GLAM Blog Club – Forever

There were plenty of blog posts in April, but only a few tagged #GLAMBlogClub for our ‘free square’ theme.

New to the club was Jacqui Sanders with her post on the Asylum’s most asked about object. I explained how to automatically delete your old tweets and toots using your own computer. Two COVID-19 themed posts round out our formally tagged collection – Ellen Forsyth was looking for partnerships, and Alissa McCulloch described her frustration with the martyr complex.

Check out the other posts from April on Aus GLAM Blogs.

To participate in GLAM Blog Club:

  1. Include the tag GLAM Blog Club in your post
  2. Tweet/Toot about it using the hashtag #GLAMBlogClub
  3. Register your blog with Aus GLAM Blogs so we can find it and it gets automatically shared with the Australasian GLAM community

From this month on, newCardigan will hand over the controls each month to a special guest blogger from the newCardigan community, to inspire you with a post on that month’s topic. For April 2020 our theme is Forever, and Danielle J is our guest blogger.

Hugh.


In romance novels, “forever” is the bit at the end where the couple have worked through their issues; they know they can’t live without each other, usually there’s kissing. Getting to the happily ever after is the best bit, and I’m completely and unashamedly romantic about the idea that something could last forever.

Which could explain why I’ve always loved old books, going to galleries and museums and looking at things that have been around forever. I am fascinated about who the people were who made it, what their lives were like and how against the odds it’s survived, when so much doesn’t. I’ve always been interested in preservation of physical objects, it’s an art but strongly based on science and requiring knowledge of inorganic chemistry – it definitely appeals to my inner science nerd.

For us in GLAM industries and especially memory institutions; collecting, preserving and organising for future generations is what we do. The ongoing challenge of collecting and preserving born digital objects, is a conversation we have been having since I started in the industry ten years ago. I think frequently about what knowledge of everyday life will be lost because a lot of our interactions are now ephemeral – we text or email rather than send letters. Can enough of the experience of ordinary people be captured so that scholars of the future get an understanding of who we are?

It would be hard to write this post without mentioning that we are living through a global pandemic. Right now, it feels a bit endless and like isolation and disruption will go on forever. But for collecting institutions it’s a perfect opportunity to capture and preserve this moment in time and space.

In recent days a number of state libraries have launched projects to collect objects and stories about our isolation experiences. The memory bank, which is the State Library of Victoria’s project, wants to actively collect objects from the community. I also know of friends who work in local history, taking photos around their area to document the empty streets and shopping centres.

I’m really looking forward to reading posts from GLAM colleagues who work in this area, as there’s a lot that I’m interested in but know very little about. So, go on, what does forever mean to you?