Posted tagged ‘Edification’

Knowledge Eater

July 22, 2012


The NAGARA/CoSA Conference is over. It was a great conference. I met some wonderful people, visited with some old friends, and brushed up on digital initiatives/standards. As always, I am saving the best for last. Sometime this week I will post about the most interesting person I met. I spent some time talking with him about digital initiatives at the National Archives which will blow your mind! For tonight, here is an “in a nutshell” look at where my hours and thoughts were over the last few days.

  • The President’s Directive on Managing Government Records with Meg Phillips, Electronic Records Manager, National Archives and Records Administration
  • Hiring Electronic Records Archivists- What Expertise is Required with Professors and Archivists from Kansas and North Carolina
  • Electronic Records Roundtable
  • ISO 16363 Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories with Mark Conrad, Archives Specialist, National Archives and Records Administration and Archivists and Technology Specialists from Kentucky
  • Use of Public Records Laws to Bypass Discovery Rules with Records Managers from Ohio and Nevada and two Attorneys from New Mexico
  • Electronic Records Archives (ERA): Accomplishments and Lessons Learned with Meg Phillips, Electronic Records Manager, National Archives and Records Administration
  • 1940 Census: The Next Generation with Training Officers and Archivists from National Archives and Records Administration
  • Who Controls Where the Governors’ Papers Go with Archivists from Texas, Nevada and South Dakota
  • Redaction, Expungement and Sealing of Electronic Records with Attorneys, Administrators, and Records Managers from New Mexico, Tennessee, and Arizona

  • …………..NARA holds Congressional Records as a courtesy, but they do not have legal custody. I didn’t know that!
  • …………..At this time, ERA holds about 18TB of electronic Congressional Records that are not accessible to the public through NARA.
  • …………..At this time, ERA holds 246+TB of 2010 Census data, 34TB of Federal Records, and 80TB of Presidential Records.
  • …………..There were 550 Hard Drives from the George W. Bush Administration.
  • …………..George W. Bush changed the law to have his records sent to College Station instead of the State Archives.
  • …………..Georgia Tech developed sophisticated software to mull through data on hard drives allowing a 10% drop down to what actually needs to be addressed as a record.
  • …………..NARA is using open source solutions to manage digital information. Nice… Wooohooo!
  • …………..The Open Archives Information System (OAIS) Reference Model (Magenta Book– June 2012) is available at
  • …………..Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification Checklist (TRAC) is available at
  • …………..ISO 16363 self assessment template is available at
  • …………..ISO 16363 is still the standard and defines a recommended practice for assessing the trustworthiness of digital repositories.
  • …………..Web ARChive file format (WARC) is still being used for web harvesting and digital preservation (ISO Standard).
  • …………..DuraCloud (with a combination of DSpace and Fedora) an open source platform and managed service that provides on-demand storage and services for digital content in the cloud.
  • …………..ACE (Auditing Control Environment) is being used for digital preservation.
  • …………..Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe System (LOCKSS) is still being used. The system is open source and allows development and support for the preservation of and access to web based collections.
  • …………..Archivematica (open source) is a digital preservation system designed to maintain standards-based, long-term access to digital content.
  • …………..Commercial products being used included Tessella SDB, Preservica, and OCLC Digital Archive.
  • …………..Some states are restricting access to blue prints and building plans for security reasons.

Countdown to the Release of the First Digitized US Census!

March 28, 2012

I am so excited to take a look at the new (but old) 1940 United States Census! Five days left… Yeah!!! There will be so much to learn about the country, New Mexico and my family. These are some interesting things about the 1940 census. Check them out.



Family Tree Friday: Interesting facts about the 1940 Census

Here is another entry from guest blogger Diane Petro, Archives Technician in the Archives I Research Support Branch (RD-DC), Research Services, Archival Operations – Washington, DC.  Diane helps staff the research rooms at the National Archives Building and has also been working on reference activities relating to the upcoming 1940 Census release. Time is moving swiftly and April 2, 2012, will be here before we know it.  Reading statistics and instructions to enumerators have taken up a lot of my time; time well spent, because there is a lot of interesting information about the 1940 census that doesn’t necessarily pertain to genealogy.  Here are a few items that seemed of general interest.

1.  In August 1939, the bureau conducted a special census in St. Joseph and Marshall Counties, Indiana using questions proposed for 1940 census.  The result of this test modified some questions and finalized the schedule design.  (These schedules did not survive.)

2.  Officials agreed to add new questions on migration, income, fertility, education, social security, usual occupation, and unemployment.

3.  The income questions in columns 32 and 33 caused controversy. Republican Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire mounted a campaign to force the administration to delete the questions. It was unsuccessful, but a compromise allowed individuals who did not want to give the information to the enumerator to send in a confidential card listing their income.   A “C” (for confidential report) will appear in the upper right hand margin opposite the name on the census record.  In the end, only 2% of the population did not answer the question.

4.  Between 1930 and 1940 the U.S. population dropped to a historical low of 7.3 percent, however, the population in Washington DC increased by 36%.

5.  Internal migration redistributed 9 Congressional House seats. Six seats went to the western states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon.  Three went to the southern states of Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois each lost a seat. So did Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Indiana.<

6.  In April 1940, unemployment stood at 15 percent of the labor force and totaled 8 million.

7.  The Census worked with the Bureau of Vital Statistics to check accurate birth registration in each state.  This test was the first conducted simultaneously for every state in the country. Census enumerators gathered information on infant cards such as, exact date of birth, exact place of birth, maiden name of mother, and hospital of birth.  Unfortunately these cards have been disposed of.

8.  The U.S. Census Bureau conducted a publicity drive using radio programs, newspaper advertisements, mass mailings, and teacher involvement to encourage cooperation and participation in the census.The Three Stooges made a short film in 1940 titled “No Census No Feeling”.

9.  The 1940 census fell on the 150th anniversary of census taking in America.

10.  Enumerator salaries ranged between .5 cents and .8 cents a person, depending on the geographic area and the schedule they were enumerating.  Agricultural enumerators were paid more because of the greater distance they had to travel between farm households.

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