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Category: at risk records

At Risk Records are archival records that are in danger of being lost forever, usually due to physical damage or (in the case of electronic records) loss of the ability to access the originals.

Archivists and New Technology: When Do The Records Matter?

Navigating the rapidly changing landscape of new technology is a major challenge for archivists. As quickly as new technologies come to market, people adopt them and use them to generate records. Businesses, non-profits and academic institutions constantly strive to find ways to be more efficient and to cut their budgets. New technology often offers the promise of cost reductions. In this age of constantly evolving software and technological innovation, how do archivists know when a new technology is important or established enough to take note of? When do the records generated by the latest and greatest technology matter enough to save? ... 

Sunshine Week 2009: Archives, Records and Other Online Government Information

Sunshine Week Sunshine Week 2009 is a national initiative spearheaded by journalists to “open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information”. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) chose to mark Sunshine Week this year by announcing the release their new tool for searching EFF’s FOIA documents. Learn more about EFF’s efforts to make open government a reality in this EFF call to action... 

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty in the Archival Record and Beyond

Blog Action Day - Poverty long

In honor of this year’s Blog Action Day theme of Poverty, I want to point people to examples of ways in which poverty is documented in archives, manuscript collections and elsewhere.

The most obvious types of records that document poverty are:

There are also organizations dedicated to research on poverty – such as the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research and National Poverty Center. The archival records from groups such as these could show ways that organizations have addressed poverty over time, as well as the history of poverty itself. ... 

Jewish New Year 5769: Images and Words from the Past

Flickr LOC: Praying on the Brooklyn BridgeThe Jewish year of 5769 began at sunset of September 29th, 2008. The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is a very reflective holiday, one in which individuals are encouraged to consider their own actions from the past year. It made me wonder what materials are available online to let us glimpse the celebration of Rosh Hashanahs long past.

A search in the Flickr Commons yielded this lovely Library of Congress image of women praying on the Brooklyn Bridge (likely participating in the ritual of Tashlikh). ... 

Vice President Ruled Part of Executive Branch: Cheney’s Records Must Be Preserved

CNN’s headline is Cheney must keep records, judge orders.  The very short version of all this is that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued “Vice President Richard B. Cheney in his official capacity, the Executive Office of the President (“EOP”), the Office of the Vice President (“OVP”), the National Archives and Records
Administration (“NARA”), and Dr. Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, in his official capacity” to force everyone involved to “preserve all vice presidential records, broadly defined to encompass all records relating to the vice president carrying out his constitutional, statutory or other official or ceremonial duties” (see the CREW site article: Court Orders Cheney to Preserve Records in CREW Lawsuit). ... 

SAA2008: Preservation and Experimentation with Analog/Digital Hybrid Literary Collections (Session 203)

floppy disks

The official title of Session 203 was Getting Our Hands Dirty (and Liking It): Case Studies in Archiving Digital Manuscripts. The session chair, Catherine Stollar Peters from the New York State Archives and Records Administration, opened the session with a high level discussion of the “Theoretical Foundations of Archiving Digital Manuscripts”. The focus of this panel was preserving hybrid collections of born digital and paper based literary records. The goal was to review new ways to apply archival techniques to digital records. The presenters were all archivists without IT backgrounds who are building on others work … and experimenting. She also mentioned that this also impacts researchers, historians, and journalists.For each of the presenters, I have listed below the top challenges and recommendations. If you attended the sessions, you can skip forward to my thoughts... 

After The Games Are Over: Olympic Archival Records

What does an archivist ponder after she turns off the Olympics? What happens to all the records of the Olympics after the closing ceremonies? Who decides what to keep? Not knowing any Olympic Archivists personally, I took to the web to see what I could find.

Olympics.org uses the tag line “Official Website of the Olympic Movement” and include information about The International Olympic Committee’s Historical Archives. The even have an Olympic Medals Database with all the results from all the games. ... 

MayDay 2008: Do you have a disaster plan?

MayDay 2008I couldn’t let MayDay 2008 pass without pointing everyone to the amazing annotated list of MayDay resources that the Society of American Archivists (SAA) has made available.

Does your institution have a disaster plan?
If not, the list of resources include a detailed set of Free Disaster Plan Templates. Today is the perfect day to download one and start planning.

A full disaster plan too overwhelming? SAA also provides a tidy list of easy MayDay activity ideas including: ... 

Caring for Special Collections: Exploring the Connecting to Collections Bookshelf

Connecting to Collections BookshelfI subscribe to the RSS feed from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and so saw a press release encouraging institutions to apply for the free IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf.

The IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf is intended to provide small and medium-sized libraries and museums with essential resources needed to improve the condition of their collections. The Bookshelf includes books, DVDs, and other collections resources, as well as a Guide to Online Resources and a User’s Guide to all of the materials. It addresses such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues. ...