by Mark on March 20, 2012
The following is a post by Rita Cacas from NARA’s Applied Research Division, who attended the NITRD Symposium.
It wasn’t so intimidating after all.
We ended our last blog, announcing the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program Symposium held on February 17 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The purpose of the symposium was to reflect on what the NITRD Program has accomplished over the past 20 years.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, wandering into the Knight Conference Center, an humble archivist – a fish-out-of-water, feeling lost in a sea of black suits and aging baby-boomers. Every now and then, I’d spot an important face or two, who I’d recognized from huge posters of computer pioneers at the Microcenter computer store in Rockville.
It was kind of like a red carpet event for science, academic, and computer geeks, or probably more appropriately, spotting rock stars of the computer world.
My first thoughts were, “Oh, no, what if the panels will be way over my head?” Should I take a seat by the door for a quick escape just in case?” then, “Is that who I think it is sitting across from our table? Would I embarrass myself if I asked for an autograph?”
Here’s why I’m glad I stayed…
In a spirit of true collaboration, the two Symposium organizers were the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), a private sector group that “catalyzes and empowers the computing research community to pursue audacious, high impact research” and the Executive Office of the Presidents’ Networking and IT Research and Development (NITRD) National Coordination Office, which supports the planning, budget, and assessment of federal government IT research activities.
Through their efforts and contributions towards one of the best investments that our country has ever made, the two organizations focus on research and professional collaborations that have a high impact on transforming simple tasks and products that we use in our lives today – everything from the development and growth of the Internet to improving the consumer products we use everyday to improving the way we access digitized information.
What are some of the things that have been developed or improved because of the NITRD Program?
One of the most compelling presentations in the first panel “Information Technology and People” was given by Tom Lange, a technical product engineer from Proctor and Gamble. His presentation called, “The Modeling and Simulation Behind Improving Everyday Life,” started with a “busy slide” of brand logos such as Pampers, Tide, Charmin, Duracell, Crest, Braun, and yes, even Dolce & Gabbana.
Mr. Lange describe how engagements with NITRD’s federally funded research agencies were instrumental in developing and ensuring the safety and use of these everyday products; and how, thanks to breakthroughs in IT research, we have better toilet paper, better fitting diapers, and longer-lasting batteries.
Uh, seriously? My immediate thought was that this was some marketing guy who was sent here by Proctor & Gamble.
But in his 34-year career in Modeling and Simulation research, Mr. Lange described complex engineering drawings and studies understanding how diapers fit on a baby; and he showed slow motion simulation videos that illustrate – long before costly mistakes are made – what happens to expensively-made components inside an electric razor that has just dropped on the bathroom floor.
Other fascinating panels covered “Human Technology: What Machines do with Text and Speech,” and my personal favorite, “This Research Made Watson Possible.”
Did you happen to watch the TV quiz show, Jeopardy! on Valentine’s Day last year, when two of the show’s recent champions competed against a computer named “Watson?”
Designed by IBM using custom algorithms, terabytes of storage, and massive computing power focusing on the science of natural language processing, the Watson computer ultimately prevailed over two days of play –- winning $77,147 over Brad Rutter, who won $21,600, and Ken Jennings, who won $24,000. Due to the huge success behind this computing power, the IBM research team is currently working to deploy the technology research across healthcare, finance, and customer service industries. More information about Watson is on the IBMWatson web site:
So, even through the afternoon breaks, running out of the room in sheer confusion (or boredom) was the last thing that was on my mind. It was clear that through years and years of thoughtful and bold research – supported by our tax dollars – our lives are made easier and safer, and in the case of Watson, can also be entertaining – all due to these successful and creative private and public sector Technology research collaborations.
And, yes, I was brave enough to score an autograph.
Former Vice President, Al Gore, gives the NITRD Luncheon Keynote Address (photo by Rita Cacas)
The luncheon keynote featured former vice president, Al Gore who, if you read the last blog post, was one of the early Internet pioneers; He delivered his speech clearly to a friendly audience of supporters and former IT colleagues of the last four decades.
