e-Records 2017: “TSLAC Wants Your Electronic Records”

This is the third post of a multi-part recap of the 2017 e-Records Conference. Presentation materials from the conference are available on the e-Records 2017 website.

  1. Information Governance: Take Control and Succeed
  2. The Public Information Act and Updates from the 85th Legislative Session
  3. TSLAC Wants Your Electronic Records

Returning for his 4th year at the e-Records Conference, Mark Myers, TSLAC’s own Senior Electronic Records Specialist, presented on the latest developments of the Texas Digital Archive (TDA). Accompanying Mark was his colleague Brian Thomas, Electronic Records Specialist. As per usual when I’ve seen these two present, Mark provides the overall big picture of the TDA – from the original conception of the project to its growth and evolution – and then Brian focuses on the nuts and bolts to show us how the preservation system actually works. Together, they have made the TDA appealing for people (like myself) who are not archives subject-matter experts.

The presentation was kicked off by Mark reminding us of one of TSLAC’s (paraphrased) main missions: “We are the repository for government records in Texas, and we are in the business of providing access to those things.” As we’ve made our way into the 21st century, it’s been crucial to ensure that we take permanent records – both print and electronic – with us.

Next, Mark gave the backstory for how the TDA came to fruition. My colleague Megan wrote more in depth about the details of the launch in our 2015 e-Records recap: Introducing the Texas Digital Archive, but in short, TSLAC initially received about 7TB of electronic records from the Perry administration. Most of the former governor’s collection consisted of photographs and video, but also included some correspondence. Anyhow, there were over 2 million individual records being given to TSLAC, and we had nowhere to put them!  Mark and Brian have been building out the digital archive in Preservica ever since that initial collection was ingested.

The TDA website also has a list of benefits as well as resources and contact info for state agencies who are interested in giving their archival electronic records to the TDA. This year, Mark asked for feedback from state agency RMOs with the Electronic Records Survey (pdf), so even if you aren’t sending records to us just yet, you can help out by giving us an idea of what types of electronic records are held by your agency.

We all look forward to seeing this system continue to grow!

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