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Mike Wash, chief information officer of the National Archives and Record Administration, talks with the Library of Congress’s Mike Ashenfelder about Wash’s work at the GPO and NARA, including the creation of a new GPO digital publication system, Fedsys, and leading NARA closer to the national goal of creating permanent public access to government content. Wash, a lifelong photographer who spent the first several decades of his career working for Kodak, also touches on the engineering side of photographic equipment and his influence on modern camera functions.
Mike Wash, a lifelong photographer, graduated from Purdue University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and went directly to work for Eastman Kodak, where he had worked as a student since 1973. While at Kodak, he designed and implemented many of the standard automatic functions that still exist in modern digital and film cameras. He holds 18 patents for his work. In 2004, Wash was hired as the Government Printing Office’s chief technical officer. One of his major contributions at GPO was the development of the Federal Digital System, which is capable of accepting input from the federal government, assuring the user that it was authentic information, preserving that data in perpetuity and providing permanent public access. In 2011, Wash became the chief information officer of the National Archives and Record Administration where he continues the work of creating permanent public access to government content. In December, 2011, the Library of Congress wrote about Wash as a digital pioneer.
About Digital Preservation
The mission of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program is to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content for current and future generations. Collaboration and shared ideas are essential to the success of all digital preservation institutions. These podcasts are conversations with digital preservation leaders.