Category Archives: Association

VACANCY: Digital Archivist

The Austin 7 Clubs Association Archive Project has a vacancy for a:

Digital Archivist

With the Project to digitise the Association Archive and publish it on the Web now gaining momentum, the Association is seeking to fill the volunteer post of ‘Digital Archivist’. This exciting new post will have the responsibilities of curating of the Digital collection, identifying original materials for digitisation, managing the digitisation process and to maintain a catalogue of the Archive contents.

The successful candidate will have excellent communication and computer skills and likely have a background in Archive management, library or IT disciplines.

For further details and a job description, please contact

Hugh Barnes – archiveproject@a7ca.org

Archive Project Meeting – 19th November 2015

Minutes of Meeting 2 for the Austin 7 Clubs Association Archive Project
19th November 2015
Triumph Sports Six Club, Lubenham

  1. Those present:
    Phil Baildon – Association Archivist
    Hugh Barnes – Cambridge Austin 7 and Vintage Car Club
    Nick Beck – Bristol and Scottish Austin 7 Clubs
    Chris Garner – Association Vice-chair and PWA7C
    Andy Lowe – Association Chairman and Midlands Austin 7 Club
    Dave Martin – Asst Archivist and PWA7C
    Nick Turley – PWA7C
  2. Apologies for absence:
    Ruairidh Dunford – Scottish Austin 7 Club
    Austin Harris – 750MC
  3. Progress report on work items detailed in previous meeting
    a. The collection has been reorganised
    This work has not yet started. More ‘formal’ arrangements are to be put in place to provide a regular weekly meeting at Lubenham to focus on this (and other tasks)
    b. Items moved away from ‘danger’ areas.
    Complete
    c. Extra shelving has been acquired and the items moved off the floor
    This work has not yet started (same arrangements as Collection reorganisation to provide focus) Shelving to be purchased and to expedite the work, pallets or similar will be acquired to get any remaining item off the floor (temporary solution). CG offered some redundant shelving he has for this task.
    d. Plastic sheeting is covering everything
    Sheeting has been acquired but needs cutting to size and fitting
    e. The windows have had UV material applied to them.
    Complete
    f. The differing collections have been checked against the prototype catalogue for appropriateness of content
    This work has not yet started (same arrangements as Collection reorganisation to provide focus)
    g. The Trophy collection has been photographed
    This work has not yet started. NT’s offer to photograph the whole collection in his professional capacity (it must be noted, at no cost to the Project/Association) was gratefully accepted. It was pointed out that the whole collection would need some cleaning before being in a satisfactory condition for photographing. NT would arrange for this to be done (this *would* be at some cost to the Project). No timescale is yet available for this work. NT will provide updates as to progress.
    h. Ian Moore has been approached to establish what copies he has of the Factory Index Cards
    Ian Moore had been contacted with no response. It was decided not to pursue this any further and scan the Index Cards from scratch
    i. FM has provided PB with a donation form and that is now being used.
    Complete
    j. AL has written to FM’s Boss
    Complete. Thanks were given for making Faye’s time available to us and the offer of sharing some Swallow related material made
    k. Web Master approached for Association Web Site enhancements
    Web site has been enhanced to add ‘Archive Project’ tab and work has commenced on an initial prototype for Digitised archive material display and search facilities. The Web site has also been updated to support regular posting of updates (eg minutes of this group’s meetings)
    l. Notes on initial progress since flood written up and published
    Not yet started. PB will complete this by 26/11/2015.
    m. Minutes of last meeting published
    The minutes had been published to the group but not yet on the A7CA web site. This was being delayed until the initial progress report was available. It was decided to go ahead with publishing the minutes (both for this meeting and the previous) straight away. HB to liaise with the Web Master and to publicise this on the Austin 7 Friends forum.
    n. Other Progress
