NARA has a long history of collaborating to carry out research to support the agency’s mission. From the very first research collaborations beginning in 1998 NARA has always carried out our research in concert with other agencies. Over the years we have collaborated with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Army Research Lab (ARL), and the Department of Energy (DoE), to name a few. Today, all of our research is coordinated with our fellow members of the NITRD Program.
In every instance over these years NARA has collaborated with agencies with much larger research budgets in funding research projects. NARA has often contributed “pennies on the dollar” to such projects.
One example of this type of cooperative research is our current collaboration with our Research Partners at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Our research there is funded jointly with the NSF. NARA funding provides for specific research on preserving and providing access to electronic records. That research uses multi-hundred-million-dollar infrastructure – supercomputers, mass storage systems, and very high-speed networks – funded by NSF and other Federal agencies. NARA certainly could not fund such infrastructure on its own. Without such infrastructure we would not be able to investigate archival and records management issues at the scale that we will need to be able to do so in the very near term.
By the way, the research at TACC has been getting quite a bit of attention in the science and technology media recently. See the articles in the resource list below:
- Futurity: Picture digital data on a massive scale
- Live Science: Behind the Scenes: A Glimpse to the Archives of the Future
- National Science Foundation: A Glimpse of the Archives of the Future
- The International Journal of Digital Curation: Assessing the Preservation Condition of Large and Heterogeneous Electronic Records Collections with Visualization
- NITRD: “Leveraging Strengths, Avoiding Duplication, and Increasing Interoperability of Networking and IT R&D Products.”