User Spotlight - Brad Houston

  • 18 October 2021
  • 1 reply
User Spotlight - Brad Houston
  • Anonymous
  • 0 replies

Name: Brad Houston


Organization: Milwaukee Municipal Research Center


My role involves managing records and records management for the City of Milwaukee, including large numbers of microfilm/digital records, and preparing physical records for transfer to the City Archives at Milwaukee Public Library. I also manage the City Mailroom (a holdover from the City Records Center’s time as Milwaukee Printing and Records).


My proudest digital preservation achievements include starting a digital preservation program from the ground up at my former place of work, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Library, Archives Department. I did a lot of self-teaching, experimentation with various tools and approaches and created what I described in many professional presentations as “the duct tape/baling wire approach to digital preservation”. In the end I had a reasonably robust preservation process, if not an integrated system, and I laid the ground for my successor to improve on my work.


My top tips for other Starter users: Experiment! Upload materials and see what works for you in terms of naming, organization, metadata, etc. Our Preservica instance has several distinct stages of metadata development and completeness, which helped me lay the ground for the final product launching this month. Once you DO settle on something, write it down and standardize it—a neat Preservica instance is a happy one!


Something that would surprise people about me: I semi-actively play Magic: the Gathering, a collectible card game that has a worldwide following and that I have been playing on and off since middle school. I’m not actually good, but I have fun, and I am always on the lookout for cards to add to my Library/Archives theme deck! (My latest addition is Overwhelmed Archivist, who comes back from the dead as Archive Haunt to finish up the projects he left behind. Sounds about right.)

1 reply

Welcome @bhouston82! I love your description of, “the duct tape/baling wire approach to digital preservation” lol

Also, that’s awesome that you’ve build a library/archives themed magic deck. 

Thanks for sharing.