MARA Blog

Overview

MARA Blog

Students in the MARA program and those interested in archives and preservation, electronic records management, information governance, and related fields are highly encouraged to visit this blog often. Managed by MARA Program Coordinator and Professor Patricia Franks and written by a current MARA student, this blog will keep you current with the MARA community and what’s happening in the profession.

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MARA Blog

Archives and Sensory Experience

Published: September 28, 2016 by Anna Maloney

The spring/summer issue of The American Archivist, the biannual publication of the Society of American Archivists, was arranged around the theme reconsidering archives. In his introduction to the issue, Editor Gregory S. Hunter explains that the goal is to compel archivists to “look again at the ‘stars’ that guide the archival profession.”  One of the articles closely aligned with this theme is Anna Chen’s “Perfume and vinegar: Olfactory knowledge, remembrance, and recordkeeping,” which explores the role that the sense of smell plays in personal remembrance and society stereotypes.

MARA Blog

NARA Opens Comments for Revised Social Media Strategy

Published: September 21, 2016 by Anna Maloney

In 2010, the U.S. National Archives released its first social media strategy. The three-page document covers NARA’s core values for social media (collaboration, leadership, initiative, diversity, community, openness) and strategies for revolutionizing communication and collaboration within the staff community, engaging with the government community, and building and strengthening relationships with researchers and citizen archivists. It is, in a word, quaint.

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Profile of MARA Alumna Amanda Stowell

Published: September 14, 2016 by Anna Maloney

While finishing up a museum archives internship in the Portland area, Amanda Stowell, ‘16 MARA, was hired on as the first-ever records administrator of ESCO Corporation, a multinational manufacturer of mining equipment with a corporate history dating to 1903.

With her newly minted master’s degree in hand, Stowell found herself the custodian of over 100 years of records. She describes the state of the records at ESCO as a “worst case scenario.” But the daunting nature of this assignment has not quelled her unabashed enthusiasm for records management.

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Survey identifies skills needed of future RIM professionals

Published: September 8, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Each year, the agencies of the U.S. federal government complete the Records Management Self-Assessment, and the statistics generated by these results are pretty telling. The 2015 Self-Assessment revealed that “only 50 percent of federal records officers are dedicated full-time to their agencies’ records and information management (RIM) programs.”

MARA Blog

Students, Faculty to Begin Work on International Directory of National Archives

Published: September 7, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Earlier this year, SJSU iSchool professors Dr. Pat Franks and Dr. Anthony Bernier submitted a proposal to the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing group to compile and publish an International Directory of National Archives. This summer, their proposal was accepted and the two faculty members began working to recruit students and alumni who would be interested in participating in the project for course credit or as volunteers.

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Records in Context–Call for Comments

Published: September 285 2016 by Anna Maloney

The International Council on Archives (ICA) Experts Group on Archival Description (EGAD) has announced the release for public comment the initial draft of the first part of a two-part standard for archival description named Records in Context (RiC).

MARA Blog

Records Retention

Published: August 31, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Each spring, the MARA program offers MARA 210 – Records Creation, Appraisal and Retention. In this course, students learn about the processes of creation and appraisal and design a records retention plan.

MARA Blog

Digital Asset Management

Published: August 24, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a hot topic. This collective term describes the process of storing, cataloging, searching, and delivering digital assets (computer files), whether they are videos, audio clips, images, office documents, or 3D models.

MARA Blog

Federal Agencies Managing Information as a Strategic Resource

Published: August 10, 2016 by Dr. Pat Franks

On July 28, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget released a revision of OMB Circular A-130, Managing Information as a Strategic Resource. If you’re a member of ARMA International, you’ll be pleased to know that the organization made a number of recommendations to the initial proposed revisions in a November 2015 comment letter, some of which were integrated into this document. 

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Transferring President Obama’s Records to NARA

Published: August 3, 2016 by Anna Maloney

In a few months, Americans will take to the polls to elect a new president and in January, that person will be sworn into office. But NARA isn’t waiting until next year to begin planning for President Obama’s transition—this process has already been in motion for several months.

MARA Blog

Summer Projects for MARA Students

Published: July 27, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Whether you have a box full of photographs from past family vacations or a smartphone picture album of your most recent weekend getaway, there are many free tools to help you manage your digital assets.

MARA Blog

e-Records in the News

Published: July 13, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Although the general public may not realize it, records management is at the center of one of the most contentious scandals of the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account to conduct official State department business has garnered untold media coverage, an FBI investigation, and rumors of a grand jury trial.

MARA Blog

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?

MARA Blog

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).

MARA Blog

What is Knowledge Management?

Published: June 22, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Students who earn their graduate degree from the MARA program have attained a well-rounded and current education in archives and records management. Specifically, “as a MARA graduate, you will be prepared to develop and manage records and information programs [and] to contribute to the organization by leveraging your expertise to analyze workflows and streamline business practices.” But could a MARA grad move on to a career in knowledge management?

MARA Blog

National Digital Stewardship Residency

Published: June 15, 2016 by Anna Maloney

Each year, the Library of Congress, Office of National and International Outreach, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services partners with host sites to sponsor the National Digital Stewardship Residency. The NDSR is designed to “provide a robust, hands-on learning experience to complement graduate-level training and education” (Library of Congress). Residents attend an immersive digital preservation workshop before being partnered with a host institution to work on digital stewardship projects. The program is open to recent graduates of graduate and doctoral programs related to libraries, archives, and museums.