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Archive for 'Questions'

Question: We are considering starting an ongoing mini interview feature with selected NARA archivists. What questions should we ask them?

NARA is a big organization with knowledgeable and talented employees across many fields of expertise.  As a part of their everyday jobs, our staff get to work with interesting and rare documents all the time!  If you had the opportunity, what questions would you ask our archivists?  Would it be about specific documents they work […]

Question: We are planning to revamp our topical subject pages. What topics are missing or need more attention?

There’s no question- the National Archives holds a LOT of stuff. That breadth can be a challenge to explain to new researchers and casual website visitors, whose understanding of NARA collections may be as broad as “all the records made in the U.S.” or as dismissive as “boxes and boxes of boring government paperwork.” One […]

Question: Motion Picture File Formats

This week’s highlighted question comes from Dan in NARA’s Motion Pictures (NWCS-M) department. The unit has been looking for some time at new models for delivery of NARA’s film, video and audio holdings as it struggles with keeping the aging analog reference collection alive and well. Given limited resources, the problem requires a multi-faceted solution, […]

Follow-up to Our Question About Transcription

Yesterday we asked a question on the blog about transcribing NARA’s handwritten records. Thanks to those of you who commented for the ideas and examples! We love the idea of crowdsourcing and have been thinking about how we could make it work for NARA. Projects like the one that Craig mentioned at the Australian National […]

Question: What tools and processes do you suggest we use to transcribe NARA’s billions of pages of handwritten documents quickly and efficiently?

Transcribing billions of pages of handwritten documents is no easy task. Between the effects of time on paper and ink, the vagaries of individual handwriting, and history’s less-than-consistent spelling conventions, making sure historic records are intelligible (much less full-text searchable!) is easier said than done. What tools and processes do you suggest we use to […]

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