06 / 20 / 16

What’s Your Legacy? The Enduring Value of an Archive

Upon winning a championship or leaving office, sports figures and politicians are often asked to speculate about their legacy. Although leaving a legacy is something one may aspire to, it is really only something we see in retrospect. Such reflection requires perspective. Let me share a case in point in the context of History Associates’… Read more »

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05 / 09 / 16

Advice on Donating Congressional Records – What Members of Congress Should Know

Many Members of Congress choose to donate their personal papers to a state university or their alma mater. This historical legacy – including constituent correspondence, legislative research, and personal notes – could provide important insights for future policymakers and the public. What Members and their staff might not realize is that the accepting repository has… Read more »

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12 / 04 / 14

How One Company Reduced Off-Site Records Storage Costs

Storing inactive records in an off-site facility can save space and costs, but these records, like active ones stored in your office, still need to be managed according to a retention schedule and destroyed appropriately. If such actions are not taken, the costs of keeping unnecessary records can negate the savings made possible by placing… Read more »

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11 / 21 / 14

Preventing Data Loss: Steps Toward Long-Term Digital Preservation

Will you be able to access your important digital documents twenty years from now? Data from NASA’s Viking missions to Mars in the 1970s was nearly lost to history. It was stored on magnetic tape that began to dry out and crack. Realizing the problem, NASA completed the painstaking task of transferring this data onto… Read more »

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05 / 30 / 14

Assessing Senator Byrd’s Digital Files – Early Results

Arranging and preserving digital materials has been an ongoing challenge for repositories that hold the collections of U.S. senators and representatives. Our digital archives team recently joined forces with the Byrd Center for Legislative Studies (Byrd CLS) to conduct a pilot project on a selection of Senator Byrd’s digital files. Our goal for the project… Read more »

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05 / 02 / 14

Preservation Week Project: Assessing 255 GB of Senator Byrd’s Digital Files

Many archival repositories are grappling with the challenges of preserving and arranging digital information. As this material sits unprocessed, it is not only unavailable to researchers but it runs a higher risk of becoming lost forever. Is there a better way for archivists to manage electronic documents? In honor of “Preservation Week,” our digital archives… Read more »

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09 / 23 / 13

Long-term Digital Storage: Simple Steps to Get Started

Preserving digital files for long-term access is a difficult issue for many organizations; the files can quickly become inaccessible due to media and hardware obsolescence and they are subject to degradation. With the sheer volume of digital information produced on a regular basis, this task might seem overwhelming, but digital preservation does not always have… Read more »

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09 / 21 / 12

Privacy: The Archivist’s Dilemma

Owners and custodians of archives collections often find themselves on the horns of a dilemma: the collections exist for researchers to use, yet they may contain information that should remain private. How then, does an archivist resolve this conflict so that the interests of the repository, the records creators, and the researcher are legally and… Read more »

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08 / 22 / 11

Safeguarding the Past: Planning a Company Archives

Developing an archival program can be a daunting task—especially when the concept of “archives” is often equated with “storing old files.” However, in an era of information overload and employee turnover, companies can have a distinct competitive advantage if they efficiently maintain institutional knowledge in an archives. Why have a corporate archives? A functioning corporate… Read more »

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