Monday, February 15, 2010

Cataloguing with NDM (Natural Document Management)

The SABC Radio Archives is using the Natural Document Management (NDM) System to catalogue our collections of radio and audio material.

I found an old manual of November 1990 that was compiled by the Computer User Services of the SABC.

It states the following:

“Natural Document Management is a Library package with all the capabilities of managing an Archive System. NDM can be tailored to suit the needs of the particular Archives.”

- It was formerly also used to create documents in NDM to replace the old card catalogue. It has been an ongoing process to have all the cards ingested into the NDM system.
- The document contains all the relevant information pertaining to the audio format that has been archived.
- NDM provides methods of retrieving the documents in its database.
(Computer User Services of the SABC)

It is now 20 years later, and with all the advances in the virtual world, it is almost unthinkable that we are still able to use such a system. It is very rigid and cumbersome with regards the cataloguing and retrieval of the information about our audio collections. We store the catalogued material on compact discs (CDRs).

See a screen print of a document:

The fact that we are still able to use it, says something for it’s sustainability in the electronic age. Fortunately it will be possible to migrate it to a new system (See the Digital Library Project) in the future. Hopefully it will be sooner than later.

Do you also struggle with old systems, or is it only me complaining?

Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist, SABC Radio Archives

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