MARA Blog: General


MARA Blog: General


A brief history on Freedom of Information legislation

Published: July 4, 2016 by Anna Maloney


Government archives and records programs at the local, state, and federal levels all contribute to open government initiatives and support Freedom of Information laws. U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the federal Freedom of Information Act in 1966 to make publicly available by request those records related to statements of policy, interpretations, and staff manuals. But where did this political ideal originate?


DNA as digital storage

Published: June 29, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Thanks to technology, information professionals are able to preserve just about any record in a digital format. But as digital records and big data proliferate (digital data is estimated to reach 44 trillion gigabytes—an almost incomprehensible number—by 2020), there have been questions about which digital storage medium is most sustainable over the long-term. One exciting research trend, covered by Tech Times and other sources, is the use of synthetic DNA for digital storage. “In a study, [researchers] detailed a new technique they have developed which allowed them to successfully encode four image files worth of digital data…More importantly they were able to reverse the process and retrieve the right sequences…without compromising an information byte” (Tech Times, 10 April 2016).


World-Tree Project

Published: May 18, 2016 by Anna Maloney

A few weeks ago, the MARA blog highlighted history harvests, an emerging trend that aims to involve the public in historic preservation by accepting donations of letters, journals, and ephemera that may or may not be related to a general theme. In late April, University College Cork in Dublin, Ireland launched the World-Tree Project, attempting to crowdsource material on Viking and Norse history from across the globe.


Joining Professional Organizations

Published: April 18, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Joining professional organizations is a great way to network with other archivists and records managers. Networking benefits include being introduced to others in your research area; having awareness of workshops, webinars, and other training; connecting with potential employers; and participating in and advancing the professional dialogue.


Call for papers — Records Management Journal

Published: April 2, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Message from Pat: You have written so much–especially those of you in 289 right now. The call is for anyone a student “at the time the call was issued” so those of you graduating in May do qualify. See if one of your papers fits into one of the categories listed in this letter. Edit it as necessary. Submit for publication. We would love to have a MARA student in this edition!!! Let me know if you decide to do this.


Save the Date–MARA Colloquia

Published: March 14, 2016 by Anna Maloney

On Wednesday, March 23, from 1-2PM PT MARA will host guest lecturer Sarah Romkey, the Archivematica Program Manager. Ms. Romkey will introduce Archivematica, discuss its use by large and small institutions, and expand on the importance of open-source solutions for digital preservation. This promises to be a very interesting presentation for those interested in emerging technologies and the future of archival management! We hope to see you there.


Wisconsin Open Records Law

Published: February 19, 2016 by Anna Maloney

A few weeks ago, the MARA blog covered the Netflix docuseries Making a Murderer, and the influx of records requests that Manitowoc County, Wisconsin has seen since the series premiered in December 2015. Wisconsin open records laws are now being publicly examined after a state board expanded the definition of “transitory records” to include correspondence (electronic and analog), interim files, and recordings used for training purposes.


Assessing Archives and Records Management Policy in Japan

Published: February 4, 2016 by Anna Maloney

In April of this year, Japan celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Public Records and Archives Management Act. Passed in the 2011, the act implemented a uniform management plan for administrative documents; introduced a records schedule; created requirements for reports on the management practice of government ministries; established a system of inspection and recommendation; and funds external professionals and the promotion of historical public records and archives.


Save the Date — Washington’s Digital Preservation Model

Published: January 27, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Welcome to the spring semester! Our first MARA guest lecturer this year is Debbie Bahn, who will be presenting Washington’s Digital Preservation Model on February 11th from 5:30-6:30 PST. Ms. Bahn is the Electronic Records Archivist for the Washington State Archives and will discuss the development of the institution’s digital repository, which was developed entirely in-house.


The Internet Archive Turns 20

Published: January 28, 2016 by Anna Maloney

In 2016, the Internet Archive celebrates its 20-year anniversary. Created in 1996 to capture and preserve websites and web pages, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is the front-end, user interface for these archived sites. This week, Forbes’ Kalev Leetaru looks into the history of this complex data capture and the organization’s Worldwide Web Crawls. The image below, from February 20, 1997, is the first SJSU homepage capture available through the Wayback Machine.


Follow-up Thoughts from Robert Smallwood

Published: November 12, 2015 by Anna Maloney

Those of you who attended asked about job/internship leads and skills to prepare one for positions in Information Governance and related careers.  Robert Smallwood, who spoke on 11/05, wanted me to share the following with those who attended. But I thought all MARA students might be interested: