Open your archive – unlock the value: SAA Archives 2017

I recently returned from the Society of American Archivists (SAA) annual members conference in Portland, Oregon. This year close to 2,000 attendees made this SAA’s largest west coast conference ever. Preservica regularly attends and sponsors this event, and it’s always great to reconnect with industry professionals, as well as our many customers & friends.

The key theme of the conference was Alike/​Different, emphasizing the critical work being done by archivists to preserve and protect valued information assets. In his opening keynote, Greg Eow the Associate Director for Collections at MIT gave a heartfelt talk on the role archivists play in creating authentic and curated collections, and why we should strive to make these open across society. This theme of openness was also echoed by David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States who emphasised the role archives play in ensuring transparent government. 

I also sat in on the Business Archives Section Colloquium where we heard how archivists from global brands like Coca Cola, Levi Strauss, Nike and Harley-Davidson are helping their organizations re-energize the brand and drive inspiration for new products and designs by opening the physical and digital resources of their corporate archives. 

So, whether you are in government, academia or industry, making your archive accessible can deliver significant value to all your stakeholders. This is particularly true of born-digital and digitized content, since this can give whole new audiences ways of discovering and engaging with important archival content. 

At this year’s SAA there was a great deal of interest in Preservica’s new fully-redesigned Universal Access (UA) functionality, which combines the ability to selectively share valuable content and provide long-term digital preservation into one fully supported application. 

During a well-attended workshop on How to Unlock the Value of Your Digital Archive” Mark Myers of Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and Nancy Hadley from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) shared their insights and strategies on how they have enabled both public and private access to specific content in their valued and growing digital collections, whilst Jon Tilbury, Preservica’s CTO was on-hand to show Preservica’s new UA in action using a variety of archival digital content including images, video, sound, websites and emails. 

Other highlights for me on this trip was the Portland Food Truck Experience, and of course the Preservica US User Group meeting and dinner. This brings together our vibrant and diverse user community, and provides the perfect platform to share best practices, learn about our product roadmap and share invaluable feedback on digital preservation experiences. 

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth in the Expo Hall or attended our sessions at the conference. We look forward to seeing you again in Washington for #SAA18!

Posted by

Mike Quinn


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