May 14, 2021

U.S. Congress/NARA: "National Archives May Digitize Searches"

From Roll Call:

The National Archives could be just months away from starting a long-planned project to create for the first time a searchable digital log of the archives of Congress.

The project, which had been discussed for about six years, would essentially catalog Congressional records dating back to 1789 and create a database where researchers could search for specific topics.

Though it wouldn’t digitize the records themselves, the database would point researchers to places within the expansive records where that topic is discussed.

“The idea is to take those various sources … and to make it a state-of-the-art finding aid,” Senate Archivist Karen Paul said.

The final plan for the project was unanimously approved Monday morning by the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress, co-chaired by Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson and Clerk of the House Karen Haas and consisting of Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, the House and Senate archivists and historians and other experts.

Ferriero expressed concern about the project’s cost, and Erickson said that by the next meeting in December, the committee should be presented with a cost estimate.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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