Easy Listening: Archives and Records Management Podcasts

By now, many archivists have had the opportunity to listen to (or have at least heard of) More Podcast, Less Process, the excellent podcast series hosted by Jefferson Bailey of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and Joshua Ranger of AudioVisual Preservation Solutions. Listening is a great way to stay abreast of trends in our field, and hear a little more about the all of the unique and inspiring projects our colleagues are working on. One of my favorite episodes is on the topic of shared services and institutional collaboration. Take a listen!

61250519f57d60b84847b5478861769cI recently discovered the IRMS Podcast Series a records management themed podcast produced by the UK’s Information and Records Management Society. Hosts Heather Jack and James Lappin discuss key records management trend and issues with leaders in the profession. Recent topics covered included automated intelligence, a SharePoint case study and even records management theory. I especially enjoyed listening to episode IRMS013 – Laurence Hart on trends in collaboration and records management software.

If anyone else knows of other podcasts that would be of interest to archivists and records managers, please share in the comments!




Archiving Email: Two Innovative Projects Video Posted

Our most recent virtual Hangout, Archiving Email: Two Innovative Projects, is now available via the RMRT’s YouTube channel.

A special thank you to our participants from the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the Library of Virginia for volunteering to talk with us about these two projects. And of course to our moderators from both RMRT and ERS for leading such an interesting and inspiring discussion!

Archiving Email: RMRT, ERS join forces for next Virtual Hangout

Please join the Society of American Archivists’ Records Management Roundtable (RMRT) and Electronic Records Section (ERS) for Archiving Email: Two Innovative Projects the next installment of our Virtual Hangouts series, airing Thursday, April 10th at 1 pm EDT.

Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig, Electronic Records Archivist at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, and Ben Bromley, Roger Christman, and Susan Gray Page from the Library of Virginia will be discussing two innovative email preservation and access projects.

Schmitz Fuhrig will give an overview of The Collaborative Electronic Records Project (CERP), a collaboration with the Rockefeller Archive Center to develop, test, and share technology to preserve email.

Bromley, Christman, and Page will discuss The Kaine Email Archiving Project @ LVA, which focuses on processing the approximately 1.3 million email records received from the administration of Governor Timothy M. Kaine, and making the identified public records searchable and viewable to users.

We’ll start with an overview of both projects, and then dive into a moderated question and answer session.

As always, we’ll be accepting questions for our speakers from you. If you have a question or topic for discussion please leave it as a comment on this post.

Archiving Email will be broadcast live via the RMRT’s YouTube channel. We’ll also update The Schedule with links to the archived YouTube video.

View past Hangouts here.


NARA’s Capstone Email Iniative: Learn More this Friday at 1

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 Lifecycle: Moving Permanent Records from the Records Management Phase to the Archival Phase

For those of us working in a university or institutional archives setting records management is not just about risk management and efficiency, but also about documenting the history of our institution. This happens through the scheduling of records that have been appraised by archivists to have enduring historical value.

Examples of records that are often scheduled for permanent retention because of enduring historical value include annual reports, executive correspondence and memoranda, even photographs.

My own institution, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), has created a list of the most common types of permanent records found in our university’s departments and offices for quick reference. That list can be found here.

Take a moment to enjoy these digital photographs from December 2002, when an early winter storm encapsulated UNC in a layer of ice. You can easily see why an archives would want to acquire and preserve this type of material, and why archivists and records managers should work together to ensure that these types of records are scheduled as permanent and transferred to an archival repository.


[Digital photographs of ice storm, December 2002, in Medical Illustration and Photography of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40307, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]

And just to map this process to the records lifecycle, these photographs were (1) created by the Department of Medical Illustration and Photography in UNC’s School of Medicine, (2) maintained and used by that department until they had met their retention period, at which point they were (3) transferred to the University Archives at UNC, and then (4) accessioned into the archive’s holdings.

