Recent and on-going
November, 2010. Our
digitizing projects have been in full swing for the past couple of
months. In the picture below Benny (on the left) is working on
digitizing our huge tape cassette collection, transforming sensitive
audio tapes to more lasting digital files. So far he has managed some
600 tapes. Benny works half of the time at his home, the other half at
our 'C' facility.
On the right, Leif is working with one
of our new A3 scanners on scanning/digitizing the files of British
magazine Flying Saucer Review. During previous months he has
processed thousands of pages from similar files from Contact
International, the British national group BUFORA and the
French magazine Lumiéres dans la Nuit.
During the weekend of November 20-22,
Clas Svahn and Anders Persson will deliver some of the results from this
digitizing project to our British counterparts. Simultaneously, they
will fetch new batches of material to be digitized by us. We will
soon establish yet another scanning station within the upcoming month
(at the free work place in the corner, behind Benny) and probably yet
another one during the winter, to help facilitate these projects for our
December, 2009. For the
first time in AFU history we have bought, for our own money, a
complete new PC with a new wide-screen and a new printer. From
December, our main archive and work facility is also connected to the
internet, through this new PC, meaning that we can work out new and more
efficient routines, for example for handling inquiries that come through
the world wide web. We are planning purchase of a good scanner and hard
disc drives to connect to this computer for work with our picture
2009. This was the official
start-up date for our new project to "renovate" and
check-up our Swedish UFO report archive & database (ScanCat).
Preparations have been going on throughout the
summer (see June-July, below) after we had
learned about the government "Phase 3" program, to
keep out-of-work people going, during the current
economical recession. So far AFU employs three
"Phase 3" people: Christer Axbom, Håkan
Landin (picture on the right) and Susanne
three will be employed for 24 months term, earning
a total of about 100 US dollars each workday to
AFU as a compensation for our costs. This
payment from the government allows us to organize a
good project that will probably escalate throughout
the coming years when our new resources allows us to
acquire new computers, scanners, etc. We have
already bought a large quantity of archival boxes
and acid-free covers to better organize our
Anders Liljegren works
with the "Phase 3" group as organizer, instructor
and archivist. The work involves getting rid of all
metallic and plastic items in the archive to better
safeguard the material from deterioration. On the
right you can see the new "white" report archives in
their new, acid-free professional archives folders.
The reports are sorted into folders labeled
"decade", "year", "month", "day", "case" and
"personal", depending on the character of the
case and quality of the dating of each report. So
far all Swedish reports from the 1980s have been
organized this way.
Parallel to this, the reports database (ScanCat) is
checked and updated for better quality. Each case is
marked against a particular archives folder in the
database to create traceability. Each paper folder
is stamped with a specially designed rubber stamp
meaning that you can effectively search for a
particular date or case without directly thumbing
(and deteriorating) the reports. The project also
involves completing the archives with new (or
better) copies of newspaper clippings relevant to
each report, and will probably involve digital
scanning of important reports, starting in 2010.
|In the picture
outside the archives, from left to right: Sven-Olov
Svensson (archivist), Ingrid Collberg (librarian),.
Anci Mårdh (clippings & reports archivist), Lena
Nelly (work-trainee) and Yvonne Tybåhl (also
||August 25, 2009.
We bid farewell to two nice ladies
who had both spent months with us as work-trainees, mostly
working on our database on articles from UFO magazines &
We celebrated the occasion
with coffee, a nice cake and wishes for the ladies'
It is expected that 11 % of all Swedes may be
out-of-work during 2010. The depression (at least in
financial circles!) seemingly takes its toll on all
To keep people going, and
away from the most basic social security, the Swedish
government has announced a new project, called "Phase 3". People who have been unemployed for several
years, and who have little chances of getting a regular job,
can be put into work by idealistic, non-commercial
preparing materials for the autumn's new project.