I pondered being brave enough to go up after his talk, to get him to sign my program book, when my colleague Bob Chadduck excused himself from the table. Bob returned a few minutes later, and whispered to me, “It’s done. When you see Al Gore leave the stage, you have been approved to follow the entourage of handlers who will escort him to the lobby.”
Next thing I know, Al Gore is signing my book, and I tell him about my cousin, Josefino Comiso who was (and still is) on the team of NASA scientists whose research efforts and results contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that was awarded half of the 1997 Nobel Prize – the other half, awarded to the former Vice President. He listened sincerely and, before he was whisked away, he asks me to please thank my cousin for all of his work.
NARA at NITRD
We continue to feel honored that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been involved with the NITRD Program for many years now. From 2004 through 2006 NARA was a “participating” agency; and from 2006 forward NARA was designated a “member” agency.
The Symposium Reception featured demonstrations and poster presentations by researchers whose work has been supported by NITRD. One of the most notable presentations was by NARA’s own Applied Research partner, Dr. Kenton McHenry, at the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Dr. McHenry’s presentation, “Searching Raw Handwritten Data – The 1930 and 1940 Census” demonstrated tools developed by his research team, that may help researchers quickly search for names and other handwritten information on the soon-to-be-released 1940 Census (bookmark it now!) – months before genealogy companies such as Ancestry.com or Family Search complete their indexes of the records.
You can find a copy of Dr. McHenry’s research poster here.
So, the day was not as intimidating as I’d thought, in fact it was a day to sit back, relax, and enjoy hearing about how technology and computers have changed and improved our world through creative public and private sector collaborations over the last twenty years.
The NITRD symposium panels were videotaped and are now available on the web:
When talking about red and blue, many Americans think of the political happenings and the colors of states. But before there were those geographic designations, red and blue were associated with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and its networks.
While in recent years there has been an increase in the number of entities corporations can own, the United States government previously had exercised more caution about the size of some organizations and the power they yielded. This included the broadcasting industry. Although the main activities were in New York, Chicago also was a hub for many radio network programs. And for lawsuits as well.
NBC was created by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1926 when it purchased a couple radio stations, WEAF in New York and WJZ in Newark, and merged them with a couple other stations, WGY in Schenectady and WBZ in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was the first major broadcasting organization in the United States. By 1927, NBC had formed its Red and Blue networks. The Red Network had primarily entertainment and music programs that were commercially sponsored. The Blue Network carried mainly news and cultural shows that had no regular sponsors, i.e. they were “sustaining” in old radio lingo.
However, legal actions began early in the broadcasting business. In 1930, even though General Electric (GE) had founded the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), GE had to dispose of its progeny because of antitrust charges. With the creation of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934, the industry increasingly faced scrutiny.
NBC grew rapidly in the 1930s, and the FCC took note. Considering it a monopoly, the FCC told NBC it had to divest one its networks saying the corporation was too powerful and had too much influence. Some of the issues related to those charges came to court in civil action case number 3763, the United States of America v. Radio Corporation of America, et al., in the U.S District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, at Chicago. The “et al.” included NBC; David Sarnoff, who was Chairman of the Board of NBC and President of RCA; Niles Trammell, President of NBC; and three vice presidents of NBC. In late 1941, numerous charges were brought against RCA and NBC, mainly stemming from the far-reaching influences of the Red and Blue networks.
The suit contends the network restrained “commerce among [the] several states…and many of the unlawful acts pursuant thereto have been performed by defendants and their representatives.” The plaintiff, the U.S.A., said there was a “wrongful and unlawful combination and conspiracy to attempt to monopolize…interstate commerce in radio broadcasting, electrical transcriptions and talent, in violation of … the Act of Congress of July 2, 1890, entitled ‘An Act to Protect Trade and Commerce Against Unlawful Restraints and Monopolies.’”
