|Group Organiser||Monica Albinson|
|Venue||The University of Greenwich|
We got going in July after an introduction to the task by Ben Bennet of The University of Greenwich. NRI stands for Natural Resources Institute, a descendant of the Imperial Institute and various other bodies concerned with sourcing natural products from the then empire. They gradually amalgamated and changed their nature. The earliest reports are clearly from British Imperial civil servants and then as countries became independent from the offices of their own officials. It is very interesting material. It was based on the site in Chatham for a while and when it closed, the University of Greenwich inherited the archive.
Our remit is to rationalise this archive. We search each document on Google and if we find it digitally available record the web address and then the document, unless obviously valuable or of special interest, can be discarded. In this way the vast number of documents can be reduced to more manageable proportions.
All information is entered into the appropriate place on an Excel spreadsheet. Each document is either marked ‘retained’ or its web location is recorded. We sometimes add notes about items of special interest.
We work in twos and occasionally swap about to cover holidays. The aim is to do one2 hour session a week each.
It sounds complicated but you soon get into the swing of it and initial instruction is arranged. New members come in with an existing pair for one or two sessions and then we try to arrange a time and partner for each person. We could do with up to 13 more members, depending on which half day they can manage. A larger number would be good as there are a huge number of boxes to work through and it is a valuable as well as fascinating task.
NOTE: NRI website can be explored from the link on the side bar and the photographs were copied from the archive documents.