AP Trust Recap

By:  Eira Tansey

University of Maryland mascot
University of Maryland’s mascot in front of the McKeldin Library

Preservation has always been central to the mission of research libraries, which are charged with preserving knowledge, in all its forms, for use. Digital material faces different preservation challenges than analog materials. Rapid changes in file formats, software and hardware mean that digital content created according to today’s best standards risks being unusable or degraded in the future.

At the University of Cincinnati Libraries, we have significant born-digital and digitized content. Much of this can be found in Scholar@UC, UCL Digital Collections, and Luna. Digital preservation refers to the various preservation measures undertaken to ensure long-term use and access of digital materials for enduring sustainable preservation. Archivists and librarians must make many key digital preservation decisions, such as whether to migrate old file formats to new ones, determining how and where to store files, and scheduling file integrity checks. Digital preservation is more than just backups, but storing extra copies of content is a critical component of a digital preservation strategy. To mitigate against complete loss, it is important to store extra copies in different locations. According to the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, increasingly enhanced levels of digital preservation emphasize greater geographic distribution of copies. Continue reading AP Trust Recap

Reporting back from the Archives Leadership Institute

By:  Eira Tansey

Archives Leadership Institute

Twenty-five archivists, five and a half days, and untold quantities of coffee: these are the basics that make up the annual Archives Leadership Institute (ALI). ALI is a week-long leadership training institute for a cohort of 25 archivists, selected each year following an extensive application and review process. The institute is funded by a 3-year grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), and is currently located at Berea College (Kentucky). Continue reading Reporting back from the Archives Leadership Institute

40th anniversary of University of Cincinnati state affiliation

By: Eira Tansey

Bennis Campaign 1976Many of us are looking forward to 2019, when the University celebrates its bicentennial. But another important anniversary is already upon us. On July 1, 1977, the University will mark its 40th anniversary as a state-affiliated institution. Prior to 1977, the University of Cincinnati was overseen by the City of Cincinnati. Continue reading 40th anniversary of University of Cincinnati state affiliation

Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Finding the Needle in the Haystack

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

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).

Digital archivists use a number of tools to screen for potentially sensitive information. When this information is found, depending on the type of information, institutional policy, legal restrictions, and ethical issues, archivists may redact the information, destroy it, or limit access to it (either by user, or according to a certain period of time). Continue reading Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Finding the Needle in the Haystack

Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Making Sense of It All

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

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.

Unlike appraisers, when archivists appraise something they generally aren’t assigning a monetary value, but seeking to articulate the value of the records and the information they contain. The Society of American Archivists defines (http://www2.archivists.org/glossary/terms/a/appraisal#.V2hA1jXERmM)  appraisal as:

  1. ~ 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.

Continue reading Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Making Sense of It All

Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Much Ado About Digital

By Eira Tansey, Digital Archivist/Records Manager

Within the archives profession, “Digital Archivist” is one of the fastest-growing job titles (http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/vol31/iss2/5/). The Society of American Archivists offers a Digital Archives Specialist curriculum and certificate (www2.archivists.org/prof-education/das).   And library and archives conferences abound on topics of an electronic and digital nature – like Saving The Web (https://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/news/save-web-2016.html), the Digital Library Federation (https://www.diglib.org/), and the Software Preservation Network Forum (http://www.softwarepreservationnetwork.org/spn-forum/).

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/).

Continue reading Behind the Scenes with UC’s Digital Archivist: Much Ado About Digital

ARB’s “50 Minutes” Series Return Next Week

By:  Kevin Grace

The Archives & Rare Books Library will usher in its 7th year of the “50 Minutes” lunchtime talks this August with “A Skeleton, Some Lions, Pigeons, and Gods! The Seldom-Noticed Art in UC Architecture.”

The talk is scheduled for Thursday, August 25, at 12 noon in 814 Blegen and as always, the “50 Minutes” presentations are very informal and conversational.  Bring your lunch, relax, ignore the clock on the wall which is invariably an hour behind (though we may climb on top of the piano beneath it and change the battery this year), and enjoy a look at the history and culture of the “hidden” campus.  Not advertised in the title, we will also be looking at semi-naked people in the architecture.

50 minute talk, August 2016

Continue reading ARB’s “50 Minutes” Series Return Next Week

Of Provosts and Our Past Year: A Couple of New Lists on the ARB Website

By:  Kevin Grace

ARB Annual SummaryAs part of its work in documenting the heritage and ongoing changes at the University of Cincinnati, the Archives & Rare Books Library maintains a number of useful lists on its University Archives page in addition to finding aids and exhibits, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives.html.  We keep up with the heritage of deans in our various colleges, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives/deanslist.html, as well as annual reports, the Board of Trustees, UC presidents, and campus history.

With the recent resignation of President Santa Ono, who became the new president of the University of British Columbia, there were a number of changes as Provost Beverly Davenport became UC’s interim president and CCM dean Peter Landgren became Interim Provost.  We’ve added to our lists with one of the University of Cincinnati’s provosts and chief academic officers throughout UC’s history, http://www.libraries.uc.edu/arb/collections/university-archives/provosts.html. Continue reading Of Provosts and Our Past Year: A Couple of New Lists on the ARB Website