Case Studies

ERC case studies are written by CPS members and focus on practical issues of interest to archivists actively working with congressional electronic records in their repositories. The case studies on this page are categorized by the stage in the archives management workflow that they best represent.

If your institution is working with congressional electronic records, ERC would love to talk to you about sharing your experience. Please reach us through our contact form. Potential topics for case studies include but are not limited to: archival management (donations, appraisal, processing, preservation, access, outreach), testing and usage of digital tools, implementation of standards, and analyses of particular types of congressional data.

Case studies are currently available in the following issue areas:

Acquisitions and Accessioning

Establishing Electronic Records Management at the University of Delaware: Accessioning and Appraising the Electronic Records of Senator Edward E. (Ted) Kaufman (Case Study ERC001)

By Danielle Emerling, University of Delaware, April 2014

View online or download a PDF of this case study.

Abstract: In 2009, Senator Edward E. (Ted) Kaufman was appointed to fill the Senate seat left vacant when Delaware’s longtime Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected Vice President of the United States. After Kaufman’s term expired in November 2010, he donated his papers, including about 90 gigabytes of electronic records, to the University of Delaware. Archivists established electronic records policies and procedures and created an electronic records workstation. Accessioning and appraising the electronic records using various open source tools presented both challenges and successes.

Donations of Digital Records from Congressional Offices: Lessons Learned from the 2014 Election Cycle (Case Study ERC003)

By Adriane Hanson, University of Georgia, June 2015

View online or download a PDF of this case study.

Abstract: The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies received donations from three congressional offices that closed at the end of 2014 (one Senate and two House) that included a significant digital component. Through this case study, I will share what we learned about the donation process and how to work with office staff to help others new to congressional collections with their first donations. I also hope to offer insight into receiving digital donations, an area that is still fairly new for all of us.


Testing the Waters: Working With CSS Data in Congressional Collections (Case Study ERC004)

By Natalie Bond, August 2015

View online or download a PDF of this case study.

Abstract: Senator Max Baucus deposited his papers with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library in April of 2014, a multi-format collection which included 1.4 TB of electronic records. In this case study, I will discuss how we managed and preserved the CSS data contained within these electronic records, data which span Baucus’ Senatorial career from 1979-2014. Specifically, I review the structure and content of the data that we received, the history of CSS/CMS use within the Senate, and our workflow for accessioning and viewing the data. Finally, I reflect on considerations for moving forward with long-term preservation, exploitation of the data, and future advocacy and collaboration opportunities for archivists and repositories.


Web Archiving at the Library of Virginia: A Q&A with Roger Christman (Case Study ERC002)

By Roger Christman, March 2015

View online or download a PDF of this case study.

Abstract: As the official archive for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Library of Virginia (LVA) captures the web presence of the state’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In 2007, LVA expanded its web captures to include the online activities of Virginia’s congressional delegation. In this Q&A with CPS’s Electronic Records Committee, Roger Christman, Senior State Governors’ Records Archivist, describes why and how the Library preserves the web activity of its federal senators and representatives.

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