Category Archives: Guidelines and Rules

Good Friday Hours, YouTube Videos, the 1940 Census, and a Civil War Update

A lot has been happening at 109 E. Jones St. in the past few weeks, so here’s a summary blog post to catch you up.

First of all, please remember that the State Archives will be closed April 6-8, 2012 for the Good Friday holiday. The Search Room will be open to the public for its regularly scheduled hours on Tuesday, April 10th. If you ever need to know what our hours are, what holidays we close for, or how to find parking near the building, please visit the Hours and Parking page on our website.

There is a new set of videos available on our YouTube channel; the five tutorials deal with social media in state government and give guidance on: how North Carolina state government agencies can utilize social media sites to reach citizens in new ways; acceptable use of social media; security concerns; and records retention of public records created on social media sites as well as the preservation of those public records. More tutorials and guidelines on these subjects are available on the Government Records Branch website. Also please remember that you can find video tutorials on how to use our online catalog MARS on our YouTube channel as well.

If you weren’t able to attend the 1940 Census Release Party hosted by the State Library, you can get a good idea of the excitement generated at the event by watching this video from Raleigh’s WRAL. In connection with the release of the 1940 Census, the News and Observer published an article about the North Carolina Digital Collections (NCDC), a joint project of both the State Archives and the State Library and something that I’ve mentioned on this blog often. The NCDC is the home for our Treasures, Christmas materials, Civil War items, WPA cemetery surveys and Bible Records, World War I photographs, and so many other items from our collections, so it was wonderful to see the site get some recognition.

Speaking of the Civil War, there are new posts on our Civil War 150 blog and several of my coworkers have persistently reminded me that I need to pass that information on to all of our readers here. So, here is a quick list (with links) of what’s new on that site:

Finally, there is an updated version of the Guide to Newspapers on Microfilm in the North Carolina State Archives available in PDF format from our website. If you have questions about these or any other topics, you can always ask it in the comments on the blog or email us at: archives@ncdcr.gov. And if you want to keep up to date on the latest news from the State Archives, you can always follow us on Twitter.

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Scanning Public Records: Laying the Groundwork Workshop

This announcement comes from the Government Records Branch:

As a result of increased demand for attendance at the Scanning Public Records: Laying the Groundwork Workshop offered by the Government Records Branch, we have decided to add an extra session of this workshop on November 15, 2011 from 1:30 to 4:00. The workshop will be held at the State Records Center located at 215 N. Blount St., Raleigh, NC. As this is an additional offering and is not listed on the Government Records Branch web page for the schedule of State Agency Workshops, registration will be by phone only. Please call Gail Elliott at (919) 807-7350 to personally register for the workshop.

Below is the description of the Scanning workshop:

Scanning Public Records: Laying the Groundwork
Many state agencies are considering scanning as an option to reduce storage costs and to “go paperless.” This introductory workshop provides the guidance you will need to get started, while ensuring you are in compliance with public records laws. Topics covered include legal issues relating to scanned images and creating trustworthy records, and technical aspects of digital imaging. This presentation will also provide you with questions to consider, including “Is scanning the right option for my office?”, “What is the difference between a JPEG and a TIFF, high-resolution and low-resolution, and grayscale and 16-bit color?”, and “Should I scan in-house or outsource?”

Genealogical Research, FAQ, and the Digital Civil War Collection

It’s time for a blog Spring cleaning, so here are a few new features that I’ve just added to this site:

  1. In 2009 we created an introduction to genealogical research at the North Carolina State Archives as part of the National Genealogical Society Conference held in Raleigh that year. That introduction has been very popular with people who are just beginning to work on their genealogy so I’ve added an updated version to the blog – you’ll see it listed as Genealogical Research in our banner links.
  2. I’ve added a Frequently Asked Questions page to the blog as well; you can find it either through our About page or as the last topic on the Genealogical Research page.

Over on our North Carolina Civil War 150 blog, I’ve added a page to search or browse our Civil War 150 collection in the North Carolina Digital Collections. If you want to know more about the ongoing Civil War digitization project or all the places you can find the Digital Civil War Collection search pages, this blog post should get you up to speed.

Born Digital to Microfilm

The Government Records Branch has just posted information on “The Conversion of Electronic Records to Microfilm” (pdf). To quote the new guidelines:

Using the Kodak Document Archive Writer Model 9620, the North Carolina State Archives is now able to offer a fee-based service, which enables state government agencies to convert scanned images or “born digital” records—those created solely in digital form—to archival microfilm for low-cost, long-term storage and access.

The State Archives offers this service because microfilm processed in accordance with archival standards is a stable, low-risk medium that can enhance the survivability of digital files over time. Digital files are a series of 1s and 0s that need to be mounted onto hardware loaded with the correct software to make them readable to the human eye. Microfilm can always be read by the human eye and is therefore protected from technological obsolescence.