By Angela Ossar, Government Information Analyst
The e-Records Forum, an annual conference sponsored by NAGARA and co-sponsored by TSLAC, NARA, the UT iSchool, and SSA, was held in downtown Austin last week.
The entire staff of the Records Management Assistance unit was able to attend this year and a drop in attendance at this year’s conference underscored how fortunate we were to be there. We could see and feel the budget cuts in all levels of government: no federal employees were in attendance due to sequestration and most of the out-of-state speakers joined by Skype and archived webinars.
Despite the smaller size and budget limitations, though, the conference was (as always) extremely informative. We will be posting recaps of the sessions in the coming weeks, touching on the following themes:
- E-Records training programs: How the federal government’s Managing Government Records Directive has led to new innovations in electronic records management and training initiatives, and how the University of Texas iSchool has kept up with demands for intensive, hands-on training in digital archiving and preservation
- New legal challenges with emerging technologies: How the University of Texas negotiated its contract with Google for implementation of Gmail for its students, alumni, faculty, and staff; how the City of Austin met the requirements of the Texas Open Meetings Act while automating and improving business processes
- Digital repository audits: How do you know if your digital preservation program is meeting best practices? The answer lies in new standardized metrics for auditing “trustworthy digital repositories.” We’ll talk about those standards and one state archives program’s experience being audited.
- Electronic records preservation in the cloud: Archives are turning to cloud services like Preservica and DuraCloud to diversify their storage strategies. Archivists from Kentucky and North Carolina discussed their experiences with these products and the challenge of using tools for digital preservation that aren’t always designed for archival preservation.
- Automating classification of records using High Performance Computers: How the Texas Advanced Computing Center is using High Performance Computers (also called supercomputers) to perform auto-classification on a collection of 1970s U.S. Department of State cables.
PowerPoints from the sessions should become available soon — we’ll include a link with each post when they are, but in the meantime keep an eye on the NAGARA home page for the latest updates.