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The Need for and Needs of Archives
Guide to the archives and documentation
of the member parties of the
European Free Alliance (EFA)
The Need for and Needs of Archives
1. The outline of the project
Basic question
What is the situation of the
historical and archival awareness
amongst the political parties assembled in the
European Free Alliance (EFA)?
Goal
Mapping the archives of EFA’s member parties to plan
future support where it is needed, develop
recommendations and facilitate (historical) research
Setup
•initiated by CMC (Centre Maurtis Coppieters)
•carried out by NISE (National movements and
Intermediary Structures in Europe)
NISE?
•international historiographical, heuristic and archival
platform
•facilitate scientific historiography of national
movements (e.g. guidance towards source material)
•coordinated by the ADVN - archives and research
centre in Antwerp (Flanders, BE)
•more info: http://www.nise.eu
Timeline
•2009: preliminary study, setting out the framework
•2010: carrying out survey
•2010-2011: additional interviews and visits
•2011: final data processing
•2012: presentation of results: database, online
manual, publication
Why do we need archives anyway?
•legal function: a.o. support and guarantee the rights
and obligations of governments and citizens
•administrative function: good governance
•historical value: influence the contents and
orientation of personal and collective memory, thus
the formation of a national identity
•policy supporting: legimitation of policy
and decision making
What are archives then?
•“materials created or received by a person, family, or
organization, public or private, in the conduct of their
affairs […]”
•parties: letters, policy papers, meeting reports,
financial administration, party publications, campaign
material, audiovisual materials (photos, films etc) and
all digital born or
digitised materials
The Need for and Needs of Archives
2. The survey
Yes, another survey…
•few (European) examples of surveys on the archives
of political parties
•most were very unsuccesful with very limited
response (statistically worthless)
•rather succesful among socialist and social democrat
parties. Due to higher historical/archival awareness?
Three kinds of data
•Archival data: are there archives, what is their
background and what do they contain
•Archival context: who created those archives, e.g.
information about the political parties/organizations
•Archival holders: who keeps those archives and how
are they being kept
Selection of respondents
•EFA (2010): 33 full member parties
•added with prospective members and observers
•a limited control group of non-member parties,
although part of national or regional movement
•total of 46 possible cases
Four steps
1.Questionnaire by e-mail (2010):
25% returned at least a minimal completed form;
2.Interviews at EFA GA in Venice (March 2010):
56% of member party representatives contacted;
3.Visits at selected party archives (2010-2011):
5 in 2010, added with 11 extra visits in 2011;
4.Additional research (2011).
Problems
•By the end of 2010: only 30% sufficient data
•Causes:
- general low return on surveys
- language problem (despite use of 5 languages)
- unfamiliar with archival matters
- incomprehension / suspicion regarding project
Data processing
•During 2011 at the ADVN, Antwerp
•Translated, checked and systemised
•Database input using international standards of the
International Council on Archives (ICA):
- Archives: ISAD(G)
- Context (parties): ISAAR(CPF)
- Archival holders: ISDIAH
The Need for and Needs of Archives
3. The results
Database
http://gta.nise.eu
Statistics: where are the archives kept
Statistics: where are the archives kept
Statistics: where are the archives kept
Statistics: how are the archives kept
Statistics: how are the archives kept
Statistics: how are the archives kept
Statistics: what is kept in the archives
Statistics: how the archives are disclosed
Statistics: how accessible the archives are
Statistics: how accessible the archives are
Conclusions (1/2):
•amazing and even surprising amount of historical
valuable materials
•huge difference whether party archives are kept at
an institution or not
•party archives are often underresourced
•archival care is not according to common standards,
methods and procedures
Conclusions (2/2):
•the retrieval of documents often depends on the
knowledge of the archives responsable
•the level of access lacks consistency
•digitisation, if applicable, lacks a methodical
approach
•all archives lack an international dimension
The Need for and Needs of Archives
4. Recommendations
Manual
•an online resource with practical guidelines bundled
in 6 main themes: context, appraisal, arrangement,
preservation, digitisation and access
•part of NISE Expertise and Information Centre (wiki)
•http://eic.nise.eu
•work-in-progress: constantly updated and added to
Flying Archivist
•follow-up project initiated by CMC and NISE
•assist with the most urgent and basic needs and
consult on archival care by offering archival service on
a temporary basis (5 days)
•selection of 3 cases: application process from March
26th until April 16th
•more info: http://www.nise.eu
The Need for and Needs of Archives
Thank you
for your cooperation with this project
and attention during this presentation
Further information
•General report: http://www.nise.eu and NISE
Proceedings, nr. 2 (summer 2012)
•Database: http: //gta.nise.eu
•Manual: http://eic.nise.eu
•Contact: tom.cobbaert@nise.eu or
luc.boeva@nise.eu

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The Need for and Needs of Archives. Guide to the archives and documentation of the member parties of the European Free Alliance (EFA)

  • 1. The Need for and Needs of Archives Guide to the archives and documentation of the member parties of the European Free Alliance (EFA)
  • 2. The Need for and Needs of Archives 1. The outline of the project
  • 3. Basic question What is the situation of the historical and archival awareness amongst the political parties assembled in the European Free Alliance (EFA)?
