Australian Historical Association Statement on the ABC Archives Proposal, 16 June
The Australian Historical Association (AHA) is deeply concerned by the proposal to abolish 58
positions of ABC librarians and archivists, with additional contract positions also to be ended. It is
also reported that journalists will take responsibility for performing work previously undertaken by
archivists and librarians, including the search for items and, most worryingly, tagging of items for the
purposes of future findability. The ostensible justification for this change, we understand, is the
recent digitisation of a substantial part of the ABC archives.
Read the full statement.
Professional Historians Australia's submission on ABC funding cuts, 17 June
The Professional Historians Australia strongly objects to the proposed job cuts affecting
specialist content management staff at the ABC.
Professional Historians Australia represents over 450 professional historians working in the
GLAMR (galleries, libraries, archives, museums and repositories) industry across the whole
of Australia. We are the peak body for professional historians in Australia, supported by state
and territory associations.
Our members work across the media, university, heritage, museums and cultural institution
sectors. Many of us are clients of the ABC Archives.
Our members professionally benefit
from the considerable expertise and institutional knowledge of the ABC’s archivists,
librarians and researchers, and the extraordinary historical materials that they care for.
Our members, along with the ABC’s archivists, librarians and researchers, have developed
their expertise through tertiary qualifications and years of professional experience.
We are concerned at the suggestion that journalists will have the time and the skills required
to do the highly specialised work currently undertaken by cataloguers and researchers, such
as entering metadata and navigating copyright restrictions. Effective cataloguing requires
expertise, institutional knowledge, and an understanding of cataloguing principles, such as
the need for consistent and accurate keywords. Archivists systematically assess and save
today’s content in anticipation of future research needs.
Read the full submission.