Notes Michael

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morning session


  • Nicolas, Femke, Me
  • Miren


  • Emilia

Barcelona city hall, guidelines for documents, document production / organization

  • Nujia


  • Marionna

filmoteca catalunya

  • Silvia

Picasso Museum

  • Pilar

national art museum of catalunya

  • Linda

Web management at tapies link between the website and museum events

  • Nuria

Tapies, Document management Thesaurus project

  • Gala


  • Laurence


  • Jorge

Culturas des Archivo

(todo: example of integrating an RSS feed into a page) (todo: example of engagemedia's compilation of various feeds?)


BIMA (1989-1993) Fixed and moving images

(femke takes notes)

  • (todo: example of semantic-media // produce a translation?)
  • (todo: link from semantic data to semantic forms)
  • (todo: examples of wikipedia categories / ties to practical use? / idea of feedback through use)
  • (!show: the "heavy-metal" umlaut movie)

GUIA: (year?) a rich archive 2 million pictures INVBENTARI DELS FONS I LES COLLECCIONS DE L'AHCB-AF


  1. define a document topology

(is something a photograph of not?)

  1. define a document groupings

example of "disintegrating" the collections / groups of pictures -- could search thematically, importance of understaning in a "creation context" worked picture by picture

  • assessment of what could be eliminated / suppressed
  • differentiate what was part of the collection vs. holdings

long and difficult work, after 6 years couldn't see the difference

Read the documents in their creative context.

  • only a few tags allows for retrieval, but only a reading in a subjective manner... (out of context)
  • AIDA-Albala (2003-2005)

baras -- standardized product "Albala" for archiving

  • city of council wanted to use it unchanged.
  • very complex tool to use for this reason

Things that we needed, changed the structure, so you couldn't find things in the end. The city system had until then always been changed manually. Here, many things didn't work. Language: Not only the company and ourselves, but among the working team -- didn't work.

Single tool was supposed to solve very different problems.

In the end we had a very complex tool -- that was impossible to use.

Emilia comments:

creators of albala were thinking about closed files -- a final definitive historical archive -- in this way it worked well -- the problem was compounded when added to a photographic archive. mission impossible to handle both administrative documents

emilia: an archive is an organic production of documents, a natural process; differentiates with a library, or a collection of scientific research (?) (already pre-organized by criteria).

in the digital world, more radical change, it's even more important to capture this context.


  • unique problems of photographic material
  • "users don't want photographs, they want images"

marionna: amateur film making

jorge: anthropologists from 19th century, collections (these are then: holdings) "creator is one who leads"


  • all documents compiled, in a photogr archive
  • the anthropologist as "creator" / producer

Holdings of Appeles ?? : differentiation between simply a collection of things someone likes (personal), versus a proper collection

Silvia: All disciplines have a toolset Important to not take them (the tools) literally You can question them; not necessary to be radical / extremist as long as the goal is attained. Importance of flexibility

L: But what is the goal?

Is it useful for the user? S: For example a classification chart is made because information was getting lost. Look for a "hybrid kind of tool".

Emilia: The goal for a tool is that it complies with the goals of the user / creator. For example Tapies tools fulfil the goals of Tapies.

Jorge: The history of the term "tool" -- many are not used anymore (we have a roman agricultural tool museum)... so where do your tools go to?

Silvia: Looking at tools: It allows you to understand how people think. (I love it , I am an archivist!)

Emila: work at city council, lists of series based on criteria; alphabetic series that said "green" -- "ecologists", or "bath" or "terror"; but it was very practical -- nothing was lost (they made millions of copies of it). The person who thought the system was a middle-aged lady with good practical sense of what would work. We can't transfer it; it's not standardized. We needed to change it for this reason. These are "description implements" just as the example of agricultural tools.


archivists have been transformed into documentarians

more a researcher,

library studies for 100 years defined methodologies to be adapted to technological changes; powerful tools to manage all sorts of libraries. (CDU?) Among archivists, when we becamse document managers, there were no tools. The need to create standards came out of this lack.

What is the archives goal: To keep an institutions memory

Link to family archives.

Institutions, like families, have commitments, and responsibilities. The archivist doesn't need to look into these responsibilities?? (or into the question of use?)

Jorge: Salamanca archive -- Are you concerned about objectivity in this case?

Emilia: You can organize the salamanca archive without asking any questions; I can prepare a classification framework based on the circumstances on how the documents were "gathered" we could say. this has been done; it is do-able. using all archiving sciences techniques without asking any questions. and such an archive could be used to help victims of the regime. (cites examples) But of course, you yourself ask questions; ...

Pilar: the archivists are

Emila: I am a catalan archivists and a castellian archivists would say something else. This is a political issue, not a technical one. What is fairer, should the documents be given back?

Marionna: For example: I do not want a snuff movie collection. As a public institution, I don't want to be involved there; we have a public service.

Gala: But who says yes or no? could the decision be shared?

Silvia: The imporance of preserving an archive; documents may need to be given back, but how do we keep a trace?

