Launch of the AIC “FARM” Initiative 
Future of Archives and Records Management (FARM)
Oct. 5, 2020

The AIC is proud to launch a new AI / ML / CAS Initiative which will explore the Future of Archives and Records Management (FARM) through recently funded “seed” Grants and Collaborations.

The AIC, initially launched in Feb. 2020 with partners from leading academic and cultural institutions spanning five continents, has an emphasis on:

  • EXPLORING the opportunities and challenges of “disruptive technologies” for archives and records management (Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Computational Archival Science (CAS), etc.).
  • LEVERAGING the latest technologies to unlock the hidden information in massive stores of records.

with goals of:

  • TRAINING current and future generations of information professionals to think computationally and rapidly adapt new technologies to meet their increasingly large and complex workloads.
  • PROMOTING ethical information access and use.
  • PURSUING multidisciplinary collaborations to share relevant knowledge across domains.

The AIC’s new FARM Initiative leverages advances in Computational Archival Science (CAS) through a previously funded IMLS grant on mapping Computational Thinking to Archival Science.

“The future of archives and records management is under development now — through graduate education that includes computational thinking and through applied research that includes natural language processing and machine learning methods,” states Dr. William Underwood* (AIC Co-Founder and UMD iSchool Research Scientist).

Dr. Lyneise Williams** (AIC Co-Founder and Associate Professor of Art History at UNC Chapel Hill) who has joined the FARM Initiative adds that: “It is crucial to advocate for culturally-responsible archival practices that address the significant erasures in visual, material, and historical representation disproportionately affecting communities of color. These can be magnified by computational treatments of archives.”

Click HERE for details.

* For the past 30 years, Dr. Underwood has been developing and applying artificial intelligence and other advanced information technologies to records management and archival processing tasks, for example, the application of machine learning techniques to the auto-categorization of email, and natural language processing technologies to the support of archival description and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) review.

** Through Dr. Williams’s newly founded VERA Collaborative (Visual Electronic Representations in the Archive), she will embed herself in FARM computational projects in order to ensure that computational treatments and automation fully represent all of us.