On Tuesday, I participated in a webinar hosted by Government Computer News on “The E-Records Management Tsunami: NARA’s Electronic Records Archive to the Rescue.” It featured Michael Carlson, Director of the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division and was hosted by Joab Jackson, GCN’s chief technology editor. A recording of the seminar is now available (60 min., Real Audio), and it is well worth a listen.
Will NARA succeed in its multimillion dollar effort to solve the federal government’s electronic information management crisis?
Maybe — but we’ll have to wait five years to find out . . .
Continue reading “nara’s new ‘era’: 40 years in the making”
It seemed like the perfect irony: “Archives Organization to Delete Its Own Archives.”
Variations of this headline appeared on quite a few blogs last week when the Society of American Archivists (SAA) announced its intention to delete the accumulated e-mail traffic on its listserv, which dated back to 1993. The SAA’s explanation was that cost of maintaining the list was outweighing its usefulness. Following standard archival procedure, archivists appraised the collection to assess its informational and evidentiary value (that is, to determine whether the collection warranted preservation either because of the long-term value of the information it contained, or because of the value of the collection as a unique artifact in and of itself) and determined that the collection could be discarded.
The outcry that followed, and the subsequent decision by the SAA to forego discarding the collection in favor of trying to find a permanent home for it, provided a telling example of how archives are perceived — and misperceived — by the world at large.
Continue reading “some thoughts about the SAA listserv story”