News and Events
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Section for Archives and Technology (SAT)
News and Events
Section for Archives and Technology AGM 2020
This year we held our AGM remotely. Online voting for section members closed on 3 July 2020.
The Section for Archives & Technology (ARA UK & Ireland) are looking for contributions to our special edition of ARC Magazine, which will be published in September 2020.
Digital technologies are changing how we work, with technologies bringing new possibilities to the sector. Under the current exceptional circumstances, we are having to learn how to harness the power of these possibilities faster and more urgently than ever before.
We would like to hear about the valuable work of professionals, at any stage of their careers, relating to their adoption, use and experience of new technologies. This is an opportunity to share news on your recent digital projects around preservation, access and outreach. Or you may like to share your thoughts on how the abrupt shift to remote working has affected your role in archives, records management, conservation or digital preservation.
Please submit articles of 400-800 words to sat[at]archives.org.uk by Monday 22 June, with accompanying images. If you are thinking of submitting an article, please let us know at the same email address. We will be happy to discuss any article ideas you have.
Guidance for contributors, as well as copyright and disclaimer forms for images, can be found here.
We look forward to hearing from many of you and sharing your work in this ARC special issue!
Here is a brief summary of the section's main areas of activity over the recent past.
For a report on the Data Wrangling with OpenRefine training event on 14 November 2019, please click here.
The committee has a long history of engagement with professional standards, particularly descriptive standards. For example, between 2008 and 2011 it ran a regular column in ARC magazine introducing relevant standards. These introductions can still be consulted here although they have not been updated so should be treated with caution.
At roughly the same time, the section was also involved with training in XML, Encoded Archival Description (EAD) and Encoded Archival Context (EAC). Details of this training can be found here along with a copy of the response the section co-ordinated in 2011 to a call for comments on the revision of EAD.
Between 2013 and 2014 work in this area was carried out under the umbrella of the ‘Descriptive Standards Roundtable’ and more detail of this work can be found here. This work culminated in an event on Cataloguing Born Digital Material in November 2014 and the eventual drafting, in 2016 of a set of Best Guess Guidelines for Cataloguing Born Digital Material.
The most recent work in this area was the co-ordination of a response to the call for consultation on the draft Records in Contexts standard. A copy of the response can be found here
Another of the section’s main areas of activity has been around digital preservation. For example, eight digital preservation 'roadshows' were held during 2009-2010, to raise awareness of the issues associated with digital preservation and further details of these events can be found here. In 2012 SAT undertook a survey ‘We’re all digital archivists now?’ and a full report of the results is available to download (PDF). The section manages the relationship between ARA and the Digital Preservation Coalition, and has sponsored the annual student conference held by that organisation for a number of years. In attempting not to replicate the training provided by the DPC, the section has shifted its offer slightly from events focussed more narrowly on digital preservation (see for example this event held in 2014 to ones that encompass Digital Ambition and advanced skills training (e.g. a Library Carpentry for Archivists day held at The National Archives in 2017). It is also starting to look at subjects such as working with APIs and Machine Learning. Nevertheless we still maintain a page with some basic digital preservation links and information.
SAT helps to support projects funded by the ARA Research Fund. Recent projects with which SAT (or formerly DSG) have been involved have included:
- Cloud Computing Toolkit: assessing cloud computing services for information use and storage (Aberystwyth University)
- SCAT is Curation and Trust: a digital curation workbench tool for archivists in local government archive services which enables learning by "doing" (Gloucestershire County Council). ARA members can access the JSA article related to the project: Cothey, V. (2010) Digital Curation at Gloucestershire Archives: From Ingest to Production by Way of Trusted Storage Journal of the Society of Archives 31(2) pp.207-228.