The Georgia Archives Institute is a two-week program held at the Georgia Archives, located at 5800 Jonesboro Road in Morrow, Georgia.
Week one of the Institute provides a comprehensive introduction to the concepts and practices of managing all formats of documentary materials in archival repositories. Emphasis is placed on arrangement and description. Additional topics include selection and appraisal, acquisitions and accessioning, reference and access issues, and legal and administrative issues. Preservation is also covered, which includes general strategies of preservation management, causes of deterioration, storage environments, disaster preparedness, security, and simple preservation maintenance procedures.
Week two begins with a class focused on the management of born-digital archival materials and digital preservation. Students will explore what it is that we mean when we talk about born-digital materials, will identify some of the challenges and opportunities unique to working with them, and will leave ready to take some first steps in managing born-digital materials at their own institutions. During the afternoon, students will learn the components of a robust digital preservation program, and examine the building blocks of digital information with an eye towards how these inform digital preservation strategies. The class will take some time to explore the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model.
To link archival theory with real world applications, the second week also includes three-day internships in local repositories. This provides an opportunity for students to observe the operations of an archival facility combined with hands-on experience processing archival collections.