Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Article: File This Under Data Overload

The January 2006 issue of Wired magazine has an article about the work being done at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and its new Electronic Records Archives (ERA) project. ERA will be built over the next six years with the help of Lockheed Martin at a cost of $308 million. (Lockheed has a long history of working with information. Remember that it started Dialog, in the 1960s.) Research director of ERA, Robert Chadduck said, "The challenge is to create a transcontinental, persistent archive." This archive will need to be accessed from anywhere, at any time.

In the article, Allen Weinstein, the ninth archivist of the U.S., notes that he is worried about losing the expertise that the people at the National Archives have. He said, "They've been living with history." Nice to see the recognition that computers -- at least for the moment -- can't replace everything that humans do.

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