New Issue: Practical Technology for Archives

Issue no.8, July 2017

Articles
Data-Driven Reporting and Processing of Digital Archives with Brunnhilde
Tim Walsh
This article introduces Brunnhilde, a command-line and graphical user interface (GUI) tool written in Python that creates reports to aid in appraisal, arrangement, and description of born-digital archives. Developed to fill a perceived gap between robust existing file format identification tools and the practical process of triaging digital files in archival repositories, Brunnhilde is included as a standard utility in the open source digital forensics suite BitCurator as of v1.8.0 and has become part of the triaging and processing workflows in several archival repositories, including the author’s own Canadian Centre for Architecture.

Streamlining Archives Reference through Online Task Management
Jaime Marie Burton and Daniel Weddington
Following an organizational shift that flattened the hierarchy and prioritized security, use, and collection management, research services at UK Libraries SCRC continued to face logistical roadblocks to meeting patron reference and research needs. Specifically, SCRC relied on an often chaotic system of listserv streams monitored by 10-15 team members to manage patron interaction and internal communication. This approach left no easily discernible way for the research services team to assign tasks, facilitate collaboration, monitor progress, or derive statistics. This article will discuss how SCRC successfully implemented a streamlined, task management approach to archives reference using freely available online tools.

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Apply to join the bloggERS Editorial Team!

bloggERS! (https://saaers.wordpress.com/), the blog of the Electronic Records Section (ERS–get it??) of the Society of American Archivists was founded to foster communication and collaboration within the ERS and across the wider archival community. bloggERS! features:

  • Aggregations of news, information, and resources on electronic records issues
  • New content including case studies, interviews, surveys, reviews, and other writings of interest to archivists and electronic records professionals
  • Forums for discussion and collaboration, to help archivists communicate and learn from each other and those outside the field.

It’s a fun way to keep up your professional involvement and work along side like-minded archivists.

Apply by 8/1 to join the bloggERS Editorial Team! We’re seeking an Assistant Team Leader and 4 Team Members. Access the application here: https://goo.gl/forms/BlKt91WXa7kPnZR63

Call for Book Reviewers: AASLH

Four times a year, History News magazine brings you the latest discussions, developments, and innovations in the field of state and local history. That mission includes reviewing books on theoretical and practical topics that our members and readers are talking about and using in their daily work. AASLH is building our pool of book reviewers for History News, and we want you to get involved.

Apply to be a book reviewer and share your expertise with the field. We will match you with a book according to your interests, and send you a complimentary copy to review.

Our reviewers:

  • Have expertise and experience in the book’s topic or sub-field
  • Can discuss how the book will contribute to public history and relate it to similar works
  • Commit to writing a 500-word review that summarizes and analyzes the book’s thesis or topic
  • Work with our editors to meet deadlines and craft a great review

Here are some of the titles we’ve reviewed recently:

Apply online: http://blogs.aaslh.org/aaslh-call-for-book-reviewers/

Call for workshop papers: Computational Archival Science

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 in Boston, MA, USA, in conjunction with the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (IEEE BigData 2017).

The large-scale digitization of analog archives, the emerging diverse forms of digital records and systems, and new ways of engaging with archival material using technology, are resulting in disruptions to traditional archival theories and practices. Increasing quantities of ‘big archival data’ present challenges for the practitioners and researchers who work with archival material, but also offer enhanced possibilities for use and scholarly exploration through the application of computational methods and tools.

This workshop will explore this conjunction of emerging methods and technologies around digital records and big data with archival theory and practice, and will examine new forms of records generation and historical, social, scientific, and cultural research engagement with archival institutions. We aim to identify and evaluate current trends, requirements, and potential in these areas, to examine the new questions that they can provoke, and to help determine possible research agendas for the evolution of computational archival science in the coming  years, as well as addressing the questions and concerns scholarship is raising about the interpretation of ‘big data’ and the uses to which it is put.

Full papers, of up to 10 pages, should be submitted via the online submission system at https://wi-lab.com/cyberchair/2017/bigdata17/scripts/ws_submit.php. We also encourage submission of short papers (up to 6 pages) reporting work in progress. The submission deadline is October 10, 2017. All papers accepted will be included in the proceedings published by the IEEE Computer Society Press.

