Turning a Roomful of Straw into Gold, or What Archivists Do

A good description of what an archivist can work with in this blog text:

Virginia Historical Society's Blog

When I tell people what I do for a living—I’m an archivist—they inevitably reply something like, “Oh, you are an architect,” or, “Archeology sounds so interesting!” Once I even had someone ask me what I studied in order to become an “anarchist.” At these times I fall back on the old standbys, such as “I read old mail” or “I catalog manuscripts sort of the way librarians catalog books (or would, if they had to write the book first!).” Well, in many ways I’m part architect, part archaeologist, and even part anarchist. Processing an archival collection requires digging into the material, designing and building an organizational structure, and thinking “outside the box” of current historical trends to highlight the collection’s strengths and potential uses.

Currently, the VHS is almost half-way through an NHPRC-funded processing project to deal with our backlog of business records. (By the way, NHPRC stands for National…

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News: Bulgarian president talks about E-Government

21 January 2014

President of Bulgaria: “If the Introduction of E-government is Postponed, its Cost will Considerably Rise”

Bulgaria has missed the opportunity to become a regional leader in introducing e-government because for 15 years it has failed to conduct the administrative reform that will provide for introducing it. This is what President Rosen Plevneliev told the participants in the eighth annual meeting held between the business circles and the government titled “Guiding Bulgaria to the right track.” The Head of State and the President of Estonia Toomas Ilves attended the annual forum organized by the Kapital daily, in which representatives of the business circles and the government, experts and journalists took part.

President Rosen Plevneliv forecast that by 2015 Bulgaria can have “the most effective e-government in the Balkans.” However, he called on for ensuring consistency in the priorities set, irrespective of what government is in office. The President highlighted the example set by Estonia, where after the introduction of e-government, the investments have tripled and the incomes of the population have doubled. “The solution of the problems lies in ensuring functioning institutions and conducting an administrative reform, which will guarantee that the actions of the administration will be non-partisan and efficient.” “If this priority is postponed, its cost will considerably rise and I will continue to insist that the priority is fulfilled,” the Head of State was adamant.

Bulgaria’s direction toward building a European-type of democracy and developing a socially-responsible market economy is clear and has already been set, the President said at the discussion. “However, the problem our country is facing lies in the low efficiency and the attempts made by many people to divert us from the road,” Rosen Plevneliev commented. “The big issue concerns not the direction, but the speed and efficiency with which we strengthen the democratic institutions, with which we guarantee justice by ensuring institutions which address the people’s needs,  by ensuring a judiciary which guarantees justice and ensuring efficient institutions, not messiahs who promise everything,” the Head of State emphasized.

Rosen Plevneliev drew a comparison between the Bulgarian and Estonian approach adopted to meet the challenges development and competitiveness are facing. “The solution is clear – efficient institutions which develop the strategic national priorities, irrespective of who is in office. There are no big and small priorities, there are quick and slow priorities, efficient and inefficient,” the President thinks.

“Not a single reform was conducted in 2013, although three governments were replaced,” Rosen Plevneliev further told the representatives of the business circles and the government. He criticized the freezing of the pension reform and the idea to nationalize enterprises that are in a difficult situation. The Head of State voiced his concern about the preparation of anti-trust laws containing populist measures directed against bank institutions and foreign food chains. “We need the opposite thing – we need a liberal economy trading with the world and we need export that is an engine of strong economic growth. However, we should respect any investment made,” Plevneliev emphasized. As for the fight against the monopolies, the President further recalled that it boils down to ensuring strong and independent regulatory bodies, which will guarantee that everyone obeys the rules.

“Anyone who wants to work for ensuring efficient institutions which will guarantee growth and competitiveness should introduce e-government; anyone who wants to fight corruption and the monopolies, should launch a national program for energy efficiency. Anyone who wants more democracy in Bulgaria should carefully reconsider the Election Code, because it ensures legitimacy. The solutions are simple and do not involve making promises, but commitment and making steps in the right direction,” Rosen Plevneliev summarized the basic points.

President of Estonia Toomas Ilves highlighted the road of the reforms in the Baltic country, which succeeded in conducting its administrative reform in the 90’s of the 20th century. By 1999, all schools were computerized and at the last national elections the Estonian Head of State exercised his right to vote online while he was on a visit abroad.

“E-government ensures security and trust by introducing a personal electronic identity. The presence of an online connection is not enough,” President Ilves said. In his words, it is namely the focus on the security of the electronic identity of the people that is the government’s main responsibility upon introducing e-government.

In the Estonian president’s words, countries such as Estonia, Portugal and Bulgaria can make more progress compared to much richer European countries regarding the introduction of the new technologies, which will serve the people’s interests. This will be one of the main transformations in Europe in the next 10 to 15 years, Toomas Ilves forecast.

Text from the president´s homepage

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A little about me and the blog…


I'm studying archival science (include records management). My studies bring me to Bulgaria for six months.

I have been to Bulgaria on vacation but I don't know the language, Cyrillic alphabet or anybody. So I´ll be encountering many new situations and hopefully gain some insights from them. Some of it may end up on my blog. But even blogging is new to me sooo we´ll see...

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