Try5 — An SAA Initiative for Ongoing Growth
October 31, 2016

[Originally published October 31, 2016 on the Society of American Archivists' blog, Off the Record:] ________________________ In August, I had the honor of joining SAA Council and beginning a three-year term serving the SAA membership. At our first meeting, I was excited to hear about Nance McGovern’s plans for the Try5 SAA initiative over the ... read more

Are we there yet?
August 5, 2016

As I've been writing this post, I've had Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' in my head. You too? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about organizations who haven’t started with digital preservation yet, and it’s got me wondering...why? Let me put some parameters around “started” ... read more

The proof is in the standards pudding
June 21, 2016

There are a lot of numbers in this post. This song by Kraftwerk might be useful: “Pocket Calculator. We talk a lot about assessment in the digital preservation community. It’s an important part of building strong repositories—it helps to identify gaps in practice, find opportunities for growth, and, what we all strive for, ... read more

Archival Musings: The Importance of Place
June 2, 2016

The author suggests pairing this post with The Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks. Sweet jams make the musings go down easier. Independence, Kansas, is a small town located roughly 115 miles southeast of Wichita, Kansas. It is home to just over 9,000 people, a population ... read more

Possession is nine-tenths of the law. Metadata is nine-tenths of possession.
March 18, 2016

In a sea of digital information, it is no longer about who owns the hardware. The physical location of the server is not what defines possession. Possession is restricted to those with the appropriate metadata (e.g., credentials, permissions), which grants them access; and, the ability to derive value is constrained to those who have metadata ... read more

What is the chemistry of digital preservation?
February 18, 2016

When we develop preservation strategies for paper-based materials an essential consideration is the underlying chemistry of the physical materials themselves. Paper is an organic compound, made of cellulose fibers, or, sometimes, a mix of cellulose and lignin fibers. Cellulose is a polysaccharide of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, C6H10O5. read more

The Creator and The Archivist
January 6, 2016

A significant portion of certain Archivist's job is processing collections -- the activity of arranging and describing materials that have been deposited with an archive. At times this is simple. For the most part it is difficult. Consider your own paper and digital files, and imagine someone who doesn't know you personally sifting through those ... read more

My Digitization Vendor Always Sends .md5 Files As Part Of Their Deliverables
December 5, 2015

A file's checksum is a specially generated hash based on a computation of all of the individual bytes that make up the file. A variety of algorithms exist that can be used to perform this computation, e.g., MD5, SHA-1, or SHA-256. For example, an MD5 checksum is a 32-bit string that may look something like ... read more

Looking Ahead on the 25th Anniversary of AMIA
November 19, 2015

On the 25th anniversary of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), I was asked to share some thoughts this morning about the future of AMIA. There are many ways to run with this thought. I have chosen to pose and respond to the question: What do we need to do as a community in ... read more

Your Inaccessible, Undocumented Collection Is Not Used & Therefore Has No Value
September 28, 2015

No, A/V is not the challenge. The challenge is how A/V materials have been managed in archives. The challenges are not inherent. The challenges have been embedded... read more