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It’s that time again! We are developing the agency’s third Open Government Plan and we need your suggestions for 2014-2016.

Take a look at our overview of proposed actions for this plan and our previous plan and tell us what you would like to see included. How do you think we should further transparency, participation, and collaboration at the National Archives?

We’re looking for your feedback on a variety of topics, including:

  • Innovation, crowdsourcing, and public engagement

  • Digitization and online public access

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

  • Declassification

  • Records management

Post your suggestions on this blog post, or email opengov@nara.gov. Please send us your suggestions by April 23, 2014 so they can be considered for the plan.

NARA Open Gov Plan #2



One of the chief goals of the National Archives is making our records- regardless of format- more accessible.  Sometimes this means digitizing records and adding them to our catalog, but it also means creating ways for all US citizens to experience our collections.  Accessibility of videos for the hearing impaired is very important to us, which is why we are pleased to tell you that the National Archives can now be found on Amara!

The US National Archives on Amara

Amara is an online resource that gives individuals, communities, and larger organizations the power to overcome accessibility and language barriers for online videos.  This unique tool is simple to use, collaborative, and fun to use! Join the National Archives team on Amara and help us caption our videos. It’s easy to join; just find a video that interests you, and start captioning!



This post comes from Doug Ward in Information Services and Meredith Stewart in the Office of Innovation.


The Open Data Policy states what we already know really well here at NARA —  information is a valuable national resource and a strategic asset to the Federal Government, its partners, and the public. We see this in how you discover, use, and rely on the records of the National Archives every single day.

Checking the Humidity with an ipad

 Mrs. Adelaide Minogue checks the status of open data at NARA

The Open Data Policy seeks to expand the number of government data assets that are open and available to the public. Those data assets that are public (or could be public) are called out in a Public Data Listing and made available on Data.gov.

We’ve launched Archives.gov/data to serve as a portal for our open data efforts and we’ve begun the creation of our Public Data Listing. In order to expand our public data listing, we need your suggestions for NARA data assets that you would like to see included.

What do we mean by “data assets”?

Data assets can be as large as a system or as small as a single dataset or online resource.  We have nearly 60 data assets, including large systems like Online Public Access (OPA) and and individual datasets like the Federal Register in XML and Executive Orders in CSV.  We have included Archives.gov, but we’ve also called out individual resources on Archives.gov like the online collection of ISCAP decisions.

Suggest data assets!

Take a look at what we’ve included so far in our Public Data Listing and let us know your suggestions for additional data assets in the comments below, email opengov@nara.gov, or you can open an issue on our Github repository.



Guest blogger Elizabeth Lieutenant, a Master’s student in Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America, is a virtual intern in the Office of Innovation.


Here at the National Archives, we’ve been busy watching the Olympics and rooting for Team U.S.A. All the excitement of watching snowboarders fly through the air and figure skaters dance on ice has us reminiscing about Winter Olympics of the past. Now that the 2014 Winter Olympics are officially over, take a trip down memory lane (or a Giant Schalom down to our archives) and check out some of our records! While you’re there, be sure to tag your favorite Olympic-related photos.

Curious about what tagging means and how you can get involved? Check out our previous blog post, where we discuss tagging the Online Public Access catalog. Tagging helps index the National Archives’ collections and allows you, our public users, to discover records. Have suggestions for Tag It Tuesday? Let us know here on NARAtions or by emailing us at search@nara.gov.

One of our favorite parts of the opening ceremonies is the lighting of the Olympic flame. Even 12 years later, the 2002 Olympic flame helps warm our chills.

Members of the 1980 US Gold Medal Olympic hockey team stand below the Olympic flame after lighting it, at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium, during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 WINTER OLYMPICS in Salt Lake City, 02/08/2002. NARA ID: 6527810

Members of the 1980 US Gold Medal Olympic hockey team stand below the Olympic flame after lighting it, at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium, during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 WINTER OLYMPICS in Salt Lake City, 02/08/2002. NARA ID: 6527810

One of our favorite events of the Winter Olympics is the biathlon. Here we have two members of our National Guard competing for glory at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. While they may not have won the gold, we’ll always be proud of our service members.

Major (MAJ) Lyle Nelson, Vermont Army National Guard, skis during the biathlon competition, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/20/1988. NARA ID: 6437920

Major (MAJ) Lyle Nelson, Vermont Army National Guard, skis during the biathlon competition, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/20/1988. NARA ID: 6437920

SPECIALIST Fourth Class (SPC) Curtis Schreiner, New York Army National Guard, skis toward the finish line as a competitior sights a target from standing position during the biathlon, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/13/1988. NARA ID: 6437944

SPECIALIST Fourth Class (SPC) Curtis Schreiner, New York Army National Guard, skis toward the finish line as a competitior sights a target from standing position during the biathlon, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/13/1988. NARA ID: 6437944

Do you prefer watching four man or two man bobsleigh racing? It doesn’t matter to us. As long as Team U.S.A. is competing, we’ll be watching!

