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Archive for 2011

  • ArchivesSpace: Building a Next-Generation Archives Management Tool

  • ArchivesSpace: Building a Next-Generation Archives Management Tool

  • 24 Hours: The Day of Digital Archives

    Thursday, October 6 was the Day of Digital Archives, organized by friend and colleague Gretchen Gueguen at the University of Virginia. I missed the post deadline yesterday, but it's been a busy week, so I might as well walk through some of the highlights of my work related to digital archives that occurred during that 24 hours from 12 am Thursday to 12 am Friday. 12 AM: It's late, but I'm finishing the last bit of work of writing up lecture notes. This fall, I am teaching a class on digital preservation as an adjunct in the iSchool at Drexel University. The iSchool is on the quarter system, so we have only ten weeks to cover a wide variety of material. Last week the students got an introduction to the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System, and this week's topics (on which I am writing the lecture notes) are selection and appraisal, assessment, provenance, and authenticity. Some of the sources of the week's material include a forthcoming case study from the City of Vancouver Archives, the DCC Curation Manual's chapter on appraisal and selection, sections of the CLIR publication Authenticity in a Digital Environment, and the final report of the W3C Provenance Incubator Group.
  • ‘New Contexts of Permanent Change’ in Digital Archivy

  • INFO 756 - Digital Preservation (Fall 2011) - Drexel University

    Syllabus unavailable.
  • Born-Digital Archives in Collecting Repositories: Turning Challenges into Byte-Size Opportunities

  • ArchivesSpace Update

  • Accessioning of Born-Digital Records

  • How to Hack SAA

    Inspired by my friend Declan Fleming's "How to Hack Code4lib," I have been motivated to put together a guide to surviving and enjoying the Annual Meeting. It can be a seemingly scary (and potentially lonely) experience if it's your first conference, and we archivists are not always known for our extrovertedness. So, without further ado, here is my brief list of suggestions - again, some of which have been shamelessly stolen adapted from Declan's guide.

  • Tweeting Up at SAA2011

    Thanks to the great work of Lance (@newmsi), Rachel Donahue (@sheepeeh), and Angelique Richardson (@RandomArchivist) last year, the first SAA Tweetup was pulled off successfully in Washington, DC. Given that this year's SAA Annual Meeting is just a few weeks away, Hillel Arnold (@helrond) and I have elected to organize one in Chicago, as well. We're holding this year's Tweetup on Thursday, August 25, starting at 9 PM, at the Clark Street Ale House, which is about a mile from the conference hotel and easily walkable and accessible by public transportation. Feel free to join us after the alumni mixers - and please join us even if you don't use Twitter. Please RSVP at; while RSVPs are not required, they will help us and the bar plan ahead.
  • Supporting Hyatt Workers and UNITE HERE Local 1 at the 2011 Annual Meeting of SAA

    Some of us archivists have growing concerns regarding the long-standing labor dispute between UNITE HERE Local 1 and the management of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, the location of the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists. Most recently, this labor dispute has led to a one-day strike of housekeepers, dishwashers, bellmen and other hotel workers on June 20, 2011. SAA has not given its membership any guidance to its membership about how to support UNITE HERE Local 1 and the Hyatt's hotel workers. Accordingly, my colleague Hillel Arnold and I have put together an website for archivists to find and share ideas. This website, Support Hyatt Workers at SAA2011: An Unofficial Resource, is now live, and provides ideas for actions that anyone can perform, plus lists of those specifically for individuals who have either chosen not to attend and for those that are attending. This site allows anyone to contribute and comment either generally on a given page or in response to particular ideas.
  • Sumer Is Icumen In

    I have spent the last several months in a fog. Emotions tend to get the better of me whenever faced with a barrier in my work life. It's gotten increasingly difficult for me to see the forest for the trees, no matter how much I tell myself that my work is for the greater good of my unit, my institution, and archivy. Self-doubt creeps in, as does stress, frustration, depression. Positivity begins to wane, with optimism replaced by apathy and sarcasm. You stop seeing the good in things and other people, and you stop being inspired. You desperately want to get away, pull the plug, clean the slate, or otherwise just put everything to a grinding halt. You stop asking "why can't I do that?" and start asking "why should I care?" instead. I don't think this is the first time I've faced burnout, and while it certainly won't be the last, the extent to which it's affected me this time around is astounding.
  • New Directions for Archival Data

  • In Memoriam: Robert Frost, 1952-2011

    I am sad to announce the passing of Robert L. "Bob" Frost (1952-2011). Bob was an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, my alma mater, where he had taught since 2000. Bob had been battling cancer for over two years. Ed Vielmetti has written an obituary of Bob on his blog, including the announcement from SI Dean Jeffrey Mackie-Mason. Bob was an inspiration to many of us SI alums, and his magnetic personality, sharp wit, and joie de vivre ensured he had a bevy of his students and colleagues buzzing around him at any given time. I had the opportunity to take his class Material Culture and the Interpretation of Objects in the spring of 2004, my final semester at SI. The class was intense in a way that few of my other classes at Michigan were, and it provoked my continuing curiosity in identifying theoretical frameworks to analyze the everyday world. Bob reinforced my fascination with Wilhelm Reich and The Fugs by introducing me to Dušan Makavejev's W.
  • Archival Sense-making: Personal Digital Archiving as an Iteration

  • Fiwalk With Me: Building Emergent Pre-Ingest Workflows for Digital Archival Records using Open Source Forensic Software.

  • WikiLeaks & the Archives and Records Profession: A Panel Discussion

    The text of my remarks from this panel.
  • WikiLeaks & the Archives & Records Profession: a Panel Discussion

    UPDATE: The text of my remarks can be now found online at I am honored to be one of the speakers at "WikiLeaks & the Archives & Records Profession," a panel discussion organized by the Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York and the Metropolitan New York City Chapter of ARMA International. The panel will be on January 25, 2011 at the Center for Jewish History. From the announcement: Do WikiLeaks and its complex, attendant issues shift our conceptualization of our roles as information professionals? How might WikiLeaks change the public's views on usage of and access to archives and records? To what extent is the most recent release of diplomatic cables a product of information mismanagement? Addressing these and many more questions, our confirmed speakers include Trudy Peterson, former Acting Archivist of the United States (1993-1995) and current representative for the Society of American Archivists on the Department of State's Historical Advisory Committee; Fred Pulzello, Solutions Architect in the Information Governance practice at MicroLink LLC; Jim Fortmuller, Manager of Systems Security at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP in Washington, DC; M.
  • What's Your Delicious Story?

    Update: I've added a question on Quora about this too - feel free to contribute your story there. In my last post, I talked a bit about the notion of Delicious being a platform with a myriad of uses, and I've been actively wondering about this since then. Upon further reflection, I've realized that the best way to figure this out is actually to engage and ask people directly. Accordingly, I'm asking for your help. Of course it's upsetting that Delicious is being sunsetted, but other than individual users and Archive Team, people seem to be doing very little about it. Delicious is clearly more than the bookmarks. I want to gather information about how people like you and me actually used it beyond it's obvious functionality. Did you use it to manage resources for your dissertation? Did you use it to communicate with family about a serious event or illness? How did you go beyond the boundaries of it being just "