The Living Archives Conference - Villaines-la-Gonais, 2011

In April 2011, Alfred de Grazia and I assembled a small Conference on Archives in Villaines-la-Gonais, under the chairmanship of Jeff Ubois, of the Internet Archive project. Our purpose was to examine the constitution of digitalized personal archives, particularly those of creative individuals, to be "stored" and made available on the Internet for the benefit of the general public. We were joined by Chris Meyer-Rudolphi, from Naxos, the webmaster of the Grazian Archive, and Martin Stefanov and Adriana Marinova from Sofia, Bulgaria. 
The planned conference dates had been from the 15 to the morning of the 18, but as everybody arrived early, on the 13, we went to work right away and had more than four days of intense an high spirited discussions on the various aspects of Alfred de Grazia's "Living Archive Project," on the continuation and preservation of the Grazian-Archive, on comparisons with other archives on the internet, on our experiences in the field of digitized archives. We were even joined over Skype by Stan James, in Berlin.
The lively discussions were all carried on in our home, around the dining-room table; meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - were taken in the kitchen, or at the excellent "P'tit Bistrot" restaurant next doors. Loads of croissants and other bread were bought at the village bakery. It was a true "Symposium" in the Platonic sense and our chairman remarked at the end that in the heat of our discussions, some points had been raised which had not been raised in the much larger and more comprehensive Conference on Internet Archives which he had organized in February 2011 in San Francisco. 
Chris Meyer-Rudolphi, Martin Stefanov, Alfred de Grazia
Small conferences like ours, with their specific foci, addressing some specific issues, and quite uninhibited in their friendly exchange, fulfill a significant function in the furthering of this vast and complex endeavor of digitized individual private archives and of their sharing on the Internet. 

Ami de Grazia, April 2011
The grazian-archive website
Le P'tit Bistrot, Villaines-la-Gonais 
Villaines-la-Gonais, main street

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