06 / 24 / 15

A Beginning, a Middle, and an End: The Difference between Chronology and History

Everyone knows that history is supposed to provide a solid record and perhaps even teach us something. We also know that a compelling history is, above all, a good story. But how to create it? There is an old saw, “life is one damn thing after another,” which occasionally gets sharpened up and applied to… Read more »

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06 / 08 / 15

Mid-Year 2015 Grant Opportunities for Museums and Cultural Collections

Collecting organizations of many types, from museums to small firms, can be eligible for grant funding to support collection management, collection stewardship, and database management. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently posted some new guidelines for its Humanities Collections and Reference Resource grant applications along with other helpful resources. In our experience, winning… Read more »

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03 / 03 / 15

Mapping History: A Behind the Scenes Look at the Making of Historical Maps

On June 6, 1944, thousands of Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in what would become a turning point of the Second World War. There are many ways to portray this pivotal moment, but eyewitness accounts, photographs, and artifacts only tell part of the story. Maps, however, can tie these pieces together, adding a… 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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11 / 18 / 14

Taking Timelines Beyond Two Dimensions

Museum exhibits have long used timelines to communicate events and trends. Sprawling across museum walls, these time-tested graphics pack in details and provide context to a general audience. However, history is not two dimensional. As demand for online history increases, new and innovative virtual exhibits have become available. These more engaging experiences take advantage of… Read more »

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09 / 30 / 14

Recommended Resources for Assessing and Selecting Collections Management Software (CMS)

Evaluating and selecting the right collections management software for your organization is a critical first step in the process and one that should not be taken lightly. As collections management consultants, we frequently collaborate with clients and software developers to introduce or upgrade existing CMS solutions. In our experience, the most effective changeovers begin with… 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 / 12 / 14

WWII and Korean War Industrial Mobilization: History Programs and Related Records

This is a modified version of a presentation I did for the 2014 Society for History in the Federal Government conference in April. This version focuses on the legal usefulness, in environmental cases, of the official agency histories and records concerning U.S. industrial mobilization for war and defense during World War II, the Korean War,… 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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