On day three of the SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute, with stormy weather on the horizon, we arrived at the Indiana State Library with umbrellas in hand, ready once again to storm the doors and make the trek up to the 4th floor. After our daily breakfast and morning discussion everyone settled in for a full day of Cal Lee, Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Cal began the day with explaining and discussing electronic records acquisition with great interaction, questions, and comments from the whole group.
With a huge blob of green and red heading our way, we broke early for lunch with the hope of getting back before the skies opened up and soaked us through. With umbrellas in hand again, we dispersed to find a tasty bite to eat. While busy eating the winds blew the clouds in and everyone finished up and started heading back to beat the rain. On the walk back small rain drops slowly started falling…then stopped. Everyone made it back dry and unscathed and ready to dive right into some hands-on activities.
After lunch we migrated to the computer lab to work on generating file hashes and using a hex editor. Once everyone had an opportunity to try their hand at hashing, we moved back down the hall for a great discussion on electronic records preservation to cap off the day.
Luckily the green and red blob dissolved without dropping much rain and we all had a dry, albeit humid, walk back to the hotels in the afternoon. Downtown Indianapolis can thank our group for preventing the rain from falling due to the numerous umbrellas we purchased upon arriving and seeing the weather forcast for the week.
**The SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute is being funded by a grant from IMLS.
After a successful first day of instruction and a relaxing group dinner, institute attendees were eager to get going on day two and arrived at the Indiana State Library before the building opened. Consequently, we caused a bit of a road block on the sidewalk outside the front doors and probably caused the library staff to have heart palpitations thinking we were all waiting to flood the research rooms. I’m sure the staff was relieved to see us head directly to our 4th floor meeting room which has become our home-away-from-home this week.
While fueling-up for the day, attendees had the opportunity to discuss the previous day’s presentations and ask questions. Then we got right back into the presentations with Mike Wash’s wrap-up of electronic records policies & strategies.
Short breaks during the day provide attendees the opportunity to mingle and share ideas and strategies.
Rolling right along we heard from Doug Robinson, Executive Director of NASCIO, who gave a presentation on state IT priorities and trends and provided tips for collaborating with the state CIOs.
After re-energizing with lunch we heard from Pat Franks, MARA Program Coordinator at San Jose State University. Pat closed out day two with a presentation on electronic records management.
And of course the week wouldn’t be complete without a group photo. This photo was actually taken while getting everyone organized for the “official” group photo which we hope to share soon.
**The SERI Introductory Electronic Records Institute is being funded by a grant from IMLS.
On Sunday, July 7, 2013 archivists, records managers, and IT professionals from 26 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia flocked to Indianapolis and the Indiana State Library for the State Electronic Records Initiative (SERI) Introductory Electronic Records Institute. The Introductory Institute is one of three Electronic Records Institutes being organized and offered by CoSA through an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant.
We started the week off with an “early bird” dinner to welcome the institute attendees and instructors and to begin the process of getting to know everyone and networking.
After dinner, Jim Corridan, Indiana State Archivist gave the group a private tour of the Indiana Capitol.
Monday morning, before getting into the heart of the information, each attendee introduced themselves and gave a brief summary of their program in general and what they are hoping to get out of the institute. By the time we took our morning break, it was clear that there were many similarities between programs in terms of where they stand with their electronic records program and the struggles in getting a program up and running.
After introductions, we spent the day learning about electronic records policies and strategies from Mike Wash, Chief Information Officer for the National Archives and Records Administration.
We then capped the evening off with a group dinner and enjoyed good conversations and had a chance to decompress after a full first day.
More information about the grant and institutes can be found on the CoSA website.
Tell the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services to Provide Level Funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
In a year in which natural disasters have rocked many parts of the United States, a fiscal disaster is brewing in Washington, DC, for archives, manuscripts, and records organizations nationwide. The potential result is a severe crippling of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission’s (NHPRC’s) ability to carry out its legal mandate – which in turn seriously impedes the capacity of repositories nationwide to care for our nation’s heritage and make it available for use by our citizens.
Please join the effort to ask the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Financial Services to provide level funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Here’s what you can do to help avert this crisis:
If your Representative is a member of the Financial Services Subcommittee—or of the House Appropriations Committee—fax, email, or call your member to express your support for level funding for NHPRC as part of the National Archives budget. In your letter or call, address the specific benefits of NHPRC for your organization/state/users. The more your Congressperson understands that his/her constituents are affected directly, the more convincing your message will be.
Financial Services Subcommittee Members:
- Ander Crenshaw, Chairman (Florida)
- Jo Bonner (Alabama)
- Mario Diaz-Balart (Florida)
- Tom Graves (Georgia)
- Kevin Yoder (Kansas)
- Steve Womack (Arkansas)
- Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington)
- José Serrano, Ranking Member (New York)
- Mike Quigley (Illinois)
- Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
- Ed Pastor (Arizona)
View a list of the full House Appropriations Committee.
Find contact information for your committee member.
If your representative is not on this Subcommittee, you can still help! Send a fax or email to Subcommittee Chair Ander Crenshaw (Florida) or Ranking Member José Serrano (New York) to express your support for level funding for NHPRC.
The Council of State Archivists (CoSA), National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), and Society of American Archivists are working together to develop information that archivists and constituents can use to demonstrate the value and importance of archives. A joint working group is now collecting “stories” demonstrating this value for use in advocating for archives. Ultimately these stories will be made available–along with other advocacy materials–via the groups’ websites.
The working groups seeks stories that show the importance and impact of archives rather than focusing on informational content. Some examples of stories:
- Following a 2008 accident at the Quecreek Mine in Pennsylvania, historic maps created by Pennsylvania state mine inspectors were used to identify closed tunnels where the nine miners might have taken refuge. The miners had harbored in just such a tunnel, and the archival maps led to their rescue.
- A Tallahassee high school senior used records relating to the investigation of murders at Florida State University by serial killer Ted Bundy to research a History Fair project on changes to victims’ rights laws resulting from those murders. The project won at the state level and went on to compete at the National History Fair. Spurred by this research, the student, who had previously been disinterested in school, gained a renewed interest in education, went on to complete law school, passed the Florida Bar, and is now practicing law in Florida.
- In 1950, Mary Jean Price, salutatorian of her high school, tried to enroll at her hometown college to become a teacher. She was denied access because she was an African-American and never went to college to fulfill her dream. Instead she stayed at home, helped her aging parents, got married, worked as a janitor, and buried the story. Many years later, her son was curious and pursued the story in the university’s archives. There he unearthed evidence that she was denied entrance specifically because she was an African-American. He shared that information and, as a result, 60 years later his mother was awarded an honorary degree from Missouri State University. The stories found in archives may not always be “happy,” but confirmation of the accuracy and truth of a situation was extremely important in this case.
- A woman in her seventies was attempting to locate her brother and sister with whom she had not had contact during her lifetime due to adoption. Records were located by Wyoming State Archives staff in District Court adoption files and school censuses that made it possible for a Confidential Intermediary to reunite her with her brother and sister.
Because stakeholders may be motivated by a wide range of examples, the working group seeks a wide range of stories that can be shared. Particularly needed are stories emerging from or addressing the following:
- University archives
- Tribal archives
- Religious archives
- Business archives
- Scientific or environmental uses
- Business or economic development uses
- Educational uses
- Veteran-related uses, particularly from the Viet Nam War period to date
By May 1, 2013, send your stories and suggestions to email@example.com. Working group members will compile the information received and will contact you if clarification or more detail is needed. Thanks for your help in advocating for archives!