2009 AGM

Minutes of British & Irish Sound Archives (BISA) Annual General Meeting held on 4 June 2009, at the Wessex Film and Sound Archive, Sussex Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8TH

Christine Adams (British Library Sound Archive)
Martin Astell (Essex Sound and Video Archive)
Almut Boehme (National Library of Scotland)
Jonathan Draper (Norfolk Sound Archive)
Stephen Greaves (All You Need Is Ears)
Jenny Grigg (All You Need Is Ears)
Tineke E Jansen
David Lee (Wessex Film and Sound Archive)
Daniel Leech Wilkinson (King’s College London)
Cathlin Macaulay (School of Scottish Studies Archives)
Mairead MacDonald (Tobar an Dualchais)
Malachy Moran (RTÉ)
John Moxley
Will Prentice (British Library Sound Archive)
Dafydd Pritchard (National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales)
Richard Ranft (British Library Sound Archive)
Simon Rooks (BBC)

No apologies were received

To Receive the Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 23 May 2008, at The National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth,
The minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2008 were accepted with no amendments. Will Prentice (WP) duly signed the minutes.

Committee Members’ Reports
WP gave convenor’s report, stating the biggest development this year had been the opening of formal membership. WP stated there were currently 34 members of BISA following a modest publicity drive on e-mail discussion lists, but he wanted to attract more members from academic libraries, museums and archives. WP appealed for any suggestions on how BISA could increase awareness of its existence. WP explained that there will be an article in the forthcoming Society of Archivists’ Newsletter about BISA and that he would mention BISA when he speaks at the Society of Archivists’ conference. Simon Rooks (SR) who is speaking at the same conference said he would also mention BISA. WP mentioned that IASA remain interested in BISA becoming a regional branch, and that discussions are ongoing. As well as the creation of a directory of holders of sound archives (discussed below), WP stated his desire for an informal directory of service providers including maintenance engineers and digitization services in order to preserve the knowledge of those people who have experience of analogue and early digital sound formats. WP said that the list could not recommend certain companies or individuals and would have to include a caveat to the effect that responsibility for establishing the quality of service to be provided would lie with the user.

WP in his capacity as BISA e-mail discussion list owner stated that there were currently 100 members.

Jonathan Draper (JD) gave the Secretary’s report. JD confirmed BISA had 34 members, explaining that there were 20 Full Institutional, 1 Associate Institutional, 9 Full Individual and 4 Associate Individual members. JD announced that Almut Boehme (AB) had decided to stand down as a Member at Large. JD thanked her for all her work on the BISA Committee, especially in the early development of BISA and as a constant source of advice. JD explained that he had invited nominations for the vacant post. The only candidate was Cathlin Macaulay (CM) of the School of Scottish Studies Archives. A unanimous vote in favour of CM confirmed her as the new Member at Large. JD also confirmed that WP planned on stepping down as Convenor before the next BISA training day and explained the process for electing a new Convenor. Namely, a nomination period of approximately four weeks would be opened during the summer or early autumn and would be followed by an election period. JD explained that as much of this process as possible will be undertaken via e-mail and the BISA JISCmail discussion list.

Dafydd Pritchard (DP) gave the Treasurer’s report. DP said that following the decision to charge for the current BISA training day, BISA now have some funds. DP explained that these were bolstered by a cheque for £2,530.02 given to him by Chris Clark, former Treasurer of the British Association of Sound Collections. This was the amount of money left in BASC’s bank account after its dissolution.

Malachy Moran (MM) gave the web master’s report. Conscious that the BISA directory has its own agenda item, MM explained that the decision to widen the scope of the directory to include all holders of audio archives, rather than just BISA members, allowed him to correct some small problems with the website.

Directory of Sound Archive Holdings
JD outlined what work he, MM and WP had done on the proposed BISA directory. JD explained that the BISA committee had looked at different archive directories and directory methodologies and come to the conclusion that the International Council on Archives’ recently published International Standard for Describing Institutions with Archival Holdings provided the best structure for a directory, though not all of the suggested data elements would be used. JD also said that the directory would act as a portal to institutions’ own websites, which would provide more collection level information. JD stated that the holder of sound/oral history collections would have to offer some sort of access to their material, whether it be full public access or more controlled access in order to be included in the directory.

JD explained another key decision was the scale of directory. Initially it was envisaged that the directory should include just BISA members and be entirely self-authored. However, following discussions with the Oral History Society, who are planning a directory of UK based oral history collections, it became clear that a joint project between the two organizations would avoid duplication and improve the chances of success. JD explained that many regional Museums, Libraries and Archives Councils had already carried out a survey of audiovisual material and that this information could be exported into the new directory as well information contained in the Directory of British Sound Collections, though this information would have to be checked and updated. JD reported that the British Library had offered the services of a staff member to work on the directory for a few hours a week and that they would be prepared to host the directory if necessary. JD raised the possibility that external funding may be available for a directory, and that this was being explored.

MM confirmed what JD had said and stated that the directory would be written in such a way that it could be presented with a variety of skins, depending on where it was being hosted.

Richard Ranft (RR) asked if institutions would be able to author their own entries in the enlarged directory. JD and MM responded by saying that this would still be possible.

DP asked what the geographical remit of OHS was and did it cover the Republic of Ireland. MM answered that the OHS covered mainly the UK and that the International Oral History Association also covered oral history activity in Ireland.

Any Other Items of Business
No items were raised.

Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next BISA meeting will be held at the University of York, hosted by the Music Department and Borthwick Institute for Archives, in May 2010 (precise date to be confirmed).

The meeting ended at 16:20.