FYI - since we are looking to start GLAM in India, I thought this would make an
interesting read. Answer to a petition for digitalising all Public Records in
the US by a Wikimedian.
From: The White House <i...@messages.whitehouse.gov>
Date: January 20, 2012 6:27:44 PM EST
Subject: Petition Response: Digitizing Federal Public Records
Reply-To: The White House <i...@messages.whitehouse.gov>
Digitizing Federal Public Records
By David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States
Thank you for signing a petition asking the Obama Administration to digitize
all public records.
The Obama Administration believes increasing access to our collections by
digitizing our records is a great idea. Our most recent efforts to do this
ourselves as part of our OpenGov initiative, include the Citizen Archivist
project, a Wikipedian in Residence, Tag it Tuesdays, and Scanathons. We are
also moving forward on implementing the President’s recent Memorandum on
Managing Government Records, which focuses on the need to update policies and
practices for the digital age.
But all those things aren’t enough. Your petition, and the Yes We Scan effort
broadly, calls for a national strategy, and even a Federal Scanning Commission,
to figure out what it would take to digitize the holdings of many federal
entities, from the Library of Congress to the Government Printing Office to the
These ideas bring up a host of questions that still need to be answered: What
should the National Archives’ priorities be? Do we focus on preserving
deteriorating paper records, still bound with red ribbons from two centuries
ago? Do we make digital copies of Vietnam Era film footage? Should we focus on
preserving those older paper records while citizens volunteer to digitize more
recent, and better preserved, records?
The National Archives – which houses the Nation’s permanent records – is
looking for your input to help answer these important questions on how we move
forward. What are your thoughts on how the National Archives and other agencies
should proceed? What questions should we be asking ourselves?
You can add your thoughts over on the National Archives blog, and I’m looking
forward to having a longer discussion with the creators and signers of this
petition on this important issue in the coming weeks– more details on that will
Thank you again for your interest in this important issue. I’m looking forward
to your ideas on how we can proceed with digitizing federal public records.
Check out this response on We the People.
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