Author Archives: Sarah K

Friends of the Archives sponsors workshop on digital preservation

For those of you not familiar with the Friends of the Archives, this non-profit group does a lot to support the programming and operations of the State Archives of North Carolina.  Over the years the Friends, or FOA as they are often referred to, has funded conservation work on the treasures of the Archives, purchased private collections for the Archives, and provided valuable programming support to the Archives.  The FOA also holds periodic workshops on topics such as beginning genealogy.  If you aren’t already a member of the Friends of the Archives, I encourage you to join. Your $30 membership is tax-deductible.  Membership brochures are available in the Search Room and upon request.

During Archives Week in North Carolina the Friends of the Archives is sponsoring a workshop on the preservation of digital family papers.  If you have questions about how to manage your digital pictures or family papers, this is the place to start.   Preservation of digital photographs and best practices for managing and preserving files will be discussed. The workshop will also cover ways to share your digital family history.  The workshop will be held On October 25 from 9 a.m.-noon in the auditorium of the State Archives’ building at 109 East Jones Street.  Cost is $10, but FOA members get in free.  To register, simply call 919-807-7310 and reserve your space.

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“Mysteries of the Museum” Comes to the State Archives

Just as the old saying goes, “everyone loves a good mystery.”  Combine a mystery with a little history and you have the stuff of fun television.  The Travel Channel program “Mysteries of the Museum” bills itself as a program that looks into the mysteries and stories behind the historical treasures in American institutions.  “Behind each artifact is yet another story to be told and secrets to be revealed — tales brimming with scandal, mystery, murder and intrigue.”  http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/mysteries-at-the-museum/articles/mysteries-at-the-museum   Earlier this year the staff at the State Archives had the privilege to work with the “Mysteries of the Museum” producers to feature the story behind our most valuable document.  It is a story that spans over 140 years involving a theft, intrigue, and generally more mystery and scandal than normally attached to a document. Even though I have been known on occasion to read the end of the novel first to find out the identity of the villain, I won’t ruin this surprise by revealing the document in question.  On August 14 at 8 p.m. (Eastern) the episode of “Mysteries of the Museum” will contain the story.  Join us and learn more about the mystery behind one of most valuable treasures.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the State Archives recently, consider a trip here to uncover some mysteries of your own.  While most documents don’t have the colorful history outlined in the “Mysteries of the Museum” program, our collections contain all kinds of treasures and great stories.  Genealogy is a popular hobby, one that will hook you quickly.  We have all kinds of public records, private collections, photographs, maps and other materials for you to use in your research.  If you are just getting started or if you have been researching for years, we have knowledgeable staff ready to assist you.  Who knows, maybe you will even solve one of your own family genealogical mysteries at the State Archives of North Carolina!

Sarah Koonts

Director, Division of Archives and Records

Protecting your family papers before a hurricane

It is that time of year again, time to watch the hurricane forecasts closely. With Hurricane Irene closing in on our fair state, it is not too early to think about protecting your family papers in the event of a hurricane. The North Carolina State Archives has a few tips on how to do just that posted on our website. Here is a link to the page: http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov/news/mayday_family.html The page also contains some links to other helpful preparedness resources on the web. Don’t wait until you need tips on recovery for damaged records, act now to protect your important records ahead of any hurricane or major disaster.

May Day 2011–Do something to protect your collections

Each May Day archives across the country participate in an initiative called May Day: Saving Our Archives. The idea is that each May 1st we will do something, even if it is just one thing, to improve the protection of our collections in the event of a disaster. In previous years our disaster response team walked through our security vaults to train on emergency procedures. We also have held staff meetings to discuss the contents of our disaster response plan and our disaster response supply buckets. This year we will update our staff phone trees and discuss some new resources on disaster preparedness and response. We encourage state and local government offices, as well as cultural institutions across the state, to participate in May Day and to take steps to improve the protection of their valuable collections.

At the North Carolina State Archives we urge our patrons and private citizens to join in the effort, too. Many people have valuable family letters, pictures, or other documents. We encourage you to use May 1 as a day to think about how you can better protect your valuable family materials in the event of an emergency. An ounce of preparation and planning today is easier and cheaper than trying to salvage damaged documents after a disaster. Please visit our May Day 2011 web pages to find information for individuals and government officials on ways to improve the protection of our nation’s cultural heritage.

http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov/news/mayday.html

Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records training update

The Office of the State Chief Information Officer, Division of Emergency Management, and the North Carolina State Archives have announced further training opportunities for the two classes in the Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER) series.  The first class, Essential Records, is designed to instruct state and local government officials on the identification and protection of essential records.  Records Emergency Planning and Response takes the lessons in Essential Records one step further and provides training on how to incorporate a records emergency action plan into an agency’s overall disaster plans.  Both courses are offered as a webinars.  Each webinar has four sessions.  There is no charge for participation in the webinar, but long distance phone charges will apply for the phone calls associated with the webinar.  Essential Records will be offered again in April, May, and September of 2011.  Records Emergency Planning and Response will be offered again in May and October.  For more information on the courses or registration information, please contact Sarah Koonts at sarah.koonts@ncdcr.gov or (919) 807-7339.

