Monthly Archives: November 2014

A is for Access – By Researcher/Archivist Olivia Bellas

The Tally Ho! A Place to Meet exhibition finished a couple weeks ago.

As the project has come to an end, reflections about how we worked together, what was successful and what wasn’t, were hugely valuable. On my side of things, what stood out was permissions and access to material when researching or creating new works. We’ve come along away in only ten years. When I first started in production, making TV commercials, we’d have library music on CD’s and write to the agencies to confirm any usage. Now, there is just so much at our fingertips we’re surprised when someone tells us you can only look but not touch – namely, google images.

On the Tally Ho project, we’ve used some great imagery in our exhibition and film from individuals and in particular the Finchley Society Archives. Interesting to note was how we all reacted differently to material used in the real, physicality of an exhibition in an actual venue that would come down after a month. To a film that would sit online – for how long? Perhaps shared on other platforms – where? Could it’s route be traceable – how? I’m no copyright expert but I know that we are all asking these new questions because the old laws don’t apply to the way we live. To the heightened access we now have.

Archives and preservation seem to be on all of our radars these days. If we want to do more than appreciate archival contents and share them in new ways as creatives, we must think carefully. A special consideration when working in the heritage sector. You decide if you’re more of a Napster/Metallica or Open Source kind of person.

Some favourite resources…
British Library have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft releasing them back into the Public Domain.
The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet.
Own-it offers intellectual property (IP) advice, information and learning resources for the creative sector.

(Image from British Library archive)