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Colección:
Revista Interamericana de Bibliografía (RIB)
Número: 1-4
Título: 1997
Sección: Artículos / Articles

Introduction

The National Archives of the United States, since the establishment of the Data Archives Staff in 1968, has been involved in the appraisal, accessioning, and preservation of records having long-term historical value created and maintained in electronic form by federal agencies. To date, almost 20,000 individual data files have been transferred from federal agencies to the National Archives. Overall, the Center for Electronic Records maintains electronic computer files appraised as having continuing value created by the Congress, the Courts, the Executive Office of the President, numerous presidential commissions, and nearly 100 bureaus, departments, and other components of executive branch agencies and their contractors.

Reference services on electronic records provided by the Center include providing copies of data files on 9—track magnetic tape or 3480—class tape cartridge. Documentation for electronic records is also available, generally in paper form. Copies of records in electronic form and documentation may be obtained by researchers on a cost-recovery basis. A listing of approximately 7,000 of the data files in the custody of the Center, as well as other descriptive materials about the Center, are available either in printed form, from an anonymous FTP site, or from the National Archive Gopher server (National Archives, 1992a, 1992b; Center for Electronic Records, 1993a, 1993c; FTP to FTP.CU.NIH.GOV; directory NARA-ELECTRONIC). A number of subject oriented articles have also been published about the holdings of the Center, including articles describing records relevant to women’s studies, environmental studies, and the Vietnam conflict (Adams, 1990, 1991, 1992).

Researchers interested in studies conducted by, or statistics collected by, the United States government in or about Latin America may consider the holdings of the Center for Electronic Records. Some of these records are briefly described in David (1992) and Center for Electronic Records (1993b). For purposes of this paper, Latin America is broadly defined as those countries, possessions, or territories in South America, Central America (including Mexico), and the Caribbean. The holdings of the Center for Electronic Records related to Latin American studies may be classified into four groups: attitudinal data, trade and transportation data, health and social service data, and other electronic records relevant to research on Latin America.