Archive:Exec report - Archivist 2008 - 2009

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Archivist: Eric Escobar

April 21, 2009

The main project for the archivist initiated by Duncan in 2007 is to digitize our archives. Digitazation serves two purposes: it preserves the material, and it allows its distribution through electronic means.

Duncan received a grant of $1000 to accomplish this project. With this money he purchased a scanner that is located in the club room. As I took the position we stated that the money would be spent on hiring someone to scan the journals. However, it was realized that this would be much more expensive than the remaining $700, so I asked around and found that my department has access to a photocopy machine that scans pages really fast, scanning a journal takes about 2 minutes, as opposed to the 30-60 minutes that it takes on a scanner. With this access I scanned 10 out of the 50 journals. Duncan scanned a few more. At the moment I'm co-ordinating with the next archivist (Ignacio Rozada) to finish this job this summer.

The money was never spent. It is unclear at the moment whether it is still available, as Duncan said that it had to be spent by April 2008. I have inquired Christian Sampaleanu whether the money is still there and I'm waiting for an answer. If the money is there, it could be spent on purchasing a hard drive to archive the digitized information, and a software to convert to text the images (OCR) scanned for indexing the content of the journals.

The second project I embarked on was to catalogue the club library. At the moment of assuming the position of archivist, I was unaware of any such catalogue, and the library was very disorganized. Meghan Anderson organized most of the books in December and allowed me to start this project. With the help of three other VOCers looking for a workhike, I catalogued about 2/3 of the books. Very recently Stephen Mullen sent me a very old list of books from the club, which might help to finish with this project. Again, I'm coordinating with Ignacio on finishing this by the end of the summer. Also very recently, Christian Champagne installed a cataloguing software on the club's computer. It will allow to keep better track on the books that the club possesses. It has been proposed that part of the budget for next year's archives should be spent on a bar code reader.

About the budget, the club used to have $100 per year to buy new books. This amount was increased to $200 for next year, so Ignacio can do a better job in improving our library. With the money we had, I inquired about the kind of books people wanted me to buy. I received quite a few emails and suggestions, but with $100 you can only buy a few books. In order to satisfy as many people as possible, I decided to look at the topics people were interested and buy the Mountineers Books since they are really useful and CHEAP. In addition, one climbing guidebook and the new ski guidebook.

This is the complete list of books that were purchased with this years budget:

"Climbing Self Rescue (Moe): Improvising Solutions for Serious Situations" Andy Tyson; Paperback

"The Abcs Of Avalanche Safety" Ferguson; Paperback

"Rock Climbing Anchors: A Comprehensive Guide" Craig Luebben; Paperback

"Backcountry Skiing: Skills for Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering" Martin Volken; Paperback

Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis John Baldwin

Total spent $85

With the remaining $15 I will ask someone going to Vantage to get their new guidebook.

Another project I contemplated was to initiate a video library. A few people showed interest on watching a few climbing movies that I showed. The idea was to ask for donations during the showing, and use the money to buy DVDs for the club. Only two movies were shown with this in mind. In the first show I collected $7.36 with about 10 people attending. The second show no money was collected. The idea is good, but I think that people are reluctant to donate more than $2 per movie, so some money from the archives budget could be used in the future to help make the idea work. Some people suggested to give illegal copies of their movies, but due to copyright issues, I do not think that it is a good idea for the club to distribute those illegal copies.

In the second term the club was approached by a person who wanted to sell his album collection with old pictures from the club. He wanted $1000 for it. The club thought that it was well above our budget and purpose to spend so much money on it. The archivist from BCMC also thought that it was not appropriate to pay so much for it. After a long discussion, it was decided to offer $100 for it. By then, the album had been sold already. This issue showed the need to preserve our archives as the material we possess is quite valuable and irreplaceable.

It is the job for the archivist to keep in touch with graduates and send copies of the journal. I must say that in that respect I totally relied on Christian Champagne, who has done a terrific job at that.

It is also the job of the archivist to send a copy of the journal to the national archives, the UBC library and the Vancouver library. In December we received a notice from the national archives that the 2007-2008 journal had not been sent. I sent two copies to them. Champagne sent two copies of the 2008-2009 journal to them. The new journal was also given to UBC library. Vancouver library contacted the club asking for past issues. Apparently no archivist sent copies of the journal to them since 2005. I was only able to get the 2006-2007, 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 to them, as the club only has one issue of the 2005-2006 issue.

Trips organized

As part of the exec, we are expected to organize a trip per term. For the first term I organized the Skaha trip. For that I contacted various campgrounds and most of them were closed by the end of October. However, The Lost Moose Resort ( accepted to give us the entire campground for $100 per day. This worked out great with the help of Piotr who collected $5 per person per night and the extra money was used for beer. It is important to contact the campground at least a month in advance to make similar arrangement in the future.

In the second term I organized Son of Rock. I chose the first weekend of April, before exams, and before the Vantage trip. I emailed personally to a few people to get enough instructors. It worked out well. However, last year there were more participants in the middle of April. It is probably a good idea to do the trip at the end of April after exams in future years. Since people could not go to the Son of Rock for rescue techniques, Will Withy accepted to do a course of introduction to rock climbing rescue techniques later, on April 25. It is currently full. Hopefully he will continue to give this in future years.