Archive for February, 2012


Written on: February 15, 2012 | 1 Comment

The National Archives keeps looking for ways to work with other agencies to spark citizen engagement with our records.  Our most recent project is the Document Your Environment contest for students, which we co-sponsored with the Environmental Protection Agency.  We invited students aged 13 and older to explore some of the nearly 16,000 photos in the Documerica collection and create their own graphic art, poem, or multimedia video in response.  I was delighted to see the entries we received from students around the globe.  The selection process was difficult because many of the entries were so creative.

I am pleased to announce the grand prize winner of the Document Your Environment student contest: iRevolution by 24-year-old Anna Lee of San Francisco, CA.  Her work stood out because it got the message across graphically and did it in a crisp manner that I found visually appealing.


“iRevolution” by Anna Lee, winner of the Document Your Environment contest (left), the 1972 photo that inspirited her-- “Children in Fort Worth Are Learning that Protecting the Environment Will Take More Than Awareness” by Documerica photographer Jim Olive (right)

Original Documerica photographer Michael Philip Manheim judged the graphic arts category and selected Anna’s work as a finalist.  He wrote, “There is a message that is telegraphed in this art, so it achieves the goal of dramatically bringing an environmental … [ Read all ]

Yes We Scan Again! The Archives chats with voters on a “We the People” teleconference

Written on: February 6, 2012 | 4 Comments

On January 10th, I blogged about the “Yes We Scan” petitions proposed by Carl Malamud’s on the White House’s We The People petition platform. “Yes We Scan” calls for a national strategy, and even a Federal Scanning Commission, to figure out what it would take to digitize the holdings of many federal entities, from the Library of Congress to the Government Printing Office to the Smithsonian Institution.

I have been delighted to see the many ideas discussed in response to that blogpost. I encourage you to keep them coming!

Following that initial post, I worked with the White House Director of New Media, Macon Phillips, and the Director of Online Engagement, Katelyn Sabochik, to set up a conference call, inviting those who voted for the Yes We Scan petition (about 2,500 signers total) to further discuss this important issue and hear your ideas on how to move forward.

Sitting on the call with me were Mike Wash, NARA’s CIO; Pamela Wright, our Chief Digital Access Strategist; and Jill James, our Social Media Manager.

Eighty-five people from all over the country dialed in for the call. Eighteen participants asked questions. I want to thank you for taking the time to call in and to let us know your thoughts.

The topics included questions on everything from the magnitude of the task as hand (fyi … [ Read all ]