(Right to left) Pilot Brian Shimer, World Class Athletes SPECIALIST Mike Kohn, USA, and SPECIALIST Doug Sharp, USA, with brakeman Dan Steele speed down the track at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, during the second heat of the men's four-man bobsled in the 2002 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES, 02/22/2002. NARA ID: 6527766

(Right to left) Pilot Brian Shimer, World Class Athletes SPECIALIST Mike Kohn, USA, and SPECIALIST Doug Sharp, USA, with brakeman Dan Steele speed down the track at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, during the second heat of the men’s four-man bobsled in the 2002 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES, 02/22/2002. NARA ID: 6527766

Bobsled Driver Todd Hays and brakeman Army reservist First Lieutenant Garret Hines, USA, of USA-1 hurl their way down the track at the Utah Olympic Park during the Men's two-man bobsled at the 2002 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, 02/16/2002. NARA ID: 6527735

Bobsled Driver Todd Hays and brakeman Army reservist First Lieutenant Garret Hines, USA, of USA-1 hurl their way down the track at the Utah Olympic Park during the Men’s two-man bobsled at the 2002 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, 02/16/2002. NARA ID: 6527735

Sure, photos of Olympic winners are great, but they don’t compare to watching Olympic athletes in action. Check out this video of highlights from the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria:

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You can find out more about the Universal Newsreel collection and the 1964 Olympics on Media Matters, the blog of the National Archives’ Special Media Archives Services Division.

Be sure to head over to our Online Public Access Catalog and start tagging! Tag your favorite Winter Olympic records so you can find them again for the next Winter Olympics in 2018!



Guest blogger Elizabeth Lieutenant, a Master’s student in Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America, is a virtual intern in the Office of Innovation.


This week we celebrated President’s Day, a U.S. federal holiday that officially honors George Washington’s birthday. While the holiday may be for George, we at the National Archives love all our presidents equally. We’ve been celebrating by diving into our catalog and tagging photos of all of our nation’s presidents.

Curious about what tagging means and how you can get involved? Check out our previous blog post, where we discuss tagging the Online Public Access catalog. Tagging helps index the National Archives’ collections and allows you, our public users, to discover records. Have some ideas on improving your tagging experience? Let us know here on NARAtions or by emailing us at search@nara.gov.

Turn up “Hail to the Chief” and let’s get started!

We may not have any pictures of George, but we have the next best thing, a record of his portrait! This iconic portrait, painted by Gilbert Charles Stuart, can be found on the U.S. one-dollar bill. You’ll need a few of those if you plan on hitting some President’s Day sales at the mall.

George Washington, President of U.S, ca. 1860 - ca. 1865. NARA ID: 528597

George Washington, President of U.S, ca. 1860 – ca. 1865. NARA ID: 528597

FDR was born on January 30th, but we completely forgot to get him a present! Let’s hope this gigantic cake will make up for our absentmindedness.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Receives a Birthday Cake in the Oval Office, White House from William Green of the American Federation of Labor, 01/30/1942. NARA ID: 6037481

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Receives a Birthday Cake in the Oval Office, White House from William Green of the American Federation of Labor, 01/30/1942. NARA ID: 6037481

Uh-oh. Lookings like Franklin’s fifth cousin and fellow President Theodore wants a slice! Don’t worry, there’s plenty of cake for all our Presidents.

Photograph of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. NARA ID: 594109

Photograph of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. NARA ID: 594109

One of Ronald Reagan’s favorite things about being President was flying on Air Force One. You can visit his flying White House in person at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

President Ronald Reagan waves as he prepares to board Air Force One for departure, 04/05/1984 NARA ID: 6387444

President Ronald Reagan waves as he prepares to board Air Force One for departure, 04/05/1984 NARA ID: 6387444

We don’t have too many records of current President Barack Obama in our Online Public Access Catalog, but we will when his term is over on January 20, 2017. Until then, you can browse the 317 records we do have, including this one.

Office of the Administrator (Lisa P. Jackson) - U.S. President Barack Obama in New Orleans, Louisiana [412-APD-608-2010-08-29_NOLAPOTUS_037.jpg], 08/29/2010. NARA ID: 6899821

Office of the Administrator (Lisa P. Jackson) – U.S. President Barack Obama in New Orleans, Louisiana [412-APD-608-2010-08-29_NOLAPOTUS_037.jpg], 08/29/2010. NARA ID: 6899821

Be sure to head over to our Online Public Access Catalog and start tagging! Show your appreciation for the work our Presidents do by tagging your favorite Presidential records.

To get started tagging, you’ll need to:

Tagging is a fun and easy way to make our records more accessible to the public. By tagging content in our catalog, you’re helping to connect other people to our records. This gives a whole new meaning to our records and helps make them “come alive” to a completely new audience.

We hope that you’ll share any tagging suggestions you may have in the comments below or emailing us at search@nara.gov. We’re always looking for new tips and tricks to help make your search easier, If you would like to see us cover a particular topic or theme, let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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