Sunday, 26 June 2011

Rona Sissons- Back copies of JAC/PIA

Having recently been given a project to research significant cultural events in the 1990’s as part of my TAFE course, I pitched up at Hornsby TAFE library expecting to be able to browse through back numbers of JAC, or Pottery in Australia, as it was then, only to be told that they now only keep the last five years since any information could be retrieved online. I received a similar response from Hornsby library. Both libraries pointed me to online databases as the best source of information.

I have just spend several hours attempting to retrieve information over a range of years, using a number of different search techniques, and have come to the conclusion that, in spite of the wealth of information available online, it does not include archived articles from JAC/PIA despite what the librarians apparently believed and that in throwing away back numbers we are loosing this information for good.

Fortunately as Dee and Vicki have told me, the SCA library and TACA have saved back numbers which is fine for me, since I live in Sydney, however not everyone is as fortunate.

While the online index of articles on the JAC website, which is in the process of being constructed, is an excellent resource to enable specific articles to be located, it is going to be of limited value if there is no online copy and if no (or very few) physical copies of the journal exist.

This does not only apply to JAC/PIA either. Back copies of Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Technical etc, in short all ceramics periodicals are receiving the same treatment.

This post is intended as a plea to libraries and any other institutions to retain back copies of worthwhile periodicals which represent an important part of our heritage. It’s not as if, at three publications a year, JAC is commandeering a disproportionate amount of shelf space! My own collection dates back to September 2000 and I will be holding on to them

Looking forward to seeing the 1990s added to JAC online index!

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