Jorge: My problem is the lack of sensitivity in the structure / e.g. I see repression in that period that may not be explicit in the collection.

( differences between document, tool, documentary )

Pilar: more sensitivity now than 20 years ago;

Emilia: The organization of the documents has an importance. If documents are given back, the memory is not destroyed. If you visit the archive, you can find all of the names, ...

problem is in the source of the documents -- not the documents / archive. in this way, you are not losing information

Jorge: not about digitized or not / example that group pictures would be given a heading, names written on the back with question of possible involvements of the individuals. I am curious about how these documents were used.

Important to see how the circumstances of the documents changed over time.

Pilar: nice example of a collection of photographs from someone related to picasso -- and how this collection tells

14:36, 4 December 2008 (CET) At the end of session:

Interesting the apparent tension between preservation and sharing and "embracing change". But preserving what? Memory, or Meaning -- and if meaning is seen as inherantly a network property -- and dynamic -- that preservation involves / requires capturing change, change to understand the original conditions of the production of a work.


Example of Stanley Kubrick 2001 -- interest


16:34, 4 December 2008 (CET)


  • MNAC

Monitoring the "life cycle" of documents

  • preserving "the memory of the object" not the institution

The designing of the form -- as a starting point

Access Database

Describes a design a custom collections module: to add fields to the numeric objects to ensure proper linkages

Questions of technical specifications of an object, or information about restorations, and when they have occured. Actually a system of object data (such as images sold which depict that object?)

Question of "Iconographic" file: Example of "Repertorio Iconografico de Espana" Photograph of a building with a description that states the type of stone in response to the question / field "materias" -- possible confusion of the term with "data".

Links to ownership / holding by a particular institution.

"Heritage Number" -- allows access of the original file.

The "historical module" was not developed... will be called "Inactive Documentation" (behind closed doors)... Incorporate with other kinds of documentation such as microfilms of correspondance of a particular Catalan artist. Adjust the archives to the needs of the institution -- they will index material and not necessarily "own" or physically manage the objects.

  • Researches done in preparation for particular exhibition.

Limits on the sharability of their collected documentation; claims that docuemntation could not be shared, cause it's not "theirs"

Their role is purely the storage of the products of research. They themselves do not conduct the research -- they organize...

The museums are a result of exhibitions of 1888,

started archive 1997:

The archive to keep the memory of the object. You may search using the historical attribution or the current one. (Discussing the photograph of an artwork). Chronology, Authorship, Title may change of a piece (esp. in Medieval pieces, where there is not clear attribution -- Different institutions will have different "metadata" -- because each has their own purposes.

(Silvia: don't see as duplication -- "copies" of a photograph would be seen as different documents... or there are "multiple originals" as photography is a reproductive art).

Miren: the "union" catalog from library sciences.

Silvia: you are not describing photographs -- you are describing documents (and thus different photo prints are really different documents -- there is a danger even to think you are describing the same thing).

Miren: 2nd generation documents -- produced by the archivists, not a "man on the street" ... this is like the case of digital

Pilar: Sharing of "original" number (definitive sample -- translated as "cliche")

Discussion now of how to transition from the archive to a digital online form.

Miren: Could you consider anonymous experts giving access to this. (the "web 2.0" / wikipedia approach?)

Pilar: ok...

Silvia: if the original glass plate is broken, this is important this is "pure archival science"...

Jorge: Describes how programs like Photoshop holds lots of data (EXIF)

Pilar: At the end of the republic there's a void -- up til the 40's is easier. originally a consultation tool for the "universal exhibition" (of 1920's)

Example of how plaster models of works would be produced for distribution in schools. Museum directors today being "good intellectuals" and bad managers.

17:39, 4 December 2008 (CET)



"number 7" in decimal system linking Culture and sport, and games

.036 where all contemporary art fit (all movements of art since 19th century...)

So clearly problematic to use the same classification for all sub categories

7.036 .8 realistic

.81 Realismo ruso
.82 ...

So created a set of sub categories.

"80's" as a category of style.

this sytem is "Self-exhausting" (as you approach the 90's and require this as a style)...

7.036.12 El Arte del Concepto

Time-sensitivity of descriptors (Alphabet remains, but not enough for the visual arts)

Experience of performing researches, with the Internet -- sought tools to automate / assist this process. Experience with tools -- problem of being either "entirely in or out" of a given department's database. "Amicos" -- allows linking things together -- but the tool comes from an analog tradition -- if you want to include secondary documents (lectures delivered by a particular person) -- demands a flexibility not allowed by this sort of tool.

The problem of tagging / identifying a process.

We found in experience of Arteleku the importance of capturing a process... something which doesn't exist in a library science.