The case is interesting for a few reasons. To prove the plaintiff’s merits, there is some statistical information. For instance, it mentions the approximately 800 commercial radio broadcasting stations under the domain of the FCC. Additionally, one exhibit comprises three pages of “metropolitan districts” with exact populations and the number of commercial radio stations in the markets. The point was to show large areas such as Cleveland and Milwaukee only had three stations, and the two main broadcasters, NBC and CBS, put a stranglehold on allowing others to enter the market. The FCC wanted to show the negative influence of those networks on the communications industry, which was labeled as a conspiracy in the lawsuit.
Other parts of the case include monetary figures. Although CBS was not part of this legal action, the suit wanted to prove “that the power and dominant position of NBC and CBS are further shown by comparing the net operating income for the entire broadcasting industry with that of NBC and CBS….” Operating incomes were provided for the years 1938-1940, reaching $33.3 million for the latter year. The case states, though, that for this time period NBC and CBS had made “more profits than their only competitor in national network operations.” Moreover, NBC broadcast affiliates had more than half the night-time power of all U.S. stations. During what we now think of as “the golden age of radio,” many stations only broadcast during the day.
Some charges brought in the suit seem quaint by today’s standards. By claiming that because of the dominance of NBC and CBS, their affiliates were granted so many advantages that “network affiliation with either CBS or NBC is desired by practically all commercial radio broadcasting stations.” This seems like normal business practice, with organizations going with their best option. However, the plaintiff said the networks imposed their power on the affiliates by putting in clauses that prevented stations from dealing with other competing network systems.
The case includes talent such as “musicians, virtuosi, speakers, comedians, announcers, news commentators and actors.” And since the “creation of a public demand for the services of any individual possessing any form of talent requires some medium of public expression [and] that radio broadcasting is one of the principal mediums through which talent is brought to the attention of the public and a demand for such talent,” the networks were charged with a “wrongful and unlawful combination and conspiracy to attempt to monopolize the aforesaid interstate commerce in radio broadcasting, electrical transcriptions and talent.”
Sadly, there is no notice of order or settlement to specifically state the outcome. Most likely because of the national ramifications, with the networks being headquartered in New York and radio programming being available across the country, court cases related to this were held elsewhere. It can be assumed that the name change from the NBC Blue Network to simply “Blue Network” was done to appease the FCC and this civil case.
However, a later appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1943 was unsuccessful and RCA had to sell the Blue Network Company. It officially became the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1945.
Certainly the thought of radio being so influential and being involved in so many lawsuits seems like ancient history with the growth of television post-war, and the surge of cable TV in more recent years. Nonetheless, radio is still an important medium although it does not seem to get much attention. If only the FCC could do something about shutting down some of those reality shows.
Phillip Dick’s 1974 novel with this title is one of best treatments of the blurring line between man and machine. You may know it from the film based on the novel, Blade Runner. When machines are indistinguishable from humans, Dick asks, what does it mean to be a machine or a human. I have always been fascinated by the question of perception versus reality – Rashomon, Escher, where are my keys?
CC Image "Electric Sheep" courtesy of Infidelic on Flickr
In the world of digital documents, you might ask do we really need brick and mortar museums? Not quite the same as man and machine, but it is a question of digital versus “the real thing” and a topic that must be discussed among archivists today.
Someone once said to me that in twenty years the National Archives will be just one big museum. Research will be done online and documents stored in the suburbs where warehouse costs are lower. Perhaps it is the other way around.
Technology has long been able to create images that were indistinguishable from the original. We have on display in the Public Vaults a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation that is disturbingly difficult to distinguish from the real document. Our specialists routinely make copies of important documents that take an expert to discern from the original.
Today, technology has the ability to make documents better than real. We already use some of these techniques in the Public Vault. Visitors can touch a screen and magically the German text is translated into English. Scholars at the University of Illinois are developing a search engine that will that will read cursive. No longer will we need to lament that they no longer teach cursive in schools or that young children stand before the Constitution saying, “I wish I could read that.” Instead the words will appear before them.
