|By Katherine Moody||Comment | Forward | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn|
|After a few weeks of requesting feedback from the public regarding which areas of the National Archives they would like to see digitized, the agency was flooded with suggestions, according to a recent NARA blog post.|
The NARA put the word out for the public request, and the responses came in via emails, NARA's official blog and votes on Crowd Hall, an interactive online town hall. According to the blog post, NARA combined this public feedback with public use of their records to determine what to include in their digitization priority list.
The agency was inundated with responses. Among the public's top priorities were to digitize records of genealogy, which included ethnic heritage and immigration records; military and veteran records, specifically from World War I and II; and any records that require preservation. Other areas of interest included the digitization of "records that relate to specific research themes, including diplomatic relations, law enforcement and intelligence."
The agency didn't just ask for broad topics in their request; they also asked the public to include anything specific that they want to see digitized. One particular record, the "Helper Files" in RG 498, Records of Headquarters, European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (WWII), was specifically cited so much that it was added to the list.
The NARA hopes that the broad range of topics will help them to engage more with their researchers online.
"We are excited about sharing the priority list with you and increasing the online availability of our holdings over the next few years," the post says. "I am happy to report that staff has already started to digitize [WWII] records and they will be available in the National Archives Catalog in a few months, if not earlier."
The NARA hopes that their list will be digitized within the next 18-24 months, as those are their top priorities.
- read the NARA blog post and view the digitization priority list