Citizen Archivist Contributions Push National Archives (NARA) Catalog Enhancements Past 2 Million
The National Archives Catalog recently surpassed two million pages of records enhanced with tags, transcriptions, and comments, thanks to the record-breaking efforts of citizen archivists, as well as agency employees working from home.
This was the second major milestone in a year for the Citizen Archivist project, which began in 2014. Enhancements reached one million on August 10, 2020, and two million on June 1, 2021.
“After pursuing and achieving the goal of enhancing one million records over several years, we were stunned to surpass the two million records enhanced mark in only 10 months,” said Pamela Wright, the agency’s Chief Innovation Officer. “Citizen archivists and NARA staff have been working hard to make the public’s records more accessible to users, and achieving this milestone so quickly is a testament to their dedication.”
Citizen Archivists contribute to records by tagging them, making comments, or transcribing documents to make searching easier and allow more members of the public to find documents relevant to their research. (Read more about how keywords help researchers in the NARAtions blog.) The Citizen Archivist team prepares “missions” for contributors to work on, focusing the momentum on particular groups of records at one time.
Since August, citizen archivists completed missions that include:
- Bureau of Public Roads Historical Photographs 1896 – 1963
- Ratified Indian Treaties
- World War II Posters and World War II Looted Art
- Martin Luther King, Jr. v. Mister Maestro, Inc. and Twentieth Century Fox Record Corporation
- Case Files of Attorneys, Agents, Pensioners, and Others ca. 1886 – 1933
While the public worked on those projects, the National Archives staff enhanced 171,910 pages of the one million since August and completed other missions, including United States Navy Fleet Problems I to XXII, 1975 – 1975, Correspondence Relating to Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Activities , ca. 1937 – ca. 1942, and the Repeal of the 18th Amendment.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.