One of my favorite documents is the Bill of Rights as marked up by the Senate. The House sent seventeen articles to the Senate, and the Senators literally marked up the bill, crossing things out and writing in the margin. The handwriting is thought to be by John Adams, and it is very hard to read. Imagine in a digital world when you touched the marginalia you heard John Adams voice speaking the words, and in the background another Senator explained why they changed the language of the House.
In her recent book, Alone Together, Sherry Turkle explores how the new world of constant communication has changed the way we interact. Young people would rather text than talk. Talking on the phone exposes a vulnerability that is uncomfortable, they explain. I often get frustrated by the back and forth of repeated emails and pick up the phone.
Sherry Turkle reports that several young people she interviewed saw no advantage to having a real pet over a mechanical one. The mechanical pet, in fact, gave them more pleasure. The Disney folks report that they often get complaints about the live alligators because they don’t act real enough.
Perhaps the future of archives is that we shut the doors of the museum that cannot compete with the digital world. The building is left for those interested in pawing through the boxes of documents much like it was in 1935, documents that no one will pay to scan.
This week is “Sunshine Week,” a week-long celebration of government openness! Here’s a roundup of activities you might want to do as you celebrate Sunshine Week:
Today’s post comes from Michael Horsley, a Digital Imaging Specialist with the Digitization Services Team.
During a long day of scanning glass plate negatives in the Digital Image lab a fleeting image with an intriguing caption caught my eye during a quality control inspection session. As hundreds of images depicting various scenes of the Brooklyn Navy Yard whizzed by on a computer monitor I noticed a scan with the caption: Laying the Keel of U.S.S Battleship No. 39 Arrival of Asst. Scty [sic] F.D. Roosevelt, & Others. (RG 181, Photographs of the Construction and Repair of Buildings, Facilities, and Vessels at the New York Navy Yard, compiled 1903 – 1920 ARC Identifier 6038115) I asked my colleague P.T. Corrigan to slow down the inspection process and back up to try and find the image that had just passed by.
Laying Keel of USS Battleship No. 39 (Arizona). RG 181, Negative F644 N150
The image depicted a man standing on a scaffold looking down at group of dignitaries in the distance walking toward the camera. Striding confidently in the front of the group was a smiling figure wearing a stylish derby hat with his head cocked staring straight at the camera. Behind him was a gaggle of VIPs in great coats, hand warmers, and top hats. We weren’t sure if the person in the image was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but P.T. as a military history buff was quick to point out that everyone knew (except me apparently-I am a photographer with a degree in Medieval History) that “Battleship No. 39” was the Battleship Arizona sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.
When I enlarged the high resolution scan to 100% I could make out a figure resembling FDR, but the figure in the photograph was not confined to a wheel chair; instead he was walking and smiling. I knew that Roosevelt was stricken by polio later in life, but I was unsure when it had happened.
Detail of: Laying Keel of USS Battleship No. 39 (Arizona). RG 181, Negative F644 N150" Depicting Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
I raced to my computer and searched for “FDR” and the “Brooklyn Navy Yard” and found out that FDR had indeed served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He had visited the Navy Yard during the keel laying ceremony which is depicted in the image that we scanned.i I went back and took a closer look at a detailed view of the scanned negative and confirmed that the figure walking across the Navy Yard dry-dock was FDR. I was humbled to think that I was looking at an image of FDR waking upright before he had contracted polio.
Thanks to the emphasis placed on digitization and new social media tools that NARA is deploying, it is likely an experienced historian or an astute citizen archivist would eventually have discovered the image when it becomes available online. However, discoveries like this happen all the time at NARA when one is engaged with the archival records and is attentive during the digitization lifecycle. On the other hand, happy discoveries are what make working with historical records interesting. The story of the scanning project is almost as interesting as the discovery of the image of FDR, and is an example of how “One NARA” creates value to the work we do and the treasures in our collections.
