Exec reports - Archivist

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The Archivist: ( 1 - 6 hours /week)

  • Maintains copies of Exec minutes, VOCENE's, Committee minutes.
  • Writes up the annual VOC Grad Newsletter email (Not done in 2015/2016/2017)
  • Send newest copies of VOCJ to various libraries
  • Looks after, organizes, makes available, does not lose, the Club's library.
  • Looks after various other weird pieces of Club memorabilia, such as pictures, maps, awards.
  • Updates and maintains photo albums, maps, and a journal index.
  • Keeps some contact with members who have graduated, and is their main contact in VOC.
  • A good position for a Clubroom organizer, and for someone who can explain what VOC is doing, to those who have graduated or passed on.

Current Exec Report


Archivist: Elliott Skierszkan

I am organizing my exec's report below, in a series of main topics. Under each topic, I will write what was complete this past year, and my recommendations going forward. My main efforts this year were (1) to ensure the publication of the VOC 100th year Centennial Book, a hardcover coffee-table book of photos and stories from the VOC's history, and (2) organize the library collection, including VOC Journals.

1. VOC Library Organization

1.1 Library Organization: Main Projects

With the help of Will Smith, we re-organized the entire VOC library, which as more than one thousand books and maps! This effort now enables all VOC members to look up all books in our library using the Clubroom Library Wiki Page.

Books are organized into major categories. Each category has been assigned a color-coded sticker, to make it easy to return books on the bookshelf. All of the books in that category have a colored sticker on the book spines.

1.2 Library Organization: Going Forward

, for the library organization I recommend the following:

1.      1x annually go through the entire gearmaster and identify any signed out books that are overdue. Plead with guilty VOCers to return books, or get them to admit that they are lost so that we can update the library database (remove lost books) and replace lost books.

2.      The stickers on books spines are a bit flimsy and might come off. I would recommend buying high-quality labelling tape (e.g. fisher brand colored tape), which would make the labelling (A) more visible, (B) more durable.

3.      Prior to each exec meeting , arrive 15 minutes early to quickly sort through the library and put away any misplaced books on the right shelf.

4.      Advertise the library! 95 % of VOCers don't know we have a great library that they can access, and 95 % of them don't know that the library catalogue is entirely available on a searchable wiki page.

2. VOC Library Acquisitions

The VOC has an annual budget of $300 for the library. Last year we found it useful to make a poll to sollicit votes for which new books the VOC wanted. Haley Foladare helped here. We left an open call to book nominations for the entire VOC, and then had a poll open for a few weeks and gathered votes. This is a fun way to get VOCers to feel like they participated in managing their library!

The list of new library acquisitions is in the ''List of Purchases'' on the library wiki page.

There is also the books that were short-listed for purchase but that were not bought on that page. These books are a good starting point for suggestions for next year's library acquisition. Think of topics that are under-represented, like backcountry cooking, or look for new flashy guidebooks for highly popular VOC activities.

3. VOC Centennial Book

3.1. VOC Centennial Book Overview

2017 was the VOC's 100th year and we self-published a beautiful coffee-table book with photos and stories from our rich history. The project was a large undertaking in which we invested lots of money and thousands of volunteer-hours over close to 1 year of work. The book is for sale for $40 to student VOC members and $50 to non-student VOC members in the VOC clubroom. I estimate that about 80 % of the 500 books that were printed have already been sold.

The book has been featured in reviews by Whistler Pique News Magazine, Mountain Life, and Ubyssey.

A list of local retailers that are selling the book around down is available here (http://www.ubc-voc.com/varsity-outdoor-club/book).

Going forward:

  • We should continue advertising of the book's existence to our newer membership.
  • We should follow-up with the retailers: do they need to stock more books? (Probably—we have not followed up since approx January 2017). Sales were particularly strong at the UBC bookstore.
  • Chapter's offered to sell the book (need to follow up).
  • Proceeds from book sales should fund the Mackenzie Grant (http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Neil_Mackenzie_Adventure_Grant) and VOC huts.
  • The book's files (InDesign) and the thousands of photos submitted by alumni for the book are available on Kasia Celler and Anne Vialette's hard drives. We should back these important historical sources of information up! I recommend buying a solid-state drive, and using cloud storage as additional backup. The photos will be important for VOCers of the future, as it was a huge effort to collect and digitize photos from the 50s, 60s, 70s etc. that our alumni made available to us.
  • Pat Duffy has offered to pay for a few books to be sent to the Banff Mountain Book Festival (spring 2018). We should purse this avenue for having the book reach a wider audience.
  • The Vancouver Public Library, the UBC Library and other relevant libraries should be encouraged to buy a copy of the book. It's a public heritage item!

