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Abstracts

Future Proof V. Barcelona, 6-8 MAY 2009

Science archives in Spain and Catalonia: agents and issues
Xavier Roqué
Centre d'Història de la Ciència, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

I shall briefly present and place in context our two initiatives regarding science archives in Spain and Catalonia, Archivos de Ciencia  and Servei d'Arxius de Ciència , respectively. I shall then move on to provide an overview of science archives more generally. I intend to discuss the current situation under two headings, agents and issues. By agents I mean those involved, from scientists to historians, through archivists and museum curators. By issues I mean what is at stake, from the invention of tradition to public awareness, through more conventional archival interests. My aim is not just to present the local state of affairs regarding this set of familiar questions, but also to reflect on its relation with the state of affairs elsewhere.


CSIC archival collections: from looking after the scientific records of the past to preserving the records of the science of today for the future
Agnès Ponsati
Unidad de Coordinación de Bibliotecas, CSIC, Madrid

CSIC Library Network started up a recovery, automation and dissemination archival process in 1998 covering some archive and legacy collections. These archives are personal and scientific archives of great historical value for Spanish science. The presentation will show up a general overview of the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) archival and legacy collections and the state of the art from the installation and technical treatment point of view. Other issues like: archival politics, resources, automation, digitization and preservation among other issues will be also covered. I shall try to examine the CSIC scientific archives situation from a double perspective: a)Historical archival collections from the past as a research tool and b) New digital
scientific archive collections for the future.


Scientific Archives and Historians of Science: An overview of the case of Portugal (I)
Henrique Leitão
Centro InterUniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia, Universidade de Lisboa

This presentation aims at providing an overview of the Portuguese situation in what concerns scientific archives: major archives relevant for historians of science, their history and contents, recent collaborations between archivists and historians, ongoing projects. Based on my experience of the past half a dozen years, during which I headed the team in charge of cataloguing the “old” (i.e before 1800) scientific manuscripts at the National Library in Portugal (Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal), and started a similar enterprise at the Portuguese National Archives (Arquivo Nacional – Torre do Tombo), I will offer some reflections on the present situation in Portugal and its opportunities. I will also address the subject of modern digital media and how they impact in a small country such as Portugal.


Scientific Archives and Historians of Science: An overview of the case of Portugal (II)
Luís Miguel Carolino
Centro InterUniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia, Universidade de Lisboa
Ana Carneiro
Centro InterUniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

This presentation aims at providing an overview of the Portuguese situation in what concerns scientific archives: major archives relevant for historians of science, their history and contents, recent collaborations between archivists and historians, ongoing projects. In the second part of our presentation, we will focus particularly on two scientific archives: the archive of the National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia ) and the historical archive of the Museum of Science of the University of Lisbon (Museu de Ciência da Universidade de Lisboa).


Medical heritage at the museum in Barcelona: papers, pictures, periodicals and instruments.
Alfons Zarzoso
Museu d’Història de la Medicina de Catalunya

This paper deals with the medical heritage preserved at the Catalan Museum of the History of Medicine in Barcelona. From its inception, this institution has been interested, as one of its missions, in collecting papers, pictures, periodicals and instruments. This means those elements that form the material culture of modern and contemporary Catalan medicine. But is that the mission of a museum? The absence of a Central Archive of Medical Research in the city leaves a gap that not only is very difficult to fill but also poses questions related to the scant awareness of our medical doctors and institutions of their own material culture. In this paper we take a brief look at those Catalan institutions that gather and preserve medical archives or the like. Next we focus on our experience from the museum. Here we identify some of the problems we have to face and give some examples of the kind of materials we are interested in. Finally we reveal the usefulness of team works under the new technologies. In this way we will show up our relationship with services such as SAC (Service of Archives of Science), COMIC (Catalan Commission of Scientific Instruments) and ARCA (Archive of Ancient Catalan Periodicals).


Accession to Access: born digital archives in the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine
Jennifer Haynes
Archives and Manuscripts Manager, Wellcome Library, London
Dave Thompson
Digital Curator, Wellcome Library, London

The Wellcome Library acknowledges that archival collections with significant research potential are now comprised of born-digital material. The Library is a non-mandated collecting institution which means that it actively chooses to engage with this issue. It is also free to choose the way in which it does so. Collecting digital material is problematic and the challenges it presents may appear daunting. In tackling digital material head-on, however, the Library has come to recognise that core archival practices and principles that already exist continue to be highly relevant. Our approach is therefore less of a revolution than an evolution. We have concluded that born-digital archives may be managed in a manner remarkably similar to that of physical collections. This paper outlines how the Wellcome Library is, by drawing on past experience, applying traditional archival skills to the management of born-digital
material. It explores how we are embedding this is the normal, everyday archival workflow from accession to access.


