Project SPAASSM (Special Project for Army Apprentice School Special Material) was instigated after members of the AAAA Inc. discovered that the Army Museum at Bandiana (AMB) had a vast quantity of historical material relating to the Army Apprentices School, which was wasting away in an old warehouse and not available for the general enjoyment of Apprentices far and wide.
The material was originally rescued by Lt Col Jim Hislop (Rtd), from almost certain destruction after recovering it from an industrial waste bin, at the closing of the AAS Bonegilla. Jim then organised to have the material and a display set up at the Army Museum Bandiana who are now the official owners and custodians of our history.
The items include photographs, slides, negatives, video tapes, movie films, journals, graduation booklets, standing orders, handbooks and histories. There were approximately 16 boxes of material (approx 600m x 500m x 400m) and 4 boxes half that size stored on shelves in an old warehouse at the Army Museum. This material was relocated from Bandiana to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
After a detailed survey, the SPAASSM team has assessed that the archive actually contains 7300 photos, 750 x 35 mm slides, 30 videos, 1 film, and approximately 10,000 pages of documents. SPAASSM has achieved a significant profile in government circles with a recent decision by the National Archive of Australia to use our video collection as a pilot to assess and forge a new preservation standard for Australia! Work was done by Silvertrak http://www.silvertrak.com.au/news/2008-sep-17.html
The longer term outcome and aim of this project is to make the digitised material publicly available via the World Wide Web for the general enjoyment of all ex-apprentices and visitors and to eventually make more complete the catalogue record for each item of the archive (a lot of photos have no context to them and we will be calling upon the Apprentice fraternity to fill in the gaps).
The aim and scope of the project
- Survey all Army Apprentice School written and photographic material;
- Once surveyed, decide what material is worthy of preserving, cataloguing and scanning;
- Catalogue material (both manually and electronically) into a format acceptable for the longer term management of the inventory (e.g. for Army Museum Bandiana and the AAAA’s electronic storage repository / web site). It is important to mention here that the activity be structured up front in such a fashion as to reduce any double handing of information e.g. Association electronic cataloguing records are easily importable into AHRMS (Army History Records Management System) for the benefit of Army Museum Bandiana.
- Further develop the Army Apprentices School Association web site to enable interactive access for association members to assist in material identification and to also enhance Web Site administration through automated processes.
To contact the Project team:
Peter Thornton (35th Intake) can be contacted on:-
Ph: 02 6296 7003 – Mob: 0406 194 469