present it is difficult to give a detailed picture of the situation, but here is a summary: There is no evidence of structural damage to Canterbury Museum or the Robert McDougall Gallery at Canterbury Museum following the 4 September earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. Both buildings have been assessed and declared safe.
“The Documentary Research Centre is now open with limited services. At this stage there appears to be little damage to the archival collections, however a full assessment will take time as Collections Services and Curators work through our Disaster Salvage Plan. There is currently no access to items held in the manuscript and pictorial stores until they have been very carefully assessed. “

Christchurch City Libraries

Annette Williams, Aotearoa New Zealand Librarian, Christchurch City Libraries reported on 16 September: “After several days of sitting at home waiting for access to the Central Library and angsting about the state of the Archives Collection, we were pleasantly relieved to find that the material in the Archives stack had survived with minimal disruption, the rolling stacks performing superbly.

“The Central Library is thirty years old, with glass and brutally modern concrete beams everywhere. Our glass came through unscathed, and with only minor plaster cracking in spots throughout the building. We have temporarily restricted public access to our Research Room on the second floor as the bracketed shelving holding our older A-Js had detached from the wall and will need some repair work.

We had a number of books dumped onto the floor but our shelving remained intact and upright throughout the library, unlike the University of Canterbury experience. “Our Store at Smith Street in Linwood suffered more, with the bracketed shelving twisting quite dramatically, even driving through a wall in one instance, and some of our bound newspapers have slipped out of place, we have been assured with minimal damage. Again the rolling stacks carrying our New Zealand store bookstock and serials performed well.

“In the light of what has happened to other local collecting organisations as well as Christchurch businesses and homes, we have been extremely lucky, and would like to convey our sympathies and offer of support to those who have suffered major damage. The challenge for us now as an institution and a region is to document and archive the earthquake experience for posterity.”

Schools SIG News Digital Day in Auckland

We were very pleased to accept the offer from Mark Crookston of Archives New Zealand to facilitate a workshop day specifically investigating the issues around digital records and archives. The day was attended by a group of 17 ‘small’ archivists from schools, Anglican and Catholic Diocesan archives, Athletics Auckland and St John Ambulance. We were able to use a small meeting room at Epsom Girls Grammar school with a data projector and avail ourselves of a tuck shop lunch.
The outline for the day was basic strategies for
1) taking control over digital records
2) appraisal
3) managing digital records long term.
To achieve this we looked at Digital Recordkeeping capacity, policy and procedures relevant to digital material, using the PRA Retention and Disposal schedule as an appraisal tool, issues around disposal, and access and usability over time.We had some useful discussion times relating to current procedures in our own organisations and concluded with a discussion about specific actions we can implement immediately.
Mark suggested a number of useful rules for continuity of digital records such as;
Have two copies
In different places(not just on backup).
Make friends with your IT staff
Document actions relating to migration of formats
Use existing knowledge and experience
The group were reminded of important sources of information such as the Digitisation Standard and the Electronic Recordkeeping Standard. On-line resources through the PARBICA and National Archives of the United Kingdom websites were discussed. This was a very useful and practical day and everyone went away feeling that they could make progress with planning and application.

The presentation will be available on the Schools wiki via the ARANZ website next week sometime.

ARANZ Council Meetings 2010-2011

2010: 23 September.

ARANZ Conference 2011 at Rotorua

The theme of the ARANZ Conference 2011 which will be held at Rotorua, in August 2011 will be Maori archives & records. Further details to follow.

Interview of Dr Randall Jimerson

To hear the ‘Nights on National Radio’ interview of Dr Randall Jimerson on 30 August go to:


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or by post: ARANZ Newsletter Editor, PO Box 11-553, Manners Street, Wellington 6011.

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