Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Electronic records: essential readings

Last week, I taught an electronic records workshop on behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference. As I was putting together my presentation and supporting materials, I identified three readings that are, in my opinion, absolutely essential. If you're trying to make sense of the predicament in which the archival profession currently finds itself, get a grip on core electronic records theory, or trying to figure out how to put theory into practice, start with the following:

Brian F. Lavoie, The Open Archival Information System Reference Model: Introductory Guide (Digital Preservation Coalition Technology Watch Series 04-01. January 2004).
The Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model provides the theoretical foundation of most electronic records and digital preservation projects and programs today, and anyone who works with electronic records must become familiar with it. LaVoie, who works at OCLC Research, has written a straightforward, concise overview that amply covers all of the essentials.
Richard Pearce-Moses and Susan E. Davis, "Knowledge and Skills Inventory," in New Skills for a Digital Era (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2006), 1-33.
Pearce-Moses and Davis, both of whom are now archival educators (Pearce-Moses at Clayton State and Davis at Drexel) highlight recent changes in the "information ecosystem" and the archival, information studies, and communications skills that 21st-century archivists must have in order to come to grips with these changes.
Chris Prom, Practical E-Records (Blog)
Chris Prom is the assistant university archivist at the University of Illinois Archives and is currently a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Dundee, Center for Archive and Information Studies, where he is evaluating software tools and conceptual models for identifying, preserving, and providing access to electronic records. The "Recommendations" section of Practical E-Records contains an excellent draft framework for conducting an initial internal assessment, writing an electronic records program statement, developing electronic records submission/acquisition policies, building basic technological infrastructure, and developing preservation and access plans. Detailed reviews of open source software tools are also included.

1 comment:

records management said...

Thanks for the recommendation. The articles were very informative and helped me a great deal in understanding this issue.