In the last twelve months ASAP has consolidated its aims, and put considerable energy into developing the products and services it offers the Australian community. While maintaining a commitment to its original charter, the preservation of Australia's technological and scientific heritage, ASAP has developed innovative projects to help people access and manage this information. Since January 1993, there have been two ASAP offices, the original Melbourne Office based in the University of Melbourne's HPS department, and the Canberra Office located in Becker House, at the Australian Academy of Science. Both offices continue to work on the processing of archival collections, but beyond this, they have developed areas of specific expertise.
Tim Sherratt in the Canberra Office has devoted himself to increasing access to information about the history of Australian science and technology, and reinforcing its important place in our culture. To this end, he has used the Internet to make ASAP and related resources accessible on-line; talked and published extensively in the scientific, school, and wider communities; and developed a proposal for Bright SPARCS, a multimedia resource kit. This resource kit will incorporate the information already collected by ASAP in RASA, the Register of Archives of Science in Australia, as well as biographical information relating to individual scientists and stories which place their work in context. He continues to edit the History of Australian Science Newsletter, which is now published electronically as well as being sent to a mailing list of over 1300.
In Melbourne, the day to day running of ASAP has been handed over to the new coordinator, Lisa O'Sullivan, who also acts as the contact point for enquires about ASAP's work. The Chief Archivist, Gavan McCarthy has become increasingly in demand as a specialist consultant, advising on the organisation and preservation of the archival collections of individual scientists, large scientific organisations and industry. The tools he has developed during this work have been consolidated in the ASAP Archival Data System (ASAP ADS), which has become the linchpin of our processing work.
Both offices act in support of each other to achieve ASAP's overall aims, enabling it to continue and expand its work as an information centre for Australian science and technology. ASAP is able to help individuals and corporations gain more access to their history, aiding the decisions they make about their future.
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