Photo by Håkan Blomqvist.
has, so far, approved 4.200 such work places with Swedish
organizations and two of them will be with AFU, starting
this autumn. We may later apply for more places but are
aiming at a "slow" start with 1) putting a better archival
order to our Swedish UFO report archives, 2) updating the
UFO reports database (ScanCat), and 3) scanning at least
parts of the reports into digital format. Tasks are not
lacking with AFU, what is the problem is work management
since many of us have regular jobs as a priority. We see,
however, many possibilities in the "Phase 3" projects which
also include a reasonable reimbursement to AFU for our costs
- quite a new line of thought from the government.
This compensation will help us keeping the facilities,
running computers and paying for needed working materials.
More to follow!
Finding a new copier for the archives has been an on-going
thought & a troublesome project for a few years. We
planned selling materials on eBay to finance a new one. Our
old Canon has seen more than 15 years of service, but has
stumbled on, stubbornly, with the annual or semi-annual
visit by the repair man. We frankly didn't know what to do,
knowing the cost of buying a (second-hand) copier, or
Then, suddenly, one of
AFU's most loyal supporters throughout the years,
Carl-Anton Mattsson, discovered he had 20.000 SEK on a
bank account that had been more or less forgotten (!) after
a deal between Carl-Anton's
Parthenon book company and UFO-Sweden, in the early
1980s. He donated the money to AFU!! This must be one of the
most welcome & useful donations we have ever had!
We almost immediately signed a contract with the local Canon
Business Center! The semi-new, reconditioned copier was
carried by strong men into the archives on December 11. The
total cost was slightly more than 19.000 SEK (equivalent to
slightly more than USD 3.000), including service during the
first three months. So, there was really no problem to use
up almost every 'krona' of Carl-Anton's 20.000 SEK donation!
On the right Anders
Sjölander's professional picture of Carl-Anton Mattsson when
he took part in the UFO-Sweden training course in November
2008. Thank you so much, Carl-Anton!
Our complete library has
now been moved over to the new facility, which has
been cleaned up and is now ready for service! The
move included 433 boxes of books and some 55 book
shelves, some of them are seen, empty, in these
pictures, before we started ordering the library &
media collection into themes, by Ufocodes (our
late December 2007:
On the right, some 40 boxes with
the 'A' ('astro-archeology & ancient cultures) section ready
& packaged before the first move of books to the new
library facility, which will be ready for us on January 7.
The facility & the house has had a general overhaul with new
pipes, new paintwork, new electric fittings and new steel
From previously having been
sorted in a strict alphabetical order by author, the
'new' library will display the books by AFU's Ufocode
theme codes. The move of the library will be done over a
three-month period and in several steps that also involves
moving the 35-40 IKEA 'Billy' type book cases that house our
entire book collection.
The 'A' archive was finally
emptied during the week August 25-31, with the exception of
some furniture. All the archival materials have now been
moved to our 'C' and 'D' facilities, all work performed by
the AFU staff.
On Wednesday Aug 27 we had
the help from Miguel & Marcia Leon (originally from
Chile), who visited us, and helped us move the final piece
of our office: the copier.
In the photo on the right
Marcia and Miguel in front of the Swedish UFO report archive
at the 'C' facility.
Above: the emptied 'A' facility'
- with wooden shelves that will be slightly moved, and thus
|The Leon's have
promised to help AFU and UFO-Sweden with our contacts in the
Spanish-speaking countries of the globe. Miguel has
been a speaker, on the scope and quality of Swedish UFO
UFO conferences in South America.
On Sunday, September 2, we
had another visit by Wolfgang Randisek, who has
worked for AFU in several periods and who is an eagre
supporter of our work. With Wolfgang's help we found out
that the wooden shelves (in the picture) were, in fact,
possible to move sideways, so we decided, at the very
last moment, to save them as part of the new library.
They are excellent handicraft of the 1950's, so we really
hated the idea of having to scrap them. Thank you,
Since December 2006, when the
new "D" archive was ready and equipped with new
shelves-on-rails (see below), AFU has been moving about
with, literary, tons and 100s of shelf
meters of UFO literature and archival collections. The work
will continue at least another year into the future.
The AFU foundation presently
hires four different facilities (named "A", "B", "C" and
"D") along the same street, within a few hundred meters of
each other. The process of renovation of the whole housing
area started in one end of the street in 2005 and will pass
through the building where we have our 4th facility in 2008.
