Editor's Note: An archive has many faces, phases
- By Nick Wakeman
- Jul 01, 2005
There's a room in our house that my wife and I call the office, but, frankly, it's just a room packed to the gills with stuff we don't use but can't bear to part with: books, photos, souvenirs, my old heavy metal CDs ? bits and pieces of our separate and combined histories.
But it wasn't until reading Alice Lipowicz's front-page story on the National Archives' e-records project that it occurred to me that this room isn't a junk room; it's an archive in desperate need of organization.
Our government faces a similar problem. We are constantly manufacturing records, at a volume that stretches the imagination. Lipowicz's story delves into the challenges of collecting and maintaining records that will be measured in petabytes and, eventually, exabytes. Some of these records ? White House e-mails for one ? will be in hot demand for decades to come, while historians working on obscure topics may be the only ones to touch others.
No one has ever before taken on such a large e-records project, and the results will reverberate throughout government, making this one a project worth watching.
A new record also starts with this issue, my first as editor of Washington Technology. The tradition, laid down by my predecessor Steve LeSueur, of delivering high-quality and insightful journalism will continue. But some changes are likely because, like a good systems integrator in a competitive market, a news magazine can't afford to rest on its laurels. I'm available by e-mail
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (202-772-2558). Let me know what's on your mind.
Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.