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TABLE 1: BUILD AND PRESERVE A NATIONAL COLLECTION AND MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE

Ensuring our collection is representative, relevant, diverse, accessible and digital.

Performance criteria topics:

Growth

Accessibility

Digitisation

Performance measures summary:

Growth: Increase by 2% (printed and published media (titles), manuscripts (titles), audio (hours), pictorial (items), film (feet), video (hours), art and objects (items).

Accessibility: increase the number of requests met and items provided by 1.5% from 2019–20; action 100% of requests within 60 days.

Digitisation: Increase in the proportion of collection digitised by 5%.

Source:

Corporate Plan 2020–2024 Page 13. PBS 2020-21 Page 87.

Result:

3 = partially achieved, benefits and shortcomings finely balanced.

Analysis:

Growth

Overall growth of the Collection slowed to an average of 1.22% against the target of 2.0%, possibly as a result of the pandemic and interruptions to accessioning of material. However, year on year there has been an increase in the amount of audio, film, photographic and art and object accessions. It is expected that growth in the film and analogue video formats will remain low given the decreasing use of these formats, although as we approach the 2025 deadline for the viability of magnetic media we can still expect to see deposits of historical material.

Accessibility

The Collections Transformation Strategy aims to implement improved workflows and new systems, including the creation of discoverable finding aids for unpublished formats. The number of catalogue records upgraded and photographic item-level descriptions has again increased on previous years.

The impact of the pandemic meant fewer people were able to personally visit AIATSIS; however, the 20% increase in items supplied indicates the growing awareness of the services offered by AIATSIS. The growth in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals (16%) and groups (489%) requesting items is significant, balanced by a decline in requests from non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals (-66%). Overall, requests grew by 19%. The location of requesters fluctuates. A 156% increase from NT, 48% from NSW and 55% from Queensland is balanced by a decline from overseas, the ACT and Tasmania.

The impact of the pandemic is quantified in three tables (1b, 1c and 1d) which demonstrate our performance in increasing the number of requests for accessing the collection. The average of the three tables is -8.63% which does not meet the target of 1.5%.

84% of requests across all categories in the Collection were actioned within 60 days which did not meet the target of 100%.

Digitisation

The target of 5% growth was only achieved in motion picture and video, with audio new deposits almost equalled to the volume digitised and reduced the percentage gained. Although the manuscript percentage is a 0.33% increase, it represents a significant volume with the digitisation of 49,160 pages from 282 major titles.

The pandemic reduced the number of operational staff working on digitisation in the building at any one time to 50% or less, reducing the output volumes in a similar amount. Regardless of these issues significant progress was made towards digitising all at-risk audio and video materials, with the digitisation of magnetic film soundtrack now at 100% of the current collection. When averaged across the remaining collection categories there was a continued progress of 3.35% increase from the previous year.

Table 1a: Collection growth

Performance criterion: Collection growth

Performance measure: Increase in AIATSIS collection growth

Target: 2% growth from 30 June 2020 baseline

Growth in media type:

Size of collection

30 June 2020

2019–20 growth

2020–21 growth

% Growth

2020 -21

Printed and published media (titles)

62,731

867

688

1.10%

Manuscripts (titles)

12,666

243

143

1.13%

Audio (hours)

41,851

527

770

1.84%

Pictorial (items)

719,300

10,635

12,971

1.80%

Film (feet)

6,788,451

0

10,400

0.15%

Video (hours)

14,708

259

4

0.03%

Art and object (items)

6,553

45

163

2.49%

Average growth across media

1.22%

Outcome: Overall growth of the collection slowed in 2020–21, possibly as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic and interruptions to accessioning of material. In addition, for printed and published media we undertook a large-scale removal of duplicates throughout 2020–21, resulting in an overall reduction in growth in that format. However, year on year there has been an increase in the amount of audio, film, photographic and art and object accessions. It is expected that growth in the film and analogue video formats will be low in future years given the decreasing use of these formats, although as we approach the 2025 deadline for the viability of magnetic media we can still expect to see deposits of historical material.

* AIATSIS has received almost no offers of film material in recent years.