The records of pharmacological research in Polish archives, in particular the Archives of the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Anna Krzemińska
State Archives in Czestochowa. Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Pharmacological research in Poland is undertaken in medical universities in the Pharmaceutical Faculty, clinical hospitals (mainly existing at universities) and The Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow. The records of pharmacological research are found in the archives departments of these universities, which – in conformity with Polish law – are so-called ‘archives with entrusted collection’ and therefore the records are not handed over to the State Archives.
The Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences was established on October 5, 1954 as The Department of Pharmacology. The department then consisted of two sections: the Pharmacology-Chemistry Unit, headed by Professor Janusz Supniewski, which shared laboratories with the Department of Pharmacology of the Cracow Medical Academy, and the Medicinal Plants Unit, headed by Professor Marek Gatty-Kostyal. In 1974 by order of the Polish Academy of Sciences Executive Committee, the Department of Pharmacology achieved status of an institute, and its laboratories became individual departments. Now the Institute of Pharmacology consists of 12 departments located at 12 Smętna Street in Cracow.
The Institute has been cooperating with Poland's pharmaceutical industry for many years. This cooperation consists in research and systematic testing of new products and generic drugs, as well as in giving lectures and training in pharmacology. The Institute has been implementing long-term collaborative scientific projects with a number of foreign research centers.
The Institute of Pharmacology has its own archives department, in which are preserved records of its activities. But the institute’s archives department keeps records only for 25 years and then hands over these materials to the Archives of Science of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) and Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU) in Cracow. These Archives have the status of ‘archives with entrusted collection’. The Archives of Science make records available to researchers and all who are interested to learn the history of sciences.
Besides the archives structure of the Institute of Pharmacology there is also the Library and the Division of Documentation and Scientific Information, which collects documentations of researches too.


Curioza in archives, a reason for pride or unnecessary burden?
Julia Dziwoki, Hanna Krajewska
Archives Polish Academy of Sciences

In the PAN Archives , next to private papers of Polish scientists and scientific documents (Polish Academy of Sciences, scientific associations) there is special documentation. This consists of: photographs, maps, radio recordings, films, technical documentation. In the collections there are also: transitory prints ( posters, announcements), iconographs drawings, drawing sketches, graphics, pointings. A significant group is as well museum exhibits: stamps, medals, coins, books, personal belongings of scientists. These collections are often called curiosities and are shown at many exhibitions, which are organized by PAN Archive permanently. Recently some of them have been presented at exhibitions, such as: Polish explorers of Siberia, Polish School of Mathematics and during the Night of Museums


From Lab to Limbo? Access and the documentary heritage of science, and the attitudes, role and responsibilities of records creators and information management professionals now and for the future (a view from Cambridge, UK)
Sandra Marsh
British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge

This paper is based in part on a dissertation submitted as part of the UCL Masters degree in Archives and Records management (2006-2008).
This paper assesses some of the strengths and weaknesses of the documentary heritage of recent science (with some emphasis on the papers of molecular biologists) and in turn addresses access to some of these collections through cataloguing, digitisation projects and outreach based on the author’s own experiences of working in a Cambridge college.
As a result of assessing the weaknesses of the documentary heritage of science, the author became interested in finding out about the attitudes and strategies of present day scientists towards their record keeping. This paper therefore analyses the results of a survey conducted last year with practising scientists at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, the discussions with archivists and other scientists, and observations and experiences made from working at the British Antarctic Survey (B.A.S), also in Cambridge, where the author now works.
As a result of looking at what some records creator’s approaches are towards their records, an assessment of the issues facing the future of the scientific record will also be addressed. The role and responsibility of the archivist/information management professional has been analysed throughout this paper within the context of the key archival tasks of acquisition, appraisal and access in the post-custodial electronic era.
The close working relationships that have been so far observed at B.A.S between the archives service, data-managers, and scientists could offer an interesting model to other scientific and archival institutions, to ensure that access to the documentary heritage of science is not only maintained but enhanced.


The archive of astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle: An access-orientated processing project at St John’s College Cambridge
Katie Birkwood
Hoyle Project Associate, St John's College Library, Cambridge

In 2001 St John's College Library received a large donation of papers, books and artefacts from the family of a former College Fellow, the astronomer and physicist Sir Fred Hoyle FRS (1915-2001). The size of the donation was such (c. 150 boxes of papers) that it was not possible for existing Library staff to sort or catalogue it.
Funding for a project to catalogue these papers was obtained from the UK National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund under a scheme to improve public access to national 'heritage', including cultural heritage. This paper will examine the access-orientated form a project must take in order to be eligible for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It will describe the range of outreach events and initiatives - including public open days, school visits, and exhibitions - that are being developed in order to comply with the requirements attached to the grant that has been received.
Advocacy and outreach at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)


Archives and History Office
Jean Deken
Archivist, SLAC Archives and History Office

Advocating for the good of the SLAC Archives and History Office (AHO) has not been a one-time affair, nor has it been a one-method procedure. It has required taking time to ascertain the current and perhaps predict the future climate of the Laboratory, and it has required developing and implementing a portfolio of approaches to the goal of building a stronger archive program by strengthening and appropriately expanding its resources. My presentation will address successes and challenges in advocating for the SLAC AHO over the past 20 years.


