Two items had me thinking about authenticity of digital records this week. Both exist in that somewhat nebulous region between (consisting of both?) records management and digital preservation. They are both unrelated to one another, so here’s a head’s up about the coming rough transition.
Over the past couple years the institution that employs me has been working with an organization to preserve their records (big surprise, eh?). Last week we started discussing their electronic records. Without getting specific, the organization operates in multiple, geographically disparate locations and has demonstrated itself to be highly organized and with a grasp on records/information/knowledge management. When it came, however, to discussing their electronic records, they had little perception of the issues attendant in making minor changes to clean up files that were created ca. 1996. Leaving aside the (in)ability of modern software to render files from that time period, losing the creation and modification dates associated with the files calls into question, on some level, the authenticity of the records. If we’re unable to acquire the original media, the issue immediately becomes one of how well they have documented their custody of the digital material, including when files were migrated, edited, or otherwise changed. And my role becomes one of counseling the organization on what to document about their electronic records and how to organize them so that users not familiar with the contents can attempt to navigate to the desired information without viewing each and every file. While this sort of pre-custodial intervention is demonstrably different from past practice with many physical record groupings, it is not, I believe all that different from the consulting work records managers perform with record creators and their active records.
Okay, so the abrupt tonal shift happens here. A doctoral student at the University of British Columbia has sent out a call for participation in a survey on digital records and authenticity. If you’re on the E-Recs Listserv, you have likely seen this request already. So while it’s not specifically a records management issue, I think it’s worth your participation if you do any management of electronic records. Information about her study, and a confidentiality statement are included after the jump.
How are you archiving your snow memories? Please share your stories and pictures of what you are doing to remember the great March 2014 Snowstorm on the East Coast.
Send your method in a brief 120 word narrative in MS Word or in the body of the e-mail before March 14, Friday, 2014 close of business to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would be interested in your most interesting pictures that you are archiving personally or for your job. These pictures and stories will appear in our Spring Newsletter for your reading pleasure.
Thanks and happy snow days!
Librarians Using SharePoint Blog (http://librariansusingsharepoint.blogspot.com/)
Newsletter Editor, The Records Manager (http://www2.archivists.org/groups/records-management-roundtable/the-records-manager-newsletter)
Did you know that the third Thursday in February is Global Information Governance Day? Join Twitter discussions using #GIGD to celebrate the day at 11 AM EST. Share an GIGD e-card with your colleagues and RM friends here and find out some more general information and prize opportunities sponsored by RSD here. Enjoy!
Happy Valentine’s Day, fellow archivists and records managers!
I hope many of you are preparing to enjoy a long Presidents’ Day Weekend. Back at work on February 18th at 10am CST join an ARMA International TweetChat using #assessIG to discuss information governance, risk mitigation, and other information management topics. This Q&A forum will run for 30 minutes. Follow ARMA on Twitter at @ARMA_IT. Find out more on ARMA’s website here.
Many thanks to Arian and Beth for a great overview of the Initiative, and to our readers who posted questions that encouraged a great discussion!
Please join SAA’s Records Management Roundtable for another virtual Hangout this Friday, February 7th at 1pm EST as Beth Cron and Arian Ravanbakhsh host a presentation and discussion about the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Capstone Email Initiative. Beth and Arian, both members of the RMRT, are records management policy analysts in the Office of the Chief Records at NARA.
We’ll update The Schedule, our Google+ page, and the RMRT’s YouTube channel with the link to view the Hangout as soon as we’re live. Hope you can join us Friday at 1.
UPDATE: Watch the Hangout here.
If you have any questions about the Capstone Email Initiative please post them here so we can pass them on to our presenters for discussion during the Hangout.
The Records Management Roundtable Steering Committee is soliciting input on topics and formats for the Roundtable meeting at SAA 2014. In line with our commitment to make the business meeting as useful and interesting to as many of our members as possible, we’ve created a survey to gather your thoughts. Have a killer topic you want to discuss with like (or unlike)-minded archivists and records managers? Have a great presentation in need of an audience? Please let us know. Take a quick moment to visit our survey here, before Friday, February 7 and give us your thoughts. Also, as always, feel free to reach out to the Steering Committee through the listserv or individually. We’re here for you.