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Tech Tuesdays

by on January 12, 2010


Thanks to your great feedback on our recent Family Tree Fridays and NARA Staff Favorite posts, we’re considering introducing another specialized series here on NARAtions. This new set of posts, called Tech Tuesdays, would allow us to start a discussion about the cutting-edge technologies that are being developed across the archives field (a topic we’re becoming increasingly interested in as we continue to refine the new online public access catalog and delve deeper into social media!) And of course, we’re always curious about what types of tools users can see proving helpful in their own research.

There are a lot of creative new approaches to making archival information accessible, and we want to know what you think of these “tech-y” ideas! These recurring posts will be our place to highlight the innovative new concepts we come across, and we welcome your comments and thoughts along the way.

To get started, we want to highlight a really interesting find- a project funded by the National Archives of Australia, called The Visible Archives.  This visual representation of the agency’s holdings is being developed by Mitchell Whitelaw of the University of Canberra.

tech-tuesday

What makes this project stand out is the interactive relationship each series has not only with other series, but in respect to physical space, other records by the same creator, series size, and series with similar topics.  Because of the great number of digitized records, this rich database can be used not only to increase access to records, but also to show an actual relationship between other records in the holdings.

What do you think of the design and usability of the model?  Would this be useful for your research?  On a broader note, what do you think of Tech Tuesdays?  Can you see yourself tuning in?


Comments

Melissa McCarthy January 12, 2010 at 11:23 am

I would love to see a Tech Tuesdays feature! It’s fascinating how archives can expand their knowledge (and user base) using technology, and it’s something that I think needs much more discussion.

Kate Theimer January 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Anyone interested in data visualization may also want to look at the recent article on LibraryJournal.com, “Twitter and the Visual Dataverse” (http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6713635.html) — “Data visualization has finally gone viral, says guest columnist UC Berkeley e-learning librarian Char Booth, and we have Twitter to thank.”

Mary (admin) January 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Thanks for your support!

Melissa- We also think that how archives use technology is fascinating, and that’s why we’ve decided to start this discussion!

Kate- Thanks for the great tip on how Twitter has affected librarians and archivists. What an interesting article.

Don’t forget to keep checking for more Tech Tuesday posts, and telling us what you think!

sherry January 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

This is a subject I have long been very interested in as a family historian because I want to be able to safely archive my own records and research from several different familial lines. This can quickly become overwhelming with the amount of material that can be produced for one thing, but how to save it, store it, keep it safe for future generations so they have more to refer back to than what we did when we had to dig for all the information we have collected :) This knowledge is necessary as well for those of us who teach Family History and the methods of storing old documents and pictures available to everyone.
Thank you for putting so much thought and effort into sharing all of this with us. Sponges for information like me, will relish all of this knowledge being shared.

Steven Kohlmeyer March 1, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Would love to hear more from Tech Tuesdays.

Melanie McDowell May 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I gave up on collecting family genealogy because I did not want to print everything out…it would inhabit several file drawers! I would love to hear more about the Visual DataVerse, how to access and use it. I believe my daughters have Cherokee heritage and want to explore it thoroughly and save what we learn. Any ideas on how to accomplish this? I really love reading these threads and comments…now I know others face the challenges of genealogy and I can learn. I have found a picture of a ancestor’s grave site and a citizen tax roll, but printed copies from the internet are too blurry to see.

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