The staff at the UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture (CAHC) are celebrating Digital Archives Month. The group hopes that by celebrating they can bring attention to problems of which many people are not aware.
For example, what happens to information recorded on formats like film and video tapes as these formats become obsolete? Questions like these are important for archivists and historians alike to consider.
Chad Garret, Director of Technology for the center sites an important issue for archives: “How do you handle born digital formats in an archive?” For example, after ten years the information on a video tape will degrade and can ultimately be lost forever. Shannon Laush, an Archivist for the center added, “We want to bring attention to the fact that we have old formats and we want to preserve them while they are still readable.”
By keeping up with what formats an archive has and by staying on top of technology, preservation is possible. UALR’s CAHC are doing just that.
Governor Mike Beebe has declared the 21 through the 27 of October as Arkansas Archives Week, and the folks at the center are working hard to get people involved.
The UALR CAHC, and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System, are sponsoring and essay contest: Find It In The Archives. The winner will get to have lunch with an archivist from the center as well as be entered in the national competition. Submissions of the 400 word essays are being taken until October 31. They can be submitted electronically or by snail mail.
Also, the staff at the CAHC have created a YouTube series that will provide information to questions such as the ones mentioned above. To watch the video visit the center’s YouTube channel labeled UALR CAHC. For more information on the essay contest visit: http://arstudies.com/i-found-it-in-the-archives/.
Becca Bona writes for the Daily Record, the Daily Newspaper of Law and Business Information. This article originally appeared on Friday, October 26, 2012.