Hello from Brighton and a not at all scary conference.
Day 1 was very interesting. It started with David Wallace from the University of Michigan talking about wiki leaks and how such leaks could affect the record keeping community. I think the most interesting part of the talk was the idea of good leaks versus bad leaks – that leaking documents somehow is okay if it is in the public interest or for the public good. It reminded me of the issues around press freedom and the “public interest” debate surrounding certain stories. Is it okay to print a story or image because it is in the public interest? Is it okay to leak documents? Fear of leaking results in fewer records being kept regarding controversial decisions. But surely if government and the decision making was more transparent then there would be no need to fear leaks?
We heard about how Hull History Centre is tackling the cataloging backlog by approaching it in thematic chunks; how TNA is documenting the Olympics and the challenges in doing so; we learned what is important to make community archives’ websites a success.
The afternoon session showed how West Sussex Record Office has faced cost cuts and still managed to extend user numbers; how East Sussex RO have approached the challenge of building The Keep; and how the Museum of East Anglian Life have become an essential part of the community.
Now I’ve got to run as Day 2 is just about to start!