Web-Based Training Tutorials on Preservation and Conservation for Developing Countries
Librarians and archivists in many parts of the world lack the information they need to take basic preservation action. Language is sometimes a barrier to information access, but inappropriate content and poor distribution may be even bigger problems. The current preservation literature often focuses on highly specialized topics; it may recommend the use of technologies or materials that are costly or are not available everywhere. Little information has been designed and delivered with the needs of the developing world in mind.
With funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, CLIR this year held its first meeting to plan a series of Web-based tutorials on preservation and conservation for use in developing countries. The first tutorial is being designed for use in Southeast Asia. It will present 11 topics in three categories: management and planning, operations, and supporting the effort. It will include a self-assessment tool and a model for developing an action plan. Other features of the tutorial will be a glossary of technical terms, frequently asked questions, a vendor database, a forum, a calendar, and a search capability. Staff at cultural institutions in the targeted countries are being surveyed to identify special needs, levels of connectivity, and language skills. The Southeast Asian tutorial is scheduled for release in June 2002. CLIR expects to develop additional versions of the tutorial for other regions of the world.
Access to Manuscripts and Archives
The international community has shown great interest in the Encoded Archival Descriptors (EAD) that American archivists are developing to facilitate electronic access to manuscript and archival finding aids. CLIR, together with the German research consortium, Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft, sponsored the work of a group of German and American archivists to explore the use of EAD as a means of information exchange for German archives. This work has yielded important information about the flexibility of EAD in non-American contexts and how it can, or cannot, be used in different national archival traditions.
Partnership with Mortenson Center
CLIR is now an official partner of the Mortenson Center at the University of Illinois. The Mortenson Center, with endowment and foundation funding, has brought more than 500 librarians from 74 countries to take part in management training and development programs. CLIR will work with the Mortenson Center staff to tailor some portions of the Frye Leadership Institute to an international audience.