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The International Glass Plates Group: Resources for Astronomical Plate Preservation

Presentation #349.06 in the session HAD IV — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
The International Glass Plates Group: Resources for Astronomical Plate Preservation

The International Glass Plates Group is a recently-formed gathering that includes astronomers, librarians, historians, curators, and others with representation from a host of countries. What has brought us together is our assumed curatorship of collections of astronomical photographic plates and associated records that were once open resources in our respective departments and observatories. Some of the collections reach back a century or more. The Group meets monthly to share information, experiences and ideas, to understand and evaluate the potential of the collections or individual items, and to work out a strategy for moving forward to make these data discoverable, accessible, and usable.

Each month, an IGPG subgroup presents a topic via Zoom after which discussion ensues. The discussion topics have covered preservation practices; transcribing metadata from observing logbooks and assembling this information in searchable form; digitization methods; building a census of collections; scientific use cases; accessibility of the contents of the collections to external researchers; and much more. We are working to inform ourselves of other relevant efforts, and we are taking advantage of communities with aligned interests. In addition, the Group is planning an in-person, 3-day conference in May 2023. Overall, the Group provides a forum to explore solutions to common problems. This poster describes Group activities to encourage interest by newcomers and to identify opportunities for wider collaborations.

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