October 10th is Electronic Records Day

Today is Electronic Records Day! The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) started the tradition of Electronic Records Day three years ago, and has flyers available for personal electronic records, government agencies working with electronic records, and why electronic records may need special attention.

Here at University Archives, we follow our retention schedule for all records regardless of format.  We know that sometimes electronic records present special challenges, though! Please see our guidelines page for information about records retention at UNC, including email.  The North Carolina State Archives also has helpful guidelines for electronic records. Finally, our FAQ page offers guidance for electronic records issues at UNC.

Of course, every day is Electronic Records Day for us, and we are here to support you if you have electronic records questions!

NARA’s Capstone Email Initiative: A Virtual Discussion

Last week, Electronic Records Archivist Meg Tuomala participated in a virtual discussion about the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Capstone Email Initiative, which gives guidance on a new way for federal agencies to manage email records. The discussion was led by Arian Ravanbakhsh and Beth Cron, both records management policy analysts in the Office of the Chief Records Officer at NARA.

The discussion was hosted by the Society of American ArchivistsRecords Management Roundtable, and a video recording is available here. Arian and Beth give a great overview of the Initiative and weigh-in on several questions and considerations surrounding it for not just federal agencies, but state governments, universities, and private organizations too.

If you’re at all interested in the records management side of UARMS’ work, we hope that you can take some time to view the recording.

UARMS is very interested in applying the Capstone method of capturing and archiving email of enduring value generated at UNC. As discussed in the recording and addressed in the Initiative, it’s not a perfect solution, but it could be a practical and real way for us to make strides towards preserving email– a format that has become integral to our work over the past 20 years and thus serves to document the history of the University in the 21st century.

Saving UNC’s Slice of the Web

Wayback banner
If you have ever stumbled across a webpage with this banner across the top of it, you’ve encountered the Wayback Machine. The Wayback Machine was developed by the Internet Archive in 1996 to start archiving the web, and since then it has collected around 240 billion web pages.

In 2006 the Internet Archive launched Archive-It, which is a hosted service that allows institutions to create their own web archives.

In January of 2013, the UNC Libraries began archiving websites in five different collections. These collections support existing collecting areas in the Libraries and include

You can browse all of our collections through Archive-It, and individual websites have been cataloged for access through the UNC Libraries’ catalog.

Additionally, websites that are part of existing archival collections are described in that collection’s finding aid. For example, you can see description of and get access to an archived version of the North Carolina Literary Festival’s 2009 website from the finding aid for the records of the North Carolina Literary Festival.

Here’s a snippet from that web site, showing the banner that Archive-It uses to let the viewer know that they’re looking at an archived web page.

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What are we missing? Are there any web pages you’d like to see in our collections?

Cleaning House

Recently UNC Libraries launched a new, redesigned website. As any archivist should, we took this opportunity to look at some of the older, somewhat outdated content of the previous website and flag materials for archiving.

Amongst other items, we decided to save a bunch of photographs, some of which were taken by a library employee during the renovation of the Robert B. House Undergraduate Library (the UL).

Here you can see the evolution of a favorite UL study spot, the new books reading room.

interior8
Before the renovations…
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…during the renovations…
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…construction continues…
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…almost done…
...The grand re-opening...
…the grand re-opening…
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…after the renovations!

 

Before you purge your computers’ files, throw away old paper documents, or redesign your own or your organization’s blog or website, take some extra time to look through everything and think about what materials might be historically valuable. Chances are you’ll find something you didn’t know you had, something you want to remember, something worth saving.

And if you find something that you think should come to the Archives please let us know!

 

Special thanks to Kim Vassiliadis, head of User Experience, who alerted us to these cool photographs before they were deleted from our web servers. 

Construction photos taken by Fred Stipe, head of the Library’s Digital Production Center during the UL renovations (1999-2001).