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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Archive winge
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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Archive winge
Posted: 18/08/2012 21:48:21
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I think I may have just found the most ludicrous example of charging for access to archives.

I don't begrudge paying three quid a day to use my digital camera in (for example) the Devon Record Office. This gives me unlimited access and on a good day I might copy several hundred pages.

If I wanted to do this at the Royal Institute of Cornwall's Library at Truro it would cost a staggering 50 pence per image (using my own camera).
IP: 86.178.128.88
stuey

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Joined: 15/08/2007

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 00:47:33
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Who audits this?

Is someone looking over your shoulder?
IP: 46.208.117.122
exspelio

Joined: 02/05/2012
Location: peak district

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 01:42:37
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Aah well, got to pay the person who's counting Confused Confused

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Always remember, nature is in charge, get it wrong and it is you who suffers!.
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christwigg

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Joined: 20/02/2008
Location: Cleveland / North Yorkshire

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 08:17:22
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Same thing has come in at the Teesside Archives, suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of it everywhere.
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Trewillan

Joined: 21/02/2012

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 09:24:55
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christwigg wrote:

Same thing has come in at the Teesside Archives, suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of it everywhere.


The money to keep archives has to come from somewhere.

Will there be another "archive winge" from Tamarmole when they start chucking out all that old stuff?
IP: 91.125.171.198
lozz

Joined: 03/08/2012
Location: Cornwall

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 11:11:52
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Yes, the money has to come from somewhere I suppose, but it sounds a bit opportunistic to me, 50p per copy for a photocopier copy I can understand, photocopier costs, staff time etc. but 50p for each press of the button of your own camera I think is robbery.
If nobody took any photo's because of the high charge would the RIC fold up....I doubt it, maybe there's a mistake somewhere.

Lozz.
IP: 86.185.155.237
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
Location: Sir Caernarfon

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 12:00:16
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Think yourself lucky!!!! Gwynedd Archives do not let you use a digital camera at all!! There is a lovely mine plan I would love to photograph, but cannot, nor can they do it either (except in A4 size chunks at £11.00 per shot!! It is a big plan so I would need a mortgage to pay for that!! IP: 78.147.37.19 Edited: 20/08/2012 08:05:09 by JohnnearCfon
lozz

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 12:35:03
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JohnnearCfon wrote:

Think yourself lucky!!!! Gwynedd Archives do not let you use a digital camera at all!! There is a lovely mine plan I would love to photograph, but cannot, nor can they do it either (except in A$ size chunks at £11.00 per shot!! It is a big plan so I would need a mortgage to pay for that!!


Unless the plan is in a fragile state I would say that's bad, our local CRO are very helpfull, I have had no problem copying plans etc.

Lozz
IP: 86.185.155.237
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
Location: Sir Caernarfon

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 12:41:19
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No, that particular plan is in good condition. They have a total ban on taking photographs under any circumstances. IP: 78.150.216.118
stuey

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Joined: 15/08/2007

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 14:11:53
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National archives are one of the things we gladly pay money for. Not dole scum's 70" tellies, not lefthanded lesbian trombonists from Somalia. This stuff is of national importance and if it's a cash sink, fair enough.

The problem with the public sector and nationalised stuff is that the bodies who administer it think it is actually "theirs". This is not the case.

Putting unreasonable barriers in place for the public to view it/record it for their own research is not cricket.

On a tangent, I have a good mine exploring chum who knows a lady something to do with "the Liskeard recordy office museum cum whatever it's called". I gather they had an impressive load of plans/documents and these have gone missing/been shifted and what's left is rather jumbled, battered and sorry.

The CRO and the CSL are fantastic places and reading copies of various books with famous names written inside the cover is valuable and special.

I have eyeballed a load of plans which have come from the Cornwall Record Office and a lot of them are accompanied by a business card style thing in the photo explaining the copyright. I can't see what money is to be made from photos of the original copies, it's not as if anyone writing a book isn't going to say "Thanks to the lovely ladies at the Record office, their in depth knowledge of all the funny numbers and various collections helped me no end"

CRO is pretty good. I would have a proper whinge in the case of £11 for an A4 copy. Which planet are they from? (Apart from Planet Public Sector from the galaxy of other people's cash. ).

I'd say with all that cash, they should put high quality scans of everything on line and then you can pay to be a member of the site and pay a reasonable rate.....thus preserving the delicate and important documents in a big air conditioned bunker. This would make the most sense.....however, it is government based, so they will make the most expensive screw up of everything imaginable.....

Now that's whinge! Laugh
IP: 87.112.145.153
agricola

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Joined: 28/10/2007
Location: In a book

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 15:06:53
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I would expect that the money generated by CRO goes into continued go work that they do. Archives cost fortunes to run. I suspect that central funding for all have dropped in recent years

I would be interested to know if the cost in the RIC is the same for members and non-members.

I you want to pay for very high quality copies of plans held by any of the record offices, one could try the Coal Authority. I have had copies of several sets of mine plans from them. Very helpful, however some of you might say should be at £35 per digital scan. The copies of Fowey Consols from which the model was built cost a small arm and leg.

If it if helps, which it probably won't (I await a good rant), the US Mine Map Repository is free to non-commercial users ! I've had several scans from them along with some from the West Virginia Mine thingy - mainly coal. However I would say great though these sources are, all I've had so far have been black and white and not really a patch on the Coal Authority, but for nought one can't complain.

To sum up, I don't might paying a small amount to those who keep our history heritage especially if it means it can be viewed rather than sitting in a box in a strong room where no one can see it. I would be good if all the record offices could supply copies of the mine plans via their websites.

One might also say that now we are in the digital age, original documents do not need to be viewed as electronic ones don't get damaged. However there is quite a cost and time aspect to scanning everything. Perhaps the banks could help .... Shocked

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If it can't be grown it has to be mined.
IP: 86.133.55.208
Ty Gwyn

Joined: 30/10/2009
Location: Lampeter

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 15:26:26
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2nd the CA,their plans are first class. IP: 217.43.126.166
somersetminer

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Joined: 19/05/2012
Location: Bristol

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 15:30:12
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agricola wrote:



I would be interested to know if the cost in the RIC is the same for members and non-members.



good question, how many are you thinking of taking Tamarmole? the yearly membership is the same as 60 photos (£30), wouldnt expect a charge after that. if there is hopefully it would be minimal like Exeter
not great if you go once a year though
IP: 90.217.81.219
simonrail

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Joined: 23/07/2008
Location: Cleveland

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 15:50:49
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The money to keep archives has to come from somewhere.

Will there be another "archive winge" from Tamarmole when they start chucking out all that old stuff?


The money to keep archives comes from the local authority which means we pay for it through council tax. The information is kept for the public who by being charged say 30p a shot for using their own cameras are being charged an extra tax. And of course those with more disposable income are at an unfair advantage over the less well-off.

If Tamarmole winges over old stuff being chucked out by an archives then I shall join him. In our local main reference library there was a fine collection of 'Iron & Coal Trades Review' and other useful material which was chucked out a few years ago to make room for more 'trendy' material.

Earlier this year I got quotes from the National Archives for supplying copies of material - now even preparing the quote is going to cost money. Another nail in the coffin of public service!


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Yes, I'll have it - what is it? IP: 82.11.31.23
lozz

Joined: 03/08/2012
Location: Cornwall

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 16:22:54
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"The copies of Fowey Consols from which the model was built cost a small arm and leg"

How much of an arm and a leg, wouldn't mind some decent copies of the Fowey Consols plans, they might agree for me to trace them (they have allowed me to do this in the past with other plans) but I suspect this would take me a long long time. I have a couple of photo's of part of said plans but I only took them with a cheapo camera. I seem to remember paying a one off fee for the day when using my camera and as far as I remember it was very reasonable, unlike the RIC 50 pence a go jobby which I still consider to be unreasonable if that is the case.

Lozz.
IP: 86.185.155.237
stuey

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Joined: 15/08/2007

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 16:52:02
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Totally unrelated, does anyone know any more about the Carnon plan collection? Does "the stuff" exist in copy form at the CRO, or is it original, unique and hidden from all but their staff?

Are there duplicates shared between similar companies?
IP: 87.112.145.153
agricola

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Joined: 28/10/2007
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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 18:57:58
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As far as I know there are no copies of much of the Carnon archive. As a totally private archive it is unique. Much originates from the South Crofty Mine archive which concentrates on the mines around South Crofty and I'm not 100% sure of the coverage around Wheal Jane.

Generally the archive is hidden, but I know some fortunate souls have had the chance to view some of it. Big Grin


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If it can't be grown it has to be mined.
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Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 19:11:05
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CROs are close to bottom of the list for local authority funds and in the present economic climate they are being really squeezed. Formerly xeroxes provided a modest but useful income stream but the rapid rise of digital photography (in those institutions that permit it) has suddenly eroded that income stream. I can appreciate their the rationale for introducing a charge for the use of digital cameras but feel that as there is no staff cost (unlike xeroxing), that there is a moral objection to anything other than a very nominal charge - say 10p per exposure to a £5.00 ceiling per visit.

Users of archives are a very small sub-set of the population so politicians can safely ignore campaigns to safeguard services and not to introduce charges. Amongst archive users, family historians predominate; buisiness historians and industrial historians form a very small proportion of archive users. When institutions embark upon campaigns to digitise material in the collections, they inevitably prioritise material of the greatest interest to the greatest number of researchers. Mine plans are unfortunately especially tricky due to their size.

There are huge inconsistencies between institutions with regard to fees and charges, and with regard to attitudes to copying (from the perspectives both of conservation and of copyright). I have found that undertaking voluntary work for an institution can open doors and change attitudes - besides, there can be a feel-good factor to 'putting something back' into a collection that you are making heavy use of.

With the current economic climate, anticipate further cuts to opening hours (e.g. the National Library of Wales is now closed on Saturdays) and the introduction of more charges (e.g. the Coal Authority charges a substantial access fee for visitors after the first half day's research).

Previous posters have made the point that archives are paid for from taxes and that to levy other charges is unfair. However, many other things are also paid for from taxes but are subject to charges - e.g. swimming pools, bowling greens, concert halls, museums. With speciaist activities such as archival research, effectively the great majority of taxpayers are subsidising the leisure activities of a small minority. In such circumatances, it becomes rather difficult to object to charging archive users fees that are modest compared to the cost of providing the service. Unfairness begins to creep in when the charges become disproportionate compared to charges levied for users of other specialist leisure provision - e.g. the fees levied on Sunday morning sports teams using local authority sports facilities. What do Aditnow members think of being charged the same per-day fee to use an archive as, say, the per-head fee charged to use a swimming pool? In the current economic climate and with the current government, such a scenario cannot be discounted.

.
IP: 92.26.73.238 Edited: 19/08/2012 19:51:55 by Graigfawr
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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Archive winge
Posted: 19/08/2012 21:27:17
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Trewillan wrote:

christwigg wrote:

Same thing has come in at the Teesside Archives, suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of it everywhere.


The money to keep archives has to come from somewhere.

Will there be another "archive winge" from Tamarmole when they start chucking out all that old stuff?


I am fully aware that maintaining archives is an expensive business. In the current economic climate it is inevitable that users will be faced with a charge. As a regular user of various archives I don't begrudge paying a reasonable fee if it means access is maintained.

What I do object to is what appears to be unreasonable charges.

Scholarship is a hard enough path to follow as an amateur without unreasonable barriers being placed in one's way. I think it is a distinctly worrying trend that academic pursuits are increasingly becoming the preserve of the wealthy.

Over the years there has been the odd time that I have been unemployed. During these periods I have used my time to research and write. Amongst the fruits of my labours are "The Mineral Tramways of Great Ayton" (with Richard Pepper) and Moorland Caver (The North York Moors cave guide with Gerry Gibbs). Without free access to archives and the support of my local library (also free) I seriously doubt if either book would have been written.

Excluding anyone from the field of academic research because they do not have enough cash in their pocket is morally wrong
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Trewillan

Joined: 21/02/2012

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Archive winge
Posted: 20/08/2012 01:22:55
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Tamarmole wrote:

Excluding anyone from the field of academic research because they do not have enough cash in their pocket is morally wrong


Not sure where morals come in to it, but there's a whole of can of worms there, including copyright and intellectual property.

Is 50p a page really unreasonable? Snapping away at will with your camera you are depriving the library of income.

A lot of amateur pursuits are hard and expensive, but I think the days have gone where we can expect "someone else" to finance our indulgences.
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