SPEC Kit 329: Managing Born-Digital Special Collections and Archival Materials · 47
Training of existing staff and addition of trained staff to handle the quantity of incoming digital materials expeditiously.
Better administrative interface and workflows for staff members ingesting born-digital content. Appraisal of an
increasing volume of born-digital materials efficiently.
Unknown file formats. Inadequate software for specialized file formats (e.g., CAD files).
User contributed file formats: some of the content is not is a standard format. Talk to potential donors about
contributing content that confirm to open standards. File size: one of the platform that we use is hosted DSpace. If files
are too large to upload we work with the vendor to load materials. Restricted items: we try to restrict the materials so
that they are available to certain communities.
Variations in file formats, packaging, naming schemes. Applications needed to access content. Lack of clear preservation
policies and procedures.
Visible vs. dark archiving. Larger institutional inertia on issue of electronic records management.
Volume of materials, how to appraise. Quality of data, e.g., image files that have low resolution. Not address how to
provide access to digital materials when associated with analog collections.
We are managing somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 digital files on media and server space. We are attempting
to copy files from media to server to ensure backup. We have only recently been given permission to load materials to
the digital repository, but we have received no additional staff to produce metadata at the item level. We have four pilot
projects in progress using paraprofessional staff and interns for metadata production. We want to continue collecting
certain basic university publications (i.e., course catalogs) that are formerly paper and now either database driven or
web publications. We are negotiating workflows and agreements with producing offices and vendors to produce a
continuous online backfile of certain critical titles.
We are working out issues relating to born-digital materials and have not encountered significant challenges with what
we have done so far, postponing the more problematic aspects until we get there.
We have born-digital materials on CD and DVD for which there is no server space or metadata provided by the creator
of the materials. We address this through a redundant array of external hard drives and back up that is merely a stopgap
solution to the problem. We have no expressed authority or access to most born electronic records in other systems such
as Banner, so there is no way to review such records for historical value. An ad hoc records advisory committee recently
approached Administration requesting creation of an electronic records committee with oversight authority to address
these issues campus-wide.
Whether or not the quality of the born-digital is up to par with our institutional benchmarks and guidelines for digital
media. In some cases, re-capture is not possible. Discussion with our working group will then include whether a poor
copy will be included in the digital library or not. Dealing with file formats that may or may not be compatible (or able
to be migrated) with current guidelines of institutional practice. We will test the file to see if a comparable format is
acceptable or if data is lost during this process. Sometimes, this will allow our group to explore different presentation
tools for other file formats, or we have the option of storing the file only (no automatic presentation tool).
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