Appraisal of Electronic Records SAA DAS workshop

On June 10th, I attended my second SAA DAS workshop: Appraisal of Electronic Records. The workshop was taught by Caryn Wojcik, an archivist for the State of Michigan, and was hosted at METRO in conjunction with NY ART.

This workshop is considered to be in first tier, otherwise known as a Foundational course, so you could elect to test out of it. That choice is up to you and your background. I recently completed a class on digital preservation, so some of basics I knew. But I didn’t know quite some of the details. This workshop helped fill in some of the gaps from the class. I imagine that’s the point for most of these workshops.

The appraisal workshop is pretty good. It discusses the basics of appraisal and goes into considerations specific to electronic records. I enjoyed the class activities and I liked that they build upon each other as the workshop progressed and that the content became more and more detailed. There are three scenarios in the workbook for the activities sections and the class is suppose to split into 3 groups and work on these activities. Three groups didn’t do it in for particular workshop and my group elected to be split in half. I personally think a fourth scenario, maybe regarding a government archive, could be added that would allow the option of the teacher to create a fourth group. While my group being split didn’t negatively affect my experience during the workshop, I think it might be something they could consider in the future.

Overall I enjoyed this workshop, found the content interesting, and learned a great deal. I would recommend this workshop if you have the ability to take it in the future. However, I do think that a webinar can be created as an adequate substitute for this workshop. I think this could provide better access and lower the barrier to starting on the DAS path.

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