The saga started several years ago when crates of 4,000 4×5” to 11x 14” glass plate negatives were transferred from the New York Archives to the photographic lab for preservation duplicating. Before the copy work could start, photo lab staff and student workers overseen by conservation staff began the process of re-housing and re-boxing the collection. Once the re-housing process was complete, photo lab staff began duplicating the negatives onto analogue photographic film. At the same time the film duplication was starting up, the imaging labs were installing high resolution digital cameras intended to replace the analogue film process with a new digital workflow.
Example of Broken Glass Plate Negative prior to being pieced together for digitization.
The traditional photographic negative duplication technique involved a two step process to create a positive image film intermediate known as an inter-positive, and then to make a copy negative from the inter-positive. This was the accepted analogue archival reformatting approach to copy negative collections because the photographic process required a negative image to be created of a negative original. At the same time the film duplication of the glass negatives were being made, I was tasked with implementing a new digital imaging system capable of creating a 133mega-pixel 800 megabyte digital file. Since we needed to put new equipment into production, it was decided to transition the duplication of the Navy Yard glass plate negatives into a digitization project.
The Digital Lab scanned over 4,000 glass plate negatives and created three types of digital files for preservation and access.ii First the lab created a high resolution digital preservation master file, then a high resolution reproduction master suitable for exhibition purposes is derived from the preservation master, and finally a lower resolution access version is created that is suitable for online access. One of the major advantages of the digitization process is that by scanning directly from the camera original, more detail is captured than the two generation analogue process. A greater tonal range and a more accurate reproduction of the historic original are possible with digital technology.
From my vantage point at the “hub” of the digitization process, I interacted with a wide spectrum of NARA staff that played essential roles in the much larger archival process. The project was first launched as a photographic conservation re-housing project led by Pam Kirschner. The vital labor for that phase was conducted by Imaging Lab staff and student workers. The the imaging lab staff worked to scan, process, inspect, and create the digital preservation and access files. To facilitate the digitization process, I created a production tracking database that served as an item level finding aid to the negative collection. When the digitization process was completed, this database served as the basis for further descriptive work.
Next, the scans and production database were transferred to archivists Dawn Powers and Jennifer Pollock. Dawn and Jennifer worked with the New York office to have the series description entered into the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) and to transfer the files onto hard drives from the digital lab. They also worked out a project plan with Suzanne Isaacs from ARC Staff to have these images and descriptions put into ARC. When they realized that most of the images had captions on them, they decided to explore with the Volunteer Office if there were any volunteers who might be available to enter the descriptive information from the images onto spreadsheets.
After meeting with the volunteer program coordinator Judy Luis-Watson, Dawn and Jennifer completed a Volunteer Project Worksheet that outlined the tasks to be completed. Judy was able to assemble a team of seven volunteers who viewed the digital copies of the images and annotated each image in the data base with the title, production date, agency assigned ID, file name, and other scope and content information identified during the annotation process. Harry Kidd, the project’s lead volunteer, and a photographer’s mate while in the US Navy, reviewed the work and conducted research to answer the team’s questions and provide additional information on the sometimes cryptic captions that accompanied the original images. As the volunteers completed each segment of the project, it was reviewed by Harry. Each section was then also reviewed by Jennifer, and then edited by Suzanne before going through ARC review to be placed online by Gary Stern.
At this point, approximately half of the images are on ARC and hopefully the rest will be soon. Finally, when the images are online in OPA they will be made available to citizen archivists to tag and transcribe on social media outlets such as Flickr and HistoryPin. By placing these images on Social Media outlets, an even greater range of interested citizen archivists will be able to engage with NARA’s records than ever before. It would not be possible without the efforts of the various staff that constitute “One NARA”.
Jennifer Pollock, Judy Luis-Watson, Harry Kidd, and Suzanne Isaacs contributed to this post.
i Lay Keel of Navy’s New Dreadnought. The New York Times. 17 March 1914
ii For more information see: http://www.archives.gov/preservation/products/reformatting/still-photo.html
Today’s post comes from Stephanie Greenhut, Education Technology Specialist, in the Education and Public Programs division.