Tread softly for you tread on peoples´ lives, or how to secure the memory of an institution while not appearing as a gravedigger
Maria Asp and Anne Miche de Malleray
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm

In 2008 one of the research institutes under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Kristineberg Marine Biological Station, was sold to the University of Gothenburg. This ended an era that began in 1877, when the Academy, through a donation from A. F. Regnell, established a zoological station on the west coast of Sweden. Kristineberg came to provide an excellent environment from the researcher’s scientific as well as social point of view – researchers returning year after year provide a tight knitted community.
The Center for History of Science was given the task of evaluating archival material and scientific instruments at the Station, thereby providing the basis for the decision as to what was to be transferred to the archives of the Center for History of Science. The final decision was made by the Academy together with Gothenburg University. This talk will elaborate on the Center’s work at Kristineberg; the inventories and the considerations at the basis of our appraisals. We will also argue that the archivist sometimes gets caught between the emotional reactions of the remaining staff, on the one hand, and the necessity of making a rational appraisal of the material, on the other.
Can the role as the “middle-man” influence our performance as professional archivists? If so, is this necessarily a bad thing or can we make it work in our favour?


Archives, Family and Affectivity
Marie Dominique Mouton
Bibliothèque Eric de Dampierre

Laboratoire d’ethnologie et de sociologie comparative, Université de Paris X Scientific archives can be studied through different aspects; among them, affectivity is not the least important. Affectivity is in the middle of the various relations that link the archive creator, the donor, the archivist and the different users of the archives.
Anthropological records collections generate different feelings and are not studied or looked at only on a scientific purpose. Most often new categories of users show their interest for these documents: grandchildren who wish to know better the lives of their grandparents when they were ethnographers; descendants of studied communities who want to rediscover their ancestors’ traditions and way of life. But the donor is also a very interesting figure: most of the time, the donor is a daughter or a widow, who invests all her affect and all her energy in this last relation with her beloved dead.


Never the twain shall meet?: Personal papers of scientists and institutional archives
Polly Parry
Archivist, Natural History Museum

This short paper will discuss some of the questions and issues surrounding the preservation of the papers of scientists working within institutions like the Natural History Museum. The Museum's experience will be explored as a case study.


Developments in scientific archives in the Netherlands
Godelieve Bolten
Noords-Holland Archief, Haarlem

Interest in scientific archives in the Netherlands has increased in recent years.
In 2005, the scientific journalist and historian Dirk van Delft, in the preface of his thesis on the Dutch chemist and Nobel Prize Winner Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, outlined a sad picture of the state of the Dutch scientific archives. In 2009, he was appointed as director of the Museum Boerhaave in Leiden, National Museum of the History of Science and Medicine, and professor of material heritage of science at the University of Leiden. He started to integrate the rich collections of the museum, both objects and archives, into research and education at the University of Leiden. In recent years the five oldest universities in the Netherlands have mapped their cultural heritage, including scientific archives. They discovered that there is a lot of material, dispersed over lots of places, which is often difficult to find, and even harder to secure and to make accessible. Several initiatives for improvement are now being implemented.
In 2008, the ‘Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen’ (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) celebrated its 200th anniversary. The
archives of the Academy have been kept in the Noord-Hollands Archief in Haarlem since the mid 1980s. Since then, the Noord-Hollands Archief has evolved into a national centre of scientific archives, without, however, looking for a monopoly in this area. The accumulated expertise is also been made available to third parties, in the form of advice and support. In March 2009, the ‘Stichting Vrienden van het Noord-Hollands Archief’ (Foundation Friends of the Noord-Hollands Archief) organized a successful symposium on the scientific archives.
One of the problems with the preservation and accessibility of scientific archives is the lack of a separate funding. Still, the preservation and accessibility of scientific archives has not received priority anywhere in the Netherlands.
Through the digitalisation of finding-aids (and files), it has become less necessary for all scientific archives to be stored physically in one place. Professional management of the physical archives, however, remains necessary. The Dutch ‘Archiefwet 1995’ (Archival Law 1995) provides a suitable framework for that purpose.


AGDA - from pilot projects to establishing a national digital academic archive for Swedish universities
Eli Hjorth Reksten
University archivist, Linköpings universitet Sweden

In October 2002 the administrative leaders at Swedish universities decided that a group of archivists, librarians and ICT people should do a preliminary study of the possibility of constituting a joint digital archive for universities and university colleges in Sweden (AGDA) From 2004 to 2007 the AGDA group accomplished two pilot projects archiving scientific material from four universities. In March 2009 the administrative leaders decided to start establishing a national digital archive for Swedish universities.


The ICA (International Council on Archives)/CSRD (Committee on Preservation and Access to Scientific and Research Data) project on handling of records of science
Renata Arovelius
SLU-JEP/Jurist-och dokumentation Archives and Records Management, Uppsala

The project aims to give outlines on handling of records of science within various disciplines including medicine, technology, life sciences and others. Long term preservation and access as well as different traditions and legal rights on data and records will stay in focus concerted by the background of research process activities.
The cooperation with scientists is essential to the project and the project tasks will be carried on in a joint international action. The final product of the project will be a handbook and guidelines.




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