The archives of science document one of humankind’s greatest sagas. They comprise stories of discovery, invention, cures and exploration. As such, these archives should be captured, preserved and shared, much like our cultural and social heritage. To this end, archivists need to find ways of collaborating with scientists to best capture scientific material for future preservation without interrupting the scientific process.
Better understanding how this collaboration might work was the subject of a Workshop on Scientific Archives in November 2016, organised by EMBL. Following its success, the EMBL Archivist and archivists from four other institutions founded an international committee on the Contemporary Archives of Science and Technology (CAST) within the Section on University and Research Institution Archives of the International Council on Archives. More information regarding this committee can be accessed here: https://www.ica.org/en/committees.
Chief among this committee’s objectives is to organise meetings between archivists and scientists to discuss each other’s needs and work practices. This will help develop practical ways of working together so that the documentary heritage of science can be preserved for future generations. The EMBL Archivist will continue to participate in these activities and work with colleagues to best capture, preserve and share EMBL’s scientific achievements.
- Brenner, Sydney and Roberts, Richard, "Save your notes, drafts and printouts: today's work is tomorrow's history", Nature, vol. 446 (12 April 2007), https://doi.org/10.1038/446725a
- Ferry, Georgina, "Science today, history tomorrow", Nature, vol. 493 (3 January 2013), https://doi.org/10.1038/493019a
- Shaw, Jenny, "Documenting genomics: Applying archival theory to preserving the records of the Human Genome Project", Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, vol. 55 (February 2017), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2015.08.005
- Laloë Anne-Flore, "Archives of and for science", EMBO reports, vol. 18, no. 8 (August 2017), https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.201744733
- CAST Terms of Reference