Thursday, January 7, 2010: 3:40 PM
San Diego Ballroom Salon B (Marriott)
Halbert M. Jones III , Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC

- What are the implications of the “digital turn” for scholars interested in exploring state, municipal, and local governmental records, as well as for a wide array of non-governmental entities?

- Should historians advocate for a more substantive role in how future digital documentation/archival structures are designed and implemented?

We hope that this discussion will encourage a dialog to consider these important issues among the National Archives, governmental agencies, non-governmental entities, representatives of the historical community, and other actors in the document-archival nexus.

In order to encourage the widest audience for this session, the Department of State’s Office of the Historian will (pending approval) create a subsection in its website that will function as the equivalent of a precirculated paper. It will include examples of actual documents now available that might appeal to a wide variety of research interests. The handouts we intend to disseminate at the session will be available in advance under titles such as “How it’s structured,” “What to look for (and look out for),” and “Alternative avenues to find the elusive document.” We will also invite questions in advance in order to be prepared to address attendees’ interests. Finally, we will attempt to identify, in advance, volunteers who wish to participate in the research practicum exercise, taking care to ensure a diversity of research interests is represented.

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