    Nick Beck has been working through a CD of scanned material that already existed. Of some 243 files on the CD, 50 have been reviewed and descriptions added. It is thought that all these drawings came from Stanley Edge but may not all be Austin 7 related. Eg, some drawings relate to made war time factory layouts etc. Nick will carry on with this work in the coming weeks.
  4. Web Masters Report
    The draft proposal from Chris Charles was reviewed. A number of points were raised.
    a) Scans and photos should appear in landscape format where appropriate
    b) It was noted that the system as outlined would involve creating the catalogue entries for each item directly into the system, replacing the Excel spreadhsheet approach that had been considered up to now. This would ensure that no duplication of data would ever occur and that we would have a single record to maintain.
    c) ‘Tags’ for each entry would have to be determined and added. This could be done over a period of time and not necessarily when the initial record was created. Tags would be such things (as an example, a photo of Alf Depper in a racing car) the name of the driver, the identity of the car, the location of the photo, the specific race. All records would have a date attribute added to them. The Tags and the date fields (plus other attributes, can be used to ‘filter’ search results
    d) The Web Master would be asked to enhance his proposal to allow ‘comments’ from users of the system to be added.
    e) To provide a high quality internet connection for use when entering catalogue data, it was suggested by NT that we should acquire a mobile wifi device from a suitable (mobile phone) provider. This and other options that TSSC can provide to be explored
    It was unanimously agreed by those present that Chris should be heartily congratulated for his work which, it must be remembered, he is doing round his University studies.
  5. Inventory
    As part of the discussion around the catalogue entries, it was also recognised that we still need a ‘high level’ inventory of the Archive. This will be of the form category, number of items. This will help us in 2 ways – It will help us in determining the different categories we have and with a count of the number of items, it will help in pricing external services when we get items scanned. This item will be added to the work list
  6. Formal reporting to the Association.
    It was decided that formal reporting from this Project in the form of these minutes and other documents would be sufficient. Those members of this group who attend the quarterly Association meetings would be available to answer any questions.
  7. Budget
    Discussion took place on the topic of creating a suitable budget for the Project and a formal request to the Association for the provision of funds. It was decided that an initial sum of £5000 would be requested to start the project with the comment that an amount of up to £20,000 would be required to complete the project. The initial amount would enable us to commence the project and start publishing the digital archive and would give us a better grasp on likely future costs, meaning we could provide a more accurate budget figure. It was agreed that the initial phase would cover professional scanning of the Austin parts Index cards, the Handbooks and Parts Lists and colour brochures.
  8. Staffing
    This item covers two aspects – the organisation of ‘volunteers’ and the provision of paid staff to enter the catalogue data. It was decided that for the volunteers, a particular day per week would be nominated as ‘Archive Day’, so there would be a specific day per week that a group could gather and focus on the strands of work. A paid member of ‘staff’ would be sought to expedite the entry of data into the catalogue. This would require a certain amount of work by the volunteers to ready the data for entry. It was suggested that that person would work on the specified day of the week so as to be able to answer any questions that may arise during the data entry phase. A suitable ‘staff’ member needs to be found. Initially, PB will contact the Leicester Records office for advice, where we have had help from in the past with Archive services.
  9. AOB
    It was noted that as a by-product of staff being at Lubenham on a regular weekly basis, in the New Year, when the collection has been re-organised, the collection would be available to visitors (though still by appointment).
  10. Date of next meeting
    The next meeting will be at Gaydon after the Association Meeting on 10th January, 2016
  11. Work list for next period.

