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The National Archives and Records Administration's skills gap

SomeOne writes "This One From FCW.com says The National Archives and Records Administration lacks the technical experience necessary to find a way to deal with the growing number of electronic records created across the federal government, a new report warns.

Having long served as the government's primary custodian of paper documents, NARA does not have the IT know-how needed to understand the management of electronic records, according to an interim report by the National Academies' Computer Science and Telecommunications Board.

"

Fire destroys '500' memorabilia

IndyStar.com reports a basement fire in the Speedway home of racing historian Donald Davidson posed a significant loss for fans of the Indianapolis 500.
Davidson, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's historian, said the official files and memorabilia from more than three decades of work as a statistician and historian for the U.S. Auto Club and IMS were safe.

What was lost was much more personal -- 30 to 40 irreplaceable photographs of race car drivers and favorite moments.

Getty collection to remain intact

Greg writes "Sir Paul Getty’s library at Wormsley is expected to pass to a charitable foundation, rather than remain in private ownership. The Art Newspaper has established that a trust, known as the Wormsley Foundation, was registered with the Charity Commission in 1992. Its aims include “the preservation of historic and rare books and manuscripts” and “the encouragement of access to aid the promotion of study into such books and manuscripts”.
Read The Full Story "

Archiving in the Digital Age

Archiving in the Digital Age, By John Courtmanche, says movie execs say they're constantly being second-guessed by technology advocates for not trusting computer archives.
Hollywood studios are not turning their motion picture film assets into digital archives, in favour of a format that is as agnostic and neutral to technology change over the decades as possible. Senior vault executives at Paramount Universal, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox and MGM all confirmed that 35mm film remains their most trusted medium for archiving their visual assets.
Senior vault executive sounds like a cool gig.

Destroy Order Reportedly Sent in Texas

A. Faithful Reader links us to This NY Times story about the aftermath of the Texas legislature's Democratic contingent's recent defection:
Texas Department of Public Safety captains were ordered to destroy all records gathered in the search for Democratic legislators who fled the state in a successful effort to prevent a redistricting bill from passing, according to a published report.

The one-paragraph order, sent by e-mail, was obtained Tuesday by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram under the Texas Open Records Act.

If you don't want to login to read the Times story, The Guardian [UK] picked up the AP wire version.

Lost treasure turns up in Niles library

Bob Cox writes "Mercury News Reports Just off the Niles main drag in San Fransico sits one of the Fremont district's rarely seen treasures -- the 75-year-old Niles library. It contains an extensive, one-of-a-kind file on the history of Niles and 11,000 other items -- books, newspapers, videos, CDs, audio cassettes and a sculpture the Monterey Museum of Art thought was lost for more than 40 years, the ``Poppy Nymph,'' valued at $20,000, "

Lindisfarne gospels on public show

Charles Davis writes "Full story at
The BBC

The Lindisfarne gospels, one of Britain's most important texts, go on show at
the British Library in London on Friday in an exhibition looking at Britain's
cultural life in the eighth century.

The Lindisfarne Community Heritage Centre on Holy Island will now have a
"facsimile" of the gospels, which will join a 23-page electronic version.

"

Unpacking Harlem History

Jen Young noticed This NYTimes Story on A'Lelia Bundles. The Museum of the City of New York, as part of an exhibition, "Harlem Lost and Found," is giving
the public's first glimpse of most of the items in Ms. Bundles's collection.Ms. Bundles, who has no children, plans to bequeath her heirlooms to museums. For now she will keep her first editions of books by Harlem Renaissance writers in a bookcase downstairs, near a pair of chestnut and glass cabinets containing some of the silver and perhaps even the ostrich feather fan. The neatly marked boxes of papers will go in the second-floor study.

McCarthy Senate Investigations Transcripts Now Public

Senator Joseph McCarthy called nearly 500 witnesses
before his subcommittee and made them answer all
sort of invasive questions about their loyalty to the US
and/or allegiance to the Communist Party. The
transcripts of most of these interviews were sealed for
50 years and have just been made available
online
, in annotated form, all 4,200 pages of
them.

"the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
held extensive hearings, in both executive and public
session, that focused on the U.S. Information Libraries
worldwide. It examined the books that the libraries
stocked, and called some of the authors to testify.
During the course of the investigation, chief counsel
Roy Cohn, and chief consultant David Schine,
embarked on a highly publicized tour of the overseas
libraries in major European capitals...

...the State Department ordered the
removal of any books by Communist authors or
Communist sympathizers from the Information
Libraries' shelves. Hundreds of works of fiction and
non-fiction were discarded, and some were burned."

[The libraries contained the poetry of Langston
Hughes, who was questioned by the committee.]

Florida considers what to do with infamous ballots

Jen Young spotted This One @ CNN on what to do with the 6 million ballots from the last election. Should the ballots hanging chads and all, be destroyed or saved because of their historical significance?
Many election supervisors in Florida's 67 counties want to get rid of the ballots because they take up so much space. Miami-Dade's are in taped-up cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling of a warehouse, while Palm Beach County's 2000 election records sit on three 5-by-5 foot pallets, each of them 6 feet high.

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