Practical Technology for Archives: On Hiatus

From the Editor: Journal on Hiatus

The Editorial Board of Practical Technology for Archives and I are to sad announce that we will not be able to publish any issues for the foreseeable future. Due to work constraints I no longer have the time to act as the Managing Editor. No one else on the board has the time to do so either. I guess that is just the reality of Archives at this time.

I will keep this site live for as long as I can.

I would like to thank the Editorial Board, not only for all the work the members have done over the few years we have been publishing, but also for getting this journal off the ground in the first place. So, a hearty and heart-felt “Thank You” to Leah Prescott, Martha McTear, Michael Szajewski, and especially Trevor Thornton (who has managed this site from the beginning). This journal never would have been without you.

All the Best,
Randall Miles
Managing Editor

New Issue: Practical Technology for Archives

Issue no.9, May 2018

Articles
Archives and Airtable: Using Cloud-based Tools for Archival Survey and Workflow Management
Katherine Dirk, Jessica Maddox
The Special Collections and University Archives Department at the University of Nevada, Reno began a physical survey of all department holdings in June 2017. As a first step, the department needed to identify a viable, customizable tool to use to conduct the survey. After looking at options, the surveyors decided to use a cloud-based database tool called Airtable. Airtable fit all anticipated needs for the physical survey and proved to be adaptable to a number of projects and workflows outside of the survey. This article explores the steps taken to identify an appropriate tool, its use in the physical survey, how the department adapted it for use beyond the initial survey of holdings, and future uses of Airtable by the Special Collections and University Archives Department.

What Are We Doing with the Website: Transition, Templates, and User Experience in One Special Collections Library
Rachael Dreyer
This case study explores the issues surrounding web design in the special collections and university archives environment, focusing on the process from the perspective of an archives professional without web development expertise. The author shares how the Eberly Family Special Collections Library made the “design-by-committee” process more effective through collaborative committee work and user experience testing. The case study includes a discussion of the challenges encountered and the strategies employed to enhance the special collections’ website, when working with many library stakeholders and a regimented website template.

CFP: Practical Technology for Archives

Practical Technology for Archives is an open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic journal focused on the practical application of technology to address challenges encountered in working with archives. Our goal is to provide a timely resource, published semi-annually, that addresses issues of interest to practitioners, and to foster community interaction through monitored comments. Submissions may be full articles, brief tips and techniques, AV tutorials, reviews (tools, software, books), or post-grant technical reports. Please visit practicaltechnologyforarchives.org for more information.

The editorial board of Practical Technology for Archives is calling for proposals/abstracts for Issue no.9 (2018:Winter).

The submission timeline is as follows:

Proposals due: October 27
Selections made: November 8
1st drafts due: December 8
Draft reviews: December 22
Revisions due: January 19
Publication: February 2

Submissions should be sent to:
Practical Technology for Archives
Randall Miles
Managing Editor
rm527@cornell.edu

New Issue: Practical Technology for Archives

Issue no.8, July 2017

Articles
Data-Driven Reporting and Processing of Digital Archives with Brunnhilde
Tim Walsh
This article introduces Brunnhilde, a command-line and graphical user interface (GUI) tool written in Python that creates reports to aid in appraisal, arrangement, and description of born-digital archives. Developed to fill a perceived gap between robust existing file format identification tools and the practical process of triaging digital files in archival repositories, Brunnhilde is included as a standard utility in the open source digital forensics suite BitCurator as of v1.8.0 and has become part of the triaging and processing workflows in several archival repositories, including the author’s own Canadian Centre for Architecture.

Streamlining Archives Reference through Online Task Management
Jaime Marie Burton and Daniel Weddington
Following an organizational shift that flattened the hierarchy and prioritized security, use, and collection management, research services at UK Libraries SCRC continued to face logistical roadblocks to meeting patron reference and research needs. Specifically, SCRC relied on an often chaotic system of listserv streams monitored by 10-15 team members to manage patron interaction and internal communication. This approach left no easily discernible way for the research services team to assign tasks, facilitate collaboration, monitor progress, or derive statistics. This article will discuss how SCRC successfully implemented a streamlined, task management approach to archives reference using freely available online tools.

CFP: Practical Technology for Archives

This is a reminder that we would like to have proposals/abstracts submitted by the end of day, on the Friday, 24 Mar 17.

Practical Technology for Archives is an open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic journal focused on the practical application of technology to address challenges encountered in working with archives. Our goal is to provide a timely resource, published semi-annually, that addresses issues of interest to practitioners, and to foster community interaction through monitored comments. Submissions may be full articles, brief tips and techniques, AV tutorials, reviews (tools, software, books), or post-grant technical reports. Please visit practicaltechnologyforarchives.org for more information.

