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…
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 iPad, have a map pop up on the screen, run your finger over the area … Continue reading Searching 40 TB of Electronic Records with the Swipe of a Finger
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 Tuesday, August 23rd at the 2011 Research Forum: Dr. Richard Marciano from the University of … Continue reading NARA Out in Front in Chicago: Applied Research at SAA
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Partners Links to sites where you can download or try online free software developed by … Continue reading Tech Tuesday: NCAST is now on Facebook!
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).