Port Ludlow Archive Volunteers
Problem: Port Ludlow’s history is decaying—important documents disappear—we lose a little more every day—it is time to reverse the rot. Moreover, all paper documents risk fire, water, and age risks. What we need is a permanent digital archive of all things Port Ludlow.
The preservation fight has started. Test-drive the demonstration with about 600 archive documents at http://pl-wa.org. It takes only seconds to find and retrieve any document. After you find it, you read it on line or print your own copy.
Even while collecting the small test batch, we discovered important lost documents going back to 1960s. We also found lost legal documents—fortunately, Washington State still had images of them. For security, the website backs up the archive daily. For double assurance, we also download archives to discs and store them in the vault at America Marine Bank in Port Ludlow.
Features: We designed the system to accept virtually any type of document—agreement, articles of incorporation, art object or painting photograph, book, bylaws, CC&Rs, easement, financial, judicial ruling, legal document, magazine, map, photograph, presentations, technical analysis, report, videos, voice recordings, etc. It will be up to the Archive Committee, in periodic consultation with key Port Ludlow organizations, to set rules that decide what appropriate content for the archive is.
Anyone can use the archive—homeowner associations, individuals, social clubs, sport clubs, other organizations, SBCA, LMC, PLA, churches, publications, etc. If anyone uses it to archive commercial materials, we may levy a charge. Similarly, if large organizations use it to store their archives we may expect them to cover the cost.
We scanned many of the test documents in color, grey-scale, and black and white, using optical character recognition when the original was clear enough. With OCR, you can cut and paste text into derivative work and search engines such as Google can search the text for content that they included in their key-word search engines. When the documents are already in Word, PDF, or equivalent, archiving them is a snap. Our Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) meet World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards so others may reliably reference them.
We prefer that archive material should be public domain, Creative Commons “Attribution (by)” or “Attribution No Derivatives (by-nd)” license, or corresponding GNU/GPL license. If it has standard copyright, then permission of the copyright owner is required.
Once we have archived a document, we will return it to the owner who should continue to keep the original, though that decision is up to the owner.
Solution: The Archive needs legitimate standing to represent all Port Ludlow. A permanent Standing Committee of the PLVC is the easiest organizational setup—joining the existing committees for community development, disaster preparedness, Friday market, Iron Mountain mitigation, phone directory, Port Ludlow days, public relations, recycling, trails, long-term panning, public utilities, etc
The Archive committee will set policies, procedures, standards, priorities, budget, goals, and schedule. Members of the committee will perform specialist functions, e.g., prioritizing, batching worthy material, creating copy image, uploading to the server, indexing each document for easy retrieval, quality inspection, periodic downloads for bank storage. Help will be available on technical functions. The PLVC has already authorized purchase of a high quality duplex copier—though the SBCA may modify theirs so it is suitable for archiving.
The committee should operate at a reasonable and maintainable workload—and not burn out. It should prioritize the most important documents first. We estimate that there are about 2,000 to 10,000 documents needing archiving, which at 10-hours per month per person represents about 2,000 hours of work by four people over four years. Of course, there will be turnover and after the backlog has disappeared, we will still need to improve the system and keep it up to date.
Opportunity: We are looking for the first Port Ludlow Archivist—volunteer of course because this is the PLVC. If you have the skill for the job, or know someone who has, please let us know. Probably, the right person will have had librarian or archiving experience, though being an excellent organizer with high standards will likely suffice. Eventually, we will need a resume. If you want to be on the archive committee and help, also send some information about yourself. Help guide those who, without knowledge of history, are doomed to repeat it. Send your information to: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Tony Simpson, President PLVC, at 437-8220.