Digital Observations

Some general observations of how the ACLU Archives makes use of technology: I surveyed that they use a shared network drive to store all of their files, including images, materials gathered for reference requests, staff work folders, how-to manuals, and much more. They use software called InMagic Genie as an OPAC where all materials are cataloged and with a back-end database made by InMagic called TextWorks. Both InMagic programs are web-based.

The ACLU Archives is in the process of digitizing all of their print publications, which includes pamphlets, fact sheets, booklets, and other materials created to disseminate information about particular issues to the general public. Ahead of this, they have started to catalog each publication at an item level. Their goal is to provide direct access to each publication by linking to a digital copy through the catalog record. Scanning these publications , running OCR, and creating links in the catalog records was one of my projects. There were a lot of very interesting materials in there, so I’m sure it will be very useful to the organization once the project is complete.

Lastly, the Archives is in the process of making their catalog accessible to their intranet so that ACLU employees can access it, but, as is a common problem in most organizations, they have had some difficulties in collaborating with the IT department to make it happen.