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Librarians and Archivists in a fast-changing digital lanscape
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Paper vs. Electronic: The Not-So-Final Battle - by Jennifer Wright

Paper vs. Electronic: The Not-So-Final Battle - by Jennifer Wright | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

A common inquiry I receive from Smithsonian staff is whether it is better to keep their files in electronic or paper format.  The best answer to this question is "it depends."  There are several factors to consider.
1)      How long do the files need to be kept?

2)       Does one format have more value than the other?

3)      Is one format easier to use?

4)      In what format are the majority of the records already?

 

Photo: Jeanne Benas, by Strauss, Richard, 1990, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 90-877-11A.

Karen du Toit's insight:

The right questions to ask when deciding about keeping records or archives

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Showcasing the Smithsonian Institution Archives Through Video, by Adrienne Miranda

by Adrienne Miranda, Intern, Digital Services Division on August 29, 2013


"When I first applied for an internship at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, I admittedly did not know much about it. For my internship, I was asked to make a video that would explain to the general public what the Archives was, as well as what resources it could offer them. On my first day here I was told that the Archives held the records and history of the Smithsonian Institution. I thought this sounded straightforward enough, but as I began to work on the video I realized there was more to it than that. With each new interview, with each day of shooting B-roll footage, or simply being around the office I heard new stories and learned new things about the Archives. I learned that there was everything here from correspondence, books, and architecture plans to photographs, negatives, and film reels. The subjects of these items range from science and history to art and literature. They cover a large span and scope of American History and give unique insight into it. There really is something to interest everyone here.

What I also discovered is that this information is available to the public. While I grew up in the Washington, DC area and have always enjoyed going to the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo, I never knew that the Archives were also there as a public resource. Visitors can request specific information from the reference archivists, explore the collections online through the Archives’ website, or get helpful advice on preservation through the forums. These resources are valuable for everyone from researchers, to archivists, or anyone simply interested in the history of just about any subject."

 

Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=io8Sfc5ir3k

 

Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_so_CJqGFF0

 

 

Karen du Toit's insight:

Interesting! Archives are a arich source of content!

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Smithsonian goes 3D

Smithsonian goes 3D | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

Xeni Jardin:

"Jessica Sadeq from the Smithsonian shares big news--the Institution has launched the Smithsonian X 3D Collection and 3-D explorer[Twitter]. They've gathered data on some of the most treasured items in the archives, and they're encouraging people who work with 3D printers to help them explore new ways of using the data."

Karen du Toit's insight:

Videos and pictures of how 3D scanning are being used at the Smithsonian - Interesting!

"Data used to support research, as well as puiblic access tool!"

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A Peek into an Electronic Records Archivist's Toolbox | Smithsonian ...

A Peek into an Electronic Records Archivist's Toolbox | Smithsonian ... | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"Open source tools, CERP, JHOVE, DROID, Heritrix, for electronic records archivists to use in preserving digital files like WAV, PST, websites, and email.

 

When it comes to electronic records there is no magic button that makes them readable or usable on a computer. Electronic records archivists rely on all types of hardware, software, and operating systems. Many pieces of software, which function as an archivist’s toolbox, can help files remain available or become usable again. Here is a small list of some open-source and/or freely available software we use at the Smithsonian Institution Archives. Keep in mind that tools are not perfect and should be used with caution. Don’t forget to have backups of your files. Before we incorporate a piece of software into our processes at the Archives, we research it by making sure it is from a reputable group and thoroughly test it on copy sample sets.

This post is not an endorsement of any products listed by the Smithsonian Institution."

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