Every year on 10/10, as a part of Archives Month, archives around the nation promote awareness of electronic records. Today is a great day to think about how you use digital records and how you manage them.
Electronic records surround us everyday, just as paper records do. Every text or email you send, online form you fill out, tweet you share, website you visit, and photo or video you take on your phone is a digital record. While some of the same basic principles for organizing paper records apply to digital, it can be daunting to manage and preserve all of these born digital materials.
Council of State Archives (CoSA) has provided tips for how to start discussions about topics like:
Or you can take Aunt Edna’s advice on how to start preserving your personal e-records (a big thanks to the the Pennsylvania State Archives for passing on the latest advice from Aunt Edna!)
Just in time for Archives Month, we are pleased to announce our long awaited and much improved website. It’s the same web address, but it looks and feels very different! Help us celebrate by exploring this new window into the resources we have to offer you at the Wyoming State Archives.
We gave some thought to what people ask us for, and then we re-organized the site around those needs and requests:
- How can I find what I need for my research?
- How do I get a copy of my transcript / court case / cool photo I saw on your site?
- What do you have and how do I find it?
- I’m a government employee; how can you help me organize my records?
- What do I need to know before I visit the Archives?
And if none of those work, just click on the button and we’ll see how we can help you!
We invite you to wander through the site to see what treats we have for you: Look through LUNA, a searchable database that includes photos, maps, and oral histories. Try out the links to “finding aids” (descriptions and lists) for state government records and papers of individuals and groups connected to Wyoming history. Explore the online version of the Wyoming Blue Books, an encyclopedia of state history. And check out the many types of records we have for discovering your family history – or the history of your house.
While you’re exploring, write down anything that doesn’t work (always a few bugs in the system, right?) or that you think is missing or could work better. Of course we’d also like to hear about what you loved or were surprised to find. Make our day! We want to make the site better and make sure it works for you. Tell us how and we’ll get to work.
— Kathy Marquis, Wyoming Deputy State Archivist
October is Archives Month, the time when archival institutions around the country make a special effort to promote the important work archives do in preserving and providing access to America’s documentary heritage.
Here are the things we at the Wyoming State Archives will be doing to celebrate the month:
- We are pleased to kick the month off by launching our new website later this week. The new design has been many months in the making and its goal is to provide users easier access to information about the State Archives, the services we provide, and our collections. We are very excited about the changes and I hope you will visit the site and let us know what you think.
- We will join archivists from around the country on Twitter October 4 for #AskAnArchivist. I encourage everyone to jump on Twitter and ask us any of those lingering, burning, nagging Archives questions.
- October 10 is Electronic Records Day (#ERecsDay), so watch this space for an update on what the State Archives is doing to help state agencies and political subdivisions manage and preserve their electronic records. We will also pass along some good information on preserving electronic records from the Council of State Archivists.
- Rick Ewig, a historian who has recently retired after a distinguished career as an archivist at the State Archives and the American Heritage Center, will be the State Museum’s fall lecture series speaker in October. Rick’s presentation titled, “Settling the Sterile and Desolate Plains: The Founding of Cheyenne and Then Some” is at 7pm, October 12, at the Wyoming State Museum. Rick published a book about the history of Cheyenne this summer. In researching the book, Rick used documents and photographs from several archives in the area, including the State Archives.
Our Archives Month activities always remind me what a privilege it is to be the Wyoming State Archivist. The staff, the collections, and our constituents make the job so rewarding. The State Archives provides valuable records management and imaging services to state agencies and political subdivisions. Our archival collections are a treasure trove for genealogists and historians and they help people resolve issues that come up in their daily lives. From photographs and historic documents to school transcripts and court records, the documentary heritage we preserve is incredibly diverse and important.
And with that, make tracks to the Archives and help us celebrate Archives Month!
— Mike Strom, Wyoming State Archivist