The editorial board of Practical Technology for Archives is calling for proposals/abstracts for Issue no.8 (2017:Summer).

The submission timeline is as follows:

Proposals due: March 24
Selections made: April 7
1st drafts due: May 5
Draft reviews: May 19
Revisions due: June 2
Publication: June 16

Submission should be sent to:

Practical Technology for Archives
Randall Miles
Managing Editor
rm527@cornell.edu

New Issue: Practical Technology for Archives

Issue no.7, January 2017

Articles

Access and Preservation in Archival Mass Digitization Projects
John Yolkowski and Krista Jamieson
The Elisabeth Mann Borgese fonds digitization project was carried out by the Dalhousie University Archives (DUA) in 2014-2015. At 55.5 linear meters and containing diverse media types and a broad range of content, this fonds was an excellent test case for the DUA’s first mass digitization project and represents a digitization project that, in terms of scale, falls between one-off digitization and a Google books style approach. As a pilot, much of this project was dedicated to grappling with intellectual and technical challenges of digitization projects, such as selection, copyright and rights management, documentation, scale of data created, processing of digital materials, and online presentation. From this, the project team strived to create best practices in balancing preservation and access.

Streamlining Delivery of Online Oral History Metadata through LibGuides
Heather Fox, Terri Holtze and Randy KuehnThe University of Louisville Oral History Center houses over 2000 interviews.
A collaborative project between Archives and Special Collections, the Office of Libraries Technology, and Web Services improved access to interview records by making a LibGuides webpage tied to a database containing the oral history metadata. This project has enhanced access for our users to the item level metadata of individual interviews and created a simplified, efficient workflow for our staff to maintain the information. In the following article, the authors discuss the methods and code they employed to offer users an interactive interface, and provide staff with a streamlined process for keeping the oral history material current.

Using Google Analytics, Voyant and Other Tools to Better Understand Use of Manuscript Collections at L. Tom Perry Special Collections
Ryan K. Lee, Cory L. Nimer, J. Gordon Daines, III, and Shelise Rupp
This paper expands on a previous study on how the use of Web analytics and in-house statistics could provide a solid basis for making decisions about which collections to digitize as well as which collections in L. Tom Perry Special Collections merited deeper description. The study also revealed some intriguing insights into how our collections were being used and raised some important questions about the impact of description, digitization, and other factors on both digital and physical usage. This article will show how we repurposed data from Google Analytics; used free, online tools like Voyant; and employed other means to dig deeper into our usage data to answer many of the questions posed in our initial study.

Using LibAnswers in the Archives: A review and implementation report<
Tim Hutchinson
The need for an enquiry management system at the University of Saskatchewan’s University Archives & Special Collections was identified at the time of an organization restructuring, which involved the amalgamation of previously independent archives and special collections units, and a new model for reference service. While there were delays in selecting and deploying a system, this allowed requirements to be refined; LibAnswers was ultimately selected. This article reviews key features of the enquiry management and reference statistics components of LibAnswers, in the context of its implementation for an archival reference service.

Python for Archivists: breaking down barriers between systems
Gregory Wiedeman
Working with a multitude of digital tools is now a core part of an archivist’s skillset. We work with collection management systems, digital asset management systems, public access systems, ticketing or request systems, local databases, general web applications, and systems built on smaller systems linked through application programming interfaces (APIs). Over the past years, more and more of these applications have evolved to meet a variety of archival processes. We no longer expect a single tool to solve all our needs and embraced the “separation of concerns” design principle that smaller, problem-specific and modular systems are more effective than large monolithic tools that try to do everything. All of this has made the lives of archivists easier and empowered us to make our collections more accessible to our users.

CFP: Practical Technology for Archives

Practical Technology for Archives is an open-access, peer-reviewed, electronic journal focused on the practical application of technology to address challenges encountered in working with archives. Our goal is to provide a timely resource, published semi-annually, that addresses issues of interest to practitioners, and to foster community interaction through monitored comments. Submissions may be full articles, brief tips and techniques, AV tutorials, reviews (tools, software, books), or post-grant technical reports. Please visit practicaltechnologyforarchives.org for more information.

The editorial board of Practical Technology for Archives is calling for proposals/abstracts for Issue no.7 (2016:Winter).

The submission timeline is as follows:

Proposals due: September 23
Selections made: October 7
1st drafts due: November 4
Draft reviews: November 18
Revisions due: December 2
Publication: December 16

Submission should be sent to:

Practical Technology for Archives
Randall Miles
Managing Editor
rm527@cornell.edu