Co-operation between technical and contents documentation

11 Oct 2012
New Delhi, India

Workshop: The co-operation between technical and contents documentation

Gisa Jähnichen

Technical documentation plays a vital role in an archival environment and goes far beyond description of detoriation level, recording process and necessary adjustments regarding the physical structure of carriers and related items. Its distinct role is reflected in activities of established organisations that take care of technical developments from multiple perspectives. In the light of these activities, contents documentation that involves a complete different set of intellectual skills and methodological approaches is somewhat overruled by the attention paid by the community of audiovisual archivists to technical documentation. Though documentation of contents does not automatically ensure an increasing importance or reliability of included material, the tutorial may help to structure an individually flexible processing of contents documentation in strict co-operation with technical documentation. Setting key options and priorities that adapt to the nature of collections is one of the ways to be examined. Another way is the primary inclusion of technical and contents documentation during the process of producing audiovisual material. Both ways have to be considered in archives that deal with dramatically increasing collections. Keeping the archival process as a whole in mind, documentation will finally remain as a field in need of steady intellectual input given by individuals specialised in various content related professions. The general aim of the tutorial is to bring these individually specialised potential together in an additive rather than an exclusive pattern of communication.