IPER training to be offered again in 2011

The North Carolina State Archives (Department of Cultural Resources), Division of Emergency Management (Department of Crime Control and Public Safety), and the Office of Information Technology Services are pleased to announce the availability in early 2011 of two on-line courses designed to assist participants in the development of the vital records identification and protection component of their Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan.  Each course provides 7.5 hours of online training, and a FEMA certificate of completion.  Listed in the FEMA National Training and Education Division (NTED) catalog as courses AWR-210-2 and AWR-211-2, these courses will be delivered in North Carolina by staff of the Department of Cultural Resources and Information Technology Services.

Course AWR-210-2 (Essential Records Webinar) presents a step-by-step approach to developing an essential records program that is based on FEMA’s COOP guidance.  Presented via webinar in four sessions, held once a week, the course covers identification, protection, accessibility, and implementation of a scalable essential records program.  Take-home assignments to be completed between each session allow participants to apply what they learn to their own workplace setting, developing the components necessary for a comprehensive essential records program.  Building on the lessons of the Essential Records Webinar, course AWR-211-2 (Records Emergency Planning and Response Webinar) broadens the focus to all records so that agencies can plan for protecting and recovering both essential records and others that are also important or useful should an emergency occur.  This course is also presented in a weekly webinar format.  Take home assignments between sessions allow participants to develop key components of their own Records Emergency Action Plan that details how each participant’s agency will handle records during an emergency.

Governmental administrative, law enforcement, public health, emergency management, and information technology professionals involved in COOP planning are the target audiences of these courses.  Each requires a weekly commitment to attend the webinars, complete the assigned homework, and take a pre and post course test.  It is recommended that participants complete the Essential Records course prior to taking the Records Emergency Planning and Response Webinar.  In addition, participants unfamiliar with basic records management principles and terminology may wish to take some on-line, self-directed tutorials on managing public records in North Carolina available from the Government Records Branch of the North Carolina State Archives at http://www.records.ncdcr.gov/

The Essential Records Webinar in four sessions will be offered Wednesdays at 10 a.m. beginning January 12, 2011.  The Records Emergency Planning and Response Webinar in four sessions will be offered Wednesdays at 10 a.m. beginning February 9, 2011.  Webinar sizes are limited, and long distance phone charges will apply for each webinar.  Course participants may be eligible for continuing education credits from organizations such as the International Institute of Municipal Clerks or the National Association of Government Archives & Records Administrators.  For more information on registration, please contact Sarah Koonts at sarah.koonts@ncdcr.gov or (919) 807-7339.

Training Opportunity: Essential Records Identification and Protection

The North Carolina State Archives (Department of Cultural Resources), Division of Emergency Management (Department of Crime Control and Public Safety), and the Office of Information Technology Services are pleased to announce the availability of two on-line courses designed to assist participants in the development of the vital records identification and protection component of their Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan.  Each course provides 7.5 hours of online training, and a FEMA certificate of completion.  Listed in the FEMA National Training and Education Division (NTED) catalog as courses AWR-210-2 and AWR-211-2, these courses will be delivered in North Carolina by staff of the Department of Cultural Resources and Information Technology Services.

Course AWR-210-2 (Essential Records Webinar) presents a step-by-step approach to developing an essential records program that is based on FEMA’s COOP guidance.  Presented via webinar in four sessions, held once a week, the course covers identification, protection, accessibility, and implementation of a scalable essential records program.  Take-home assignments to be completed between each session allow participants to apply what they learn to their own workplace setting, developing the components necessary for a comprehensive essential records program.  Building on the lessons of the Essential Records Webinar, course AWR-211-2 (Records Emergency Planning and Response Webinar) broadens the focus to all records so that agencies can plan for protecting and recovering both essential records and others that are also important or useful should an emergency occur.  This course is also presented in a weekly webinar format.  Take home assignments between sessions allow participants to develop key components of their own Records Emergency Action Plan that details how each participant’s agency will handle records during an emergency.

Governmental administrative, law enforcement, public health, emergency management, and information technology professionals involved in COOP planning are the target audiences of these courses.  Each requires a weekly commitment to attend the webinars, complete the assigned homework, and take a pre and post course test.  It is recommended that participants complete the Essential Records course prior to taking the Records Emergency Planning and Response Webinar.  In addition, participants unfamiliar with basic records management principles and terminology may wish to take some on-line, self-directed tutorials on managing public records in North Carolina available from the Government Records Branch of the North Carolina State Archives at http://www.records.ncdcr.gov/

The Essential Records Webinar in four sessions will be offered Wednesdays at 10 a.m. beginning October 6.  The Records Emergency Planning and Response Webinar in four sessions will be offered Wednesdays at 10 a.m. beginning November 3.  Webinar sizes are limited, and long distance phone charges will apply for each webinar.  Course participants may be eligible for continuing education credits from organizations such as the International Institute of Municipal Clerks or the National Association of Government Archives & Records Administrators.  For more information on registration, please contact Sarah Koonts at sarah.koonts@ncdcr.gov or (919) 807-7339.