Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gradual but real progress

It always surprises me that so much of the Archivist's job revolves around IT. The last two weeks have been a good example of how computers can be both a huge boon and can cause unnecessary delays.

The huge boon is partly that the College has supplied me with Adobe Pagemaker CS5. This is a decided improvement on the 10-year-old program I was using before. It will allow me to build the website around style sheets which should eventually save me quite a lot of time. The other nice innovation has been the program that allows me to run my Archive computer from home, or anywhere else in the country! It's an advantage because I can often spend an odd few minutes making progress without needing to be here. No, I won't be working from home on Fridays because I enjoy coming into school to see colleagues and pupils. However, while I was away last week, I thought I would be able to spend some time on the website - but that wasn't to be...

The downside of technology is that one is part of a communal enterprise - others can take initiatives that you really are not expecting. I was the victim of a well-meaning transfer of all my Archive files to a new file server. So, I used my new technology to window into a blank space! Of course I had ultimate faith in Mr. Davies and didn't fear that 30 year's work could be lost, oh no! However, here I am today in College, making up the time lost, restoring the links on the catalogue and getting everything working again - but not able to work much on the website meanwhile.

But progress is being made. Even at this early stage, numbers visiting the website are climbing from week to week. Meanwhile I have added the first sections of the College history and an index for the College Register. More pages of these will become available in the next few days. The emphasis now is not really on programs but on preparing content. If anyone would like to do some scanning for me, do let me know!