SPEC Kit 329: Managing Born-Digital Special Collections and Archival Materials · 45
Redundant storage. Obsolescence. File/data management.
Right now, the libraries do not really have a plan and they are all ingesting born-digital files in different ways. Mostly,
materials are kept on external hard drives or in their original legacy media.
Server space: inadequate space for our current digital projects and lack of understanding from administration that there
is a need for special collection to have their own serve for processing digital collection. Digital preservation: would
like to be part of a LOCKSS system. Currently we are saving our digital collection on main library server as well as the
university’s server. Next step LOCKSS. Hardware: acquiring legacy computers, working with other departments on
campus to identify and locate existing hardware.
Stable storage: large enough; offers growth; limits access. Have just implemented new Isilon mass storage utility. Born-
digital mystery files. Purchasing legacy hardware; need forensics software. Workflow to ensure preservation master and
deliver use or access copies. With installation of Isilon, parts in place, more discussions underway.
Staffing and time required. Funding. Technology resources.
Staffing: lack of staff positions to address preservation of digital and born-digital content. Challenge addressed in
part by re-defining a vacant archivist position as an “e-Archivist” position. We also write additional staff positions into
grants wherever feasible (currently we have 4 FTE on grant-funded appointments). Also, existing staff have had new
responsibilities added to their job descriptions to support digital preservation efforts. Legacy hardware/software: first
tests of born-digital content found in mostly paper archival collections had a low success rate of content acquisition.
Challenge will be addressed in part by identification of legacy devices and software by our IT group and in part by our
purchase of the “FRED” digital forensics package. We have not yet done a detailed inventory to identify and document
types of born-digital content in our collections. Storage: our current archival storage infrastructure was scaled to
accommodate our analog to digital digitization program. We projected needing 70TB (replicated 3X) to serve needs
through the end of FY2013. Now newer born-digital preservation and access projects will take us far beyond 70TB. Our
response has been to begin planning now for a significant increase (to 250TB) at the beginning of FY2013. All funding
will be reallocated from existing library budgets.
Storage space: library IT has bought new servers, and the library is collaborating with the campus Center for Advanced
Research Computing for additional server space. Permissions (privacy): it will continue to be a challenge to maintain
appropriate access and privacy permissions. We are working with various systems (DSpace, CONTENTdm) to explore
possibilities of restricting access to specific individuals. Findability: data made available through online servers needs to
be findable. We are adding metadata records to our institutional repository that describe datasets available online.
Storage that is secure, backed-up properly with sufficient room for growth. Appropriate workflows to ensure the
accurate ingest of born-digital materials. Playback equipment that can extract content safely. Allocation of staff time to
focus on issues, develop policy and conduct test pilots to ensure a more proactive process.
Technological support: have to find resources (storage) where we can.
The biggest challenge that our library has faced in obtaining the hardware and software necessary to ingest and
manage born-digital materials. We are currently beginning a pilot project using Rosetta and hope that this will enable
us to better handle born-digital materials. The second major challenge is the issue of personally identifiable information
(PII) in born-digital collections and what to do with it. We currently have no policies for dealing with PII but hope to
devise some as part of our Rosetta pilot project. The third major challenge is training our curatorial staff how to deal
with born-digital materials--this includes ingesting born-digital materials. We have been working actively with the
Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists to bring several of SAA’s Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) courses to our region
and are strongly encouraging our curators to participate in these workshops.
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