At the end of last year, the Rockefeller Archive Center undertook a tightly scoped initiative to digitize and make available online a large group of archival records in support of a Research and Education team project. Given that some of these documents were dated as recently as the 1970s, we felt that it would be necessary to perform a scan for personally identifiable information in all documents after a certain date. However, the substantial number of documents, some 100 pages or longer, preemptively made any thought of manual review impossible. We had to find a tool to automatically search OCR’d PDF for PII and that could create a brief report on any potential matches.
We recently launched a new feature on DIMES – called a “minimap” – which allows
users to jump directly to search matches within collections. This feature was
conceptualized and implemented over the course of several months through the
efforts of colleagues across the RAC and represents a bit of an unusual approach
to a common design problem in archives, so it seemed worth writing about the
process behind it in more detail.
The D-Team has worked over the past couple of years to integrate processes for digitized and legacy born-digital content into Project Electron infrastructure. In addition to updating policies and workflows, we have developed a microservice to package bags; an application to store, calculate, and assign PREMIS rights statements; and a microservice to create image derivatives and IIIF Manifests.
My time at the Rockefeller Archive Center was nothing but phenomenal and educational. While it was a remote internship, the lessons that I will take from this experience will follow me through my career, both as a student and an aspiring records manager.
For Phase 2 of its Culturally Competent Description Education Campaign, the Rockefeller Archive Center organized a series of reading group discussions to explore how to implement workflows and policies for creating more inclusive archival description, how to make histories that have been marginalized more discoverable, and how to recognize and combat white supremacy culture in our practices. Lessons learned from organizing and facilitating conversations about culturally competent description during the first phase of the Education Campaign influenced how Amy Berish, Katie Martin, and I approached developing the reading group sessions while increased collaboration and knowledge sharing with our colleagues expanded and invigorated the substance and scope of each discussion. The sessions’ escalating focus on the collections and practices of the RAC have made the path towards action more tangible.