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The Information Professional
Librarians and Archivists in a fast-changing digital lanscape
Curated by Karen du Toit
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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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Preserving songs from fragile records for posterity with IRENE #archives #audio

Preserving songs from fragile records for posterity with IRENE #archives #audio | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

ASHA SRIDHAR:

"As an ageing record spins untouched by the spokes of a gramophone at the Roja Muthiah Research Library, M.K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar's timeless song Un Azhagai Kaana from the movie Thiruneelakantar is converted into 2-d black and white images by a device called IRENE, preserving it for posterity.

Other than the Library of Congress in the United States, Roja Muthiah Research Library is the only institution that has IRENE (Image Reconstruct Erase Noise Etc), an ingenious device that helps in archiving audio content of old records without scratching or even touching the record, says G. Sundar, director of the library.

IRENE, which reached the library two weeks ago, has just been set up, and will help the library archive audio content from records which are too fragile to be played with a conventional player or are deteriorating. “A high-end camera captures images of the grooves as the record is rotating. The software acts as a virtual needle by detecting the edges of the grooves. These images are then converted into sound files,” he says."

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Vatican archive treasures in first public display - Chicago Tribune

Vatican archive treasures in first public display - Chicago Tribune | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

Catherine Hornby
Reuters

"AFP Vatican archive treasures in first public display Chicago Tribune Related Vatican archive treasures in first public display The signature of Galileo Galilei is seen on a document displayed during an exhibition at the Capitoline Museums in Rome"

 

"The exhibition "Lux in Arcana: The Vatican Secret Archive Reveals Itself," running from March until September, aims also to demystify the Church's records."

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SABC Media Libraries: Records management at the University of Johannesburg - report on a seminar

SABC Media Libraries: Records management at the University of Johannesburg - report on a seminar | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"As part of the corporate governance strategy at the University of Johannesburg, access to information is the management of paper and electronic records within a secure environment. Technology provides the tool to capture, manage and access content and to provide a workable retention schedule for paper and electronic records. The methodology developed includes a phased-in approach with the focus on legislative compliance, business processes and change management principles. This required compliance with the Promotion of Access to Information Act on the one hand and the Protection of Personal Information bill whilst complying with King III directives."

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Archivists and the power they have, #quote by Nare Monyai | via @SABCRadioArc #archives #archivists

Archivists and the power they have, #quote by Nare Monyai | via @SABCRadioArc #archives #archivists | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
SABC Radio Archives wrote: Archivists and the power they have!

 

News & Actuality Archivist Nare Monyai: " #Archivists wield substantial power over records in the way they select, appraise and shape the collections they work with which is fundamental to how experiences, narratives and memory are structured."

Karen du Toit's insight:

Archivists and the power they wield over their collections!

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Keeping and Deleting Patron Records in Law Libraries » VoxPopuLII

Keeping and Deleting Patron Records in Law Libraries » VoxPopuLII | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

Benjamin Keele:

"As researchers use materials in libraries, their actions tend to generate records—research trails in digital databases, lists of borrowed books, and correspondence with librarians. Most of the time, these records are innocuous, but to facilitate freedom of inquiry, librarians generally hold these records as confidential. This confidentiality is especially important in law libraries because legal matters can be very sensitive and stressful. Researchers implicitly trust librarians with at least hints of concerns the researchers would prefer not be generally known. If researchers knew any records of their questions could become known to others, some researchers would avoid using library collections or asking librarians for advice, guidance that very well may help them find valuable information.

In her interesting post, Meg Leta points out that, despite some exhortations that information on Web lasts forever, most information now online will disappear at some point. Websites go down when their owners fail to pay hosting fees. Data is deleted, either by purpose or mistake. A file sitting on a drive or disc will, without maintenance, eventually becomes inaccessible because the storage media has decayed or because the hardware and software needed to read the file has become obsolete. Since information will tend to vanish without action on our part, Leta suggests we should instead focus on actively saving information that is worth keeping.

Leta makes an excellent point, but I’d suggest that in addition to thinking carefully about what information needs to be kept, legal professionals also should consider whether certain types of information warrant purposeful destruction. I’d also suggest that for law libraries, patrons should be given the ability to retain, either through the library or themselves, records of their use of library resources."

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Challenges facing archivists: The Missions of AID, Part II

Challenges facing archivists: The Missions of AID, Part II | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

http://t.co/8HesgYnF 

 

Alan Walker, a processing archivist in Research Services, about the challenges facing an archivist dealing with accessions:

 

"Earlier I described to you the Overseas Mission records of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and our project to transform them from the unfortunate and inaccessible state in which they arrived at Archives II.

These records have proven a time-consuming challenge for three reasons: 1.) the disarray and lack of documentation for the accessions; 2.) the large quantity of temporary records found in the accessions; and 3.) the physical condition of the records and their containers.

We process the records for one mission at a time. This involves surveying the contents of each accession for that mission. Very few of these accessions arrived with any sort of documentation as to which offices within the missions created them. Add to this the fact that you will frequently find records of many different offices in a single box. Oh, and did I mention that you will find a bit of records for one office in one box, and then in another accession you’ll find more records for that office? These then need to be arranged and consolidated back into their original order. Two such missions, those for Guatemala and India, have proven particularly monstrous in terms of the sheer volume and disarray of their records."

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