Ignore me - filler


Ignore me - filler
Australian Science Archives Project

Annual Report

ISSN 0817-7174

Letter from the Director

1996 was a further year of growth and development for the Australian Science Archives Project.

The constant battle to keep abreast of technological change in relation to records creation, recordkeeping and archival technology has been tackled with vigour and enthusiasm. As a result significant gains have been made in the development and refinement of the ASAP Archival Data-management System (ASAP ADS) to meet the needs of all our clients - especially the records creators and the records users. Interest in ASAP ADS as a tool for managing archival records has come from a number of established archives, resulting in the release of demonstration versions and a number of sales of ASAP ADS software and methodology licenses.

ASAP's field work retains its focus on the documentation of records and ensuring that archival processes preserve the integrity of the records. The fulfilment of these goals enables records to meet the wide, and in most cases unknowable, demands that will be placed on them in the future. The role of records as the primary source of corporate knowledge has become increasingly evident through our industrial experience in 1996. To meet this need, records must be maintained so that they retain their evidential value; in other words, all reasonable effort should be undertaken to ensure the maintenance of the quality of records as evidence in commercial, legal, operational and historical settings.

Overseas trips by myself (Washington 1995, Belgium, Paris, London and the USA, June 1996; and China, September 1996) and Lisa Enright (San Diego, USA, September 1996) enabled ASAP to reveal its work to the leading members of the international archival community. This exposure and the feedback generated were essential components in affirming the general thrust of our research and development. It also reinforced the importance of remaining closely linked to the international archival community in order to gain from, and feed into, developments in the archival field. Not only is ASAP unusual in the Australian archival context but it is also unique in the international scene and has much to contribute from its particular experience.

The continued development of ASAPWeb and our commitment to communicating and encouraging activity in the history of science, technology and medicine in Australia has remained a great challenge to ASAP. The development of World Wide Web technologies has occurred at a staggering pace and this has opened many doors to new archival products that seemed only dreams just twelve months ago. Of great interest is the Cabinet of Curiosities (described later) which will be completed in 1997. The Cabinet, a fine piece of original Australian furniture, will arrive in England aboard the Endeavour containing commissioned artworks representing particular significant stories from Australia's scientific past.

ASAP acknowledges the keen support it has received from its National Advisory Board, its Chair, Professor Rod Home, the ASAP Council of Friends, The University of Melbourne, the Australian Academy of Science and the archival community generally.

I'm looking forward to 1997, which appears particularly exciting, and has a full research, development and work program already mapped out.

Gavan McCarthy

1 May 1997

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 23 January 1998
Prepared by: Elissa Tenkate