In a rush to get home, US troops and their leadership orchestrated what was possibly the single largest destruction of records in our nation’s history. Millions of records were either burned or simply left in the desert to literally be buried by the sands of time. This action (which is a matter of public record) is little known or spoken about outside of the National Archives and the Department of Defense (DoD).
The continuity and preservation of our modern democracy in large part relies on records, with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence serving as examples of the ultimate primary source documents. Without preserving records, the elements of our historical memory are lost. But how does one separate the wheat from the chaff of a collection of records that if converted to paper would reach 270,000 feet high? And do that with only a staff of three?
Joel Westphal writes in Information Week about how Active Navigation is used to solve just that problem and has become a key element of war record collection for the US National Archives and Records Administration.