Conferences -- recorded on a cassette -- and catalogued as such -- difficulty to then link to say a person later (portion of the recording). How to capture the context around such a recording (not just the physical object). Items that were stored on a server -- also were not possible to enter into Amicus. This system was focused on "loans" in terms of library. BLOGs produced by non-librarians were producing better information than the libraries themselves -- We live now in a society with non-hierarchical information distribution (SMS, film, etc.). But in an institutional context we are scared by ... the more agile solutions offered by digital tools. ALso more global scope of a "google" generation in relation to older proprietary software (from North America, or Japan). Worshipping the tool may not be helpful.

Pilar: Question of training policies; if we do not train professionals to understand their new technological environment -- it is not easy to trespass this boundary. C4 (CCCC) archive, using MARC.... (Need to start with the training of future managers.)

10:57, 5 December 2008 (CET)

Presentation Marionna, Filmoteca

Discussion of film archives; example of lack of 16mm b&w labs to handle this material.

(? name -- Australian) Every copy of a film is its own object with its own truths.

"The fridge"

  • 90000 documents
  • 21000 titles
  • 38000 cinematic documents...

Shows data form

seeking a solution: BTLS

Looked into museum management tool, implemented DAC, Desire to share methodologies They overwhelmed the system with data. The DAC maintained the data that they kept of paper.

Cinema Galaxy / Universe

Problem of managing paper exports, keeping in sync with DAC system.

Example of objects linked to films (like the camera that was used to shoot it).

Cross linkages from


Question of allowing people "free access" to the database -- problem that people might get lost. So they offer specific collections / context of

Perfil OPAC Web OpacWeb3

Use a "web generator" from OPAC

Archives of advertising

Using software (Movido based in Toulouse / Relational Database / Produced "filmo" module)

Prefers a company with a contract for ensuring that changes would be made.

Idea that an in-house programmer would be needed to work with open-source.

Miren: Clarifies the idea of working with open-source programmers.

Open source: unknown territory / seen as "very alternative"

DAC system had "shared dictionaries". Exported title by title.

Example of films pre 1930 lacking an original. Need to crosslink to companies / etc.

(Example of a bottom up software -- also idea of "many eyes", idea that you find your experts on specific fields)

Idea to share data with the other 400 companies using the same software.

Laurence: example of father, accustomisation to tools (like windows / layout) -- transition to open source. The need for political will to make change.

Department of ICT / unable to download / bureaucratic

Femke: Frustration / Challenge for open source

Miren: Example of free software anecdote: systems people losing work

M: defends decision, doesn't want to change; Example of just buying a Macintosh with Final Cut taking a year

(need to clear description -- institutional support for supporting change)

Silvia: Also the political influences / decision makers. The many levels of managers in between; difficultly of change.

Emilia: Ok we need to learn more about technology / we should be the heros of the story / Informatics structure -- like a ministry in a bad sense (ministry = red tape) Example of how to deal with "technology experts" who should know more than you do -- and they often don't.

Laurence: example of technicians who don't know linux; but importance to understand the environment you're in; doesn't really matter if it's proprietary or not; it's the relationship you have with the software, the question of inter-dependence (with a company / programmer). We are not prophets of the apocalypse, ... but if you lose Toulouse...

Femke: Need for knowledge of archivists in technology -- there are lots of "library science" like things happening in software and you're input is necessary.

(I think: frustration of how software gets used as a wall / push people into "expert / non-expert" camps)

Silvia: There have been links -- I may work with a technicial -- but not on a bi-directional scale.

Presentation Elisabeth

11:52, 5 December 2008 (CET)

end of 2006, opened in January 2008

Question of how to bring access to both highly specialized purpose, or more casual kind of users. Create a comfortable space for visitors; get involved with the contents of the archive. A hybrid space -- place to sit and read, or a kind of working area, or an exhibition space of CCCB materials.

About 700 conference material; 250 AV presentations...

Originally, we were 2 people, now it's 6 people plus an outside company (not in house). First worked with a provisional db (Access).

"Eccentric" -- had own database

worked with an Access

Overly limited, worked only with one type of material. But for us, the subject of the db was the activity not the object (?)

Microsoft SharePoint platform => allow growth from internal web to external.

The problem of copyright in the archive (having to make contact with all copyright holders, but rights not held for online access).

Laurence: Cites example of european project to show information about public domain material. (ability to travel)


(excuses the "primitive" state of their efforts, that they are "simply" based on making a room full of things digital, and accessible)

(The archivists: not primitive!)

Pilar: To give visibility is the first question. Use tools of archiving science to catalog... difference is to inde

L: To archive is to give a vision, the end result is different. how you index affects the end point -- the archiving process takes you to a particular way of presenting an end result.

Silvia: at the end of the day, the user gets the same result -- will not notice a big difference. what is the goal, to access information, to access memory, to retrieve it in one way or the other (how fixed is the "it")...

Gala: practical issue:

Differentiation of kinds of users (high on casual use)

Jorge: I cannot imagine an archive that doesn't produce / build a discourse. We are all part of living archive, aren't we. Art and mimesis is a basic problem of an archive


(offers a pragmatic, practice-based approach to archiving that is very rich) thematic links between documents.

13:50, 5 December 2008 (CET)

Wrapup from Jorge.

What links here

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