Archive Project Meeting – 7th September 2017

Austin 7 Clubs Association Archive project, Meeting No.13
Thursday 7th September 2017 10:30am
Triumph Sports 6 Club,
36 Main St, Lubenham, Market Harborough LE16 9TF

  1. Those present:
    Chris Garner – Association chairman and PWA7C
    Nick Beck – Scottish and Bristol A7 Clubs
    Phil Baildon – Association Archivist
    Ruairidh Dunford – Scottish Austin 7 Club (on Skype)
    Fenella Leigh – Cambridge Austin 7 Club
    Hugh Barnes – Cambridge Austin 7 Club


Apologies for Absence

Chris Charles – Association WebMaster (on Skype)
Dave Martin – Assistant Archivist & PWA7C
Nick Turley – PWA7C



  1. Brief review of Project so far

What we had done well was thought to be the progress we had made in digitising the collection and the efforts of both Hampshire County Council and Leicestershire County Council were noted. It was felt that our efforts had rubbed off on other organisations as we saw an increase in similar projects elsewhere. The main achievement was that the Collection was now better understood by the Austin 7 Community, we were now sharing it and that we were seeing a steady stream of donations and loans as a result.

What we weren’t doing quite so well was the rate which we were getting through the tasks. We had a small team and although we had done well up to now, we had been working on relatively simple parts of the collection. Future areas (eg photos, engineering drawing etc) would need a larger group of people to be involved if we were to get through it in a reasonable time frame. It was agreed we would appeal for more volunteers to join the group, hopefully, people within a 50 mile radius of Lubenham who could attend without too much difficulty.



  1. Oral Histories.

Viewing figure on the Bob Wyatt page shows since launch 238 visits to the page from 161 different people. Large spike to listeners just after launch down to 5-7 a month after. We had two more interviews in post-recording editing – Ian Dunford and Tom ‘the Pom’ Newsome. Others were planned – specifically Ken Cooke had agreed to an interview. (Action NT)



  1. Catalogue

There is still some slight confusion of how the cataloguing system will work between the work that FL does in creating and amending catalogue entries and the creation of the Web site by CC. FL will discuss this with CC and document procedures (Action:FL/CC)

What we still had failed to do was to start recording physical locations of items in the collection. Up to now, items would be easy to find (eg Handbooks) However, with the increasing number of show brochures and such things as photographs and Engineering drawings to come, this information becomes vital. HB will provide a document outlining the procedures to be followed to both create such data and how and where it should be recorded (Action HB/PB)

It is imperative that we start separately recording Accession records, recording details such as donor, terms of donation, Loan items, details of returning loan items etc. A pro-forma has already been provided. (Action PB)



  1. Web site

CC provided the following web site statistics:

Having launched just over a year ago (29th Aug 2016) there have been 28,813 Page views from 3827 users. Spending an average of 4 mins 35 seconds on the site each. 52.08% of visitors are new while 47.9% are returning visitors. Most popular countries in order – UK, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, USA, Germany France…

35.86% of viewers are using a tablet or mobile device.

43.4% of viewers come direct (type in while 29.1% come from a link from another website, 21.5% from search engines and 6.1% from Social Media (Facebook, twitter etc)

195 visits have come from clicking a link from one of our newsletters.
Individual Page Views::
Handbooks – 3092 views
Show Brochures – 2887 views
Index Cards – 2023 views
Paints – 1848 views
Identify your Seven – 1325 views
Technical Drawings – 933 views…

RD provided an initial list of Show Brochures provided by Russell Curtis. CG will check this list against the actual items provided and provide and updated, accurate list to FL for cataloguing. This collection will be added to the existing Show Brochure pages (Action: CG/FL/CC)

CC has prototyped a format for the GdH collection that will display the Album in the form of a book where pages can be turned on screen. The GdH collection will be created as a separate collection. HB has already scanned a selection of Press Cuttings to accompany the Album (though these are fragile and need conservation) Cataloguing is required. CG will supply the wording for an introduction on the web site (Action: HB/CG/FL/CC)