Then, they were (5) arranged and described by archivists and (6) ingested into the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR), UNC’s digital preservation repository. Today, we are able to (7) access them through the CDR and even share them through a blog like this!

Websites as Records: One Institution’s Perspective and a Reader Poll

This week, I’d like to share with readers a post I recently wrote for my home institution’s blog on the intersection of web archiving and records management. Take a moment to read it, here.

Of course, this is just one institution’s perspective. What are others doing to address the management of websites and web content?

I’d like to hear from you– does your organization schedule websites? Do you consider them to be permanent records to be transferred to an archival repository? Why or why not?

Meet the RMRT Steering Committee: Meg Tuomala

Over the next few weeks we will be posting a little bit more about the Records Management Roundtable Steering Committee members who contribute to this blog. First up is me, Meg Tuomala!

Hello! I am Meg Tuomala, and I have been on the RMRT SC since the spring of 2012. I work in University Archives and Records Management Services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), where I am the electronic records archivist.

Meg Tuomala, electronic records archivist at UNC
Meg Tuomala, electronic records archivist at UNC

As electronic records archivist I lead efforts within University Archives a to acquire, manage, and preserve born-digital materials. I also assist the other special collections at UNC acquire, manage, and preserve the born-digital materials that they collect. Additionally, I support UNC faculty, students, and staff in depositing digital materials into the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR), and  work with other library staff to define and implement repository policies, workflows, and capabilities. And last but not least, I’m also responsible for ensuring that the electronic records created and used by everyone here at UNC are being properly managed and preserved.

Before I came (back) to UNC, I was the Digital Archivist at the University Archives of Washington University in St. Louis. And before that I worked at at UNC as the Records Services Archivist. I have a M.S.L.S. and a B.A., you guessed it, from UNC. As you can probably gather I’m a Tar Heel born, I’m a Tar Heel bred, and when I die I’ll be a Tar Heel dead!

“[Lyrics from ‘Hark the Sound’]” in North Carolina Postcard Collection (P052), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
“[Lyrics from ‘Hark the Sound’]” in North Carolina Postcard Collection (P052), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
Although I’m an archivist and not a records manager I really love records management work, and one of my favorite parts of my current job is getting to help my fellow UNC colleagues better manage their electronic records. It’s really gratifying, plus I just love going to different offices on campus and meeting new people.

Other things I love are Tar Heel basketball, Carolina BBQ (both Eastern and Lexington-styles), cooking and eating good food, and spending time with dear friends and family.

RMRT to Launch Virtual Hangouts with Students

The Records Management Roundtable is launching a new service to student chapters of the Society of American Archivists this spring. Starting March 1st we plan to offer monthly video conferences where students interested in the records management and archives profession can come learn more about who we are and what we do.

The conferences will be hosted through Google Hangouts, where the first 10 users to log on can participate in the discussion via video chat, and stream live via the RMRT’s Google+ account, our YouTube Channel, and right here on our blog.

RMRT chair, Brad Houston has offered to test out a presentation that he will be giving at the 2013 Midwest Archives Conference annual meeting for our inaugural Hangout.

Please join Brad at 12 noon EST on Friday, March 1st for “Everyone’s a Mechanic: The Least You Should Know About Managing E-records.
RMRT Chair Brad Houston has, over the past few years, gradually fallen into the role of managing electronic records policies and procedures at the UWM Archives, with minimal support from institution IT. He has been teaching himself what he needs to know as he goes along, which unfortunately for him means a lot of extra work. The upside: now you get to learn from his efforts. In this Google Hangout, Brad will briefly discuss what he’s done with e-records at his institution, what he’s learned, and what he wishes he had known before he started.

If you are interested in hosting a Hangout, or have ideas for Hangout topics, please email Meg Tuomala at mtuomala [at] email [dot] unc [dot] edu. These sessions can be on the casual side, for example an open Q&A on a current issue in records management, or a more structured presentation.

Look for more announcements right here about RMRT Hangouts with Students!