March is Women’s History Month! To celebrate, we’ve created four new collections focusing on women of the past in the National Archives’ profile on Historypin. We began partnering with Historypin back in November, and have since been pinning historic images from the holdings of the National Archives onto the sights of today.
The Women at Work collection depicts the role of women in the workforce throughout our national life – in farms, shipyards, hospitals, manufacturing plants, markets, and in the aviation industry. View the collection as a slideshow or click on an individual image, such as the photograph of a riveter at Lockheed Aircraft Corp. in Burbank, CA from the Records of Women’s Bureau, or “Mrs. William Wood manages a one hundred and twenty acre farm in Coloma, Michigan, with little male assistance” from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, to see it on the map.
Historical photographs and documents reveal the struggle for woman suffrage in the collection of the same name, including women protesting at the White House in 1917, and the indictment for Susan B. Anthony for illegal voting, pinned to her home on the map in Rochester, NY, now the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum.
Women in the military and famous women are documented in the holdings of the National Archives in two more collections.
You’ll also find these collections on http://womenshistorymonth.gov – created as part of a larger collaboration between the Library of Congress and other federal agencies, including the National Archives and Records Administration, to provide online locations for accessing cultural heritage collections. Information on public programs related to women’s history, as well as teaching resources, and other collections are also included on the site.
There will be even more historic imagery from the holdings of the National Archives coming soon to Historypin. And look for upcoming heritage sites, including Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month in May.
by Kate on February 28, 2012
Most archivists, librarians, and digital preservation folks love metadata — and we at the Archives are no exception. Metadata is the sort of invisible information stored within or alongside a digital copy of something like a cool, older video about a NASA space flight. Metadata allows us to keep track of things in a detailed way. It will help us make preservation decisions in the future, and makes for a better search experience for researchers. So we care about how it is entered and stored and how we can view it.
The National Archives digitization team along with contractors AudioVisual Preservation Solutions(AVPS) and members of the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) have developed resources related to metadata for digitized videos. We are excited to share them with the community of archives, libraries, galleries, and museums. We hope they will find them useful and that other teams in the digital preservation field will continue to enhance the tools.
MediaInfo and AVI MetaEdit are available for free download on NARA’s GitHub site while reVTMD is available for free download on Archives.gov.
Why did we develop these resources? Well, our staff has been “reformatting” or digitizing a good number of archival videos that are on tape and creating digital copies of them. We wanted to be able to capture information (metadata) about the original video format like the make and model of playback and capture equipment. Our team was also interested in how we could pull this embedded metadata back out of the digital files so we could compare or edit the metadata for numerous files at once.
What do the resources do? The first, AVI MetaEdit, inserts essential metadata into selected video files such as information about how the file was made. The second, called reVTMD, is structure to organize important technical information, such as how big the image is or how fast it should be playing, in a reusable XML format. Finally, reVTMD is now incorporated into an existing open source tool called MediaInfo. This new functionality allows you to view and export metadata from a wide variety of video files into the reVTMD organizational structure.
If you have any feedback, questions, or ideas related to the tools, or you build on their capabilities, we’d love to hear from you here on the blog, on our GitHub site, or at DigitizationServices@nara.gov.
This is a guest post by Lori Byrd Phillips, US Cultural Partnerships Coordinator for the Wikimedia Foundation. Lori has also served as the Wikipedian in Residence at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis since 2010 and is currently a museum studies graduate student at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
It’s a well-known fact that Wikipedians love NARA just as much as NARA loves Wikipedia! So it was with much excitement that 25 Wikipedians and cultural professionals descended upon the National Archives for three days in February to document, organize, and hack tools during the third Wikipedia GLAMcamp.
But whatever could I mean by “GLAMcamp?” It is a rather curious name for an event. GLAM, which stands for Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums, is referring to the GLAM-Wiki community, an international group of Wikipedians that assist cultural organizations with sharing their resources. GLAMcamps bring Wikipedians together to formalize standards and create documentation and tools that allow us to more easily implement and assist with cooperative projects.
