Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Into the Digital Archive

A special thank you to all those who contacted me and wished me well on my 12-month contractual appointment with the UN System's Archives.

Because of the sensitive nature of the work, I will not write in great detail about the specifics of my projects but will from time to time (and using a good dose of common sense) explain and illustrate some of the work I am doing. The UN System is an umbrella for the agency I work with; there are many agencies and organizations that comprise the UN System, so I will leave the exact one to those friends and colleagues who have contacted me.

I will also use The DIGITAL Archive to blog about my experiences in Washington, DC. What better way to cope with the stresses of relocation and unfamiliarity then by writing about them.

At the UN System's Archives I will act as Digital Archivist (how ironic that the title of my blog is the same), working closely with fellows archivists and records managers in identifying, purchasing, and implementing new systems and web-based solutions to enable greater efficiency in managing records and improving access to the archives' collections to internal staff and researchers globally.

It will be a challenge, and I am looking forward to a rewarding experience. However, with a 12 month contract, I somewhat know what can and cannot be accomplished. Still, if the proper infrastructure can be established and a web strategy written and promoted, I think much can be done.

As for Washington, DC, I am finding the city both nice and daunting at the same time. It will take me several more weeks, perhaps months, before I understand the ebb and flow of the US Capital.

2 comments:

Ed said...

I'm glad you've decided to wrate about both your work and your experiences in Washington. As someone who recently relocated to a new city, I'm always interesting in reading about how others are coping with the changes. Good luck!

Jill Hurst-Wahl said...

If you have not learned how to get around in D.C., let me teach you what I learned in 1981.

D.C. is a grid with four quadrants -- northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest. There are indeed intersections that exist in all four quadrants, so know the quadrant become very important.

The letter named streets go from A to Z in order. Then the streets are A through Z names with one syllable, then A through Z with two syllables, then A through some letter (not Z) with three syllables. So...if I'm driving in on Wisconsin from the north, when I enter D.C., I will see three syllable named streets, then two syllable, then one syllable, then the actual letter names. So you can kinds judge how far out (or in) you are by the street names.

Don't drive on a street named after a state unless you REALLY know where you are going! Street named after states are diagonals that cut across the city. They end up at (or start at) a circle. and they can really get you lost.

Other streets with "real names" can also cause confusion, so be careful.

Keep a detailed D.C. map and subway map with you always (even months from now). you will never know when you will need them to help yourself or someone else.

I hoping to see you at CIL, if you get a chance to come.

Jill

about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.