Notes from Open Meeting, 3rd March, 1.30-3.30pm, Miller’s Yard

The meeting opened with an update on progress since the last meeting. Martin and Helen discussed the meeting with Richard Taylor at the City Archives. The Archives are reimagining themselves as not being only the archive of local government but also covering civic engagement in York more generally. As such, the Archives are broadly interested in collecting digital items we collect and might also be open to non-digital items. Ideally we would be collecting in TIFF (photographs) and Wav. (audio) formats but there is a recognition that this might not be possible because of the formats in which people already have items and access to equipment. Richard did also say we needed to get consent forms signed – based on the model available of the Archives website. Adam led this into a discussion about how we were going to proceed with collection. It was proposed that we take a two stage process – now we focus on encouraging people to take part and while we note the preferred formats we don’t make this in any way a requirement and then at some point near the end of the year we consider the next steps in terms of archiving, including consent and considering the quality of formats where possible. Helen to update the website with the preferred format information.

In terms of the boxes to be used for a ‘real life network’, a meeting has been proposed by Beth with Lucile and Laura. Laura has suggested shops to approach to host the boxes.

We discussed approaches to oral histories. We agreed again that interviewing each other would be a good place to start. We though the ideal interviewer would be someone who knew something about the interviewee’s activism and involvement but not too much – otherwise it would not feel like a very spontaneous interview. Plans were made by those present to kick this off.

Alongside interviews, Nick mentioned a format something like Radio 4’s The Reunion around certain events/campaigns. This is a format that encourages different memories of things to come forward and creates space for disagreement and multiple interpretations.

We discussed the event talked about at the first meeting. It was thought that while a event about radical music at some point would be brilliant, that to organize an event primarily for the purposes of fund raising was very hard work, especially if no-one had particular expertise in that area. However, Nick did suggest there might be scope for tagging along with Food not Bombs at gigs they cover and doing short interviews outside and/or setting up other times for interviews.

We discussed getting together the logo and a leaflet. Laura had offered to write the text and Nick said he would approach a friend who is a designer to see if she could help realized his vision for a logo (of York, Alt, His…).

In terms of the website, we looked at the category cloud and thought it was working ok and that the emphasis on ‘how to…’ on the pages was ok for the time being. An issue to return to as the project develops. Martin to have a look at a links page/reading list.

The next meeting will be on 3rd April at 7pm April 2012 at the Corner Pin pub.

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