Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration -- Participate. Educate. Innovate.


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Part of SJSU's iSchool, VCARA is a space and community based in the virtual world Second Life (SL). We offer many resources both in SL and online including annual conferences, events, exhibits, trainings, and webcasts.

VCARA is open to students, alumni, and educators interested in virtual worlds and any aspect of information science including archives, education, libraries, records, and special collections.

To get started, make sure your home computing environment meets the iSchool's requirements. Then go to and click the "Play for Free" button. Follow the website's instructions.

After you've signed up for Second Life, feel free to visit VCARA on iSchool Island. The SLURL is

For an orientation, contact Dr. Pat Franks.

The VCARA team also recruits iSchool student interns and volunteers each semester to help manage the space and to create and market events. To join the VCARA team as an intern or volunteer, contact Dr. Pat Franks.

For more information about VCARA and its upcoming events, visit the VCARA Blog and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Whether part of Second Life or not, anyone with an Internet connection can access our webcasts and other event recordings (called machinima) on our YouTube channel.

VCARA's Mission

Provide virtual space and resources for those interested in any aspect of information science including archives, education, libraries, records, and special collections in order to communicate, collaborate, and exchange information; showcase accomplishments; educate; and innovate outside of the formal classroom structure.

The Virtual Center for Archives & Records Administration strives to:

  •   Create networking opportunities for MARA and MLIS students to meet with professionals from the archives and records & information science professions.
  •   Showcase the accomplishments of MARA and MLIS students in a common space outside of the formal classroom.
  •   Encourage continuing professional development through events such as virtual symposiums for all interested in archives and records & information science.
  •   Promote the benefits and importance of record keeping from creation through permanent storage in an archive via a concerted campaign.

About the VCARA Blog

The Virtual Center for Archives & Records Administration Blog serves all students, alumni, faculty, and other professionals interested in VCARA and virtual worlds. Blog posts announce news, upcoming events, and calls for posters. The VCARA Blog also features spotlight interviews and other special interest articles.

Get published! We welcome VCARA and virtual worlds-related submissions for publication on this blog. Contact Dr. Pat Franks for details and to share your ideas.

Comments are moderated. VCARA values suggestions and feedback, and we respond to our readers as we are able. As an academic publication, we maintain high standards for civil and respectful discourse. Dr. Franks and the editors reserve the right to remove unacceptable comments at their discretion.

Dr. Pat Franks, Administrator & Professor

Dr. Patricia C. Franks is Program Coordinator for the iSchool's Master’s Degree in Archives and Records Administration.  Her research interests lie in archives, records management, information governance, and emerging technologies, including virtual worlds, social media, and cloud computing.  She has presented at numerous conferences on a variety of topics, including social media, information governance, and virtual internships.  Her work in virtual worlds has resulted in the creation of the Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration (VCARA) on iSchool Island.  Dr. Franks is a Certified Archivist, Certified Records Manager, and Information Governance Professional who is active in ARMA International and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA).

More about Dr. Franks

Marie Vans, Editor

Marie Vans earned her MLIS from the iSchool at San José State University in 2016 with a focus on using Virtual Worlds for distance education. As a student, Marie served as Estate Manager for VCARA. Marie is the Director of Sendalonde Community Library in InWorldz. She is also a Research Scientist with Hewlett-Packard Labs in Fort Collins, Colorado. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Colorado State University.

More about Marie

Alyse Dunavant-Jones, Editor

Alyse Dunavant-Jones holds an MLIS (2018) and Digital Assets Management certificate from San José State University, School of Information. She is the Assistant Director of the Community Virtual Library and an advisory board member for New Media Arts. During her time at the iSchool, Alyse served as VCARA student leadership representative, CHaHS-SAC representative, ITrust student assistant, and IDNA researcher.

More about Alyse

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