Food for thought

I received the following response to my posting on the American archives listserv about this month’s Collections of the Month feature on Insects and Entomologists:

Interesting–but you left out "people who eat insects"! For example, you might link to which has nutritional breakdowns of various insects.

Or not. ;-)


Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer
Information Services Librarian
Conrad N. Hilton Library:
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Learn more about The World’s Premier Culinary College at

Opportunity for training in EAD

The Society of Archivists’ EAD/Data Exchange Group will be running an Introduction to EAD training day on 25 April 2006. Both Amanda and Jane are part of the Group Committee, and, together with Bill Stockting from TNA, they will be the tutors for this course.

For those Hub contributors who want to know more about XML in general, and EAD in particular, this course provides a good general introduction. It also gives delegates the chance to create an EAD record from scratch, using XML editing software. This course is not aimed specifically at Hub contributors, so it will not be about the Hub implementation of EAD, but will look at general principles of using EAD.

Whilst many contributors may be happy to use the Hub template to create records, it can be worthwhile to learn more about the prinicples behind EAD, and gain a greater understanding of the syntax and semantics. We are offering this course at a very good price this year (

Value of Bolton’s museums, archives and libraries

Another thing mentioned by Simon Matty was the monetary value placed by the inhabitants of Bolton on the museum, library and archive services provided by the Metropolitan Borough Council. The full report of the consultants is available from MLA North West. I was amazed to discover that the archive service only costs the citizens of Bolton 17 pence a month each. The average price that non-users were willing to pay to maintain the service was a respectable 68 pence. Those who actually used the service would be willing to pay a whopping

‘Public Value’

Simon Matty of MLA gave a talk about the concept of Public Value at the NCA event. The impression he gave was that it is now being seen as increasingly important to get the public to speak on behalf of service providers about the value they attach to organisations such as archives, libraries and museums. This seems to represent a move away from measuring the number of visitors and towards trying to demonstrate the quality of the users’ experience.

Simon noted that 6.2% of adults (according to the Taking Part survey undertaken by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport) have visited an archive. We thought this was actually quite a high figure, although as Rebecca Simor of the BBC pointed out, it doesn’t include any measure of online use, which is something that interests us particularly.

Evidence of our Value – our Value as Evidence

Jane and I went to the National Council on Archives’ one-day conference in Birmingham yesterday. There were some excellent talks by users of archives, particularly that by Dr Dennis Wheeler of the University of Sunderland. He was describing the CLIWOC project, which is using naval logbooks to chart weather conditions in the world’s oceans between 1750 and 1850.


This is the first posting of the Archives Hub team’s blog. We plan to use this to post news about the activities and interests of the members of the Archives Hub team.