Access Policy (DRAFT)

The structure and content of this policy is intended to reflect the focus of the Collections Development Policy (CDP): the digitisation of original analogue archive material and the facilitation of its accessibility through the BH website.

This Policy

Purpose

  •  To ensure that the record held by Bishopsteignton Heritage (BH) is accessible to as many people as possible for as long as possible.
  • To explain how and why ODIN has been created to provide access to collections and related information
  • To support the creation of an effective Collections Development Plan so that projects can be shaped around the collection in a cohesive way.

Scope

  • Sets out our policy regarding access to digital and analogue archives.
  • Sets out strategies detailing our methods of providing access to digital and analogue archives.
  • Introduces the relevant Guides we use to train volunteers and others involved with managing and facilitating access to digital and analogue archives.

Approval & Review

  • This Policy and all it’s contents are not intended to be permanent and should be updated to remain as effective and relevant as possible in a fast-changing world.
  • This policy and any changes made to it should be approved by the Bishopsteignton Heritage board of Trustees before being put into effect.
  • This policy must be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that the Bishopsteignton Heritage Trust’s activities and methods remain sustainable and future-proof. Review and changes to this policy should be prompted by changes in the governance or finances of the Trust (or other changes that affect the capabilities of the heritage project e.g. Hub room conditions, volunteer time) OR when 1 year has elapsed from the last approval.

Remote Access

  • To contribute towards its Charitable Objects, BH will facilitate remote public access to collections and information online via ODIN and the BH website.
  • Bishopsteignton Heritage provides remote access to collections online by digitising as many items as possible. Items which have been made accessible online through digitisation are processed according to the Bishopsteignton Heritage Standard for Digitisation, helping to make digital surrogates as true as possible to their original and as useful as possible to our audience. The Standard can be found in the Digitisation Guide.
  • Archive material which cannot be made remotely accessible according to the Copyright Procedures will be treated appropriately in order to prevent risk to the organisation. Archive material which cannot be made remotely accessible because of potentially upsetting content will be treated appropriately in order to prevent risk to the audience and the organisation. Please see Remote Access Strategy for more details on these Closed Items.

 

Remote Access Strategy

The methods with which BH will make collections accessible remotely.

1 ODIN

ODIN is the foundation for BH’s remote access to collections. Created specially for the Bishopsteignton Heritage collection, ODIN (Online Data Interface) is an integrated database written in open sourced language and used for the creation, linking, storage and retrieval of finding aids, digital archives and metadata, information about people, places, events and environments.

Please see the Preservation Policy for ODIN Standard Operating Procedures and Service Level Agreement as well as Emergency Plan for

ODIN provides and will continue to provide access to:

  • Catalogue entries containing information about collection items
  • Digital surrogates for original analogue collection items
  • Copies of born-digital collection items

The collection can be accessed via the Bishopsteignton Archive Collection page.

BH and Dotcombo Web Services aim to make remote public access to collections as user-friendly and as accessible as possible to a diverse audience including disabled people such as those with visual impairments. Web-pages are styled to consider contrast, clarity and readability. Different types of collection items are made more accessible by accompanying information and metadata, for example:

  • Images have Alternative Text attached wherever possible
  • Audio recordings are accompanied where possible by transcriptions
  • Audiovisual material is accompanied where possible by Alternative Text and transcriptions

BH will support the development of ODIN for as long as possible in order to contribute to the remote accessibility of collections online.

