Why archive – Interview with AIATSIS collection staff

Stateline has a good interview (and transcript) with various staff of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies [thanks Sarah!]. It’s about the audio visual archive and you can hear snippets of recordings, and also hear about the problems with machinery going obsolescent..and the importance of metadata…
AIATSIS (misspelled ‘IATSIS’ alas in the transcript) actually has a fantastic print/manuscript collection as well. We’re lucky in Australia that nearly 50 years ago, some far-sighted enthusiasts got the Government to set up AIATSIS (then AIAS) and pay for the archiving and dissemination of materials related to Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

2 thoughts on “Why archive – Interview with AIATSIS collection staff”

  1. Wonderful story and wonderful archives that AIATSIS have. I’ve certainly benefited greatly from it, especially this year getting 51-year-old recordings and transcripts of Marra that I’ve taken back to the NT with me. As well as great research material, it’s great to be a part of its repatriation (and distribution.. but ssshhhh… don’t tell AIATSIS that I’ve been burning CDs for family members of the people on the recordings!)

  2. The story of (separately) finding the film and audio tapes of the interview with Ben Murray is a nice one, but it is not correct that his life is “completely undocumented” — Luise Hercus, Phillip Jones and I wrote about Ben’s life history in 1988 (published in Aboriginal History) and are currently working on a book-length biography that will include photos, maps, stories in Diyari and Arabana-Wangkangurru with translations, and supporting historical documents. It’s a shame that AIATSIS misrepresents the facts in this case.

Here at Endangered Languages and Cultures, we fully welcome your opinion, questions and comments on any post, and all posts will have an active comments form. However if you have never commented before, your comment may take some time before it is approved. Subsequent comments from you should appear immediately.

We will not edit any comments unless asked to, or unless there have been html coding errors, broken links, or formatting errors. We still reserve the right to censor any comment that the administrators deem to be unnecessarily derogatory or offensive, libellous or unhelpful, and we have an active spam filter that may reject your comment if it contains too many links or otherwise fits the description of spam. If this happens erroneously, email the author of the post and let them know. And note that given the huge amount of spam that all WordPress blogs receive on a daily basis (hundreds) it is not possible to sift through them all and find the ham.

In addition to the above, we ask that you please observe the Gricean maxims:

*Be relevant: That is, stay reasonably on topic.

*Be truthful: This goes without saying; don’t give us any nonsense.

*Be concise: Say as much as you need to without being unnecessarily long-winded.

*Be perspicuous: This last one needs no explanation.

We permit comments and trackbacks on our articles. Anyone may comment. Comments are subject to moderation, filtering, spell checking, editing, and removal without cause or justification.

All comments are reviewed by comment spamming software and by the site administrators and may be removed without cause at any time. All information provided is volunteered by you. Any website address provided in the URL will be linked to from your name, if you wish to include such information. We do not collect and save information provided when commenting such as email address and will not use this information except where indicated. This site and its representatives will not be held responsible for errors in any comment submissions.

Again, we repeat: We reserve all rights of refusal and deletion of any and all comments and trackbacks.

Leave a Comment