Taking our past to the future

We have progressed from a few boxes stored under then Chair of Churches of Christ in Queensland Clive Burdeu’s house to a purpose built archive facility. Now, we are looking towards the future with assurance, knowing that the preservation of our historical documents and other artefacts will be managed and stored safely and securely in our Historical Resource Centre at Mitchelton.

“If we don’t move to digital, our history will pass us by,” explained Jonathan Smith, who works in the centre. The purpose built facility is a part of the Churches of Christ Campus at Mitchelton and is home to many historical items that are pieces of the puzzle of who we are.

The centre was specifically designed to keep physical documents, newsletters, photos, artworks and other artefacts in the best possible condition with temperature and humidity control. This is a far cry from how they have previously been stored.

“Over the years the documents have been kept under a house, ‘the dungeon’ basement of the Brotherhood Centre on Ann Street in Brisbane City, in a facility prone to flooding at the Kenmore Christian College, and at the squash courts at Mitchelton,” Jonathan said.

“Unfortunately, due to moves, temporary storage, moisture and mould, a number of items (books, documents, and a computer) have sustained irreversible damage and have had to be disposed of.”

With the way society and technology is changing, the increasing reliance on digital documents and a move away from paper, the need for a dedicated digital archive is increasing.

Work has already commenced on the digital transition of current items through scanning and cataloguing, while options are being investigated to make it easier to capture and manage our digital history.

“We need to have an intelligent Historical Resource Centre. If we don’t capture and keep our history, our memories if you will, we may move in a direction that is very different from our origins. We need the ability to look back on the decisions we have made and why we made them so that we have a clear sense of direction on the road ahead of us.”

Back in 1935, Frederick D Kershner said “…no transaction of any organisation should be regarded as unworthy of preservation. It is highly desirable that future generations should understand the facts of past history in order to more surely expand their own outlook.”

You can visit the Historical Resource Centre at the Churches of Christ Campus at Mitchelton. Contact Jonathan Smith on 07 3513 9045 to arrange a time.

Learn more about Churches of Christ in Queensland in the latest edition of Networking.

Posted June 8, 2017 in Networking blog