GLAMcamp organizers starting things off on Day 1. Photo by Antaya
GLAMcamp DC was the first camp to specifically focus on the United States GLAM-Wiki community, where we are in high need of an infrastructure for connecting interested organizations with online or on-location Wikipedians. As a shining example of a GLAM-Wikimedia partnership, the National Archives was the perfect place to bring together US-based Wikipedians and cultural professionals to work on this ongoing initiative.
Some of the outcomes of the weekend include:
- The GLAM-Wiki One-Pager: This handout provides an overview of GLAM-Wiki information, case stories on current partnerships, pull quotes from GLAM professionals, and contact information.
- The GLAM US Portal: The GLAM US portal serves as the hub for connecting cultural organizations with Wikimedia volunteers based on location or project-type. The portal includes GLAM Connect, an ever-expanding list of Wikipedians available to volunteer for various projects.
- The GLAM Bookshelf: The GLAM Bookshelf compiles handouts, Powerpoints, videos, and on-wiki guides that assist Wikipedians and cultural professionals with GLAM partnerships.
- The GLAM-Wiki US Facebook page: The Facebook page will share updates about resources and current partnerships throughout the US. This is in addition to the globally-focused @glamwiki Twitter account.
But GLAMcamp isn’t all hard work. Attendees of GLAM-Wiki events often have the chance to go behind the scenes in cultural organizations that partner with Wikipedia. The National Archives didn’t disappoint! Our tour took us through the rotunda, to the head archivists’ offices of Mahogany Row, and finally through the maze of hallways to the stacks, where we saw just a portion of the unfathomable amount of documentation that is housed there.
GLAMcamp participants take a tour of the NARA stacks. Photo by Lori Byrd Phillips
Having been involved in GLAM-Wiki from the early days, I have watched NARA rise as a true leader in GLAM-Wikipedia collaborations over the past year. It was incredible to have the opportunity to hold GLAMcamp DC within the walls of the National Archives. Special thanks to Jill James and Erin Furnia for their coordination and hospitality, David Ferriero for his tireless advocacy of Wikipedia, Susan Cummings for the fascinating and insightful stack tour, and especially to NARA’s hardworking Wikipedian in Residence, Dominic McDevitt-Parks.
Starting today, we need your ideas, comments, and votes to help us revise the Open Government Plan of the National Archives. Please visit the Open Government Idea Forum and take a few minutes to let us know what you think we should be doing to strengthen transparency, participation, and collaboration at the National Archives.
Two years ago, we first sought your input in the development of our Open Government Plan. We ran the Open Government Idea Forum and received many thoughtful ideas from the public on how to improve transparency, participation, and collaboration at the National Archives.
Your input had a great impact.
We’ve made significant progress in several areas that are crucial to open government, including:
- records management,
- freedom of information,
- and the Federal Register.
We’ve also redesigned Archives.gov, launched Online Public Access, hosted a Wikipedian in Residence, and launched the Citizen Archivist Dashboard. You can learn more about these open government accomplishments and many more at http://www.archives.gov/open
The Open Government Idea Forum will run through
March 7, 2012 March 21, 2012. You can also submit suggestions to be considered for the Open Government Plan in the comments below or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 1940 Census is almost here! When it opens on April 2nd at 9:00 AM (Eastern), the place to be is the National Archives’ 1940 Census web site. We are excited to announce that our home on the web will be:
We invite you to visit today to watch the video featuring National Archives’ archivist Connie Potter and bookmark the site. Then come back to visit the full site when it launches on April 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM (Eastern)!
To help you get ready we will be sharing information in lectures and blogs and on our Facebook and Twitter feeds (hash tag #1940Census) every day between now and April 2.
Let us know here at NARAtions if you have any questions about the 1940 Census, and who you’re looking forward to finding in these newly opened records!