  • 4. Goal Mapping the archives of EFA’s member parties to plan future support where it is needed, develop recommendations and facilitate (historical) research
  • 5. Setup •initiated by CMC (Centre Maurtis Coppieters) •carried out by NISE (National movements and Intermediary Structures in Europe)
  • 6. NISE? •international historiographical, heuristic and archival platform •facilitate scientific historiography of national movements (e.g. guidance towards source material) •coordinated by the ADVN - archives and research centre in Antwerp (Flanders, BE) •more info: http://www.nise.eu
  • 7. Timeline •2009: preliminary study, setting out the framework •2010: carrying out survey •2010-2011: additional interviews and visits •2011: final data processing •2012: presentation of results: database, online manual, publication
  • 8. Why do we need archives anyway? •legal function: a.o. support and guarantee the rights and obligations of governments and citizens •administrative function: good governance •historical value: influence the contents and orientation of personal and collective memory, thus the formation of a national identity •policy supporting: legimitation of policy and decision making
  • 9. What are archives then? •“materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs […]” •parties: letters, policy papers, meeting reports, financial administration, party publications, campaign material, audiovisual materials (photos, films etc) and all digital born or digitised materials
  • 10. The Need for and Needs of Archives 2. The survey
  • 11. Yes, another survey… •few (European) examples of surveys on the archives of political parties •most were very unsuccesful with very limited response (statistically worthless) •rather succesful among socialist and social democrat parties. Due to higher historical/archival awareness?
  • 12. Three kinds of data •Archival data: are there archives, what is their background and what do they contain •Archival context: who created those archives, e.g. information about the political parties/organizations •Archival holders: who keeps those archives and how are they being kept
  • 13. Selection of respondents •EFA (2010): 33 full member parties •added with prospective members and observers •a limited control group of non-member parties, although part of national or regional movement •total of 46 possible cases
  • 14. Four steps 1.Questionnaire by e-mail (2010): 25% returned at least a minimal completed form; 2.Interviews at EFA GA in Venice (March 2010): 56% of member party representatives contacted; 3.Visits at selected party archives (2010-2011): 5 in 2010, added with 11 extra visits in 2011; 4.Additional research (2011).
  • 15. Problems •By the end of 2010: only 30% sufficient data •Causes: - general low return on surveys - language problem (despite use of 5 languages) - unfamiliar with archival matters - incomprehension / suspicion regarding project
  • 16. Data processing •During 2011 at the ADVN, Antwerp •Translated, checked and systemised •Database input using international standards of the International Council on Archives (ICA): - Archives: ISAD(G) - Context (parties): ISAAR(CPF) - Archival holders: ISDIAH
  • 17. The Need for and Needs of Archives 3. The results
  • 19. Statistics: where are the archives kept
  • 20. Statistics: where are the archives kept
  • 21. Statistics: where are the archives kept
  • 22. Statistics: how are the archives kept
  • 23. Statistics: how are the archives kept
  • 24. Statistics: how are the archives kept
  • 25. Statistics: what is kept in the archives
  • 26. Statistics: how the archives are disclosed
  • 27. Statistics: how accessible the archives are
  • 28. Statistics: how accessible the archives are
  • 29. Conclusions (1/2): •amazing and even surprising amount of historical valuable materials •huge difference whether party archives are kept at an institution or not •party archives are often underresourced •archival care is not according to common standards, methods and procedures
  • 30. Conclusions (2/2): •the retrieval of documents often depends on the knowledge of the archives responsable •the level of access lacks consistency •digitisation, if applicable, lacks a methodical approach •all archives lack an international dimension
  • 31. The Need for and Needs of Archives 4. Recommendations
  • 32. Manual •an online resource with practical guidelines bundled in 6 main themes: context, appraisal, arrangement, preservation, digitisation and access •part of NISE Expertise and Information Centre (wiki) •http://eic.nise.eu •work-in-progress: constantly updated and added to
  • 33. Flying Archivist •follow-up project initiated by CMC and NISE •assist with the most urgent and basic needs and consult on archival care by offering archival service on a temporary basis (5 days) •selection of 3 cases: application process from March 26th until April 16th •more info: http://www.nise.eu
  • 34. The Need for and Needs of Archives Thank you for your cooperation with this project and attention during this presentation
  • 35. Further information •General report: http://www.nise.eu and NISE Proceedings, nr. 2 (summer 2012) •Database: http: //gta.nise.eu •Manual: http://eic.nise.eu •Contact: tom.cobbaert@nise.eu or luc.boeva@nise.eu