2 Closed Items

  • Some collection items that we preserve are not publicly accessible. These items fall into one of 2 categories: items which are in category 5v. of the Copyright Procedures where the Trustees do not accept the risk of publication and items containing potentially upsetting content.
  • Collection items where the Trustees do not accept the risk of publication after being assessed against the Copyright Procedures will be digitised but not accessible to the public via the Bishopsteignton Archive Collection. Digital surrogates are created for these items but are only available to Trustees, employees and volunteers for internal access. These digital surrogates are stored locally in the Heritage Hub and remotely on the BH website’s Media Library.
  • Collection items which are deemed by the Trustees to contain potentially upsetting content are digitised but not accessible to the public via the Bishopsteignton Archive Collection. Digital surrogates are created for these items but are only available to Trustees, employees and volunteers for internal access. These digital surrogates are stored locally in the Heritage Hub and remotely on the BH website’s Media Library. These items are clearly labelled in the catalogue as potentially upsetting to ensure they are not published elsewhere on the BH website. Depending on the nature of the upsetting content, public catalogue entries for these items are either totally ‘closed’ or are open and searchable without digital surrogate images.
  • Please see the Cataloguing Guide and the Media Library Upload Guide for details on how to assess archive material against the Copyright Procedures and close records with copyright issues or which contain potentially upsetting content.
  • BH encourage researchers to get in touch in order to be made aware of Closed Items which may be of use to their research or project.

3 Copying Records

  • The correct Creative Commons licence will be sourced with assistance from the Digital Assets Manager and approved by the Trustees to allow reproduction and publication of digital content without risk to the organisation.

Hub Access

  • To contribute towards its Charitable Objects, BH will facilitate public access to collections at the Heritage Hub.
  • Archive material will be made accessible to the public subject to the physical condition of individual items
  • Archive material will be made accessible to the public subject to limits upon certain types of closed records.

 

Hub Access Strategy

The methods by which BH will make collections accessible in-person.

1 In-person Access

  • The Bishopsteignton Heritage Hub is the foundation for BH’s in-person access to analogue collections.
  • Original collection items can be viewed, at no charge, at the Heritage Hub during opening times. Heritage Hub procedures are described on the Hub Handbook page which include signing visitors in, Hub rules, careful handling of collection items with use of any supports or PPE needed.
  • A Hub Supervisor is present whenever the Hub is open to the public. The supervisor meets and greets visitors, ensuring they sign-in and read and agree to the Hub rules. The Supervisor is present to retrieve collection items and put them away after visitors have finished with them as well as supervise handling and provide any advice and guidance they deem necessary to ensure preservation and access are maximised.
  • Visitors can make appointments in advance or drop-in (subject to up-to-date information on Hub Handbook page).
  • Visitors can access collections stored in the Hub itself or BH’s other storage facilities as long as enough notice is given to retrieve items from further afield.
  • Visitors can request access to ‘remote’ collections: items which are described and made searchable in ODIN by BH but belong to individuals or organisations from within or relating to the community and are not owned or stored by BH. Visitors are encouraged to get in touch as far in advance as possible so that BH can contact remote collection owners.
  • Please see the Hub Handbook page for opening times and further details.

2 Closed Items

  • Some collection items that we preserve are not publicly accessible in-person as they contain potentially upsetting content.
  • Please see the Cataloguing Guide and the Media Library Upload Guide for details on how to assess archive material for potentially upsetting content.
  • BH encourage researchers to get in touch in order to be made aware of Closed Items which may be of use to their research or project.

3 Copying Records

  • Visitors are encouraged to make requests for the digitisation of items they require for a project or piece of research. Digitisation requests can be fulfilled fairly quickly, depending on the number and type of items, and make a great contribution to the remote accessibility of collections online.
  • Visitors can use the Hub scanner to scan or their own cameras to take photographs of collection items for private use.
  • If copies are required for publication, refer to Creative Commons Licence in Remote Access Strategy.

Outreach

  • To contribute towards its Charitable Objects, BH will facilitate public access to collections via outreach activities such as touring exhibitions, handling collections and partnerships involving loans.
  • Archive material will be made accessible to the public in this way subject to the physical condition of individual items
  • Archive material will be made accessible to the public in this way subject to limits upon certain types of closed records.

Feedback

  • Feedback from visitors, researchers and users is encouraged and BH welcome comments that will help change and improve the service. BH embrace the opportunity to investigate and resolve any dissatisfaction or issue.
  • Feedback can be sent to [email protected]

 

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