Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of the Journal of Archival Organization (Vol. 2, No. 4), a quarterly journal devoted to archival issues. This issue features a variety of topics, from capturing the Vietnamese American experience through oral history, archival developments in Pakistan, significant "hidden collections" in the National Archives to issues relating to digitization projects in midsize repositories. The table of contents with abstracts of each article is included below.

I also want to inform you of future issues.  The first issue of Volume 3 is in production and includes two articles on documenting physics, one on exploring the use of information visualization to enhance access to archival records, another capturing the experiences of a lone arranger at an historically black college in Pennsylvania, and a study of the Encoded Archival Description (EAD), graduate education, and job qualifications and recruitment.

The following issue (Vol. 3, Nos.2/3) will feature the proceedings of the EAD/EAC conference held in Paris in October 2004.  This double theme issue, Encoding Across Frontiers, with Bill Stockting and Fabienne Queyroux serving as guest editors, will also be published by Haworth Press as a monograph.  This will be the first of three special theme issues of JAO that will be published.

Please consult the journal web site at Haworth for subscription information and guidelines for submitting manuscripts for consideration.  I urge each of you to consider a contribution to the journal.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,

Tom Frusciano, Editor


Journal of Archival Organization (Vol. 2, No. 4)

Global Perspectives, Hidden National Treasures, and Local Digital Projects

Orange County, Yellow History: An Intimate Encounter with Vietnamese American Lives
        Trangdai Tranguyen

Anchored on the Vietnamese American Project (VAP), the essay presents the documentation of the Vietnamese American Experience through the voices of ethnic Vietnamese in Orange County, California, home to the largest concentration of this ethnic group outside Vietnam.  Groundbreaking in its approach and method, VAP is an open forum that enables community assessment, self education, public memory preservation, and the first step toward understanding Vietnamese America and the Vietnamese diaspora.  The cross-sectional narratives encompass transcontinental accounts of first and 1.5 generations of Vietnamese refugees and their children, and subsequently focus on their coming to terms with their second home in America, dwelling on how ethnic Vietnamese have negotiated with political turmoil, socioeconomic changes, and cultural identity.  The paper, as the VAP, bridges cultural and linguistic barriers, connecting the native land and the adopted country. In short, the paper through its synthesis of the VAP (1) gives a timely response to the urgent needs to understand and study the ethnic Vietnamese community in Orange County, providing much-needed primary data on the respective population for the ethnic communities and interdisciplinary scholarship; (2) serves as a healing process for members of the Vietnamese American community in Orange County and other victims of war; (3) sheds light into intra and inter-ethnic relations, fostering community consolidation, forging cross-cultural collaborations, and nurturing racial harmony; (4) contributes to an important period in American history with perspectives that are lacking in the extant literature; and (5) will conduce peace by bringing out the human experience in America’s longest wars.

Archives in Pakistan          

   Syed Jalaluddin Haider

This article traces the origins and development of archives in Pakistan.  The focus is on the National Archives of Pakistan, but also includes a discussion of the archival collections at the provincial and district levels.  This study further examines the state of training facilities available to Pakistani archivists.  Archival development has been hindered because of several constraints, including the lack of competent personnel, the need for better coordination among archival institutions, absence of national leadership in archival issues, and the limited application of information technology in archival work.  The author suggests several areas that need attention in order to improve the current situation: (1) the need for the National Archives of Pakistan to take on a more active role in promoting archival activities, (2) the dire need to introduce information technology in archival institutions, (3) the revival of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Archive Studies at the University of Sindh, along with a revision of the curriculum by incorporating courses on information technology, and (4) the formation of a Pakistan Society of Archivists.
KEYWORDS.  National Archives of Pakistan, history of archival development, government records, archival education, information technology and archives.

The Archival Back Burner:     Manuscript Collections and the National Archives

  Aaron D. Purcell

Greater access to archival materials remains a significant challenge to archivists, librarians, and researchers.  In addition to official records documenting governmental activities and agencies, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has significant collections of donated personal papers.  Some are processed, some are in the backlog, but nearly all of the non- Presidential Library manuscript collections are inaccessible.  This essay reviews the history and some of the contents of the former Record Group 200:  Records of the National Archives Gift Collection, as an example of the importance of hidden material at NARA.  After a contextual history of the agency and the creation of this forgotten record group, this article describes ten manuscript collections from the former RG 200 to demonstrate not only the research potential of each but show the varied nature of these materials.  This study reveals the importance of access, description, and re-evaluation when archivists deal with back burner collections.
KEYWORDS.  Archival description, archival history, National Archives and Records Administration, NARA, gifts and donations, Archivists of the United States, James B. Rhoads, Ernst Posner, Victor Gondos, Jr.

Digitizing a Photographic Collection in a Midsize Repository: A Case Study

  Elizabeth Shepard

Serving as a case study of a photographic digitization project in a midsize repository, this article describes a project at the Weill Cornell Medical Center Archives.  The author examines six components that the archivist needs to contemplate when planning a digitization project: selecting the images to be digitized, understanding the needs of the potential audience, allocating staff resources, assessing the costs of funding the project, choosing equipment and software, and deciding on arrangement and description of the photographs.  The benefits of these projects, which include improving access, preservation, and photographic reproductions systems, will be discussed.
KEYWORDS.  Weill Cornell Medical Center Archives, photographic digitization projects, digital collections, archival descriptive standards, selection criteria, scanning equipment and procedures, photographic reproduction methods, digital preservation, cost analysis

Do We Care What Users Want? Evaluating User Satisfaction and the LibQUAL+™ Experience
        Jean Dryden, Column Editor

American Jewish Archives. Reviewed by David Fox.
Thomas J. Frusciano, University Archivist
Special Collections and University Archives
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