So we have a very laborious period of three-four years. The
final reward will be much better - and safer -
Yours truly (webmaster, chairman and
"moving general") carrying parts of our surplus supply of
Photo by Håkan Blomqvist.
division of the 'new' set of AFU archives, in 2008, is
roughly like this:
Facility "A" -
presently the main archive - will be converted to a
new library with 10.000 volumes and 'theme' collections, for
instance UFO-related literature by language group and
Facility "B" -
presently our reference library - will house the new
work places area with a new small kitchen and a toilet. Here
we will house the report- and clipping archives, and
Facility "C" -
our oldest archive - will house our work places while
"A" and "B" are renovated. Our plans are then to "let go" of
this facility, which we cannot afford to keep.We may
possibly rent a smaller "C" locality for storage needs, book
and magazine store, etc.
Facility "D" -
our archives depot with shelves-on-rails, more than 500
meters of shelves - will include the international UFO
magazine collection (and spare copies for exchange/sale)
plus archives with personal and organizational collections,
science fiction, manuscripts, maps, posters, etc.
apologize for not being able to answer all requests for
information (via mail, email, phone) with the same swiftness
as usual, during the renovation period.
This flat computer screen was recently donated to AFU by
Håkan Blomqvist. It is the first flat screen we have
ever had at AFU. It was a welcome donation since one of our
old space-consuming CRTs crashed last autumn. We now have
three working computers at the archive, which are used
almost daily for updating our databases.
We are just now looking into
the possibility of getting a grant, from a Swedish cultural
foundation, to buy a complete small network of 4-5 new
including (among other things) a new combined printer/copier
(our old copier is a very tired one), a fine scanner, a
backup unit and the needed software to power it all. The
landlord is presently laying out the cables for a 100 Mbit
capacity network in the residential area so we hope to be
connected to the Internet "first-hand" (not only via the
computers at home with the board members) within one or two
years. This can significantly increase the level of service
we can provide.
Nine moveable shelf carriages
(and five stationary sections) were today completed by shelf
Christer Malm, working for
Valhalla Interiör, supplier to AFU of the shelves.
Initially, Christer Malm
found that the floor of our new archive facility was
slightly inclined. Quite a lot of unexpected extra work to
raise the five rails, which hold the carriages, by 4-5
centimeters at one of the ends!!
|A very important
'groundwork' indeed, since the shelves, carriages and rails
must be able to carry literally tons of archival
papers in the future and should not move by themselves in
any direction (when not 'asked' to do so). With moveable
shelves of this type, it is thus extremely important that
the rails are on even ground, so to say. Christer made a
fine job on this which obviously requires a specialist!
Testing the shelves we found that the carriages move firm
This room alone now has more
than 400 meters of shelves and could (alone) house about 2/3
of our present 'ufological' files! As we learned from
Christer some of the second-hand shelves we now have gotten
may have had a previous life at the
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (also
here in Norrkoping), where they have carried tons of weather
reports. Now they will carry heavy loads of UFO reports!
On the left, 22 boxes of science fiction magazines
(mostly US and Swedish), the first collection to be sorted,
catalogued and filed in the new archives facility.
The collection came from a
Swedish SF fan some years ago, and includes sometimes full
annual runs of SF magazines like Astounding Science
Fiction, Astounding Stories, Imagination,
New Worlds, Häpna! and Jules Verne
Magasinet (the two last mentioned both published in
Swedish). Many of them are probably quite rare and there are
first editions of a number of titles, from the 1930's and
|It is expected
that the new 'SF department' will be joined by a number of
UFO-SF-related books, UFO-SF videos and UFO-SF
comic books in our possession, to form an entity of
its own, that will mirror this aspect of popular culture
that has interacted with the UFO phenomenon.
Our new facility of 75 square meters is now ready
for moving in. The first small batch of old SF magazines was
transferred from the neighboring "C" facility to the new "D"
locality, this afternoon.
The new venue is painted in
white and gray. It has a gray linoleum carpet in the first
room and a green one in the inner room (where the compact
mobile shelves - see below - will be installed,
starting late November).
protection, the new venue has a steel door and steel bars
mounted in front of each of the six windows with the
intention to keep unwelcome visitors off the ground!