Further developments will include Engineering Drawings, photographs and the Lou Kings family Archive that CG is currently reviewing. To that end, FL took away all the Engineering Drawings for review carrying on her existing project to sort them into A7, A7 related and non-Austin groups before cataloguing. Cross referencing to existing digital images is already part of that process to give ‘quick wins’ for image publishing on the Archive Web site (Action FL)

The large collection of photographs needs to be sorted into the same 3 groups before any other work is undertaken with them. PB will ask DM to help in this task (Action PB/DM)

Lou Kings collection: CG will review contents. The feeling of the group was that although much of the collection was Austin 20 related, we should digitise and publish it all. HB can scan the photos at no cost, so it will be no overhead to the Project. (Action CG/HB)



  1. Next steps

The priorities for the next 12 months where we should see significant progress are as follows:

  1. Publish the Russell Curtis collection as soon as possible (Action FL/CC)
    1. Photographs to have been sub-sorted and filtered. Priority photos to have been digitised and published. NB – comments to be enabled on photos to allow update by knowledgeable persons (Action first PB/DM then FL/CC)
    2. Engineering drawings to have been sorted and filtered. Where existing images are available, these should be catalogued first and republished on the Archive site (Action FL/CC)
  2. The Archive has no stated Acquisition Policy. It was felt that one should exist. CG and HB will draft one for review (Action CG/HB)


RD will contact an Austin 7 owner he knows as a potential researcher for items that appear on Ebay etc that might be of interest to the Archive (Action RD)

HB demonstrated to PB how one could set up a recurring search on Ebay with email notification for items of interest. PB will look at setting this up. (Action PB)

  1. The Accommodation issue has largely settled down after a summer of uncertainty. However, all were asked to keep the potential for a move at short notice in mind and keep an eye out for likely accommodation if we were to move away from Lubenham.

This highlighted the need to have better ‘physical location’ data held on the catalogue should we need to move.



  1. Publicity
    1. Grey Mag articles are still a requirement. HB will write a quarterly Project update , PB will write an article on an item of interest. Where historic photos are concerned, it should be the norm that a supporting researched article should go with them, rather than just publishing the photos. (Action HB/PB)
    2. RD will edit and produce an E-newsletter, deadline for circulation 11th Contents likely to be Engineering drawings (FL), Statistics (HB) RC collection (RD) GdH collection (CG) Appeal for volunteers (HB) Spring Open Day. Action RD/All
    3. A PPT presentation for Clubs is to be drawn up the idea being that Project Team members can use this to give a talk to their local Clubs. HB will do this for the Cambridge Club in November and has offered to do the same for the other Clubs in East Anglia (Action HB/NT)
    4. It was though that a formal ‘Press release’ would be a good idea. HB to contact a potential Author for such a thing (Action HB)

Now accommodation had been settled at Lubenham, it was decided we should have a further Open Day in Spring 2018. No date is yet set.



  1. AOB
    1. FL raised the topic of disposal of inappropriate Archive material (she has found many engineering drawings for example) As a start, PB will invite David Morgan to come and review the Military items we have in the collection with a view to finding a better home for them. (Action PB)
    2. It was suggested that a couple of specific people should be invited to join the project Team. HB will contact them (Action HB)
    3. PB showed the group some recent acquisitions. A Sept 1927, GE Silent Saloon leaflet, Tony Betts had agreed to bid on our behalf at the Edmonds auction, £60. A Sept 1923 Le Mans racers photos lead came via Robin Boyce and we paid €270 for a series of 3 photos of the individual cars and has just agreed to pay another €70 for a start line photo and some press cuttings. HB will scan these and a more comprehensive article will be produced for the Grey Magazine. (Action HB/PB)

Date of next meeting – Thursday 2nd November at Lubenham. 10:30 am