02 / 07 / 14

The Story of the Real Monuments Men Continues

At the end of January my wife and I enjoyed the privilege of attending an advance screening of The Monuments Men at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The movie tells an important and poignant story in an engaging manner while communicating significant elements with historical authenticity and nuance. Enhancing the cinematic experience was a… 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 / 23 / 13

Notes from the Field: The Art of Crafting a FOIA Request

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is yet more proof of the adage “no good deed goes unpunished.” Though intended to facilitate greater transparency in government, as those who have submitted a FOIA request can attest, the process can be maddeningly opaque. Enacted in 1966, FOIA (5 U.S.C. § 552) established the public’s statutory right… Read more »

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05 / 01 / 13

Corporate Collections: Preserve Your Past, Promote Your Legacy

In recent years, History Associates has seen an increase in the interest of high-profile companies to create and/or develop corporate collections. The Levi Strauss Visitor Center, built to commemorate the company’s 150th anniversary, displays a pair of jeans from 1890 and features four decades of television ads. Visitors to the World of Coca-Cola will find… Read more »

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05 / 01 / 13

The Power of Artifacts to Elevate the Story

The word “artifact” may conjure up a mental image of something archaic — a dusty old object that is stored away and no longer relevant. But when revealed through the right lens, artifacts become powerful tools for bringing a story to life. The storytelling power has nothing to do with the value, age, or beauty… Read more »

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09 / 21 / 12

Time and Space: Interpreting History through GIS Mapping

GIS mapping is a powerful way to make history come to life. Combining geographic information system (GIS) data with historical information, may serve to: Present historical evidence in its precise geographical context, Visually convey geographic changes over time, or Tell engaging stories from a geohistorical perspective. Visually illustrating change over time in this way is… 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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03 / 19 / 12

Is Google Making You Fat? Tips for Conducting “Lean and Mean” Online Historical Research

The amount of online content continues to grow exponentially, making the Internet an indispensable tool in historical research. Clay Johnson, online database expert and author of the cleverly written book The Information Diet, contends that with so much readily available online data, it is critical to make informed choices, maintaining a “healthy diet” of information… Read more »

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03 / 02 / 12

Effective Commemoration: The Changing Approach to Observing the Civil War

As the Civil War Sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary enters its second year, we have noted significant differences between this observance and the war’s Centennial. These changes demonstrate a shift from national to local commemoration and from a celebratory view of the war to one cognizant of its toll and its multifaceted meaning. Through our work with… 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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