I recently attended the Association of Librarians and Archivists at Baptist Institutions annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. Hosted by the Southern Baptist Historical Library & Archives (at the Southern Baptist Convention offices) the presentations focused on the issue of electronic records. There were representatives from Baylor University, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the Southwestern and Southeastern Baptist Seminaries, Mississippi College, Samford University, Mercer University, the Southern Baptist Seminar, and the Digital Library of Georgia.

Among the presentation topics: Digitizing Baptist Newspapers, Capturing Born-Digital Content in Websites and Blogs, Audio and Video File Conversion and Capture, and E-mail and Born-digital Working Files. I shared updates about our CLIR Recordings at Risk grant, “Documenting the Evangelical Movement in the United States: Digitizing Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Open-Reel Audiotapes, 1957-1980.”  I spoke about choosing and working with a vendor, our outreach efforts including the creation of a Baptist Portal, and some of the challenges we faced.

ALABI’s guest speaker was Dale Patterson, who spoke about the Digital Records Retention Program at the Archives of the Methodist Church. He was an interesting speaker and reminded us that we are all confronting the same kinds of issues in regards to access and digital preservation. ALABI is one of the smaller conferences I attend, and I enjoy it for that reason as it allows us time to truly get to know each other and share information and resources. Wake’s Baptist heritage is also an important component of our work here in SCA.