Information of interest to specialists in Libraries and ArchivesKennedy Library: A Triumph in Records Management
The fact that significant portions of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library have been digitized is in itself a remarkable achievement. The process, which involved scanning and tagging hundreds of thousands of original documents from JFK’s three years as President of the United States was a massive effort. Tagging the documents so that they could be indexed and found by researchers and anyone else who wants to see them was also a massive task.
The result is a vast collection of records available to anyone who wants to visit the library’s website. As remarkable as this exhibit is from a historical and research standpoint, it also illustrates how advanced records management and preservation can work to both make important records available to the people who need them and preserve records so that their information survives even if something happens to the originals.
Eloquent Systems in Archives - Two case Studies
1. Corporate Archives Management at Duke Energy
Product: Eloquent Archives
Hosting Provider: Internal IT
“The Eloquent system is very powerful and flexible. It has met our needs fabulously. Likewise, the Eloquent team are great people to work with. They are quick, responsive, and have never failed us. As such, I have recommended the Eloquent solution to a number of people.”
Dennis Lawson, Archivist, Duke Energy
Duke Energy is a leading energy company based in Charlotte, NC. Established in 1904, it has grown tremendously, both organically and through numerous mergers and acquisitions. The result of this longevity and growth is that the company has absorbed a considerable collection of documents and artifacts, which it stores in-house in corporate archives.
The Duke Energy Corporate Archives consist of four major collections comprising more than 140,000 records and 6,000 cubic feet of material. Supporting the corporate memory at Duke Energy are documents and artifacts that date all the way from 1788 to the present day.
The archives are staffed by one professional archivist and one clerical assistant. While maintained primarily for internal purposes, the archives are also made available to serious academics for scholarly research and occasionally for genealogical requests.
Duke Energy has been using technology from Eloquent Systems Inc. for over 10 years. It recently upgraded to the Web-based Eloquent Archives solution, powered by Eloquent’s WebGENCAT engine, because the existing DOS-based GENCAT system had not been meeting all of the company’s needs. Duke Energy’s administrators prefer the Eloquent Archives solution because, as with all Eloquent products, they never have to worry about running out of storage space. The fields do not have fixed
lengths so the company can add as much or as little narrative as is necessary to describe a particular object. This immense flexibility is particularly beneficial to an organization like Duke Energy, which has a very large and disparate array of records and artifacts in its inventory.
Another advantage of the Eloquent system is that artifacts can be indexed at the item, box, or series level and the system easily allows for the creation of subcollections. In addition, considering the volume of data being searched, Duke Energy has found that that the Eloquent solution enables extremely fast and powerful searches. Users accessing he system are often amazed at the speed of access.
The company also appreciates the customer service support provided by Eloquent Systems. Duke Energy’s administrators always purchase the annual support package and have found the Eloquent team to be invariably quick and responsive to their needs.
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is a leading energy company located in the Americas. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. After its recent merger with Cinergy, Duke Energy has approximately $36 billion in market capitalization, $70 billion in assets, and over 5.4 million retail electric and gas customers. The company owns and operates more than 30,000 megawatts of electric generation, 17,500 miles of natural gas transmission pipelines, and 250 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage capacity.
About Eloquent Systems Inc.
Founded in 1975, Eloquent Systems Inc. has been solving the knowledge management problems of corporate, government, legal, medical, and heritage institutions around the world. Eloquent Systems is a leader in producing efficient solutions for archives, museums, libraries, and corporate records management.
All Eloquent applications are built using Eloquent’s WebGENCAT engine, an extremely fast and robust Web-based tool for powering large information collections. Eloquent solutions can be hosted by the client’s internal IT department or through Eloquent’s own convenient hosting service.
Eloquent has a global customer base, many whom have been with the company since the early 1980s, including Fortune 500 companies and leading associations, law firms, and medical research facilities. Aside from its own team, Eloquent has a network of associates and agents across North America to help service customers directly.
