Starting a Digital Collection

29 views
Skip to first unread message

Alex Youngs

unread,
Jun 10, 2021, 11:34:32 AM6/10/21
to Norfolk Archives Network
Hi there, 

I'm one of the trustees of the Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston and I'm looking to start a digital collection of images/postcards/stories etc focussed on the Pavilion and the Gorleston seafront. 

We don't have a facility to hold actual pieces (yet) so I wanted to start digitally and create a launch campaign to invite users to send in photos or bring them in for us to scan. 

I attended a session a couple of years ago that was very helpful in outlining some of the processes, but we're newbies at this and would appreciate some advice!

My questions that I need help with really are:

  1. Is there software that exists that helps us to create and maintain a digital collection?
  2. Has anyone attempted this before to ask the public to digitally submit pieces via a website or to bring them in to us to scan and catalogue?
  3. Where can I get some practical advice or help on getting set up?

Any help that can be offered would be hugely appreciated!

Thanks,
Alex

Trevor Ogden

unread,
Jun 10, 2021, 12:14:12 PM6/10/21
to Alex Youngs, Norfolk Archives Network
There is a Facebook group operated by a chap over here called Laurie Leeder which is called "Laurie's Dereham and all Norfolk Archive".  Daily there appear old photos, mainly of central Norfolk, but also of far-flung places like Gorleston, posted by Laurie and others.  To access this, someone would need to be on Facebook, and join Laurie's group.  Then you can search by location.  At a quick count, there have been 20 pictures of Gorleston this year, mainly old postcards.  Subject to copyright considerations, you could do screen-grabs of these.  If you liked, you could message Laurie and tell him what you are doing, but I am sure he would not object.  
Many of these are postcards offered on ebay, which the person posting to Laurie's list has screen-grabbed I assume.  Searching Gorleston in the ebay category Collectables - Postcards, there are dozens for sale at the moment - I stopped counting at 50.
The downside to this is resolution, which will be relatively low for an image grabbed from ebay.  This means that they would not be good enough to print for an exhibition, but they do show plenty of detail relevant to a town archive.  
I defer to experts on copyright, but from what I have read I think that for old pictures, with the photographer long-dead, it is probably OK.  Of course ownership of an image does not confer copyright.

Best wishes
Trevor

Trevor Ogden
Dereham Heritage Trust
Dereham, Norfolk, UK












--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Norfolk Archives Network" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to norfolk-archives-n...@norah-df.org.uk.
To view this discussion on the web, visit https://groups.google.com/a/norah-df.org.uk/d/msgid/norfolk-archives-network/e5a87450-6ce5-4ee1-84e0-5b17aced941fn%40norah-df.org.uk.

Alex Youngs

unread,
Jun 10, 2021, 12:18:11 PM6/10/21
to og...@ogs.org.uk, Norfolk Archives Network
Thanks very much Trevor! 

Really interesting to hear of Gorleston popping up much further afield. 

We do have a local Facebook Group where similar things get posted, my worry is that it’s held within Facebook and we’d like to ultimately do something with the collection, either by way or a permanent display or similar - if it’s all in Facebook it’s pretty sporadic as to how it’s found again!

My question really is on the logistical side though I think. We have web developers in house who can build submission technology for people who are scanning and uploading themselves, but from a pure digital collection management point of view I’m really interested to hear of any software that can help us to manage this. 

Thanks again for your feedback. 

Best,
Alex


------------

Alex Youngs 
Trustee

Pavilion Theatre 
Pier Gardens, Gorleston-On-Sea, Norfolk NR31 6PP

07708 385934 | pavtheatre.com | @gorlestonpav


Trevor Ogden

unread,
Jun 10, 2021, 12:26:13 PM6/10/21
to Alex Youngs, Trevor Ogden, Norfolk Archives Network
Yes, you would need to capture it when it appears.  Sorry if you know this, but in Windows, display the picture on your computer, hit PrtSc, open Paint, paste your screengrab. Trim away the bits you don't want and save the trimmed picture to a folder somewhere (noting where you got it from).
Trevor

Trevor Ogden
Dereham, Norfolk, UK












Alex Youngs

unread,
Jun 10, 2021, 12:49:21 PM6/10/21
to og...@ogs.org.uk, Norfolk Archives Network
Thanks Trevor. 

Again, we’re not looking for advice on how to capture images (and we wouldn’t simply scrape from Facebook anyway), I’m looking for a way to manage a collection of records digitally. Specifically storing them, cataloguing them, adding metadata etc. 

I think what I’m asking for is advice on a suitable Digital Asset Management System.

For anyone else looking for a similar system, I’ve just found some guidance on the National Archives website: 


Appreciate your help though. 

Alex


------------

Alex Youngs 
Trustee

Pavilion Theatre 
Pier Gardens, Gorleston-On-Sea, Norfolk NR31 6PP

07708 385934 | pavtheatre.com | @gorlestonpav


On 10 Jun 2021, at 17:26, Trevor Ogden <trevora...@gmail.com> wrote:

Yes, you would need to capture it when it appears.  Sorry if you know this, but in Windows, display the picture on your computer, hit PrtSc, open Paint, paste your screengrab. Trim away the bits you don't want and save the trimmed picture to a folder somewhere (noting where you got it from).
Trevor

Trevor Ogden
Dereham, Norfolk, UK












On Thu, 10 Jun 2021 at 17:18, Alex Youngs <al...@gorlestonpavilion.co.uk> wrote:
Thanks very much Trevor! 

Really interesting to hear of Gorleston popping up much further afield. 

