A year ago today, we held our first meeting of the Archive Project Team and I thought it was worth looking back over the year and thinking about what we have achieved in that time frame..
If we cast our mind back to a year ago, the collection was suffering from the after effects of the infamous ‘burst pipe’ event and, although we were incredibly lucky to have got off as lightly as we did, the collection had been turned upside down and spread round the TSSC buildings. Those items that were water damaged were away for restoration but the whole collection needed re-sorting and putting back into a sensible order.
With the start of the Project coinciding with that, it enabled a larger group of people efforts to be brought to bear on the task and now the collection has been successfully re-ordered and is in a better state of conservation in general. We have also taken the opportunity to go through the collection in greater detail, weeding out inappropriate items that over the years had inevitably found a home there and also identifying Archive materials that weren’t directly related to the Austin 7 and should be found new homes.
If we think of what we have achieved directly related to the Digital project, we have made remarkable progress. The items that caused greatest angst were the Index Cards and those, along with the Handbooks and Parts Lists have been digitised. We have a complete set of photos of all our Trophies and related materials and we have built a web site and published all those images. We have already started on a project to make the Index Cards easier to research on line and all of that work has been done to a high quality and professional standard. The Team should be rightly proud of what they have created.
Our efforts are also reflected in the fact that a number of other organizations have talked with us about our approach as they embark on Projects of their own. I like to think we have really become a leading light in this area…
We should not forget that very soon, we will also be adding Show Brochures and Paint cards to our digital collection. Overall, that really does reflect an extraordinary level of progress in 12 months, starting from nothing.
I think we should give the team a huge pat on the back for their efforts over the past year and consider what they have achieved. They all have my sincere thanks for the effort they have put into the Project..