The workshop builds on a number of recent developments in Computational Archival Science (see: http://dcicblog.umd.edu/cas/), and in particular on the 1st Computational Archival Science workshop at IEEE Big Data 2016 (see: http://dcicblog.umd.edu/cas/ieee_big_data_2016_cas-workshop/), which attracted a range of professionals and researchers, both from the DC area and internationally.

For more information, see the full workshop Call for Papers at http://dcicblog.umd.edu/cas/ieee_big_data_2017_cas-workshop/

Let’s Do Lunch at ARCHIVES 2017

Dive into a lunch discussion of the professional literature with your colleagues during ARCHIVES 2017!

  • Article exploration: Get a peek at a forthcoming American Archivist article—“Surveying Archivists and their Work toward Advocacy and Management, or ‘Enterprise Archiving’” by Sarah A. Buchanan, Jane Gruning, Ayse Gursoy, and Lecia Barker—during a Brown Bag Lunch on Thursday, July 27, 12:15 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Discussion will be led by American Archivist Editor Greg Hunter. RSVP by emailing Abigail Christian at achristian@archivists.org (subject line: “American Archivist Brown Bag Lunch”). Article will be forwarded to you.
  • Book Discussion: How can archivists create a diverse record or recruit and retain a diverse workforce? Whose stories are being told—and by whom? Where are the silences in the record? These questions and more are at the heart of the 2017 One Book, One Profession selection, Through the Archival Looking Glass: A Reader on Diversity and Inclusion, edited by Mary A. Caldera and Kathryn M. Neal. Join Camila Tessler of Yale University who will lead a Brown Bag lunch discussion on this acclaimed collection of essays on Friday, July 28, from 12:45 p.m.–1:45 p.m. RSVP by emailing Abigail Christian at achristian@archivists.org (subject line: “Through the Archival Looking Glass Brown Bag Lunch”).

New Book: Women in the Museum: Lessons From the Workplace

From the authors:

Museums are complex workplaces.  Guardians of America’s patrimony, they are simultaneously thought of as traditional, boring and irrelevant, but also progressive, fun and important. With collections and exhibitions lauded and vilified, museums are both significant economic drivers and astoundingly vulnerable organizations.  Collectively United States museums employ nearly 353,000 people, almost half of them women.  There is no denying that most museums are stimulating and wondrous, one-of-a-kind, work environments, but two years ago we could not have imagined the gender inequity lying beneath their placid exteriors.
Women in the Museum explores the professional lives of the field’s female workforce, a cohort that grew exponentially from the late 19th-century to the present. It chronicles the challenges working women in the museum field face today, as well as their responses to widespread entrenched and unconscious gender bias.  In doing so, we hope it clarifies how women’s work in museums is different from men’s, and why we think museums must create, foster and protect a level playing field.
Along the way, we asked ourselves these questions:  Are workplace challenges more acute for women if a field is under-resourced, under-appreciated, or in some instances, under-utilized? How is leadership and internal decision-making different in female dominated museums?  Do public perceptions change toward fields where females make up half or more of the workforce?
It is difficult to write about women in the workplace and not write about diversity, and we have been taken to task for that.  It’s especially difficult in a field that since its founding has been a bastion of white, middle and upper-class men and subsequently women.  While issues of racial and ethnic diversity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability and class are often aligned with gender equity, we’ve chosen to take a bite out of the broadest and most basic of topics in one of the narrowest of fields — an environment almost exclusively nonprofit, under-resourced, and little understood by the public.  Our intent is to pull back the curtain on a long-standing and unresolved gender issue:  equity.  What we’ve written is an opening salvo deserving wider and deeper scrutiny.
We believe museums create communities. Those communities include women as subjects of collections, exhibits and programming, women as audience members and supporters, and as employees.  That said, we would like to suggest that for us diversity is the presumption that everyone has a place at the table. If you think those ideas are remnants of the 1970’s, read on. We believe there is still much work to do. And for us, inclusion as well as equity are what is important, and making sure women are represented is the place to start.

Cal Lee Named New Editor of The American Archivist

The Society of American Archivists is pleased to introduce Christopher A. “Cal” Lee as the next Editor of The American Archivist. Lee, a tenured professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) School of Information and Library Science, will serve a three-year term beginning January 2018. The American Archivist, established in 1938 and published semi-annually, is the premier professional journal in the archives field.

Read more: https://www2.archivists.org/news/2017/unc-professor-cal-lee-is-next-editor-of-the-american-archivist