Utah Fall Caucus, 2011

The CIMA Utah Fall Caucus was held at the Utah State Archives on Friday, September 30, 2011, with a program focused on preservation issues — particularly those affecting digital materials. The program was well-attended, with over fifty participants both from CIMA and other cultural heritage organizations within the state.

The morning sessions featured multiple presentations on digital preservation by Tawnya Keller (University of Utah) and Jimi Jones (Library of Congress). Keller introduced a framework for digital preservation activities, which included establishing an organizational infrastructure, a technological infrastructure, and a resource framework. She later provided a case study of film preservation work underway at the University of Utah. In his presentations, Jones spoke of his work in the Library of Congress’ Office of Strategic Initiatives regarding the sustainability of file formats for digital preservation. His work has focused on formats for digital video recordings, and provided a useful introduction to the basics of video file encoding, as well as some of the issues and challenges facing institutions with these materials.

Image of Rebekkah Shaw presentation

Rebekkah Shaw describing microfiche backlog (photograph by Glen Fairclough)

In the afternoon the program then turned to preservation work underway at the Utah State Archives, including both digital and analog formats. Rebekkah Shaw reported on her work with the NHPRC-funded Utah Microfiche Backlog Project, processing vast amounts of state records stored on microfiche and the production of public finding aids. Elizabeth Perkes then spoke about her work with the Geospatial Multistate Archive and Preservation Partnership (GeoMAPP), providing digital preservation services for state agencies that produce geospatial data.

Image of Gary Topping award presentation

Gary Topping holding Cooley Award (photograph by Glen Fairclough)

The program also included the presentation of the Everett L. Cooley, which this year was awarded by the Utah Manuscripts Association to Jay Haymond. The award was received on Haymond’s behalf by Gary Topping. In his remarks, Topping recounted Haymond’s role in the founding of the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists, as well as his professional work with the Utah State Historical Society.

Through the caucus meetings, it was felt that additional work will be needed for archival repositories in the region to prepare for the future digital deluge. To this end, over the next two years CIMA will be working with the Society of American Archivists (SAA) to bring additional educational offerings on the topic of digital preservation to the inter-mountain region. These workshops and other events will be aimed at assisting archivists in the region to earn their Digital Archives Specialist Certificate as part of the new program offered by SAA. We hope that you will take advantage of this program to prepare for certification.

Finally, special thanks go to Sarah Langsdon and Gina Strack for their work in developing the caucus program, as well as to Patricia Smith-Mansfield and the Utah State Archives for hosting the event. We would also like to thank the libraries and special collections at Brigham Young University, the University of Utah, the Utah State Archives, Utah State University, and Weber State University for contributing the funds for speaker travel costs.

Presentation Slides

Tawnya Keller, “Building a Digital Preservation Program from the Ground Up”

Jimi Jones, “The Library of Congress’ Sustainability of Digital Formats Site”

Jimi Jones, “The Perils of Preserving Digitized and Born-Digital Video”

Tawnya Keller, “Digital Preservation of Moving Images: A Case Study”

Elizabeth Perkes, “Geospatial Records and Your Archives”

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