RSVP Now, Space Is Limited! Personal Digital Archiving Train-the-Trainer Workshop

You’re invited to the latest event in SGA’s Everyday Digital Archives Outreach Campaign:

The Society of Georgia Archivists, the Atlanta chapter of ARMA International, and the Georgia Library Association invite you to attend a train-the-trainer workshop on Personal Digital Archiving. Designed for information professionals from all backgrounds and levels of experience, this workshop will empower participants to see themselves as archivists of their own digital records and will cover topics ranging from best practices for creating digital records and rights issues in the digital landscape to strategies for storing digital records and emerging developments regarding the digital afterlife.

After completing the workshop, attendees will be encouraged to teach the workshop to their users–the public, co-workers, students, etc.–in their own diverse institutional contexts (perfect outreach idea for Georgia Archives Month in October!). The end goal of the workshop will thus be to advocate for informational professionals as a source of expertise for assisting individuals (the public, family members, students, corporate employees, etc.) with their personal digital archiving needs.

The workshop will be held at the Georgia Archives in Morrow on Thursday, 7/31, from 10:00 AM – noon, and will be free to attend. Space limited to 25 participants. If you would like to secure a space in the workshop, please RSVP to outreach[at]soga[dot]org by 7/17/2014.

Workshop facilitators:
Oscar Gittemeier, Youth Services Librarian, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, East Atlanta Branch
Wendy Hagenmaier, Digital Collections Archivist, Georgia Tech Archives, SGA Outreach Manager
Michelle Kirk, Records Manager, VP Corporate Records and Information Management, SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Call for Posters for SGA Annual Meeting: Submit by 6/20

The 2014 Society of Georgia Archivists’ Program Committee invites submissions for poster proposals for the annual meeting at The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia, November 5-7, 2014. This year’s theme, Plans and Strategies for the Future of Archives, reflects the primary steps and considerations that face archivists when proposing new projects and programs. Submissions may address any perspective on this theme as it applies to current issues in the local, state, national, or international sphere of the archival field. Notification of Program Committee decisions will be made by July 11, 2014.

Proposals that incorporate any of the following are encouraged:

  • Topics on unfinished projects or those still in the planning stages, discussing ideas and theories that were or are being discussed
  • Plans on how best to tackle issues that face archives and archivists, thoughts on best practices and reviewing standards
  • Re-Imaging Archives with digital projects, virtual reference, changes to meet user needs, new considerations and thoughts on how to interact with users

Proposals must be submitted no later than Friday, June 20, 2014. Click here for submission form.

Back Issues of Provenance Now Online!

An announcement from Provenance editor Cheryl Oestreicher:

I’m very pleased to announce that all the back issues of Provenance are now online!   
The successor to Georgia Archives started in 1983 and features articles by David B. Gracy II, Terry Abraham, Frank Boles, James Gregory Bradsher, Maynard Brichford, Richard Cox, Bruce W. Dearstyne, Pam Hackbart-Dean, Margaret Hedstrom, Peter B. Hirtle, Glen McAninch, James O’Toole, Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, Kathleen Roe, Helen Willa Samuels, Margery N. Sly, Carl Van Ness, and many others.
Subjects of articles include academic archives, access, appraisal, archival administration, archival education, arrangement, automation, cataloging, collection development, congressional papers, description, electronic records, ethics, GLBT collections, government records, indexing, information management, military archives, Native Americans, oral history, photographs, preservation, presidential libraries, privacy, processing, records management, religious archives, use and users, user studies, volunteers, and women’s archives and history. Plus some specific topics such as circus records, folklore collections, Grand Turk Island, internet gopher, and Project Jukebox.
Provenance is one of many journals that contributes to robust and ongoing discussions about the profession. Electronic access to the back issues will aid in education and research. Look for the back issues of Georgia Archive (1972-1982) to be available online soon. 
There are many people to thank that helped with this project: Teresa Brinati, Christine Wiseman, Traci Drummond, Amanda Pellerin, Lynette Stoudt, Marie Force, Faye Phillips, Susan Hoffius, Bill Hardesty, Marty Olliff, Cathy Miller, Heather Oswald, Georgia Historical Society, SGA Board members, Provenance Editorial Board. A special thanks to Jon Hansen at Kennesaw State University for creating, hosting, and uploading content. 
Submissions received by July 31 will be reviewed for that year’s issue, though submissions are accepted anytime and can be submitted online:
I look forward to continuing to provide a quality journal to enhance scholarship and education.

Everyday Digital Archives Q&A: Christine Wiseman

Welcome to the second Q&A blog post for our Everyday Digital Archives campaign, featuring the perspective of Christine Wiseman, Head, Digital Services Unit, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.

What digital archives-related resources do you read–blogs, social media, articles, journals, listservs, etc.?
I subscribe to ALA’s digital preservation list serv [Digpres] and the Preservation Administrators Discussion Group [Padg], which often features digital preservation related discussions. I religiously read the excellent resources from the Library of Congress including Digital Preservation Newsletter and the blog called The Signal. LC has an entire section of their website devoted to personal digital archiving; all of these resources can be found on their digital preservation home page, 

In addition, I closely follow the work of the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI). Chris Prom’s blog, Practical E-Records, is extremely useful because as the title implies, he offers practical solutions that are fairly easy to implement. Prom possesses the unique ability to break down complex problems into understandable chunks. Another useful blog is Engineering the Future of the Past by Kari Smith which chronicles the excellent work at MIT in the area of digital archives.


