Author Archives: markconrad2014

Tech Tuesday: The Internet, Diapers, and Access to the 1940 Census (What they have in common)

It wasn’t so intimidating after all.

We ended our last blog, announcing the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program Symposium held on February 17 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The purpose of the symposium was to reflect on what the NITRD Program has accomplished over the past 20 years.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, wandering into the Knight Conference Center, an humble archivist – a fish-out-of-water, feeling lost in a sea of black suits and aging baby-boomers. Every now and then, I’d spot an important face or two, people whom I’d recognized from huge posters of computer pioneers at the Microcenter computer store in Rockville. In fact, it was kind of like a red carpet event for science, academic, and computer geeks, or probably more appropriately, spotting rock stars of the computer world.

My first thoughts were, “Oh, no, what if the panels were way over my head?” Should I take a seat by the door for a quick escape just in case?” then suddenly, “Is that who I think it is sitting across from our table? Would I embarrass myself if I asked for an autograph?”

Here’s why I’m glad I stayed… Continue reading

Posted in 1940 Census, Applied Research, Electronic Records, Genealogy / Family History, Tech Tuesdays | Tagged , , , , ,

Searching 40 TB of Electronic Records with the Swipe of a Finger

Imagine that you want to find electronic records related to a particular geographic location in a very large collection (40 TB and about 70 million files) of archival electronic records. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could pick up an … Continue reading

Posted in Applied Research, Electronic Records, Online Research, Research, Tech Tuesdays | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

NARA Out in Front in Chicago: Applied Research at SAA

Next week the Society of American Archivists (SAA) will gather for its annual meeting in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency (151 East Wacker Drive). There will be a number of presentations by NARA’s Applied Research staff and our Research Partners. On … Continue reading

Posted in 1940 Census, Applied Research, Electronic Records, Tech Tuesdays

NARA’s Applied Resesarch Lab contributes to Tri-State Educational Summit held on April 28 at Rocket Center, WV

On April 28th the United States Navy and its support contractor, IBM, hosted an Educational Summit featuring educators from colleges and universities in WV, MD, and PA at the Navy’s Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) at Rocket Center, WV. Read about the Summit that included a visit to NARA’s Applied Research Laboratory at ABL, where college students (hired by IBM) collaborate with NARA on advanced IT research projects. Continue reading

Posted in Tech Tuesdays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Tech Tuesday: Looking Back, Looking Forward at NARA Research

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. Continue reading

Posted in Electronic Records, NCAST, Tech Tuesdays | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Records Management and E-discovery: Making Beautiful Music

My bottom line: I want to believe the next generation of public servants will do right by the American people by managing and preserving the government’s born-digital records, and providing the means for continuing access to them, so as to ensure that the history of the 21st century is properly preserved. Continue reading

Posted in Records Management, Tech Tuesdays | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

ISO Standards for Certifying Trustworthy Digital Repositories

NARA has a long history of involvement with the development of international standard related to electronic records and other digital information.

Claims of trustworthiness are easy to make but are thus far difficult to justify or objectively prove. Establishing more clear criteria detailing what a trustworthy repository is and is not has become vital. Continue reading

Posted in Tech Tuesdays | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tech Tuesday: NCAST is now on Facebook!

NARA’s Center for Advanced Systems and Technologies (NCAST) now has its very own official Facebook page. You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/NARACAST. On our page you will find, among other things: Links to papers, reports and presentations by our Research … Continue reading

Posted in Electronic Records, NCAST, Records Management, Tech Tuesdays | Tagged ,

Do you speak Volkswriter? MultiMate? Visicalc? Making Steps Toward a Universal File Format Reader

All file formats become obsolete over time. There are tens of thousands of formats in use today. How will we make sense of information stored in these formats over time? This week’s Tech Tuesday entry talks about one line of research that is attempting to address this issue – the Data Format Descriptive Language (DFDL). Continue reading

Posted in Electronic Records, NCAST, Tech Tuesdays | Tagged , , , , , , ,