PROGRAMME NEWS SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER 2012
UARMAC Chairman appointed Dean of the Faculty of Law, St Augustine Campus
Dr Kusha Haraksingh, who since 2009 has been the chairman of the University Archives and Records Management Advisory Committee (UARMAC) has been appointed the first Dean of the Faculty of Law at the St Augustine Campus of the University. This faculty was established as a result of a decision by the University Council earlier this year to establish three faculties of law in Barbados, Mona and St Augustine instead of having one faculty.
The official release from the University described Dr Haraksingh” as one of “The UWI’s longest serving academics.” It went on to say that this former Senior Lecturer in the Department of History “has served as Chairman of the Institute of African and Asian Studies, Head of the Department of History, a member of the University Council and Senate, as well as the chair of a variety of University committees. In addition, he advises The University on Pensions Law and chairs the University Standing Committee on Ordinances and Regulations (SCORE).”
The University Archives and Records Management Programme congratulates Dr Haraksingh on his appointment.
University Archives & University Museum Collaborates for "A Great Day for All", October-November, 2012
The University Archives and the University Museum has collaborated to mount a multimedia exhibition on academic dress and ceremonial celebrations at The University of the West Indies. This Exhibition entitled "A Great Day for All: Celebrations, Ceremonies & Academic Dress at the UWI" celebrates the success of The UWI’s Class of 2012 and promotes the rich heritage of our regional university.
This exhibition captures the ceremonial unity of the UWI . Records, sketches, gowns from, as early as the 1950s, are on display. Although locations vary, the university is consistent in its ceremonial recognition of our culture of excellence. University Ceremonies are held at all four Campuses, Mona Jamaica, Cave Hill Barbados, St. Augustine Trinidad, and in the territories of the Open Campus. The colourful vibrancy of Caribbean people is reflected in the bright colours of the gowns and hoods of the faculties.
Visitors, especially our new alumni and their families, were welcomed at the University Museum and University Archives and experienced Matriculation,Graduations, Convocations and Award Ceremonies~UWI-style. Visitors viewed audiovisual presentations on the histories of academic dress, academic dress in European, British and American traditions, and ceremonies at the four Campuses of the UWI. The exhibition runs from 21 October -November 2012.
Memory of the World Conference on Digitization and Preservation, Vancouver, Canada 26 – 28 September, 2012
John Aarons (Vice- Chancellery, Mona) and Sharon Alexander-Gooding (Cave Hill) from the UARMP were among the over 500 delegates from 110 countries who attended this conference to discuss matters concerning access to the world’s documentary access in the digital age. The discussions centred chiefly around the key factors affecting digitization of analogue material and the long term preservation of digital content.
Reassuring to us in the developing world is the fact that the fundamental challenges facing librarians and archivists with materials in the digital environment are the same for all countries and collaboration and the sharing of knowledge are essential. The conference provided a useful avenue for these goals and the participants all gained from the exchange of knowledge which the international forum provided.
The results of the conference are contained in the UNESCO/UBC VANCOUVER DECLARATION which makes a number of recommendations to Unesco, member states and to professional organizations. These are intended to focus global attention on the challenges of digital preservation which have to be addressed in the recorded heritage of mankind is to survive.
ICA/SUV TO MEET AT UWI CAVE HILL CAMPUS, June 2013
The International Council on Archives, Section for University and Research Institution Archives will host its annual conference at the 3Ws Pavilion at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus under the auspices of The West Indies Federal Archives Centre in June 2013.This would be the first conference of the Section to be held in the Caribbean region. The Call for Papers is ongoing. See the ICA/suv 2013 Barbados Conference Website
The stated goals of the Section on University and Research Institution Archives are 1. to promote professional and scholarly co-operation and communication between archives and archivists of universities, colleges, academies of science and letters, learned societies and research institutions 2. to gather, disseminate and exchange information relating to the creation and administration of such archives and 3. to assist the development and strengthening of such archives through symposia, publications and the exchange of information.
The theme chosen for the 2013 Conference is 'The New Age Archivist: Managing Archives in a Digital World.' The Conference would provide a forum for archivists to investigate and discuss new trends in digitisation, electronic records and the Web to assess the impact on the appraisal, acquisition, storage, arrangement and description and the provision of access to new age archives in the digital world. Within this broad theme, archivists would also examine the use of social media and other online communities to create more meaningful interaction with users and potential users. It would also be debated whether archivists should seize the opportunity to use new modes of communication and outreach.
It is anticipated that programme will not only appeal to archivists in universities and research institutions but will provide meaningful debate and useful data to archivists and other information management professionals across all sectors.
UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES, MONA UPGRADES ITS SERVICES, June to August 2012
The University Archives, Mona, moved to its purpose-built archives facility in the Regional Headquarters Building in May 2012. This move provided the Archives staff an opportunity align its structures, services and procedures in line with internationally recognized standards and best practices. To this end, three bright, energetic and enthusiastic undergraduates from the Mona Campus worked with the staff for the summer months. 605 linear feet of records were processed, reference codes devised and files/items labelled, and finding aids for three main collections of the holdings were automated. 150 linear feet of newly accessioned records were sorted and organised. These records will be processed in due course. Additionally, the students were also introduced to basic concepts of Archives management,such as arrangement and description, function of the Reading Room, and integrated pest management; and the importance of Archives to research and corporate memory. The students laid the ground work for greater efficiency and better quality reference services. Additionally, they gifted the University Archives with a watercolour painting of themselves
UNIVERSITY ARCHIVIST VISITS DENMARK & SWEDEN, June 11- 23, 2012
The primary purpose of University Archivist John Aarons’ visit to Denmark was to participate in a conference in Copenhagen entitled Archiving 2012: preservation strategies and imaging technologies or cultural heritage institutions and memory organizations, sponsored by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. He was invited to give one of the two keynote addresses and his topic was “A Quick Fix?” The Challenges of Digitization facing developing countries. He also attended a pre-conference workshop on Digital Preservation of Audio-visual Content. As part of the conference programme, he visited the electronic storage/quality control section of the National Archives of Denmark. This modern building also houses over 300 kilometres of shelving containing records dating back to the 12th century.
After a week in Copenhagen, he went to Stockholm, Sweden – a pleasant five and a half hour journey by train , – to visit the Riksarkivet (the Swedish National Archives). After a tour of the Archives’ main facility (including the storage complex on 6 levels below ground), he visited the Preservation Department located in a nearby branch building. The highlight of the visit to the Archives however, was a tour of its Media Conversion Centre, some 400 kilometres from Stockholm, in virtually the middle of the country. This facility, which is considered outstanding in Europe regarding its capacity for scanning historical documents, has the capacity to produce about 100, 000 digital images per day from all kinds of media. His final stop in Sweden was a visit to the Library and Archives of the University of Uppsala, the oldest university in Scandinavia.
The visits were very successful and valuable lessons were learned in many areas particularly digitization and these should prove beneficial to our own preservation programme.
CERTIFICATE IN RECORDS MANAGEMENT COURSE FOR 2012-2014 HAS COMMENCED
The Certificate in Records Management Course, which is offered by the Programme under the auspices of the Open Campus,was off to a great start at Cave Hill and at Mona. The course is for six (6) weeks and is held over two summers. This year is the start of the 2012 – 2014 courses and has attracted many participants chiefly from the public sectors. The course is practical in nature and is intended for persons working in the area of records management who need to upgrade their skills and to obtain certification to help them in their careers.
At Mona, the course got off to a good start on July 2nd 2012 with rousing presentations by Mrs Gillian Glean-Walker, the Director of the Open Campus Site in Kingston and Mrs Claudette Thomas, the Government Archivist of Jamaica who both commended the students for registering for the course and gave words of encouragement.
Members of staff of the Programme on the Cave Hill, Mona and St Augustine campuses are the main lecturers on the course which has been offered over the past fifteen (15) years.
ARCHIVES MOVES TO PERMANENT HOME
May was an historic month for the University Archives as the institution moved into a spacious, and state of the art facility, after being housed in temporary accommodation since the integrated archives and records programme began in 1991. The Archives is now located on the Ground Floor (East Wing) of the newly opened UWI Regional Headquarters Building, which is opposite the main entrance to the Mona Campus of the University. The Archives section contains repositories with mobile shelving, controlled environment conditions and a fire suppression system. A reading room for researchers, offices and work areas for staff and space for conservation and reprography laboratories are all included in the facility.
The journey to this stage has been long and arduous – and almost involved a tragedy! In 1997, under Brian Speirs, the first University Archivist, the Archives - which comprised chiefly the archival records of the University housed in offices, storeroom etc. on the campus - was established in converted metal containers, adjacent to the Assembly Hall. As Brian left shortly afterwards, plans for a custom built archives facility began in earnest under his successor, Victoria (Vicky) Lemieux.
This work was continued by her successor, the late Elizabeth Williams, and under her leadership, the University approved funds for the construction of a building to house not only the Archives, but also the office of the Campus Records Manager. After sending out tenders, a firm of local architects was contracted to design a building, and the plan even won an award for its unique design. All was set for its construction. At this point, the University placed a hold on the project as there was a proposal to erect a building to house the central administration of the institution and it was felt that the Archives should form part of this new facility.
The urgent need for a facility to house the Archives was reinforced by a fire which broke out in the containers on the morning of 9 June 2010. Fortunately the fire suppression system was activated and no materials of value were lost. The Archives was given temporary accommodation in a three bedroom house on West Road on the Campus and it remained there until its relocation to the Regional Headquarters Building where it joined other offices and departments of the Vice Chancellery.
WEST INDIES FEDERAL ARCHIVES CENTRE CELEBRATED ARCHIVES AWARENESS MONTH MAY 2012
On May 2012, the West Indies Federal Archives Centre celebrated Archives Awareness month. The celebrations began with an n exhibition entitled “Caring Your Inheritance: The Importance of Your Personal Archives & Artefacts to National Heritage.” This ran from the 7th of May to the 25th of May 2012 within the opening hours of the archives. The exhibition was well received by the University community and the public. Images of the exhibition will be given for your viewing.
A workshop was held on the 16th of May also entitled “Caring Your Inheritance: The Importance of Your Personal Archives & Artefacts to National Heritage.” The workshop dealt with the following:
- Artefacts of importance to Personal and National Archives
- Case Studies: How Archives can help you
- The Importance of Collections Management
- Care of Personal Artefacts/Archives at Home
- Determining the Value of Your Collections
- Discussion: The Implications of the Barbados Antiquities Bill
The facilitator of the proceedings was Ms Nerys Rudder Collections Care consultant. There were 18 persons in attendance.
The culmination of Archives Awareness month events on the 30th of May was the lecture held in conjunction with the Barbados Department of Archives, entitled “Preserving Archives as Evidence”. The featured speaker was Dr David Browne Historian and Principal of Queen College Barbados. Following the lecture a panel discussion ensued, the panellists were Mrs. Sharon Alexander Gooding, Campus Records Manager and Ms Elizabeth Watson Cave Hill Campus Librarian. The lecture was well received with an audience of 45 persons in attendance.