Cheryl Oestreicher 2014-07-22 11:26:55
Some things are worth celebrating: The entire runs of Georgia Archive (1972–1982) and Provenance: Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists (1982– present) are now available online. The sixty issues illustrate the advancements in technology, trends, ideas, practices, and theories that are core to the archival profession. Check them out at http:// digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/. When I took over as the editor of Provenance in January 2012, the idea of putting back issues online was an ongoing project and, admittedly, somewhat daunting. In 2002, Provenance published a proposal by Linda Matthews (former editor of Georgia Archive, Provenance’s predecessor) for an electronic journal, which included these points: * “Electronic publishing would enhance the recognition and readership of Provenance by making it more visible and useful to readers throughout the world, likely increasing the number of submissions for publication. * The full text of the journal from its first to current issues could be made fully searchable online. * Users would be able to print those articles of immediate use without having to give shelf space to the whole issue or many issues. * The Society of Georgia Archivists could be in the forefront of the archives world in making its journal accessible to a worldwide audience and searchable through the web.”1 Matthews also noted that when David B. Gracy II founded Georgia Archive in 1972, “archivists had little professional literature beyond American Archivist.”2 Creating the Online Editions The process to get Georgia Archive and Provenance online consisted of numerous steps: * Planning the project and outcomes with an SGA subcommittee * Working with Kennesaw State University (KSU) to create the online repository * Tracking down the full runs of Georgia Archive and Provenance * Finding a vendor to scan the copies * Examining every page of the PDFs, straightening/cropping as necessary, checking OCR * Cutting and scanning missing issues * Saving PDFs of each individual article * Creating a metadata spreadsheet for each PDF (nearly six hundred) * Having Provenance board members check files and metadata for accuracy * Working with KSU to upload the content From start to finish, the process took two years. A Wealth of Content Because of this project, I’ve become well acquainted with the content in Provenance and Georgia Archive. There has been a wealth of knowledge published in these journals in the past forty-two years that contributes greatly to archival scholarship. It’s even more interesting to see how far we’ve come. For instance, Glen McAninch’s 1984 article on “microcomputers” (Apple II+) versus networked/main-frame computers notes that “field names had to be limited in length” and data had to be entered in an abbreviated format.3 Today, we have intricate and powerful digital records programs and vast online content that can be accessed through mobile devices. Presentations from SAA Annual Meetings periodically showed up as articles. In the ’70s and ’80s the journals addressed “the archivist as activist,” covering topics such as documenting the record, societal roles of cultural institutions, assembling “a fair and representative record of our society,” and reaching out to underrepresented groups. In the 1977 Georgia Archive, Gregory A. Stiverson wrote, “I am convinced that no self-proclaimed activist archivist will ever attract much notice except from members of our own profession, and further, that even if we banded together as a profession and issued an activist manifesto, it would not alter the course of American history in the slightest.”4 Today, there are numerous examples that contradict his argument. There is no end to the topics covered in these journals. Sometimes it’s the titles that are the most intriguing: * “The Archival Briar Patch” (GA 2:2) * “Peanut Butter and Spilt Milk: A New Look at Collecting” (GA 3:1) * “On Booknapping and Other Headaches” (GA 4:1) * “Taking the Man out of Manuscripts” (GA 4:1) * “Waste Not, Want Not: The Dyer Marion ‘Ichabod’ Reynolds Circus Collection” (P 2:2) * “The Paperless Office: Hope for the Future or a Grand Illusion?” (P 6:2) * “Sunshine State Showpieces: Alligator- Skin Bindings in the Florida Archives” (P 6:2) * “Personality Types of Archivists” (P 14) And who wouldn’t be enticed to read an article titled “Finding Aids are Like Streakers” (GA 4:1)? Thank you to all the authors, editors, board members, reviewers, and others who contributed to the journals over the years and everyone who helped make the completion of this project possible. Within six weeks after I sent the announcement to various listservs, there were more than 5,500 downloads of articles/issues! I was thrilled to see such high interest, and I know that both Provenance and Georgia Archive will be instrumental in future education and scholarship, which really is something to shout about. Notes 1 Linda Matthews, “Bringing Provenance to a Wider Audience,” Provenance 20 (2002): 18. 2 Ibid, 15. 3 Glen McAninch, “Bit by Bit: Microcomputer Applications by Archivists in Four Southeastern States,” Provenance 2 no. 1 (1984): 32. 4 Gregory A. Stiverson, “The Activist Archivist: A Conservative View,” Georgia Archive 5 no. 1 (Winter 1977): 4.
Published by Society of American Archivists. View All Articles.