The Text Message (National Archives): Over 650 Newly Digitized Navy Logbooks in the National Archives Catalog

The Text Message (National Archives): Over 650 Newly Digitized Navy Logbooks in the National Archives Catalog. “These firsthand accounts of the Battle of New Orleans during the Civil War are just small snippets from two Navy logbooks, which are part of 653 digitized logbooks from 30 Navy vessels that recently became available in the National Archives Catalog (see list below). These logbooks were digitized in the Innovation Hub at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, DC, by a team of five graduate student interns working on a project titled ‘Seas of Knowledge: Digitization and Retrospective Analysis of the Historical Logbooks of the United States Navy.’ This project will continue through 2021 and will focus on digitizing Navy logbooks for the period 1861-1879, after having made 548 volumes of associated muster rolls available in the NARA catalog last year.”

NARA: Confederate Slave Payrolls Shed Light on Lives of 19th Century African American Families

NARA: Confederate Slave Payrolls Shed Light on Lives of 19th Century African American Families. “They are single lines, often with no last name, on paper yellowed but legible after 155 years, among thousands scrawled in loping letters that make up nearly 6,000 Confederate Slave Payroll records, a trove of Civil War documents digitized for the first time by National Archives staff in a multiyear project that concluded in January. For years, the Confederate Army required owners to loan their slaves to the military. From Virginia to Florida, the enslaved conscripts were forced to dig trenches and work at ordnance factories and arsenals, mine potassium nitrate to create gunpowder, or shore up forts.”

New York Times: National Archives’ Emails Show Little Debate Over Altering Photo of Women’s March

New York Times: National Archives’ Emails Show Little Debate Over Altering Photo of Women’s March. “Historians and archivists said the agency had violated the public’s trust. March organizers called it an attempt to silence women. And on social media, some questioned whether Mr. Trump himself had ordered the alterations, recalling his fury over a photo of his inauguration crowds. But in dozens of emails released by the National Archives about the image, officials appeared more concerned about the costs of licensing the photo than the ethics of changing it.”

FedScoop: The National Archives is looking for some more cloud

FedScoop: The National Archives is looking for some more cloud . “The independent agency posted a request for information recently, soliciting feedback from companies on a potential plan to replace its enterprise cloud contract. The contract listing is called ‘Platform & Infrastructure for Cloud Archives & Records Depositories’ or, in acronym form, PICARD.”

Artnet: How the National Archives’ Notorious Alteration of a Women’s March Photo Is Part of a Long American Tradition

Artnet: How the National Archives’ Notorious Alteration of a Women’s March Photo Is Part of a Long American Tradition. “What distinguishes these past controversies from the Archives affair is that they involved hiding artifacts and information from public view or offering a new interpretation. The episode surrounding the Women’s March photo, on the other hand—one that is characteristic of the Trump era—involved actually altering an artifact being shown to visitors. The vigorous reaction from curators and historians shows that there is a clear consensus that this crossed a line.”

The National Archives Blog: Accepting Responsibility, Working to Rebuild Your Trust

The National Archives Blog: Accepting Responsibility, Working to Rebuild Your Trust. “Our credibility, so important to our mission, understandably has been questioned. We have begun to examine internal exhibit policies and processes and we will incorporate external best practices to ensure something like this never happens again. In addition to our public apology and my letter to staff yesterday, we will be apologizing to our colleagues in the archives, museum, library, education, and other fields, as well.”

New Yorker: The Erasure of Political History at the National Archives

New Yorker: The Erasure of Political History at the National Archives . “The chances of factual truth surviving the onslaught of power are very slim indeed; it is always in danger of being maneuvered out of the world not only for a time but, potentially, forever. Facts and events are infinitely more fragile things than axioms, discoveries, theories—even the most wildly speculative ones—produced by the human mind; they occur in the field of the ever-changing affairs of men, in whose flux there is nothing more permanent than the admittedly relative permanence of the human mind’s structure. Once they are lost, no rational effort will ever bring them back.”