Blogging Code4Lib PNW

Karen Estlund, from the University of Oregon, on preserving electronic records.

  • UO president retired last year, so the archivist’s office got a huge number of electronic (and physical) records that are key to retain.
  • Initially, concern was only preservation, not access.  Incoming president has made records management and access a higher priority, so need to respond to that.
  • Email archives:  how to show the chain of communication, who responded to what, etc.  Considering watermark or something similar to make this apparent.
  • Want to make it possible to find records independent of format: paper/electronic.
  • Versioning is a huge issue for electronic records.
  • Trend:  more product, less processing.  Not describing things on the item level b/c of sheer number of records.
  • No clear turnkey solution for these problems.
  • Staffing shortage = not enough support/resources for enterprise solution
  • Have a ContentDM instance for e-record data stores.  But highly labor-intensive to get records up and numbers are too high to use student labor as in the past.
  • Needed new process for handling the data.  Office of President, President’s personal files, and 2 executive assistants to President.  First vetted by executive assistant.  She tagged sensitive files, organized files in structure according to hot topics.
  • Used Excel, Droid, renaming utility (Renamer), Adobe to batch-convert files.
  • Email handling:  looked for extraction tools but didn’t find much that was useful.  Kept files in .pst (open standard) and used Outlook rather than changing files to read-only.  Will use Outlook for viewers to see President’s email.
  • Using Archivists’ Toolkit for versioning, provenance, etc.

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