SPEC Kit 329: Managing Born-Digital Special Collections and Archival Materials · 13
and Long-term Access through Networked Services
(PLANETS) project, and the Sustainable Archives &
Leveraging Technologies (SALT) research group at the
University of North Carolina.
Influential tools and software resources include
Archivematica, the Duke Data Accessioner, digital
forensics tools (including AccessData FTK Imager),
file identification and validation tools (such as DROID
and JHOVE), and the University of North Carolina’s
Curator’s Workbench.
Respondents highlighted documentation made
available by the Interuniversity Consortium for
Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University
of Michigan, the Digital Preservation Management
workshop developed at Cornell University, the
University of Illinois’s IDEALS (Illinois Digital
Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship)
repository, the California Digital Library’s Merritt
repository, Stanford’s digital forensics lab, Emory
University’s Salman Rushdie collection, and Chris
Prom’s Practical E-Records blog.
Standards that influenced workflow devel-
opment include the Open Archival Information
System (OAIS) Reference Model, the PREMIS
(PREservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies)
metadata schema, the SWORD (Simple Web-service
Offering Repository Deposit) protocol, and the BagIt
Information provided by the MetaArchive, the
National Digital Information Infrastructure and
Preservation Program (NDIIPP), and professional
journals, as well as the Digital Curation Centre’s life-
cycle model, influenced several respondents.
Perhaps as a sign of how workflows are tailored
to fit local resources, some respondents cited DSpace
repository software and CONTENTdm as influenc-
es on workflows. A few cited policy guidelines and
mandates from parent organizations. Others men-
tioned Society of American Archivists and Midwest
Archives Conference panel presentations on practical
approaches to born-digital records, although no one
mentioned conferences such as iPRES or the Personal
Digital Archiving conference for which born-digital
content is the specific focus.
While it appears that many respondents do not yet
have well-established workflows for the ingest and
processing of digital content, the majority are actively
addressing the challenges of preparing born-digital
content for long-term preservation and access.
Ingest Strategies
Seventy-seven percent of the responding libraries are
ingesting born-digital records that are stored on legacy
media. Almost all of them are storing the media “as
is,” and about half are collecting hardware that can
retrieve data from those media. Fifteen libraries (25%)
are outsourcing data retrieval and another 20 (33%)
are planning to use that strategy. Only eight libraries
are building new systems that replicate the function
of the legacy systems. Other strategies include mi-
grating content from legacy media to a storage loca-
tion (described variously as “server storage” or “dark
archives” space) and converting legacy born-digital
content to “modern,” “less proprietary,” or “the latest
usable” formats that include CSV files and PDF/A files.
Storage Solutions
The survey asked which kinds of storage media are
used for ingest, processing, access, back up, and long-
term dark storage functions. Most respondents use a
combination of external media, network file systems,
and local storage for all functions. Only 12 respon-
dents (19%) report using cloud storage.
Local/attached storage (46 responses or 75%) and
external media library (41 or 67%) were the most prev-
alent ingest solutions, followed closely by a network
file system (35 or 57%). Other solutions include the
DSpace-based commercial hosted Open Repository,
the OnBase commercial enterprise content manage-
ment system, and an institution’s collection develop-
ment instance of DSpace. One respondent stated that
they are currently using cloud storage on a limited
basis for ingest, and “plan to investigate its use for the
other categories.” Another belongs to a consortium
that provides web-based ingest, processing, and ac-
cess for ETDs, presumably including storage.
The most prevalent processing storage solutions
are a network file system and local/attached storage,
both at 43 responses (75%). External media library was
a distant third. Other solutions were the same as for
ingest: the consortium, the collection development
instance of DSpace, and OnBase.
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