PTA Issue 6 (2016)

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    From the Editor
    Miles, Randall (2016-06)
    Welcome to Issue no.6 of Practical Technology for Archives. With this issue we complete our third year of publication. And fittingly, this issue has three articles. And, oddly enough, all three authors have last names beginning with “C”.
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    Working with Legacy Media: A Lone Arranger's First Steps
    Charlton, Elizabeth (2016-06)
    [Excerpt] In 2013, a naked hard drive from Fiji arriving in my small religious archives (an equivalent full-time staff of 2.5 – one archivist and two archives’ assistants) started me off on the path of digital preservation and, in particular, the digital forensics practices that are beneficial for archivists. With such a small staff, outsourced IT services, and no digital preservation policy in sight, it was time to start exploring how institutions of my size could manage legacy media and start planning for the born-digital archives that will continue to arrive. Since I hold a part-time position, I was able to undertake this exploration in my own time through the support provided by a scholarship from the Ian McLean Wards Memorial Trust in 2015.
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    Using Bulk Rename Utility and Photoshop to Increase Efficiency of Digital File Processing
    Cobourn, Alston (2016-06)
    [Excerpt] The Special Collections and Archives Department at Washington and Lee University contains 2.5 FTE staff in addition to its department head. During each of the last two fiscal years these staff members created an average of 11,000 digital files while scanning materials from our collection to fulfill patron reference requests, which are received daily. Staff must also accession and process a steady stream of newly acquired materials and a substantial backlog of older materials, as well as prepare for and lead multiple visits to the archive each term by classes of students and groups such as university alumni. In short, it is a very busy department.
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    Finding Inactive Records on Institutional Networks: An Evaluation of Tools
    Cocciolo, Anthony (2016-06)
    [Excerpt] The objective of this study is test select tools for their ability to identifying groups of records that may be inactive because of their age. Tools to identify batches of inactive records, such as the records of departed staff members or initiatives that have long ended, are often lacking and are designed more for IT departments to manage disk space. However, one such tool that will be explored is called TreeSize, and as the name indicates it’s focus is on identifying directory sizes in order to help manage disk space.v Despite this orientation, it does have some features that are useful for identifying records based on age. The other tool that will be explored is a script developed by the researcher called Archives Finder that aims to address some of the issues with existing tools for locating batches of inactive records. Archives Finder searches across unstructured network drives for the largest possible grouping of records that are a given number of years old defined by the user. It also includes a “fuzzy math” feature that allows the user to specify that only a certain threshold of files need to by X years old. This tool, as well as TreeSize, will be tested for their ability to efficiently and accurately locate records that may be inactive on unstructured network shares.