From the Editor

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Practical Technology for Archives!

The intention in launching this journal is to provide a forum for the exchange of, as the title implies, practical solutions to the problems archivists face in processing and presenting their materials. The editorial board and I perceived a gap in the current literature: there are a number of journals for the exchange of archival ideas, theory, and research, but there are none dedicated strictly to the practice of the craft. None focus on the tools of the trade. I hope that Practical Technology for Archives will fill that void. While in these pages you won’t find much theory or research, I hope you will discover solutions, or at least signposts leading you to solutions.

This first issue has a decidedly digital focus. One article, by C. Edwards, et al., explains the problems and solutions for processing born-digital material that arrives on hard drives. In another article, C. Schmitt shows how to clean up file names utilizing the open-source tool ReNamer. In our third article, M. Szajewski uses data from Google Analytics to increase the exposure of digital archival content. The Tips and Techniques section has only one entry: J. Snow writes about avoiding some of the problems you might encounter with XSLT stylesheets for EAD.

Digital problems and solutions make up a large, and growing, part of the archival world and I expect that PTA will always have a strong digital component. However, the journal was not envisioned and is not intended to be strictly about the digital world. Anything that makes the work easier is welcome: shelving schemes, specialty housing for three-dimensional objects, efficient workflows. We’re game for pretty much anything. And it need not be text, either. If your solution to a problem is best explained in a video, we would welcome that as well.

As I said above, this is a forum: the comments on the articles will be open in order to allow readers to share their thoughts and ideas on the articles with each other and the authors. The comments will be monitored, so keep it civil and germane, but I hope the articles will generate some good discussion among the readers and authors.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the Editorial Board of PTA: Martha McTear, Leah Prescott, and Trevor Thornton (who is also our webmaster). Without this board the journal would still just be dream. I also need to thank the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives at Cornell University for sponsoring PTA.

In this issue and future issues I hope you will find the tools and techniques you need to help you, as archivists, deal with the day-to-day problems archival materials present.

So, please enjoy the journal, and I look forward to your participation.

All the Best,
Randall Miles, Managing Editor

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