Friday, 3 October 2014

US National Archivist Praises Genealogist's Contributions

On Thursday David S. Ferriero, National Archivist of the USA and according to one tweet a "record-keeping Rockstar", addressed a crowded room of about 100 people, at Library and Archives Canada, and more by video link further afield to LAC regional facilities.

Along the way he made several complimentary remarks about US genealogists, especially with respect to the indexing of the 1940 census and participation in other crowd sourcing projects.

He credited President Obama's Open Government initiative, "second in priority only to health care," for much of the progress made at NARA since 2009. That caused me to reflect on the situation in Canada, no matter how well meaning leading public servants if the leadership from the top is against, or even neutral about something, progress is slow to non-existent.

Under Ferriero's leadership NARA is committed to digitizing all 12 billion pieces of paper in their collection.

Ferriero stated that archivists have to embrace if it is not online it does not exist [tweet this].

Canadian content was added to elements from standard speeches. Being close to the Canadian Embassy in Washington NARA was part of an event when Tim Horton's donuts were judged better than Krispy Kreme in a blind taste test, but US bacon beat out Canadian. Next up is beer, which should be no contest.

He also mentioned showing Canadian members of a hockey team a document on US plans for the invasion of Canada. I subsequently learned there is a Canadian document from the 1920s suggesting a preemptive strike if it looked like the US would attack Canada.

The presentation was videoed and will likely eventually be made available at the Library and Archives Canada website.

No comments: