Hello everyone! My name is Judy Chou and I am currently one of the new archives interns here at Visual Communications. I graduated from UC Irvine in 2010 with a B.A. in History with a Minor in Native American Studies. Two years later, I decided to enroll myself into San Jose State University’s Library and Information Science Graduate program. I have just completed my first year, focusing my studies on archival and preservation topics.
It was during my spring semester that had changed my perspective of what it truly means to preserve archival materials–both in digital and analog forms–when I chose to take a class on the topic of preservation management. There was a field work assignment that we had to complete for the class as a final project: writing a digital preservation policy for an organization. The hardest part of this assignment was finding an institution to allow me, an outsider, to write a policy for them. In the end, I got got permission from the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California (CHSSC), both located in Los Angeles. I only needed to write and submit one policy for the assignment, but I felt that I would learn and gain more experience in writing two policies catered to each organization instead of one broad policy.
After gaining the approval from the institutions, I conducted a need assessment from the people in charge: John Esaki from JANM and Steven Ng from CHSSC. I asked questions pertaining about their current digital assets, their preservation and backup systems, their expectation of the outcome from the policy, and so forth. I completed writing the policy for JANM, but I am still in the midst of trying to complete the policy for CHSSC.
Working on these two policies is helping me at VC since Helen Kim–the archivist–has asked me to write a digital preservation policy for Visual Communications. I am currently gathering as much information about its digital assets from its staff as possible. After I am done writing the policy, my future projects will be focused on the digitization, preservation, and management of Umatic tapes and other digital assets. I am thrilled to intern at VC to obtain hands-on experience working with Helen and the VC staff as well as being able to implement what I learned from my library science classes into physical practices.