Eira Tansey, digital archivist/records manager in the Archives and Rare Books Library, will deliver a keynote address at the Digital Library Federation’s (DLF) Digital Preservation Forum from 4-5 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 25. DLF keynotes feature speakers doing work around contemporary issues in librarianship and cultural heritage (see 2016’s speakers). Eira’s talk, titled “The Necessary Knowledge,” will focus on the connections between record keeping and environmental protection, using Pittsburgh’s environmental history – where DLF is taking place – as a backdrop.
Wednesday, October 25, 4-5 pm. This is the opening keynote for National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s Digital Preservation 2017: “Preservation is Political,” which is hosted by the Digital Library Federation and taking place in Pittsburgh.
Eira Tansey is the digital archivist and records manager at the University of Cincinnati’s Archives and Rare Books Library. She has previously written about Cincinnati’s public libraries, the visibility and compensation of archivist’s labor and the effects of climate change on archival practice. She is currently collaborating on a Society of American Archivists foundation grant to develop a comprehensive data set of American archives locations in order to aid future spatial analysis of the field, and researching environmental regulatory record keeping.
The National Digital Stewardship Alliance, hosted by the Digital Library Federation, is a consortium of more than 220 partnering organizations, including universities, professional associations, businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, all committed to the long-term preservation of digital information. Members work together to preserve access to our national digital heritage.
Public-sector archivists, records managers, and other information professionals across the country share similar challenges: electronic records are getting more complex, public institution budgets are leaner (and sometimes cut to the bone), and citizen’s interest in access to public records grows. In Ohio, we are addressing some of these challenges through the Ohio Electronic Records Committee (OhioERC). Continue reading What Is the Ohio Electronic Records Committee?
The transition from paper-based workflows to electronic records-based workflows has been one of the most profound ways in which work has changed over the last several decades. The “paperless revolution” has created many unanticipated challenges, but perhaps one of the more underrated ones is how it has affected institutional archives. Continue reading Out of Sight, Out of Mind
A constant challenge for digital archivists is identifying potentially sensitive material within born-digital archives. This content may be information that fits a known pattern (for example, a 3-2-4 number that likely indicates the presence of a social security number), or sensitive keywords that indicate the presence of a larger body of sensitive information (for example, the keywords “evaluation” and “candidate” in close proximity to each other may indicate the presence of an evaluation form for a possible job applicant).
When archivists first make contact with a large group of records, they often perform some form of appraisal. You might think of appraisal as being the calling card of the much-loved PBS television show Antiques Roadshow, in which average people realize that Great Aunt Milly’s painting is a valued masterpiece – or a total dud.
~ 1. The process of identifying materials offered to an archives that have sufficient value to be accessioned. – 2. The process of determining the length of time records should be retained, based on legal requirements and on their current and potential usefulness. – 3. The process of determining the market value of an item; monetary appraisal.
So what does a digital archivist do? Every digital archivist’s responsibilities will look slightly different depending on institutional mission, priorities and resources. As the first link indicates, there isn’t even professional consensus whether a digital archivist is one who works with digitization of analog material (like paper documents and manuscripts, rare books, maps, etc), or someone who works with “born-digital” materials. In many institutions, both of those responsibilities may be within the Digital Archivist’s charge. As UC’s Digital Archivist/Records Manager, my responsibilities center on working with born-digital archives, digital preservation, and overseeing UC’s Records Management program. I also work closely with my colleagues in Digital Collections on digitization projects (http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/).
UC Records Management will be offering two “Records Management 101” workshops before the end of the year. The workshops will be held on Tuesday, November 17 at 2 pm and Tuesday, November 24 at 10 am. Both workshops will take place in Blegen Library. During this workshop we will discuss the benefits from efficiently managing records, UC’s records program, public records, the definition of a “record,” the development of records retention schedules and proper means of records disposal.
The current UC Records Management newsletter shares information on reducing that hoard of administrative records in your office, tips for how you can organize records through shared drives, information on upcoming workshops, and program news.