We do have a local Facebook Group where similar things get posted, my worry is that it’s held within Facebook and we’d like to ultimately do something with the collection, either by way or a permanent display or similar - if it’s all in Facebook it’s pretty sporadic as to how it’s found again!

My question really is on the logistical side though I think. We have web developers in house who can build submission technology for people who are scanning and uploading themselves, but from a pure digital collection management point of view I’m really interested to hear of any software that can help us to manage this. 

Thanks again for your feedback. 

Best,
Alex


------------

Alex Youngs 
Trustee

Pavilion Theatre 
Pier Gardens, Gorleston-On-Sea, Norfolk NR31 6PP

07708 385934 | pavtheatre.com | @gorlestonpav


<pavilion-logo-email-sig.png>

peterb...@gmail.com

unread,
Jun 10, 2021, 3:21:54 PM6/10/21
to Norfolk Archives Network, al...@gorlestonpavilion.co.uk

Hi Alex,
I believe we at ‘Fakenham & District Community Archive’ operate in a similar fashion to that in which you are aiming to achieve?
Our website explains our operation and development as a digital archive since it’s foundation in 2002, so I won’t go into details about that here.

Our website displays only a small proportion of the contents of our entire database, which now contains tens of thousands of digitised photos, documents and other memories, which have been donated to us by our visiting public, and who has given their consent for us to archive them by means of a signed consent and GDPA form.

Apart from Photoshop CS2, Abbyy FineReader 14 (pdf software), we use nothing to sophisticated to manage our digitised material.
Our database is actually a dedicate folder within Windows 10 explorer with sub folders, one for each contributor. Each image is given a unique ref. number, together with key words within the file description; this makes it very easy to quickly access stored files using key words dates etc.. This search method also applies to searchable text in pdf docs which we create with Abbyy FineReader.

I hope that helps in some way

Kind regards
Peter Boggis
Website and archive manager
Fakenham & District Community Archive

PS. All being well, we hope to restart our public meetings again in the autumn.
You’d be welcome, if you’d like to visit and see how we do things. 

Robin Sampson

unread,
Jun 11, 2021, 6:59:17 AM6/11/21
to Norfolk Archives Network, al...@gorlestonpavilion.co.uk

Dear Alex,

Thanks for your post, and thank you to everyone who has replied. 

Firstly in terms of software that you can use to manage your collection, a number of heritage groups use MODES software. This is usually meant for museum collections but can also be customised to manage archive collections. It might be worth having a chat with them to see how they can help you: https://www.modes.org.uk/

For displaying archive images, some groups have used Omeka, which is a simple platform you can use to create online exhibitions. This is like a ‘gallery’ space, whereas MODES is more like a ‘store room’ https://omeka.org/ 

If you are asking people to donate or loan images to you, it might be a good idea to write up a ‘Collecting Statement’ - this will allow you to set out what you will collect, and what you won’t. You can find out how to write one on our Community Archives Toolkit: https://www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/community-archives/collections-management 

Here is an example of a collecting statement: https://thamesmeadcommunityarchive.org.uk/archive-and-collection-policy 

If you want to try cataloguing the material, we also have a guide to that: https://www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/community-archives/cataloguing

I would say the key things to consider when posting images online is copyright and data protection. 

You need to make sure that either you have the copyright, or whoever donates you the photo is happy to transfer copyright to you OR if not that they give you permission to display them. If the donor does not hold the copyright, then you need to find out who does - for example, the publisher of a postcard. They might ask you to apply for a licence in order to use it, which might involve a licence fee. When you take in some images, it's a good idea to have some donation paperwork that ensures the copyright situation is clear. You can find out about this here: https://www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/community-archives/collections-management/accessioning   

If you can’t trace the copyright holder, then it’s your own risk whether you publish the image online. It could be an ‘orphan work’ - this means that if there’s no obvious copyright holder and you can prove the image is over 70 years old then it’s ok to publish. Otherwise, you can put a ‘takedown policy’ on your website - this means that if someone contacts you with proof of copyright, and they object to you publishing the image, you are obliged to take it down.

With regards to data protection, this means that if anyone is identifiable in an image, and they are likely to still be alive, you have to ask their permission to put up the image. In most cases with this kind of material it will be ok, but you never know, someone may object to it! Again this is where a takedown policy is useful. Here is an example of a takedown policy: https://www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/about-us/policies/sound-archive-notice-and-take-down-policy 

This is a very good talk about copyright in digital archives:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKH94_miaLI&t=1s 

Finally, the Community Archives and Heritage Group are offering a webinar called ‘Digital skills: Getting your collections online’ which is 10:00-11:00 on Wednesday 23rd June. If you’d to book a place, or if you have any further questions, please email me at robin....@norfolk.gov.uk . I know this is all a lot to take in!

Hopefully this is of use to other groups too.

Best,

Robin Sampson, Archivist for the Community Archives: Skills Support and Sustainability project




On Thursday, 10 June 2021 at 16:34:32 UTC+1 al...@gorlestonpavilion.co.uk wrote:

Alex Youngs

unread,
Jun 11, 2021, 7:07:03 AM6/11/21
to Robin Sampson, Norfolk Archives Network
Hi Robin,

Thank you SO much! This is exactly the guidance I was looking for, super helpful. I’ll settle in with a tea and try and digest everything!

I’ll email you separately re: the webinar.

Thanks,
Alex


------------

Alex Youngs 
Trustee

Pavilion Theatre 
Pier Gardens, Gorleston-On-Sea, Norfolk NR31 6PP

07708 385934 | pavtheatre.com | @gorlestonpav


Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages