Tēnā koutou katoa. A survey was conducted in September 2013 by Archives New Zealand to gather information from users of the Community Archive website to better inform future work. The Community Archive Survey Report on the findings of the survey was published in March 2015. Of the 50 users who answered the survey 13 contributed to the Community Archive as a representative of an organisation. The survey results found that when asked whether or not they had got what they wanted out of the website 78% of users responded favourably or neutrally. When asked if they found the website easy to use 82% of respondents answered favourably or neutrally.
Responses to the survey question asking what actions could be identified to improve the website resulted in four key themes: promotion; data quality and description methods; keep it up-to-date; and security. Subsequently, Archives New Zealand’s work on the Community Archive has concentrated on addressing these key themes. There has been a particular focus on making the most of the Community Archive with the time, resources, and website functionality available. Now we have published this progress report to let you know what we have achieved in 2015 around these key themes and also look forward to continuing progress in 2016.
Contributors are the life blood of the Community Archive. We would like to extend our thanks to all contributors for your participation and the value you bring to the website. Archives New Zealand is continuing to work to improve the Community Archive and we have offered some suggestions in this report for ways you can also continue to support this work.
Government Recordkeeping Directorate, Archives New Zealand
The Four Key Themes from the Community Archive Survey and Related Actions by Archives New Zealand
Key Themes Actions in 2015
1. A link to the Community Archive website is now on the Archives New Zealand website homepage under the “Do It Online” section – archives.govt.nz/. This resulted in a doubling of traffic to the website in the following ten days.
2. Findability on sites like Google was investigated and the results showed that current findability of the Community Archive as well as its contributors and collections is satisfactory.
3. There has been an increase in notices and blog entries and notices on the website to promote the Community Archive to its users.
4. The Archives New Zealand twitter account has tweeted links to the Community Archive blog posts which promotes the Community Archive to their twitter followers and widens the audience. This will continue as more blogs are posted.
1. All contributors’ website links were checked to ensure their functionality. Contributors whose links were not working were contacted by email or phone. As of December 2015 all (except two) contributor links have been corrected.
2. By focusing on getting the details for contributors up-to-date, links and other contact information, and by posting regular notices including blog posts, the Community Archive can then be used to its full potential by researchers and contributors alike.
3. A guide was created to support contributors in updating their profile information. This has been sent to all contributors who have emailed for assistance. This will also be available from the Community Archive website in 2016.
4. Emails sent to the website administrator and registrations to the Community Archive are checked at least once a day during the working week and replied to within two days.
Data and description
1. A problem when mass uploading items to the Community Archive is currently being worked on by an Application Specialist.
2. Current guidance and templates available on the Community Archive for listing and uploading collections and items has been reviewed. It is important that the templates are filled out as fully as possible to increase the value and usefulness of the collections; this is not always well understood. During 2016 more direction will be given to contributors about using guides and templates.
3. The better the quality of data and description of archives on the Community Archive the more useful resource it is for researchers.
1. One survey respondent noted security as needing improvement. The Community Archive is checked daily for spam registrations and there have been no reports of security breaches. We will continue to monitor spam and will report and investigate any future issues.
Key Themes Future Actions 2016+
1. Continue to post notices and blogs to inform contributors and users.
2. Continue to look for opportunities to promote the Community Archive.
1. Regularly remind contributors to keep their contact details up-to-date. This will ensure the recent work in updating information is continued and the website contacts are current.
2. Create a distribution list of all contributors in 2016 to allow easy communication of Community Archive information.
Data and description
1. Following a review of current guidance information and templates for adding items, more direction will be given in 2016 about accessing guidance information and adding and describing items.
1. Develop a package for Community Archives users and community groups who hold archives about the tools available to support their work. This will include: relevant content from previous training course material; community development assistance; education opportunities; associations and professional bodies; and links to useful web resources, listservs etc. This will be made available on the Community Archive website in 2016.
2. Adapt current public office and local sector guidance provided by Archives New Zealand as best practice for the wider archives sector.
Key Themes What contributors can do
1. Inform visitors to your archive that you have a profile on the Community Archive.
2. Advertise your link to the Community Archive on any of your promotional material.
3. Tell colleagues in other organisations about the Community Archive.
1. Check your contributor profile page - are your details up- to-date?
2. Visit the Community Archive blog and notices to keep up- to- date with what is going on. You can do so here: thecommunityarchive.org.nz/news_views
3. Report any issues you have with the website functionality to the website administrator.
Data and description
1. Read the guidelines available on the Community Archive here: thecommunityarchive.org.nz/guidelines_help when uploading and listing collections or items
2. Take a look at your collections and items on the Community Archive - could the description be improved to better help researchers find and understand these?
1. Is your Community Archive password secure? We recommend choosing a password that contains at least six characters. It should include numbers, punctuation, and both upper and lowercase letters.
We are happy to help with any of these tasks - contact the website administrator here: thecommunityarchive.org.nz/about_the_community_archive/contact