[APG Public List] Citing Sources - Your Opinio

Claire Bettag claire at clairebettag.com
Wed Jun 30 08:56:58 MDT 2010

It would be a great service if you (and other researchers) posted ideas like this directly to NARA's blog, as few archivists follow the APG forums. The new archivist and his team are trying to elicit ideas, needs, suggestions from researchers around the country (not just the local researchers), and trying to get more people engaged. But too few researchers are participating. I encourage you, and everyone on the list, to participate in the NARA dialogue. Go to: http://blogs.archives.gov/online-public-access/

Discussion categories (listed as links in a column on the right) include: Archives.gov Redesign; Databases; DC-area researchers; digitization; education; Events; Family Tree Fridays; Films; Genealogy / Family History; Miscellaneous; Nara Staff Favorites; Online Research; Open Government; Photographs; Questions; Records Management; Reproductions; Research; Social Media; Tech Tuesdays.

I hope you'll post the ideas you have here to the blog! Thanks for listening!


Claire Bettag
1685 34th Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
cell: 202-436-2121

On 30 Jun, 2010, at 10:04 AM, apgpubliclist-request at apgen.org wrote:

> It only makes sense to me that if each party were responsible for the
> description associated with the piece(s) that they created or were
> "closest" to, that such an approach should theoretically result in
> information that is more reliable for the purposes of source
> understanding/analysis/evaluation than the current situation where the
> service provider is the author of the "whole package."
> For example, on the service provider's end I would appreciate more
> information on the "who, where, when, how" of the search tools and any
> database entries created by the service provider for their users.   For
> images of NARA holdings I expect clear identification for what NARA
> publication an image came from.  Rather than expect a service provider
> to provide any background information for records obtained from a
> partner, it makes sense to me that they provide a clear link (provided
> by the home repository) to such information that the home repository
> deems appropriate.  Separating the "authoring" responsibilities
> regarding these source descriptions should mean it's easier to keep
> everything up-to-date, too, rather than making changes in multiple
> places.
> Regarding changing what's there now, my less-than-radical-approach would
> be to advocate change from this day forward.  Applying to new
> partnership agreements (and renewals of old).  I think most important
> would be to change *expectations*--what researchers, archivists,
> conservators, librarians, etc think is the best and efficient way to
> maintain the integrity of information about their collections while
> increasing public access to their holdings through the use of
> partnerships with other organizations.
> So, I guess since I'm not concerned about citations, per se, I'm really
> not responding to Cindy's questions.  But, it's an issue I care about
> and I couldn't resist the opportunity to share. For me, it is related to
> the quality of source documentation and I do think that
> repositories/archives could make more demands on subscription providers.
> To me, Ancestry's lumping of @16 NARA publications into one database
> ("Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956")  without
> associating the specific publication for each record is unacceptable. 
> and this is not the only place where Ancestry does this, nor is Ancestry
> the only service provider taking these shortcuts.
> Linda
> ____________
> Linda Gardner
> Massachusetts

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list