Contributions to the 6th AICCM Book, Paper & Photographic Materials Symposium. 17-19th November 2010, Melbourne. p91
The National Archives of Australia manages valuable records created by Australian Government agencies to ensure that they are available now and for future generations. A major role of the Archives is to preserve and to provide access to its collection. An aspect of this is the growing demand for digitised copies of records. Archives staff demonstrate the importance of teamwork and communication in providing this form of access. The National Archives provides a range of digitisation services including digitisation on demand, as requested by clients, and a proactive program of digitisation for preservation purposes. Archives staff work together to ensure this can be accomplished. Conservators in the Preservation team work closely with the Digital Preservation team for preservation-related digitisation and they liaise with Digitisation Officers in the Access and Communication branch about digitisation on demand requests. When clients want to conduct their own digitisation by using a digital camera within the Reading Room, conservators also liaise with the Lending team and/or Access and Communication staff. Each of these different teams work collaboratively to ensure that collection items are handled appropriately during treatment and duplication, and that suitable supports and equipment are used during digitisation. Conservators are often approached by other staff members to provide advice and to carry out conservation treatments before digitisation to ensure that collection items are in a stable condition and robust enough for digitisation. This poster will use examples from the collection to highlight types of scenarios encountered. For example, a framed photograph dated 1883 was being digitised for preservation purposes. A conservator removed the item from its frame in preparation for duplication and also carried out conservation treatment including cleaning. In addition, the conservators often separate adhered folios in preparation for digitisation on demand, as adhesive obscures information that the documents contain. These examples highlight how the staff in the Preservation and Digitisation teams collaborate to ensure items are preserved and made accessible to the public.