It had been a while since I visited the JFK ARC pages at NARA, so I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see that a new version of the Assassination Collection Reference System (ACRS) database has been posted in the form of six excel files, apparently added in mid-June 2021.
The ACRS is NARA’s online database of ARC document identification aids, document metadata, reader identification forms, or whatever you want to call this information. In fact, the on-line ACRS still remains off-line, hopefully undergoing the thorough revision and correction that is needed.
When the ACRS first went off-line in September-October of 2020, a single excel file was posted which was described as containing the entire ARC database. In fact, it was a very old copy of the ACRS, omitting almost half the records in the Collection, and with outdated metadata for many of the records that were included.1See here and in more detail here for two notes I posted on this subject My final take on this earlier excel file: it is probably from a backup done soon after the ACRS was put on-line in February 1996.
The new six file version of the ACRS looks to be a much closer approximation of what is really in the ARC in 2021. I will soon post my take on what has been fixed, broken, and left alone in this monster data drop, which I hereby dub NARA 21.