Progress Report – January/February 2018

In order to have a more active blog for the association “Les amis du Musée Bolo” and to complement the already active social media communication, the association has taken it upon themselves to regularly write articles summarising the important events and updates. This article launches a new mode of communication for the Museum.

Back to 2017

2017 was a pivotal year for the aBCM: the survival of the collection was once again under threat due to funding issues for our principal storeroom (“Ruchonnet”). A crowdfunding campaign has given the Museum some financial breathing space for the next couple of years. But the battle is not over as 2018 brings with it new challenges.

Musée Bolo’s stand at the Christmas festivities of a Swiss company in December 2017.

2017 also saw the arrival of new members of the association, as well as the departure of others. New projects also got underway, such as work on the Fonds Bruno Bonnell in partnership with UNIL’s GameLab, a team of archivists and Swiss collectors. This is one of our main focuses for 2018 and we will be continuing it over the next few months.

Spring cleaning in winter?

Just like Sisyphus, the aBCM is condemned to playing Tetris with different pieces of the collection in order to optimise the space, making way for new donations but also to make the collection more accessible.

Two sizeable donations are expected for the first quarter of 2018: the private collection of our friend and member Bernard, as well as a great DEC collection.

In order to accommodate these considerable donations, the aBCM has been working hard to create space in our primary storage location (Ruchonnet, lovingly known as “Ruru”) to bring pieces over from our unit in Chavannes-près-Renens. The space created in Chavannes will allow us to welcome these new pieces with open arms.

This “Winter” cleaning, started in December 2017, will be completed in February.

To welcome new donations, space needs to be made…

Fonds Bruno Bonnell

The Musée Bolo is lucky enough to have the collection of video games and miscellaneous objects of Bruno Bonnell, co-founder of the society Infogrames and former President of Infogrames and then Atari.

In 2017, a team with members from GameLab at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), the aBCM, archivists and private collectors have relaunched the project of making an inventory of this collection, as well as preserving its most rare elements.

With the majority of the collection being made up of video games, several day-long sessions were required to sort the collection by platform.

The next step, a mini-inventory, including only meta-data, was started in December 2017, with 600 objects already recorded. This first step leads us to the fact that the collection comprises of at least 2000 objects, including unique pieces such as beta and test versions.

The collaboration “aBCM+GameLab+archivists+Swiss private collectors” will take up residence again over the next few months to continue with the inventory and preserve this collection. We will of course keep you updated about their work as video game archaeologists.

The team working on the inventory of Fonds Bruno Bonnell.

Inventory tool

The recent developments in the Musée Bolo’s collection has brought to the forefront the need for a new inventory tool. The current tool, whilst having done an adequate job, is no longer able to cater to the aBCM’s current needs and our aim to professionalise our processes in the long-term.

A new tool has not yet been selected, but a number of tests are underway with the platform CollectiveAccess. More to come in the next instalment…

What have our friends been up to?

It’s with great pleasure that we are able to read the first column by the Museum’s founder, Yves Bolognini, in his blog for Le Temps. We invite you to read his account of the Smaky, the micro-computer family from Vaud, Switzerland (article in French).

What’s been happening in the rest of the world?

Because we are not the only ones doing things, here are a few links to what we’ve read and seen over the last few months: