US archivist David Ferriero discusses gathering information in the digital age.
|Current selected tag: archivists. Clear.|
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Archivist Mona K. Vance was featured in The Packet newspaper last week. She will be writing a montly column called “Histories Mysteries” and will discuss topics ranging anywhere from genealogy to preservation and from history to archives projects
First article here: http://packet-media.com/2012/07/28/a-peek-at-the-past/
"Another argument for why we are obliged now, more than ever before, to discern what photography we deem important, is because in this post-war period we are in the process of creating an archive of memories..."
"For many in Sri Lanka and around the globe, war is generic. Images of war victims are anonymous and nonspecific. If the caption on a photograph of a child war victim is altered, the meaning of the image can be changed and the photo reused in different contexts and by different parties – by LTTE advocates, different political factions, or by the Sri Lankan government. Do photographs of war victims necessarily vivify the condemnation of war? No. The same photograph that can be used as a call for peace can be used as a cry for revenge, as exaltation of a warring party, as acknowledgement that terrible things happen, or even as intimation that terrible things will continue to happen. The uses of the same Sri Lankan war footage can be diverse, from the promotion of the military, to appeals for peace, to ammunition for Human Rights activists. While photographs have a creator and so represent the view of someone, photographer intent does not necessarily determine the meaning of a photograph – processed images take on a life of their own depending on what context they are viewed in, and by whom. How a photograph is understood depends on the organizing idea, the moment, the place, the uses and the identification of the picture. So what should we take a photograph to mean? It might seem that photographs are simply a crude statement of fact addressed to the eye. But this belief is misleading and outdated. Photographs, as evidenced by their numerous adaptable uses are both objective record and personal testimony, a faithful copy or transcription of reality and an interpretation of that reality."
A valuable argument for the archivist to keep in mind.
Ant Miller (BBC Research and Development Blog):
"In this second part of the Archive Research film we take a look at the key challenges addressed by the 'preservation' work of R&D and the BBC Information & Archives teams. With interviews from Dr Richard Wright, Adrian Williams of I&A and others, Alex Mansfield gets to the bottom of the latest technologies being used to ensure that the critical challenge of obsolescence is handled, and handled effectively and efficiency.
With huge files, and critical quality checks essential to preserving the legacy of the archive, the best efforts of engineers and archivists are being applied to saving this content for the future."
by Archive Outside
"Top 5 why archives are awesome:
1. Archives are History - Documenting the past, informing the future
2. Archives are evidence
3. Archives are vital for democratic accountability
4. Archives are about us, our stories, our lives
5. Archives document the environment"
Ask Archivists: "It´s allmost there again! The greatest day of the year – International Archives Day! We know it´s on a Saturday – but let´s celebrate anyway! Let´s show off our archival holdings..."
"We invite you to tweet your most precious document, your best online services and finest webcontent, the coolest pics of users socializing and using the collections."
The hashtag #archday12
"The biggest mistake I see new consultants make is jumping into a situation with theory at the forefront of their brains. It is not practical for every repository to reach the pinnacle of archival perfection. Theory should be kept in the back of the brain while one evaluates a site and determines how much theory can be realistically applied to a certain situation."
1. Aiming for the Ideal
2. Overestimating what is fiscally feasible
3. Overestimating Staffing
4. Forgetting or Not Realizing Political Considerations
6. Discounting Community"
Talk with David S.Ferriero, Archivist of the United States | Archives and Public History Digital - http://t.co/pvreAu3A...
"While the Archivist did not deliver a formal speech, the wide ranging Q&A touched upon many of the current conversations and concerns within the archival community.
One important topic discussed was the role of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and of its leadership to the larger archival community. As we all know, NARA safeguards and preserves the most important records of the U.S. government yet it was interesting to learn that only equates to roughly 3% of all records created. The protocols of NARA have often been reflected in the practices of private or independent archives and in the advent of electronic formats, many repositories are watching how NARA handles ingesting these records. The Archivist was enthusiastic about how NARA could help the larger archival community and we hope that future Archivists of the United States will share this vision.
Mr. Ferriero views the archiving of electronic records as an exciting development and challenge for our profession. As such, he discussed the proprietary software Lockheed is developing for NARA to ingest digital formats and it was encouraging to hear of the Archivist’s enthusiasm for open-source software that could be used elsewhere in the archival community."
Join WITNESS and the New Tactics community for an online dialogue on Archiving Human Rights for Advocacy, Justice and Memory from May 16 to 22, 2012. Archiving and preservation have long taken a backseat to more urgent aspects of human rights documentation and advocacy, but that is beginning to change. Human rights archives are increasingly playing a pivotal role in advocacy, restorative justice, historical memory, and struggles against impunity. At the same time, however, archivists and activists alike are grappling with the mounting challenges posed by the proliferation of digital documentation. How can we ensure that the critical documentation created today will be preserved and accessible in the future?
In this dialogue, we will explore the tactics and methods used by archivists to preserve human rights information."
By Michelle Caswell
"[...] SAADA as part of a growing movement of independent grassroots efforts emerging from within communities to collect, preserve, and make accessible records documenting their own histories outside of mainstream archival institutions. These community-based archives serve as an alternative venue for communities to make collective decisions about what is of enduring value to them, to shape collective memory of their own pasts, and to control the means through which stories about their past are constructed.
Power is central to this conversation. As U.K. archival scholars Andrew Flinn, Mary Stevens, and Elizabeth Shepard note, independent grassroots archival efforts first sprung up in response to the political and social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Flinn, Stevens, and Shepard provide a broad working definition of community archives as "collections of material gathered primarily by members of a given community and over whose use community members exercise some level of control (Flinn, Stevens & Shepard 73)."
RT @tadawes: For Archivists, ‘Occupy’ Movement Presents New Challenges - Wired Campus - http://t.co/iKpx3Hmg...
By Jeffrey R. Young:
"Howard Besser, a New York University archivist, recently got into a shouting match at an Occupy protest, making a case for why the activists should preserve records of their activities.“Within the Occupy movement there’s a huge suspicion of traditional organizations, including libraries and universities,” Mr. Besser explained Monday at the spring meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information.
The shouting match was an extreme moment, but Mr. Besser and other archivists on a panel here explained that they have had to take unusual steps to try to gather a snapshot for future scholars of the nationwide Occupy protests, which call attention to income inequality in the United States. Those steps—including distributing postcards promoting archiving at protests, developing automated systems to download photos posted online, and asking participants to vote on which images are most important for the historic record—could serve as a model for preserving future events."
"While much has been written about the evolving nature of archivists’ roles, virtually nothing has been published in the archives or library literature about information professionals with both library and archives duties.
This survey-based article examines the contemporary roles and responsibilities of college and university archivists, and outlines both benefits and challenges identified to having non-archival responsibilities, specifically library responsibilities.
How then to balance the benefits and challenges evidenced in this study? With academic archivists pulled in so many directions, one has to wonder to what extent their archival work is being jeopardized, and what part of our cultural record will be lost as a result."
To download the article in full: http://crl.acrl.org/content/early/2011/06/10/crl-222.full.pdf+html
Via Fe Angela M. Verzosa
"Irish Independent Head of special projects at the National Archives of Ireland, manager of the Irish Census Online Project, editor of Dublin 1911 and much more besides [...]"
"Catriona Crowe grew up up in the 1960s and, in keeping with the times, wanted to do as little as possible but, as Emily Hourican discovered, she turned into a formidable activist and campaigner, using our history as her principle weapon"
"...archivists were understandably confused by the sheer scale and rapidity of the changes to their world brought about by digital technology. And so a good deal of the proceedings set about addressing some of these concerns, not least the workshop organised jointly by the Technical Commission (of which I am the head) and the Programming and Access Commission, where we looked at the digital world from different perspectives and tried to offer some guidance on acquisition, management, preservation and access. (Some of the guidance we offered is now available in a few handy documents on the FIAF website).
Our fellow commission, Cataloguing and Documentation, have also worked hard to push for worldwide implementation of an important new European standard for film metadata (EN 15907:2009), and are hoping that this will become an ISO standard shortly. To boost their case, they had the British Film Institute to present their successful adoption of CEN standards in their new Adlib database (the first organisation to do so). This commission is also working on a revised set of cataloguing rules which will be compliant with this standard.
FIAF retains a very strong interest in analogue film technology, and there are many who view the demise of this traditional technology not just as regrettable, but as something to be resisted at all costs. In this context, when the Technical Commission wondered in passing whether it should investigate the feasibility of film archives manufacturing their own film stock when all the big players (Kodak, Fuji) decide to drop it, the FIAF delegates were understandably excited. Establishing a cottage industry for film stock seems implausible to many, but I suspect that unless we can come up with definitive evidence to support this view, the idea will not rest."
Middle East Online
"South Sudan archivists launch battle against termites, rats, time - First Published: 2012-07-07. South Sudan archivists launch battle against termites, rats, time.
By Hannah McNeish – JUBA
History in boxes
Surrounded by walls of boxes, researchers scan and catalogue the crumbling, mildewed pages, some nibbled by rats, which make up the national archives of the one-year-old republic of South Sudan.
During the five decades of civil war, an extreme climate and an assortment of animals have eaten away at the archives, some of which are still piled up in a giant city centre tent -- unbearably hot and humid even in early morning."
A talk given to the Historic Libraries Forum conference 'Hard Times' on Tuesday 15 November 2011.
23 things for professional development training and networking in hard times, by Katie Birkwood, University Library Cambridge
things are introduced according to a schedule, but participants choose when to do each thing.
blogging is intended to encourage support and communication amongst and between participants.
"June 9 is International Archives Day and together with our blog sisters at Archives Outside, Future Proof is celebrating! Go and check out Archives Outside’s Archives are Awesome post while here at Future Proof we are celebrating all things recordkeeping.
Here are our top 5 reasons why we think recordkeeping is awesome.
1. Good recordkeeping promotes efficiency
2. Good recordkeeping supports better decision making and reuse of information
3. Good recordkeeping supports accountability
4. Good recordkeeping adds value to your business
5. Good recordkeeping mitigates risks to your organisation"