a. The Collection to be reorganised (Action PB, DM et al)
b. Extra shelving to be required and items moved off floor (Action PB, DM et al)
c. The differing collections have been checked against the catalogue data entry system (Action PB, DM et al)
d. Collection covered with plastic sheeting when not in use (Action PB, DM et al)
e. The Trophy Collection photography is in progress (Action NT)
f. Notes of the initial progress since flood written up and published (Action PB)
g. Create ‘high level’ inventory (Action PB, DM et al)
h. Minutes of all meetings published (Action HB)
i. Budget request proposal to be worded and forwarded to Association Secretary for inclusion in agenda for next association Meeting (Action AL)
j. Extend room booking at Gaydon after next Association meeting (AL via Association Secretary)
k. Explore options to provide high capacity internet connection from Archive room (Action PB)
l. Research options for ‘paid help’ – contact Leicester Records Office for advice (Action PB)

Hugh Barnes 19th November 2015

Archive Project Meeting – 15th October 2015

Notes on a Meeting to discuss Next Steps for the Austin 7 Clubs Association Archive.
15th October 2015
Triumph Sports Six Club, Lubenham

Those present:
Phil Baildon – Association Archivist
Hugh Barnes – Cambridge Austin 7 and Vintage Car Club
Nick Beck – Bristol and Scottish Austin 7 Clubs
Andy Lowe – Association Chairman and Midlands Austin 7 Club
Dave Martin – Asst Archivist and PWA7C
Faye McLeod – Jaguar Archivist
Apologies for absence:
Chris Garner – Association Vice-chair and PWA7C
Nick Turley – PWA7C

The meeting started with Phil giving the group a brief background of the Archive and Faye’s earlier involvement. 2007 saw the move from a collection housed at Phil’s home to the more appropriate surroundings of rooms at the TSSC Offices in Lubenham. At that time, Faye provided advice and guidance as to the way the Archive should initially be housed. Since then, the collection has been moved to different rooms in the complex due to changing needs of the TSSC. The current interest in the Archive has been brought about as a result of a burst pipe and subsequent flood that damaged some of the collection. The main thrusts of the discussion were along 3 lines:

  1. The creation of a catalogue of everything the Archive contains.
  2. The digitisation of the Archive and subsequent publication on the Web
  3. The long term care and home for the Archive

A brief discussion highlighted previous thinking around a permanent home for the Collection. Consideration had been given to Beaulieu, which was initially discounted for reasons of its geographic position, Gaydon, discounted because any items lodged there have to be gifted to the Museum and cease to be in the control of the Association and Coventry, which was considered to have similar issues as Gaydon. Further thinking is to be done around a suitable long term home for the collection.
We were lucky with the flood and not a huge amount of damage was sustained (and for some of the more important pieces, only minor water staining) In an attempt to be helpful, Staff of the TSSC had moved the collection to various other rooms in the building which has left the collection somewhat disorganised state.

The group asked Faye to offer her views on the position the Archive was now in and the next steps required. She made the following points:

  • Most important task was to protect the collection from any further damage
  • Simple plastic covers are to be draped over everything to protect them from water coming from above. Action PB to purchase Decorators plastic sheeting
  • Move items in the collection away from areas likely to suffer damage Action PB et al
  • Have nothing stored on the floor Action PB to purchase extra shelving units. Nb, metal is better than wood

Store everything in boxes where possible. These should not be plastic but Archive quality Cardboard boxes. As a very rough estimate £5 – 7,000 might be required for appropriate storage for everything. It was also suggested that for such things as Handbook collections etc, it would be better to get boxes made to suit. FM gave advice as to potential sources of supply (Conservation by Design, Preservation Equipment Ltd., Oxford Bodleian Library)

The group then discussed tasks required and their likely order. These were identified as follows:

  1. To reorganise everything into logical sections prior to any other work taking place. Larger drawing to put in the Plan Chest and held flat with ‘Snake weights’ Action PB et al
  2. Identify ‘precious’ items that need securing first. Suggestions were Works Index Cards, Drawings from Stanley Edge, Handbooks and Spare parts Lists, Trophies and other Factory records. These were considered ‘unique’. See later tasks discussed regarding these items
  3. Create an Excel Spreadsheet to record the Catalogue. Advice was taken from Faye as to what it should contain. A Prototype version was created and a few records entered for the early handbooks. The rest of the collection will be gone through and different type of material checked to see if the prototype record will suit everything we hold. Adjustments to the data held in the catalogue will be made accordingly.
  4. The spreadsheet will contain a column indicating items where further conservation may be necessary. When the catalogue is complete, items so marked will be re-examined and prioritised for professional restoration work as necessary
  5. All film and Audio resources to be transferred to DVD/CD as appropriate.
  6. All photos to be placed in wallets of appropriate conservation material (Melinex)

The creation of the actual spreadsheet catalogue entry was discussed. It was suggested that Phil and others would best spend their time ordering the collection into different sections and that the actual entering of data should be undertaken by an ‘Administrator’ with computer literacy, a good deal of common sense and an eye for detail. This person could work, perhaps, whilst Phil and other were at the Archive so could offer guidance to the Administrator when there was doubt. Austin 7 experts may not be the best people for the job as they might get side-tracked.

Digital copying of archive material was discussed and a number of points of best practice were highlighted by Faye. It was suggested that sub-contracting this out to a professional may be helpful as the quality would be high and time taken short. (Capita at Bicester were given as an example of a firm who could undertake this work) This would, of course, have a financial aspect the Association would have to consider. Any text document scanned to PDF should be scanned using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to give files that could be searched for key words. Suggested prices per image for flat bed scanning are 18p per page, and 26p per image for V support scanning (for bound publications, for example). Images should be held as .TIFF files, as they are ‘lossless’ records of the image. .JPEG files are slightly less detailed but are fine for day to day work.
Copyright Issues were discussed with particular bearing on the ultimate aim of publishing the Archive contents on the Web. A recent book on the subject would give helpful guidance – Copyright for Archives by Tim Padfield (see appendix)

Faye also suggested we should have a standard ‘Donation Form’ to be filled out when the Archive receives donation. Faye will provide Phil with a sample (Action FM)

Similarly, we should maintain an ‘Accessions list’ A list of all items donated to the Archive each year. A sample content was discussed.

The Trophies (and other memorabilia) should be photographed immediately. Phil will pursue this. The Jeweller that we used for Insurance valuation purposes should already have some photographs. The rest of the collection will be photographed now. Nick Turley has offered his professional services in this regard. It is intended that this collection of photos should be published to the Web as soon as possible (Assoc Web Master to be involved here)
The Works Index cards are a matter of priority. It is thought they may have already been copied by Ian Moore. Phil to follow this up (Action PB)

To prevent any fading of items, all windows should be covered with UV filter material (Action PB)

Andy, in his capacity as Assoc Chair, will write to Faye’s Boss, formally thanking him for her time today. We also suggested we would be prepared to make input on Swallow history where we had information the Jaguar Archive did not. (Action AL)

These minutes will be published but PB will draft a report to be published to cover everything between the day of the flood and now. Reports will be published on a monthly basis in future.
Next meeting to be held Thursday 19th November at 09:30 to review progress
By the next meeting we hope that the following tasks have been completed:
The collection has been reorganised and moved away from ‘danger’ areas

  • Extra shelving has been acquired and the items moved off the floor
  • Plastic sheeting is covering everything
  • The differing collections have been checked against the prototype catalogue for appropriateness of content
  • The windows have had UV material applied to them.
  • The Trophy collection has been photographed and the Web Master approached
  • Ian Moore has been approached to establish what copies he has of the Factory Index Cards
  • FM has provided PB with a donation form and that is now being used.
  • AL has written to FM’s Boss

In the next meeting, more serious discussion can then be had on the next steps of creating the catalogue and the possibility of employing professional services
Hugh Barnes 15/10/2015
Appendix:
Archive Material Providers
Conservation by Design
http://www.conservation-by-design.com/home.aspx?pagename=home
Preservation Equipment Ltd
https://www.preservationequipment.com/
Bodleian
http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/using/pads

Transferring to CD/DVD
It is recommended using gold discs, which avoid the rapid ageing/decay of commercial discs:
https://www.preservationequipment.com/Store/Products/Archival-Storage/CD-$4-Digital-Storage/Kodak-Gold-CD-

Copyright book
“Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers” by Tim Padfield
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Copyright-Archivists-Records-Managers-Padfield/dp/1856047059/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

Meeting – October 2015

The Agenda for the Austin Seven Clubs Association Committee Meeting on the 4th October 2015 is now available to download.

PLEASE NOTE for this meeting the Heritage Motor Museum have imposed an advance ticket-only access system due to an event occurring on the same day. Therefore if you wish to attend the meeting please contact the Secretary, Bob Prophet, in advance for entrance arrangements. You will NOT be able to turn up on the day.