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Community Access Points Newsletter - No 1 March 2009

Welcome

Welcome to the first Community Access Points (CAPS) newsletter, a new way for you to keep up with the latest developments and improvements to finding aids and supporting material specifically relating to records contained in the Archives Resources Kit (ARK). From new online indexes to the records to background facts and research tips in Archives in Brief, we hope this newsletter will make the great research resource of the ARK even more accessible to you and your readers.

We welcome all feedback on this quarterly newsletter, including any tips or experiences you may want to share with others in providing access to and using the records in the ARK. Please send comments to Christine.Yeats@records.nsw.gov.au.

This issue will provide a brief background to the ARK and then focus on online resources developed since the initial distribution of the ARK and supporting material for using the ARK.

Now&Then – another source of information

For the latest up-to-date information about all our new research tools and resources, services, seminars, exhibitions and other activities taking place at State Records you can read our other eNewsletter Now&Then. Now&Then is published every two months and if not already, you can subscribe to it online

Background to the ARK

In 2000 State Records established a network of 40 Community Access Points (CAPs) throughout New South Wales to provide access to microform copies of some of the most popular 19th century State archives. Together with supporting guides these microform copies are known as the ARK.

The distribution of the ARK was the first stage in an initiative to increase access to the States’ rich archival resources. Since 2000 State Records has been working on the second stage, improving access to State archives through the use of online services. This has included developing online indexes to records held in the ARK and publishing more Archives in Brief (fact sheets) on popular research topics with tips and references to the most commonly sourced material. 

For more information on the ARK including what it contains, how to use it and links to other helpful sources for those in regional NSW see our webpage on resources for people in regional NSW

Online resources for records in the ARK

Since the distribution of the ARK many of the indexes to records on microform have been converted to online indexes making access to the records much easier. Below are some of the indexes now available online to records in the ARK.

Indexes

State Records website

We are constantly adding to our website to create an even more rewarding experience for remote researchers. In addition to our main catalogue, Archives Investigator, we are adding items such as photographs to Photo Investigator and digital copies of records to our digital gallery. We have also created special resource pages for family historians, people in regional NSW and Indigenous communities. These additions can supplement and progress research using the ARK and prepare resecahers for visits to our reading rooms.

State Records on Flickr

Are you a Flickr user? So are we! In June 2008 we set up a Flickr Pro account and have been busy adding some of our Photo Investigator images to the photostream. We hope to add scanned images of some of our documents in the near future as well. Each uploaded image includes basic metadata such as title, date and a Digital ID reference which links back to the image in Photo Investigator.

One of the benefits of Flickr is that we can tag and describe images using more general terms than the controlled vocabulary of Photo Investigator. As a Flickr contact, you too can tag our images, which makes it easy for you to locate them again, while simultaneously helping other Flickr users find them. You'll notice that some images are undated and people and places are unidentified as this information was not included with the photos when they became archives. So make sure to become a contact and help us out if you can positively identify anything!

ARK – Loan Service

In addition to the 40 copies of the ARK hosted by CAPs, State Records has individual items available for loan to branch libraries. If you know of any library interested in hosting individual microfilms and microfiche included in the ARK, details of the service can be found on our website .

Seminar on using the ARK

State Records is offering a free seminar on the Archives Resources Kit in conjunction with the Country Public Libraries Symposium which is being held at Parkes from 24 to 26 June 2009.