For more information about Eloquent Systems, please visit: http://www.eloquent-systems.com/
Product: Eloquent Archives
Hosting Provider: Internal IT
Canada has a proud heritage as the landing place for millions of immigrants from Europe who sought prosperity, safety, and freedom in the New World. As such, the many regions of Canada have a rich and varied history of interest to people around the world whose roots can be traced there. In one province of Canada, the various Archives are working with Eloquent Systems and their regional association to create two online databases, a descriptive database and a photographic database, that are searchable over the Internet from anywhere in the world.
The regional databases comprise a Union Catalog based on the Eloquent Archives product from Eloquent Systems Inc. From one website researchers can search the holdings of 50 different archive members, including archives associated with the many universities, churches, and museums across the province.
The records within the regional databases consist of over 1,300 fonds descriptions, as well as thousands of series and item descriptions with the various fonds. The project was started in 2000 and the database was made public over the Internet in 2005. The online databases are meant for researchers who desire information on the region derived directly from primary sources. The database is used by both the general public and professional researchers, particularly within the academic community.
By creating a Union Catalog using the Web based Eloquent Archives from Eloquent Systems Inc., the regional association of archives is able to provide its members with a level of sophistication that many individual archives could not deliver otherwise. Each institution gets the autonomy required to enter their own holdings and attach images while the central authority retains control over the quality of what is released for public viewing.
As a Web-based tool, the only technology that a local archive requires is a computer with an Internet connection. Individual archives need not contend with hosting their own databases or websites or advertising their collections as the association assists with that task.
The association is also responsible for setting the collection and the database standards using its professional expertise and in-house staff. Through their Internet connections, local archives, often staffed by volunteers, can describe their collections at their own pace.
An extract from the Eloquent system is also used to feed a much larger national Union Catalog hosted by a national association of archives. This national connection provides even greater exposure for the smaller collections.
The regional association appreciates the robustness of the Eloquent Archives solution, particularly the fact that there are no limits on the amount of information that can be stored in each field for a given record. This unparalleled flexibility allows individual archives to tailor the information that they input on a particular record to as little or as much as is required.
The regional association of archives and its members are also very impressed by the speed of the Eloquent Archives system and the WebGENCAT engine that powers it. WebGENCAT delivers quick responses to even the most complex of queries.
Another key benefit of the Eloquent Archives solution is the ability to customize search screens to create a solution that is truly unique to the needs of the association.
About Eloquent Systems Inc.
Founded in 1975, Eloquent Systems Inc. has been solving the knowledge management needs of corporate, government, legal, medical, and heritage institutions around the world. Eloquent Systems is a leader in producing solutions for archives, museums, libraries, and corporate records management.
All Eloquent applications are built using Eloquent’s WebGENCAT engine, an extremely fast and robust Web-based tool for powering large information collections. Eloquent solutions can be hosted by a client’s internal IT department or through Eloquent’s own convenient hosting service.
Eloquent has a global customer base, many of which have been with the company since the early 1980s, including Fortune 500 companies as well as leading associations, law firms, and medical research facilities. Aside from its own team, Eloquent has a network of associates and agents across North America to help service customers directly.
For more information on Eloquent Systems, please visit: http://www.eloquent-systems.com/
Librarians' suffer most stress
Fighting fires may sound taxing, chasing criminals demanding, but a new study says that working in library is the most stressful job of all. Librarians are the most unhappy with their workplace, often finding their job repetitive and unchallenging, according to psychologist Saqib Saddiq. He will tell the British Psychological Society that one in three workers suffer from poor psychological health.
The study surveyed nearly 300 people drawn from five occupations. They were firefighters, police officers, train operators, teachers and librarians and were intended to cover the spectrum, with the librarians first-thought to be the least stressful occupation. The research, being presented at a society conference in Glasgow, looked at nine “stressors”, such as how much control workers thought they had over their working day, their workload and how much they earned. It also looked at absenteeism, job satisfaction and whether work stress spilled over into their private life.