The first meeting of ABA was a roaring success, and for the benefit of those who could not join us (and for those who would like to relive the experience), we are adding summaries to the blog. See the other summaries here.

Megan introduced us to a number of helpful apps that we can use in our day to day work. She has also provided helpful introductions and notes about each one.

Megan Good: “Apps for Archivists”

Quick reference
Google Translate
Over 60 languages represented (about half can also be spoken)-There’s also a detect language feature that is great for identifying books published in foreign languages that are similar-i.e. Scandinavian languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian…)-Useful for rare books, rare maps and multi-lingual collections-ISM uses this for rare books, rare maps and identifying books in one ofour book collections of a diver (Books are in French, Russian, Greek)
Roman No.
Great to use for understanding roman numerals in books and maps-Can switch from both entering the roman numeral year or current numeric year
Can either take an image of a book’s ISBN or you can enter the ISBN number yourself-At ISM, we use this when weeding our library reference collection to see whatbooks can be sold that are worth higher prices.-Lists prices from a variety of 14 resellers, with the higher offered prices at thetop-Easy app to use if you are getting rid of reference books and want to sell them yourself

Social media
The Archives & Library has an active Facebook page that is updated almostdaily.-Easy to access the page from a phone if you want to!
The Archives has an active Twitter account as well. -Easy to tweet when you are outside of an archives or library-i.e. attending workshops or conferences and want to keep active withyour followers
Some institutions are creating Tumblr accounts as another means of socialmedia access -Just as easy to use as the standard Tumblr pages online
On this day…
Even though this isn’t technically a social media app, we use it in all of our public outreach online.-App lists events that occurred on a certain day in history. Also includes births and deaths of famous and historical people.-We use this for posting .this day in history’ blurbs on our FB and Twitter pages
Scanning & Imaging
Genius Scan
All-around great app for scanning images or text on your phone-Can either take a photo of the image or text from your smartphone, or you canuse a photograph that you’ve already taken in your library.


  • Take photograph of text or image (or use your library to .nd an already taken one)
  • After the photo is taken or uploaded, the app auto-selects the edges of the document or record (you can also manually change the dimensions as well
  • Once the dimensions are right, the app then lets you color correct the scan. There’s 3 options: none, black and white or color depending on what record you are working with.
  • Then, you save the image as a new document, or add the image to a previously created group.-Saves scans automatically as a PDF with the date and time that they were scanned.

One of the best parts of this app is the share feature. You can sharethese PDF scans with: DropBox, Evernote, through email, GoogleDocs,, or you can print them if you have printer access.

I use this app almost every day for quick reference scans of material for
researchers. For delicate materials, it’s extremely helpful since you can scan text
or photographs without causing damage to a fragile spine or binding or a
photograph that is brittle.

Another great app for taking reference photographs.
We use this for non-professional snapshots of new collections and objects.
Some options with this camera app:

  • Has a self-timer -Time lapse is available-
  • Has an anti-shake feature –
  • Includes a bubble level and grid-
  • Can press anywhere on the screen to take a photograph-
  • Can also take photographs in 3 shot bursts

Overall, a fantastic app if you need informal shots of documents, photos, ephemera, the list goes on.
Scan Pages
Very similar to Genius Scan but it is much simpler.

The only real difference is the export feature. You can export the scans as JPEGS or PDFs. You can share the scans through email, Evernote, DropBox,GoogleDocs or you can export them to your photo gallery.
Between Scan Pages and Genius Scan, it’s really just a matter of whatever app you like better. Both are great options.
File storage & editing
Basically the app version of DropBox for computers-Easy to share .les from your phone and accessibility to .les from anywhere
This app is great for editing PDFs.-You can highlight or underline text in a variety of colors and add in shapes,stamps, photos and text into PDFs-We’ve used this for editing exhibit panels on the road when we are unable toaccess the .les on our computers.-It’s a great comment and edit tool if you frequently work with PDFs.

Recording & Transcription
Dragon Dictation
Records and transcribes your voice into text.-Once it is transcribed, you can send the text by text messaging or email andyou can share it on Facebook or Twitter.-I use this to send emails to myself about meetings, appointments or to updatemy to-do list when I’m out of my office.
Collections staff at ISM has used iTalk for short voice recordings.

We mostly use it when we go out of the Seaport Museum for donation or lender pick-ups and meetings. We realized that when we pick-up donations of records and artifacts from local people and organizations, most people that are donatingthe items are very excited and want to talk about the items to us. Many times, we’ve gotten a chance to know a collection more intimately by talking withdonors. iTalk is a great way to record those interactions with donors.
Once you are back in the of.ce, you can email yourself the recordings.-Depending on the quality of the recording, the length of the recording is limitedby only one thing: the amount of open space on your smartphone.
If you think that you might use iTalk for recordings, just be sure to make spaceon your smartphone for the length of recording that you are thinking of creating.If you have your recording quality set to good, you can record up 800 minutes for only 1 gig of space.

Emergency & Disaster planning
ERS (Emergency Response Services)
Last but not least, we have the ERS app by Heritage Preservation-It is based on the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel that is used in disaster and emergency planning and salvage.-Great tool for remembering what to do in an emergency or disaster!-Even though we’ve planned for something to happen, we all know that when it actually does it will be extremely hard to focus on what needs to happen instead of our emotions. -It’s an app that no one wants to ever use, but it’s important to have on hand just in case.