Practical Technology for Archives

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[Excerpt] The Australian War Memorial (AWM) is an archive, library, museum and memorial located in Canberra, Australia. Its diverse collections are primarily managed in the museum collection management system, Mimsy XG. The Research Centre is one section within the Memorial and is tasked with digitising, managing and providing access to both archival and library collections.

Anzac Connections is the Australian War Memorial’s major digitisation and web development project to mark the centenary of the First World War. Involving the delivery of digitised collections of ephemera, letters and diaries from the Memorial’s Research Centre, this project marked the dawn of a new phase of digitisation. This project also encompassed improvements to the accessibility of collections on the Memorial’s website.

This article will discuss the challenges and solutions met by the Memorial in digitising and providing public access to archival collections via a museum collection database. It will focus on the issues experienced at the outset of the Anzac Connections project with digitisation workflows, multiple collection databases and the online display of archival collections. It will also cover the solutions that were adopted to address each of these issues and conclude with the project outcomes that will be beneficial for any future digitisation projects undertaken.