In the picture AFU board
member Håkan Blomqvist in front of one of the barred
windows facing the street.
AFU has just been awarded a grant of 82.000 SEK (roughly USD 11.000) for buying mobile shelves
for our new UFO archive facility. The decision was made,
yesterday, by “the board for private archives” of the
Swedish National Archives. The grant is not yet
official (the protocol will have to circulate among board
members for signing).
What sold the idea was, above all, the very strong
references & recommendations from
Clark of Sheffield Hallam University,
Schön (one of the most well-known Swedish
folklorists), government researcher Sandra Lindström
(the present woman-in-charge of the “UFO bureau” of
FOI, the Swedish Defence Research Agency), and from
county archivist Börje Hjorth (who heads up
regional coalition of some 37 archives, where AFU is one of
Hopefully we can use the awarded grant as cost-effective as
possible by finding good second-hand shelves.
It is expected that the new facility - with compact shelves
- will have a capacity equalling the total of all our three present
archives (with conventional shelves).
The coming year will be a little complicated with removals
between our four different facilities (due to on-going repairs on the
houses, see AFU Newsletter # 51). Today’s news was a most
welcome relief that will help us immensely in that work…
Ann-Christin Spolander will be working about
six months with AFU as an archives trainee to get practical
experience before going into archival studies at the Mid
Sweden University at Östersund.
"Anki" has been working for a
few months now, and will continue until late August 2006,
organizing our archives from UFO-Sweden, Swedish ufologists
and local UFO organizations & groups. She is also
writing/typing an archival inventory of the contents. This
detailed inventory will eventually be published in English
on this web site for everyone to use.
Her trainee job at AFU has
been mediated by
regional organization of about 35 archives and cultural
institutions of which AFU is a member.
Picture on the left shows the new arrivals book
shelf for the year 2005, before the books were sorted into
the main reference library collection.
In 2005 we catalogued 416
new titles published from many corners of the world:
Sweden (152), the United States (87), the United Kingdom
(59), Spain (50), Denmark and Germany (14 each), Switzerland
(11), Norway (6), France (5), Australia and Italy (4 each),
Canada and Russia (3 each), New Zealand, the Netherlands,
India and Greece (1 each).
work is proceeding on the Swedish clippings database.
Sandra Aronsson has soon completed the files for the
1970's (1970-1979) and has just entered clipping number
8.800 in the database. For each clipping the author,
headline, source and date is entered. Sandra also measures
the size of each clipping. The orange clipping file folders
cover the background wall as you enter the archives.
Sandra has now worked daily
with AFU for two years, since November 2003.
||AFU has just
completed a three-four week period (October - November 2005)
of eBay sales of surplus books and magazines. The campaign has
brought in about USD 1.400 (from which should be deducted
eBay and PayPal fees). Letters and parcels have been sent
off to the US, UK, Andorra, Italy, Germany, France and Canada. The
money earned will be used 1) for buying new shelves at the archives,
2) for shipping of boxes with exchange materials to other UFO
archives and 3) for buying new materials from the eBay market.
Anders Liljegren and Sven-Olov Svensson have
worked on this project.
Otréus finished her 8 weeks sojourn of work-training at the AFU
archives on November 19, 2005. We are just as sorry that we cannot
'keep' Katarina, as she is that she cannot continue with us!
The driving distance (70 km twice each day) was too long.
In the short time she worked for us,
Katarina catalogued more than 1.000 audios into an Excel database
where we now can search for audio cassette recordings by types
(interviews, radio programs, talks, etc), date of recording,
observation date (if witness interview), names
and similar parameters (free text search),
originator / donors, etc.
may be a first step towards future digitizing of some
of the recordings.
Another of Katarina's skills
is baking. The Monday after finishing her work with AFU, she
came by the archives to bring us a marvelous 'alien cake'
(see picture). We started eating at the top of the head, the
´brain', in the hope that the wonderful intelligence of this
friendly creature would infect our own brains! :-)
Katarina has offered her
services doing 'odd' distance jobs, such as translations,
for the AFU foundation. Thank you, Katarina.