Table 1b: Collection accessibility—accessibility

Performance criterion: Collection accessibility

Performance measure: Number of requests met and items provided by source and location

Target: 1.5% from 2019–20

Number of collection searches, enquiries and requests

2018–19 result

2019–20 result

2020–21 result

change from 2019-20

Enquiries and requests received (email/phone/in-person/online form)

3,255

3,046

3,065

0.62%

Complex user requests including Return of Material to Indigenous Communities (ROMTIC) completed

1,378

1,256

1,222

-2.71%

Collection items supplied

4,585

4,023

4,934

22.64%

Onsite visitors/clients

1,410

1,317

638

-51.56%

Items used in reading room

5,358

3,615

1,208

-66.58%

Outcome: The results in each of the categories reflect the impact of the pandemic, with fewer people able to personally visit AIATSIS. The 22% increase in items supplied indicates the growing awareness of the services offered by AIATSIS.

Table 1c: Collection accessibility—number of collection items supplied by source of request

Performance criterion: Collection accessibility

Performance measure: Number of requests met and items provided by source and location

Target: 1.5% from 2019–20

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individual

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation or community

Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individual

Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation or community

Total

2019-20

2,093

270

1,566

94

4,023

2020-21

2,476

1,641

535

282

4,934

Total increase 22.64%

Outcome: This table is for AIATSIS performance management and record keeping. Target numbers for the source of requests are not published in the PBS and Corporate Plan. However, growth in requests from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals (16%) and groups (489%) requesting items is significant. This is balanced out by the 66% decrease in requests from Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals. The total growth in requests increased by 19%.

Table 1d: Collection accessibility—number of collection items supplied by location of requester

Performance criterion: Collection accessibility

Performance measure: Number of requests met and items provided by source and location

Target: 1.5% from 2019–2020

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Overseas

Total

2019-20

740

927

366

670

125

85

316

125

670

4,023

2020-21

351

1372

938

1044

465

55

310

374

25

4,934

Total increase 22.64%

Outcome: This table is for AIATSIS performance management and record keeping. AIATSIS is committed to maintaining records on both the sources and the locations of requests. The spread of locations of requesters fluctuates. Increases of 156% from the NT, 48% from NSW and 55% from Queensland are balanced by declines from overseas (-96%), the ACT (-53%) and Tasmania (-35%).

Table 1e: Collection accessibility—requests accessed within service standard

Performance criterion: Collection accessibility

Performance measure: Number of requests met and items provided by source and location

Target: 100% of requests across categories are actioned within 60 days

Proportion of requests actioned within 60 days

2019–20

97%

2020-21

84%

Outcome: Tables 1c and 1d list the sources and locations of requests. This table demonstrates our promptness in responding to requests. The 100% target published in the PBS and Corporate Plan was not met because of the pandemic.

Table 1f: Collection growth and accessibility—proportion of collection digitised by format

Performance criterion: Collection digitisation

Performance measure: Provide an overall increase in the proportion of the collection digitised by format

Target: 5% from 2019-2020

Size of collection 30 June 2021

% of collection digitised 2019-20

% of collection digitised 2020-21

No of items digitised 2020-21

% increase in total items digitised in 2020-21

Manuscripts

12,512 titles

4.22

4.55

282

+0.33

Audio (hours)

42,621 hours

88.97

89.81

1,047

+0.84

Pictorial (items)

732,271 items

60.93

63.23

24,738

+2.30

Film (feet)

6,798,451 feet

32.84

38.50

273,587

+5.66

Video (hours)

14,712 hours

54.24

62.45

925

+8.21

Film sound (hours)

1,075 hours

93.69

100.00

0

0

Art and object (items)

6,716 items

27.32

30.11

237

+2.79

Overall increase

2.88%

Outcome: There was a 3.35% increase in the total items digitised during 2020–21 (averaged across collection categories) with targets achieved in three collection categories. COVID-19 did interrupt digitisation during periods when staff were required to work from home, with some essential equipment only being available in the Maraga building. However, the film sound collection has now been 100% digitised and any future digitisation of this format will only be for future additions to the collection. Steady progress continues to be made in digitising magnetic media, although overall progress in some media is slow because undigitised additions to the collection almost equal the amount digitised over the year.