Six Years Later: a reflection on standards-making and maintenance

This past August, after six years, I rotated off the Society of American Archivists’ Technical Subcommittee on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (TS-DACS). During that time, substantial changes were made to the standard, but more importantly to the processes by which it is maintained and promoted, as well as in the composition of TS-DACS. I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on some of those changes, since I think they reflect some trends happening in archival standards-making and maintenance in general, and open up some possibilities for how we might reconceptualize them. Continue reading

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing for ArchivesSpace

We’ve written a lot on this blog about things we’re doing with the ArchivesSpace API, ranging from find and replace operations in notes to reporting on our DACS compliance across our repository. It should be pretty obvious we’re big fans of the power and flexibility it provides to automate what otherwise would be some pretty tedious and error-prone, and also that the data model is getting us to think about archival description outside of the EAD box. Continue reading

Introducing Project Electron: infrastructure for digital records

Today we’re announcing a major project to build sustainable, user-centered and standards-compliant infrastructure to support the ongoing acquisition, management and preservation of digital records so we can make them available in the broadest and most equitable way possible. Because a snappy title makes everything better, we’ve codenamed this effort Project Electron, and we even have a cool mascot (Captain Electron, discovered by our internet expert Patrick Galligan): Continue reading

Digital Processing Project Update

We’re now a few months into our Digital Processing Project, which I wrote about back in April for the blog of SAA’s Electronic Records Section. By the end of this project, RAC processing archivists will have the tools, workflows and competencies needed to process digital materials. Through this, we will be able to preserve and provide access to unique born digital content stored on obsolete and decaying media.

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A Selection of Readings on Digitization

Earlier this year, the Rockefeller Archive started a multi-year plan to re-envision its digitization activities. The goal of this project is to contribute to the RAC’s mission of preserving and providing access to our collections as widely as possible by making digitized content findable, usable, and accessible in a timely manner. In order to achieve this goal, we will provide archivists with the tools, experience, and competencies to handle any digitization request that comes to the RAC, whether it is from a researcher, donor, or other staff member. On top of these tools and competencies, we will create mechanisms for prioritizing requests for in-house and outsourced digitization.  Continue reading

DACSspace: An ArchivesSpace DACS Compliance Evaluation Tool

As the newest member of the Processing Team, I have been working on writing a DACS compliance evaluation script called DACSspace. Creating this tool came with a lot of “firsts” – this was my first experience writing code as well as interacting with an API. After a successful (yet sometimes frustrating) three months, I am excited to introduce DACSspace to the archival community and share a reflection of my work.

To view DACSspace on GitHub click here.

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A healthy relationship with technology

In our mission statement, the D-Team talks about “providing technical leadership and expertise,” which is accurate but not really the most conversational way of talking about what it is that we do. Lately I’ve been saying the D-Team’s role here at the RAC is “helping our staff and researchers have a healthy relationship with technology.” I thought it was time to dig into what that means a little. In thinking about this, I’ve realized this conceptualization of our work is has been strongly informed by some recent reading as well as conversations I’ve had with colleagues. Continue reading

WARCs! What are they good for? Researchers!

I recently attended the IIPC (International Internet Preservation Consortium) conference in lovely Reykjavik from April 15th to the 17th. This was the first official year of the IIPC conference and it was a great opportunity for institutions of all sizes to get together and talk about the challenges facing web archiving today, and to strategize about the path forward. The presentations covered a wide variety of topics, but I think the ones that I found most helpful were those that focused on how researchers interact with web archives. Continue reading