4. VOC Journal Management

  • All back-issue VOC journals were purportedly made available online for free to the public. This sharing of the journal to the general public (as opposed to members with log in credentials only) was supposed to be only for 2017, the Centennial Year. There has been some debate as to whether we should limit access to the online VOCJ .pdfs to the public vs our members only. Something for future VOCers to decide!
  • The new VOCJ must be sent to Library and Archives Canada (Elliott will take care of this) and other places (UBC Library, etc). We also conducted an exchange of 2 copies of the VOCJ for 2 copies of the Canadian Alpine Journal through the ACC Vancouver Section — a nice opportunity to reach out to our fellow local outdoors community.
  • With a little controversy (but not too much), we decided to give FREE back-issue VOC journals from years past that we had a large overstock of last year. This offloading helped get rid of excess journals that were lying around, which were not selling when they were on sale. There is still an excess of old VOCJs lying around. However, it is important that the VOC library retains enough copies for itself too! I never did complete a complete and detailed inventory of old VOCJs. That job would take a few hours and would best be done as a workhike with helpers. My suggestion would be to try and keep 2 copies in the VOC library, available to all members to sign out and (if available) a 3rd copy of all VOCJs in another location in the clubroom as backup. Any extra, we should give away!
  • Last year I also worked to gather an inventory of which huts had which VOC journals—that is a great place to offload them. We stocked Brew and Phelix, more or less up to date. Harrison and Sphinx are long treks in, and although I know roughly what is in their collection, we could not bring up the missing VOCJs from our collection as not enough trips went to those huts. Ask Elliott for the spreadsheet where the hut VOCJ inventory is kept.


Archivist: Artem Babaian

A pretty slow year for me but I put together a comprehensive list of Squamish Off-widths. The library is seeing pretty heavy use of new titles like Training for the New Alpinism and a few books have wandered off (How to climb 5.12, Rock Warriors Way).

The clubroom has been accumulating lots of stuff (junk), I'll come in a few minutes before the exec meetings and sweep the floors and clean up the assortment of stuff flying around. I organized a 'Clean the clubroom workhike' and 10 people cleaned for ~4 hours. It helped a lot but after a few months things need to be cleaned up again. The VOC has a habit of stuffing every nook and cranny with stuff until it's overflowing, your job is to fight this tide.

There will be more work this year for the Centennial as many documents are being dug up and should be organized into one central place. Work closely with the Centennial book committee on this.

For this year (2017) the old copies of the VOC Journals have been made public as opposed to members-only. Point people interested in the Centennial to this resource so they can download their old journals. They'll appreciate it.

New Books Purchased

The following books were purchased for the VOC Library:

  • A youth wasted climbing, David Chaundy-Smart
  • Tools for Grassroots Activists, Nora Gallagher + co
  • Training for the New Alpinism, Steve House
  • Rock Climbing Vancouver, Rich Wheater
  • The Squamassiff, A scrubbers tale, Splodge
  • How to build an igloo: and other snow shelters, Norbert Yankielun
  • Cascade Rock, Blake Herrington

Carly Peterson spearheaded a project to acquire a set of books on Women in Climbing which our library was desperately missing.

  • High Infatuation, Steph Davis
  • Women who dare, Chris Noble
  • Climbing Free, Lynn Hill
  • Space below my feet, Gwen Moffat
  • Learning to fly, Steph Davis
  • Paddling North, Audrey Sutherland
  • Annapurna, a womans place, Arlene Blum


Archvist: Lachlan Fleetwood

New Books Purchased

Following books were purchased and added to the VOC Library:

  • Fifty Classic Climbs of North America, Roper and Steck
  • 1000+ Tips for Climbing, Andy Kirkpatrick
  • Canyoneering, David Black
  • Ice Lines, Brent Peters
  • John Clarke: Explorer of the Coast Mountains, Lisa Baile
  • Extreme Alpinism, Mark Twight
  • On Rope, Smith and Padgett
  • Washington Pass Guide Book
  • Skaha Guide Book (Replacement)

Books to Libraries

VOC Journal v.54 and v.55 to VPL (v.54 lost, though now resolved?) Need to send latest copies to American Alpine Club and Canadian Alpine Club

Online Flipped Journal PDF Issue

Roland reported some of the scanned PDF journals were opening with the pages mirrored, but this was only on the Linux computer not Windows or Apple so we concluded was a software problem not an issue with the scanning.

OCR for Scanned Journals

Nissan has a copy of OCR software if we want to make the scanned journals machine readable and hence text searchable. Was considered a good idea, but not done.


