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DigiVol: Archives show their appreciation

By: Leonie Prater, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 16 Jun 2014

Find out why DigiVol was given such a delicious and beautifully decorated cake.

DigiVol: Archival Records show their appreciation

 © Australian Museum

Anna Namuren, archivist with Archives and Records surprised and delighted DigiVol staff and volunteers by baking and decorating this gorgeous cake in appreciation of the many volunteer hours taken to digitise the 13 bound Australian Museum Magazines.

We have digitised in excess of 105,000 single pages of archival records over the previous three years. Archives job requests include digitisation of records and specialised post processing of images (i.e. optimising the image by cropping, contrasting etc. and then collating to a PDF) which is very time consuming.

The Archive job requests vary considerably which makes it very interesting for volunteers. Our first job was significant in that we digitised 158 AM Collection Registers which allowed Collections staff to view the records on line rather than handle these valuable Museum documents which had been the practice in the past. Additionally, we have digitised 22 AM Annual Reports, 21 AM Photograph Albums and numerous boxes of AM Illustrations which were all very large jobs.

The field notebooks and diaries have proved to be very popular with our volunteers. The large volume jobs completed include 76 Ian Thornton notebooks, 73 Edgar Waite diaries and 23 M.S.R Sharland notebooks.  To quote a volunteer: “When we digitise MSR Sharland’s notebooks, we get a glimpse into their world and how science was carried out in those days.”

Transcribing the Edgar Waite diaries by virtual volunteers on the Biodiversity Volunteer Portal (BVP) are very popular. These diaries, set against the late C19th and early C20th make very interesting reading of his natural history observations, pencil or pen and ink drawings and his inclusions of newspaper articles, photographs and postcards