Online Services for Electronic Records: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

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Online Services for Electronic Records: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Margaret O. Adams, Reference Program Manager NARA Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division IASSIST 2003. Background. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<ul><li><p>Online Services for Electronic Records: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)</p><p>Margaret O. Adams, Reference Program Manager NARA Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division</p><p>IASSIST 2003</p></li><li><p>Background</p><p>U.S. National Archives and Records Admin (NARA): an electronic records program since 1968Accessioning, preservation, and access services evolved with technology and to meet expectationsHoldings reflect diversity of the U.S. federal govt.now approx 200,000 files; most are data filesoriginally supported federal program administration, research, mandated information collections, etc. electronic records are transferred to NARA after they are appraised as having long-term historical value</p></li><li><p>Traditional User Services for NARAs Electronic RecordsStaff prepare descriptive materials so search for records can be as independent as possible and also assist researchers directlystaff respond using descriptive materials, administrative records, data file documentation, and experience if NARA has electronic records of interest, researchers review documentation, onsite or in copies (cost-recovery)researcher can order copy of file(s) on removeable media (cost-recovery), in accord with tenets of the FOIA</p></li><li><p>Evolution of Online Services for NARAs Electronic Records 1991: begin using e-mail and announcing news to listservs1993: established FTP site on NIH mainframe to distribute informational materials1994: NARA mounts gopher site, subsequently replaced by NARA Web Page; includes informational materials about electronic records 1998: extract state-level reports from electronic records of Korean and Vietnam war casualties added to NARA webpage</p></li><li><p>AAD: Access to Archival Databases</p><p>February 12, 2003: Soft public rollout of AAD; no formal announcementOnline search and retrieval access to 50,000,000 records from 33 archival series, in approx 350 files series selected have releasable records; identify specific persons, places, events, transactions, etc.; suitable for record-level accessAAD includes series and file descriptions, some scanned documentation, and option for viewing or printing individual records with de-coded meanings and/or downloading raw data search results in files; no charge for use</p></li><li><p>WHY AAD?Traditional access services meet most needs of data analysts, not seekers of specific records, facts, etc.Having staff offer customized search and retrieval of specific records is extremely labor intensive Ubiquity of personal computing has led to rising public expectation for online access to archival electronic recordsNARA committed to ready access to essential evidence</p></li><li><p>responses chart</p><p>482178876260</p><p>149312246530221</p><p>23922665281174</p><p>2481126201221329</p><p>MILITARY (16 RG)</p><p>BUREAU OF CENSUS</p><p>SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMM'N</p><p>ALL OTHER CIVILIAN (40 RG)</p><p>GENERAL INFORMATION (not record group specific)</p><p>REQUESTOR TYPE</p><p>RESPONSE TOTALS N = 7525</p><p>NARA ELECTRONIC RECORDS REFERENCE SERVICES </p><p>RESPONSES BY RECORD GROUP CLUSTERS FY1998 - FY1999</p><p>responses sheet</p><p>GOVERNMENTACADEMICFOR PROFIT, inc. MEDIALAY PUBLIC and NON-PROFIT</p><p>MILITARY (16 RG)4821492392481</p><p>BUREAU OF CENSUS178312226126</p><p>SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMM'N82466520</p><p>ALL OTHER CIVILIAN (40 RG)76530281122</p><p>GENERAL INFORMATION (not record group specific)2602211741329</p><p>FOR PROFIT, inc. MEDIA</p></li><li><p>files chart</p><p>34950025151</p><p>590104778857096</p><p>14354920964</p><p>4168039014</p><p>MILITARY (7 RG)</p><p>CENSUS</p><p>SEC</p><p>HEALTH/HUMAN SVC (4 RG)</p><p>FHLBB</p><p>ALL OTHER CIVILIAN (15 RG)</p><p>REQUESTOR TYPE</p><p>NUMBER OF DATASETS N = 4073</p><p>NARA ELECTRONIC RECORDS FILES COPIED FOR RESEARCHERS </p><p>BY RECORD GROUP CLUSTER FY1998 - FY1999</p><p>files sheet</p><p>GOVERNMENTACADEMICFOR PROFIT, inc. MEDIALAY PUBLIC and NON-PROFIT</p><p>MILITARY (7 RG)35901441648</p><p>CENSUS4951047354681964</p><p>SEC0788920880</p><p>HEALTH/HUMAN SVC (4 RG)05703996</p><p>FHLBB251090260</p><p>ALL OTHER CIVILIAN (15 RG)51966414225</p><p>80025785331624073</p></li><li><p>AAD: Access to Archival Databases initial experience: 4000+virtual visitors ran 2640 successful queries in first weekby six weeks later (end of March), almost 63,000 visitors ran approximately 52,000 successful queriesmoderate increase in reference requests directed to staff (Feb + March = 430 requests; 25 % AAD-related)22 % of all requests could be answered by referring the person to AAD to do own records search</p></li><li><p>AAD: Access to Archival Databases during soft rollout phase, AAD expanded options for access to a selection of NARAs electronic records, with manageable impact on reference staffnumbers of virtual visitors and queries on a scale that eclipsed traditional demand many-foldfrom outset, most queries were for records that identify people</p></li><li><p>AAD: Access to Archival Databases April 4, 2003: the Associated Press (AP) story on AAD: de facto public rollout USA Today headline: A Genealogists Dream... Week of 3/31/03 - 4/6/2003, 79,677 virtual visitors; 35,681 successful queriesAAD requirements: scale for up to 250 simultaneous visitors yes, overloaded the system -- user problems, etc.Following week, staff received 252 requests [0.3% of 76,682 visitors]165 with AAD-related problems, especially related to misunderstanding the nature of genealogists dream </p></li><li><p>AAD: Access to Archival Databases April 8, 2003: NARA press release announces AAD and clarifies its coverageSubsequently: #s of virtual visitors stabilize (more or less)most system problems ameliorated; system development on-goingreceived comments mainly positive; a few reflect expectation of Google-like accessthree months of AAD: 198,993 successful queries</p></li><li><p>What Are Our Lessons Learned?On-going effort needed to maintain resources onlineEach offering of a new online service will be met favorably by some, will be challenging to othersnew services do not immediately, nor potentially ever, displace demand for existing servicesnew services raise expectations for futurePreparing metadata to support online search and retrieval of electronic records is very labor intensiveeven when it originates with automated accession processing (as it does at NARA)</p></li><li><p>What Else Have We Learned?in an online world, publicity has new meaningand, overall levels of demand are likely to increase with each release of a new serviceonline archival reference services will lead to new kinds of demand even as they offer researcher independencenew procedures will likely be needed in response Staff need flexibility and experience to meet new challenges and to blend in new services</p></li><li><p>Present and Future Access to NARAs Electronic RecordsContinue to describe records, answer researcher inquiries (in-person, by email, post, phone, etc)Offer copies of files on removeable media, suitable for contemporary technologies, on a cost-recovery basisContinue online search and retrieval resource: AADDevelop infrastructure for electronic transfer of filesOther new services likely as NARAs Electronic Records Archives (ERA) program emerges</p></li><li><p>For More InformationContact the reference services staff, Electronic and Special Media Services Div. (NWME)email: CER@NARA.GOVtelephone: 301-837-0470 surface mail: NWME, The National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740http://www.archives.gov/research_room/media_formats/electronic_records</p></li></ul>

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