PTA Issue 1 (2013)

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    From the Editor
    Miles, Randall (2013-11)
    Welcome to the inaugural issue of Practical Technology for Archives! The intention in launching this journal is to provide a forum for the exchange of, as the title implies, practical solutions to the problems archivists face in processing and presenting their materials. The editorial board and I perceived a gap in the current literature: there are a number of journals for the exchange of archival ideas, theory, and research, but there are none dedicated strictly to the practice of the craft. None focus on the tools of the trade. I hope that Practical Technology for Archives will fill that void. While in these pages you won’t find much theory or research, I hope you will discover solutions, or at least signposts leading you to solutions.
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    Using Google Analytics Data to Expand Discovery and Use of Digital Archival Content
    Szajewski, Michael (2013-11)
    This article presents opportunities for the use of Google Analytics, a popular and freely available web analytics tool, to inform decision making for digital archivists managing online digital archives content. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of Google Analytics data to increase the visibility and discoverability of content. The article describes the use of Google Analytics to support fruitful digital outreach programs, to guide metadata creation for enhancing access, and to measure user demand to aid selection for digitization. Valuable reports, features, and tools in Google Analytics are identified and the use of these tools to gather meaningful data is explained.
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    Processing Internal Hard Drives
    Brown, Amy F.; Edwards, Chloë; Eastwood, Meg; Tenney, Martha; O'Donnell, Kevin (2013-11)
    As archives receive born digital materials more and more frequently, the challenge of dealing with a variety of hardware and formats is becoming omnipresent. This paper outlines a case study that provides a practical, step-by-step guide to archiving files on legacy hard drives dating from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s. The project used a digital forensics approach to provide access to the contents of the hard drives without compromising the integrity of the files. Relying largely on open source software, the project imaged each hard drive in its entirety, then identified folders and individual files of potential high use for upload to the University of Texas Digital Repository. The project also experimented with data visualizations in order to provide researchers who would not have access to the full disk images—a sense of the contents and context of the full drives. The greatest challenge philosophically was answering the question of whether scholars should be able to view deleted materials on the drives that donors may not have realized were accessible.
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    You Can Do It: Tips For Creating A Stylesheet For Your EAD Records
    Snow, Justin (2013-11)
    When implementing EAD, archivists consider encoding findings aids as the easy part. Creating an XSLT stylesheet, in contrast, leaves many archivists feeling out of their element. However, armed with a basic understanding of HTML, a few preparatory steps, and the proper mindset, most archivists are capable of making a user-friendly web presentation for their finding aids.
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    Using ReNamer for Batch Finding Aid Production from Archivists’ Toolkit
    Schmitt, Cassandra A. (2013-11)
    This article will examine the use of the software program ReNamer to facilitate and streamline finding aid production at the University of Oregon. ReNamer was used to perform bulk renaming of EAD files exported from the Archivists’ Toolkit (AT) to meet local and consortia file naming schemes. Topics covered include batch exporting from AT, capabilities of ReNamer, and developing workflows to increase productivity.