Friday, 18 September 2015

Visit to the Australian Jazz Museum (incorporating the Victorian Jazz Archive) with Dr Andrew Flinn

Today I had the pleasure of taking Dr Andrew Flinn from University College London to visit the Australian Jazz Museum (incorporating the Victorian Jazz Archive), located in Wantirna, an outer suburb of Melbourne. 
It seems incredible to think it has been almost 2 years since I was last at the Museum, when I spent two weeks with the AJM volunteers in October 2013 as part of this research. Dr Flinn is a world leader in the study of community archives and while he was visiting Melbourne for his public lecture (see earlier post) I thought it would be a good opportunity to show him the high standards of community archiving taking place by volunteers at the AJM.

From L-R: Ray Sutton, Sarah Baker, Mel Blachford and Andrew Flinn

And what a difference two years can make for a community archive! The Australian Jazz Museum (formerly Victorian Jazz Archive, having changed its name late last year to better reflect the breadth and depth of its collection) has grown, with two new shipping containers in the process of being kitted out to accommodate the rapidly expanding collection (the holdings of the disbanded NSW Jazz Archive will now be housed here, for example); new, top-of-the-range digitisation equipment for a project being undertaken for the Mitchell Library (State Library of New South Wales); an expanding social media presence with forays into Twitter (@AustJazzMuseum) and Instagram (@australianjazzmuseum); and many new volunteers. 

It is great to see the AJM go from strength-to-strength.

During the visit, I presented the AJM with a copy of my edited collection Preserving Popular Music Heritage: Do-it-yourself, Do-it-together.  

L-R: Ray Sutton (former AJM General Manager) and Sarah Baker
This copy will be placed in the AJM's library and so will be accessible to the volunteers to read. The copy sent by the publisher to the former General Manager and chapter contributor, Ray Sutton, has been made a preservation copy in the Archive.