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23 March 2006 - North Group Meeting

For its sixth meeting the North of England Regional Group took advantage of a kind offer from Iron Mountain to host the event at its facility near Wakefield. Attendance was high, as has become the trend, with members travelling from across the whole of the region, and places had to be limited after interest in the event exceeded capacity. The focus for the day's activities was the issue of scanning and the records management environment.

With the pleasantries over, the business of the day began with an account of the British Geological Survey's experiences of a number of separate scanning projects from Rod Bowie of the BGS. Rod outlined the various stages of the projects, which in combination resulted in the scanning of over 3 million BGS records, including field maps, aerial photographs, and bore hole records. His presentation focused on the distinct approaches adopted for each of the record series, and the various reasons for these approaches. Rod was able to share the benefits of his experience of the full spectrum of project activities, from the planning stages right through to the successful completion of all three of the projects undertaken. The group's members were left with no illusions about the fact that scanning initiatives require a much larger range of activities and considerations than the simple laying of paper to scanning glass!

Following questions and discussion, the programme moved on to the topic of other perspectives on scanning, presented to the group by David Willgoose of Iron Mountain Ltd. David talked to the group about the fundamental elements of scanning in records management terms, and emphasised the importance of a strategic approach to scanning initiatives across organisations. Several different types of scanning strategy were discussed, and David was able to add weight to many of the points raised by the previous speaker.

After more discussion and coffee, the group were treated to a tour of the Iron Mountain facilities, and saw for themselves the current expansion in physical storage area. The hosts gave an account of their business procedure, which is essentially common throughout the world, and the technologies which help it operate its services.

Lunch followed, presenting the usual opportunity for the group to 'network' informally, and then the General Meeting followed. For the final part of the afternoon the attendees split up into discussion groups to focus on topics relating to the advantages and disadvantages of various scanning approaches, and to the legal admissibility of scanned records. The attendees shared their experiences of scanning in their own organisations, and their findings were relayed back to the whole group.

With discussions over, another successful and stimulating meeting of the group drew to a close, and thanks were extended to Iron Mountain for their kind sponsorship of the event. The Committee looks forward to welcoming both RMS North group members and colleagues from the Society of Archivists regional groups to the next meeting in Blackburn in June.

Agenda  (DOC, 35.5 KB)

Discussions Topics Results  (DOC, 44.5 KB)

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