Archivist: Gili Rosenberg

Journal scanning

The journals have all been scanned. They still need to be proofed: Scanned Journals Check, and then corrections will need to be made by the archivist or other workhikers. We need to encourage people to do the proofing as a workhike. The actual editing itself might require using Acrobat Pro or similar. Once the pdf's are ready, they need to be sent to the webmaster to be uploaded to the website. This can be done by email or a dropbox account (or similar).

If journals need to be rescanned (or perhaps you just need to scan a single page), the cut up journals are in the cupboard on the left as you come in to the clubroom. They older ones were possibly pulled apart, newer ones were cut at Copyright for a few $.

Keeping our journals online

The collection of journals is here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/members/vocj It is now up to the Journal Editors and Archivists in the coming years to make sure that the new journal each year is uploaded to the VOC website for safekeeping. It should be in PDF format, in low resolution, typically 10-20MB. The new journal should be uploaded after the banquet each year, but it should NOT be made readable by the public until the following year.

Keeping an archive of our journals

It was decided to buy a memory stick annually and put the full resolution of the PDF of that year's journal on it and give it to the AMS' archivist for safekeeping. This should be done by the Journal Editor, please remind them of it, once the final version of the PDF is out. The first journal for which this was done is VOCJ 53 (2011).

VOC Archives Online

In 2010 Ignacio Rozada many boxes of yearbooks and photo albums (1944-1985) to UBC Archives for safe keeping and scanning. We finally got them back in April 2012 and they are now available online (to members only), at: http://www.ubc-voc.com/members/photo_albums. It is hoped that this online collection will be expanded by future archivists, by scanning materials in the clubroom or that are obtained from members and alumni. There is a collection of old VOC songbooks that have already been scanned which should be added to this (check VOC gmail account or perhaps ask Champagne). There is also a catalogue of this material on UBC library or locally here.


The library was moved to the Gearmaster in 2012 - people check out books and return them just like gear. This has the advantage that we can see where each book is, sends out reminders and keeps things more organized. In addition, a set of guidelines was established regarding how long books can be taken out and in general how the library should be used. A wiki was established that includes these guidelines, a list of current books, a wish list, a purchase list, etc. Clubroom Library The guidelines were also uploaded as a doc file: (file uploaded). New books should be bought at the MEC member night whenever possible, since we get a 10% discount there.

Map Collection

Located in the cabinets in the far left corner. In 2012 they were labelled, instructions posted in clubroom on how to find the map you are looking for: (file uploaded)

Grad Newsletter

In past years it has been unclear who should send out the Grad Newsletter and various people have done it. I think it should continue to be the Archivist's responsibility and I wrote and sent it out this year. It covered what happened this year with huts, gear, how to buy a journal, etc. and you can see it on the VOC gmail account. I sent it to everyone listed as "VOC Hustler's Handbook" in the gmail contacts. The Silver Star Alumni crew was also sent a copy of Kathrin's "A Year in the VOC" article in March.

Work Hikes

This is a really good position for generating workhikes for new members, as the club never seems to have enough available workhikes. It might be good to save any big projects that you can recruit help on for the fall to take advantage of all the newbies who want to get gear privileges. For example, some workhikers once tidied up the library shelves in the middle of the year. An ongoing job that can be done by members who need a workhike is the VOCJ_index.

Sending the new journal to libraries

Has been done by the Journal Editor in recent years: sending out the VOCJ tovarious libraries. Also journals need to be sent out to alumni that pay us and ask for copies, this can be done either by the Archivist (more likely) or the Journal Editor. Specifically, Karl Ricker pays for two journals annually (address in Hustler's Handbook).

To Do List

  • Semi-weekly: take a look at the book library, move books that are out of category or other objects that don't belong (takes a few minutes)
  • Check Gearmaster to see if any books are long overdue and email or phone these people
  • Manage the proofing of the scanned journals and then fix them and give to webmaster to be re-uploaded
  • Find more Archive worthy material in the clubroom or from members, scan it, and send to webmaster to be put online
  • Buy books, preferably at MEC member night or other discounted purchase
  • Soon after the banquet: send out our Grad Newsletter to the email list on the VOC gmail account (AKA Hustler's Handbook) and upload PDF copy of VOC Grad Newsletter to wiki and add link to VOC Grad Newsletter wiki page.
  • Soon after journal out: remind Journal Editor to archive the full PDF on a memory stick and give to AMS Archivist

Past Exec Reports

We now no longer file exec reports by years - just update the above when it is your turn to pass on the throne.

Exec report - Archivist 2010 - 2011
Exec report - Archivist 2009 - 2010
Exec report - Archivist 2008 - 2009
Exec report - Archivist 2007 - 2008
Exec report - Archivist 2006 - 2007
Exec report - Archivist 2003 - 2004
Exec report - Archivist 2002 - 2003

External Links

The UBC Archives have two items related to the VOC.