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Martin Phillipps’ Archiving Tips

Martin Phillipps’ Archiving Tips

As far as my archiving skills go it’s all pretty basic and I am by no means finished yet but the organisation was close enough to be able to more or less lay our hands on things for the Chills documentary when required.

My manager, Scott Muir, and I have been working at it for over ten years and I’d had it in a rough order before that based on what Id learned from my two stints down here at the Hocken Library.

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General rules would be:
Categories
: Posters/recordings/ artists/ bands/years - whatever takes your fancy - then follow the below: 

1: CROSS-REFERENCE EVERYTHING or at least note that such-and-such may be found in another file. Many of your materials will fit into more than one category.

2: For Unknown Dates it is better to have ‘[?]’ or ‘Circa early ‘80s’ than no date at all as confirmation can arrive later and then you roughly know where to find that undated thing you vaguely remember.

3: Don’t start a ‘MISCELLANEOUS File’ - you will regret it as it becomes the biggest of them all. Think of any category other than that.

4: Audio can be a nightmare now in the Digital Age and I’m always on at people in studios to label things as though an alien will be reading it. DATE is most crucial, FULL ARTIST NAME [No abbreviations tolerated in this or Especially Song-Titles - where some future knob-head will say it is a different song. e.g. There are still those who swear there is a track on ‘Smile’ called ‘Tones’ [which are, in fact, audio frequency tones for synching one tape-machine with another].

5: for posters/flyers list the artist as well as the bands (this is where cross-referencing will be necessary!) 

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Ian Dalziel