NARA Centralized Catalog

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John P. Moore
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NARA Centralized Catalog

Post by John P. Moore » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:25 am

Below is the text of a story that appeared in Federal Computer Week today. Possibly the latest price increase for DVD and microfilm media is helping to fund this initiative.

John

http://fcw.com/articles/2009/03/16/nara ... ily_170309

NARA wants new catalog
By Ben Bain Mar 16, 2009

The National Archives and Records Administration has outgrown its centralized catalog of what it has in its repositories and is looking for new ways to share and manage its growing amount of data.

In a request for information published today, NARA officials said they wanted to learn from industry about software that could replace its Archival Research Catalog (ARC). The agency will hold a vendor day April 6 to discuss the initiative.

According to agency officials, the catalog can't keep up with the rapid progress being made by companies working with NARA to digitize its holdings. The catalog lets users retrieve information about NARA’s holdings by searching for keywords and through other means.

“Due to the rapid processing pace of NARA’s digitizing partners, there’s already a backlog of several million descriptions that will be associated with 11 million digital copies and 30 million more digital copies expected to be delivered this year,” the RFI states.

The catalog holds 147,433 digital items and almost 2.5 million archival descriptions that include record groups, collections and series. The agency said about 6.25 billion logical data records and 354,556 artifacts are described in the catalog, and it contains 8.8 million authority records.

“NARA has outgrown the existing ARC system and requires a more robust solution that’s capable of scaling to support at least 250 million archival descriptions and links to upwards of 500 million digital copies over the next four to seven years,” the RFI states.

NARA said responses, which are due by April 24, should include an approach for incorporating descriptive and authority services that will work with the agency’s other systems and allow for reuse in many ways. Responses should also include the estimated price of the solution and data on relevant contracting vehicles.

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Abicht
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Re: NARA Centralized Catalog

Post by Abicht » Sat May 30, 2009 4:39 am

From what I know as a volunteer at NARA, the article is correct, but dont hold your breath, every single item in ARC must be condenced and sort of "cliff-noted" by a person them type it into arch. The ERA (electronic records archive) is the replacement for ARC I understand. So the powers at be at NARA decide what the most popular records are then put those at the top of the list for "digitizing".

WWII records are a big draw and make some money off selling the rolls, but overall WWII record fall down the list. Civil war, geneology, presidential records, personnel records, still photos, law records ect I think beat out WWII. Plus with the key German WWII records (RG242) on mircofilm and a bit of a money maker, I doubt they will be online any time soon.

I have come across several WWII and WWI finding aids that have been put together over the year by serious researchers, NARA staff working on projects, or volunteers. I asked the staff why those are not online like other guides, and was give the answer that they were produced without a standard, so some are PDFs, some word documents, some hand written, and some type written, and god-forbid if those went online in different formats. In a selfish way I like this... as few people know where some of the gems are :evil: !
M.Abicht

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Tom Houlihan
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Re: NARA Centralized Catalog

Post by Tom Houlihan » Sat May 30, 2009 4:50 am

Abicht wrote:I have come across several WWII and WWI finding aids that have been put together over the year by serious researchers, NARA staff working on projects, or volunteers. I asked the staff why those are not online like other guides, and was give the answer that they were produced without a standard, so some are PDFs, some word documents, some hand written, and some type written, and god-forbid if those went online in different formats. In a selfish way I like this... as few people know where some of the gems are :evil: !
Y'know, I'd be willing to bet that if a bunch of those were gathered up, you could probably find some people here that would be willing to do some typing, to bring it all into one format! I know I'd do some!
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Abicht
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Re: NARA Centralized Catalog

Post by Abicht » Sat May 30, 2009 5:12 am

I offered to do this for one regarding US WWI airphoto plots and locations.... they declined :roll:
M.Abicht

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Tom Houlihan
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Re: NARA Centralized Catalog

Post by Tom Houlihan » Sat May 30, 2009 8:08 am

So, we do it for our own community! Then we ask them "oh by the way, we did this. You want a copy?"
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John W. Howard
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Re: NARA Centralized Catalog

Post by John W. Howard » Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:35 pm

Tom, that sounds like a flanking maneuver :wink: Very uncharacteristic for Marines; you are evolving :D
John W. Howard

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