SAA Session 104: “One Year into the NHPRC’s State Government Electronic Records Grant Program”

This session featured representatives from the State Archives of North Carolina (SANC), Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS), and Missouri State Archives.

Camille Tyndall Watson talked about the TOMES project in NC — Transforming Online Mail with Embedded Semantics.  According to executive order, all email in NC must be retained for 5 years.  In order to simplify the retention of email and guarantee the transfer of archival email, SANC is evaluating a Capstone approach (similar to the three-bucket approach by NARA).  Collaboration has been a key to the work thus far — partnering with the Government Records Section at SANC, the Department of Information Technology, and the Office of State Human Resources.  SANC will use some of the grant funds to hire a programmer to develop a natural language processing tool.  Although they haven’t yet determined all the specifics of how email will be processed, they do intend to apply an MPLP approach to identifying PII.  The code developed will be available on GitHub, and progress can be tracked on their website.

Carey Clifton-Myers talked about the WiSPER project (Wisconsin State Preservation of Electronic Records Project).  The WHS currently only receives electronic records from one state agency, but they intend to expand that base.  They’re focusing on the transfer process of PSTs as well as SharePoint and shared drive content.  They’re developing workflows for long-term preservation and began by testing the procedures internally:

  • inventoried personal drives – used TreeSize reports
  • dealt with orphan files
  • migrated formats
  • will also inventory shared drives, tag disposition to folders, deduplicate, and reorganize by function rather than person

They’ve also developed an employee tracker that includes records retention disposition authorizations (RDAs) along with names, position, department, and start/end dates, and they created an RDA cheatsheet by department.  They’re trying to educate agencies about the importance of identifying official records as well as file formats and naming conventions.

John Dougan talked about SMART – State of Missouri Agency Records Transfer, which is built on InfoLinks.  He identified two primary problems:

  • most e-recs ingests fall outside existing workflows
  • massive chunks of unstructured data are transferred at once

RM and metadata are built into SMART system (although transfers can happen separately).  It’s designed for in-house use rather than public access (poor GUI, no web interface).  Their work has been slowed by early partners dropping out and newer partners having more complicated records issues.

During the Q&A, an attendee recommended looking to Tufts TAPER Project for guidance on transfers.


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