What advice would you give to an archivist who is nervous to start tackling digital archives?
It’s quite easy to be intimidated and overwhelmed by digital preservation and managing digital archival collections. However, benign neglect is never a good practice when it comes to digital formats. If you don’t jump in and do something, before long you will be inundated by content. Use the same processes and procedures in place for analog materials, and apply those to digital content. Work incrementally; first begin by following best practices for file organization, naming, and conversion. Make sure you have a robust back-up plan. Talk to colleagues about best practices and attend training such as the SAA Certification workshops or Nancy McGovern’s week-long digital preservation management workshop. In “You‘ve Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born Digital Content Received on Physical Media,” Ricky Erway provides a set of initial steps for managing born digital content. Another good resource is the recently released National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NSDA) levels of digital preservation, which are intended to be easy to use and implemented in a tiered fashion.

Do you actively curate or archive your own personal digital materials? If so, how?
Why is curating or archiving your own personal digital materials important?
Do your personal digital archives exist outside of the virtual/online environment? In what form?
My family digital photographs and videos are probably my most precious digital records followed secondly by my professional files of writings, teaching materials, presentations, and images collected over the past 15 years working in libraries and archives. I was a fairly late adopter of digital photography but after getting my first digital camera in 2007 I never looked back. Now, like most people, I have thousands of digital photographs. For the first few years I tried to have prints made of my favorite photos for preservation purposes, but the volume of photos that digital photography produces soon made that too onerous a task. I try to keep them organized in a logical file system, but I don’t use consistent file names for the individual images. I try to maintain three copies of everything digital–one my computer hard drive, one an external hard drive and a third copy distributed on the internet using cloud storage such as DropBox and Google Drive and Flickr. A major challenge to this distributed model is keeping track of everything. One of my goals is to create an inventory of what is stored where, because as digital content accumulates it’s very easy to lose track.

“Won’t personal digital archiving solve itself as the digital generation comes of age?” Your thoughts?
**To give credit where credit is due, this question is taken from Catherine Marshall’s “Rethinking Personal Digital Archiving, Part 1” (

No, I don’t think so. I don’t think the digital generation–who tend to want immediate access to information–thinks about future access. They just assume it’s going to be available rather than understanding what is required to make that happen. I think it’s up to us old folks who remember life before the internet to serve as reminders.

Due to the distributed nature of personal digital archives, (i.e. content of an individual all over the web in different arenas: Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) how should archivists approach the challenge of acquiring these dispersed digital materials? Are there tools to help?
Tools are emerging.  For example, Google now has a tool where you can download a copy of your data from all of their various products. An interesting area that is emerging is planning for your digital afterlife. Google now has options for what to do with your digital assets when you pass away or no longer use your account. You can have your account made inactive after a period of time or designate someone as your beneficiary. These features could have implications for archives and their work with donors.

What can we do as archivists to change the culture of “benign neglect” that people so often have in regards to their personal digital records?
Continue with efforts related to outreach and education. The tricky part is reaching members of the general public when we are more accustomed to talking to others in the library and archives profession.

How do you see people accessing personal digital records/archives in the future? 10 years? 20 years?
I think searching will become much more robust, especially of audio and video, and it will become less dependent on metadata and file names.

Thanks to Christine for sharing her insights! Want to volunteer to be interviewed for our Q&A blog posts? Know a digital records steward we should interview? Let us know: outreach [at] soga [dot] org.

–Cathy Miller, SGA Assistant Outreach Manager

CANCELLED – June Workshops: Digital Preservation for Audio and Video

 Unfortunately, these workshops have been cancelled due to low registration. Please continue to check the blog for future educational opportunities.

Digital Preservation for Audio/Digital Preservation for Video

June 26-27, 2014
Atlanta History Center
Atlanta, GA
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Many library and archival collections contain a wide array of audio materials, ranging from early discs to many varieties of audiotape and audiocassettes. All are now faced with the increasing rarity of playback equipment and the expertise needed to maintain it. Moreover, magnetic media is especially prone to physical degradation over timeundefineddegradation that can be very difficult to detect until a tape is played back. CDs are also subject to degradation and decay.
Today, the only viable means of long-term audio preservation is digitizationundefinedbut the process of digitizing audio material can be complicated and requires a series of critical choices. This workshop is aimed at artists, archivists, and librarians who are tasked with the care of audio materials in their collections, with the goal of helping them make good choices for their preservation.
Workshop topics include:

  • Identifying audio disc and tape formats
  • Collection inspection, survey, and triage
  • Proper storage for magnetic (tape) and optical (CD) media
  • Determining preservation and access file formats
  • Quality control and relations with outside digitization vendors

If content on analog videotape is to survive for the long term, the tapes must be digitized–moved from the unstable magnetic media on which the content is currently held, into the digital realm where–in theory–they can be preserved indefinitely and migrated forward as files rather than physical objects.  Digitization, however, means more than simply selecting a destination file format.  It requires a series of decisions that will determine the long-term viability of files created–and thus of the valuable video content.
Workshop topics include:

  • Basic digital file creation
  • Preservation and access file formats and codecs
  • Software for file creation and playback
  • Storage options
  • Workflows for digitization

In addition, participants will examine case studies of small and large-scale digitization projects in order to understand real-world applications of principles introduced in the workshop.
Instructor: Jeff Martin

  • Single workshop:
    • General Admission: $150

    • IMAP Members, SGA Members: $100
    • Artists and Students: $50
  • Both workshops:
    • General Admission: $250
    • IMAP Members, SGA Members: $150
    • Artists and Students: $75
Independent Media Arts Preservation will present two workshops on consecutive days for archivists, librarians, artists, media specialists, students, and all other interested individuals. Attendance at both workshops is not required.

SGA will provide lunch on Friday, June 27; participants will be required to provide their own lunch on Thursday, June 26. There are several restaurant options a short distance away.

If you have any questions about workshop content or registration, please contact:
For all other inquiries, contact:

Register at

These workshops are made possible by the New York State Council on the Artswith the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.