November 28, 2015

Full Text: Archivist of the U.S. David Ferriero Speaks About Citizen Archivist Program at Digital Humanities Conference

Here’s the full text (with slides) of a speech (14 pages; PDF) delivered by the Archivist of the U.S. (also a librarian), David Ferriero, at the recent Digital Humanities Conference 2013 that took place at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

The speech is titled, “Harnessing the Wisdom of the Crowd: The Citizen Archivist Program at the National Archives”.

Direct to Full Text and Slides (14 pages; PDF)

Some NARA “Fast Facts” Included in the Speech

We [NARA] are responsible for the records of the government—275 Executive Branch agencies and  departments, the White House, and the Supreme Court. We provide courtesy storage for the  records of Congress.

We are 3300 strong in 44 facilities across the country from Anchorage, Alaska to Atlanta, Georgia, including 13 Presidential Libraries—from Herbert Hoover in West Branch, Iowa to  George W. Bush in Dallas Texas. And 80 million civilian personnel and military service records in St. Louis.The records start with the Oaths of Allegiance signed by George Washington and his troops at  Valley Forge and go all the way up to the Tweets that are being created at the White House as
I am speaking this evening.

It is a collection of 12 billion pieces of paper and parchment (1.5 million trees, circles the globe 84 times), 40 million photographs, miles and miles of film and video, and the fastest growing  part of the collection—electronic records. We started collecting email during the Ronald Reagan  administration in 1996. Between Reagan and Bush 41 we have 2.5 million email messages. 20 million from the Clinton White House. And 210 million from Bush 43.

Direct to Full Text and Slides (14 pages; PDF)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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