56 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 296 2018 creators of records to enable the long-term preservation of and access to organizational and personal archival collections. One definition of community archives is “collections of material gathered primarily by members of a given community and over whose use community members exercise some level of control.”3 This term is worth mentioning here because of its significance today and because the term is used in different ways by different proponents. Often the content of community archives may provide important historical documentation and may include all kinds of valuable materials, though not include archival records. For collaboration, the community archives movement can provide opportunities for partnerships that include creators more actively as well as introduce challenges by limiting participation based on perceptions of who belongs at this table. Disambiguating Digital Archives and Digital Preservation Digital practice will continue to evolve—evolution is inherent in being responsive to ongoing technological change, a core principle of good digital practice. It is common in applied fields like ours that the terminology we use evolves as we develop our generations of good practice. As discussed in the introduction to this issue of RLI, developing working definitions is an effective technique for engaging in radical collaboration—begin with a shared understanding. As we advance our practice, we specialize. Within our digital community, we have two paired yet distinct specialties—digital archives and digital preservation—that are often conflated, further diminishing the clarity we need for productive discussions when we collaborate. I use these working definitions for these key terms: Digital archives includes the range of real-time activities for all phases of the digital life cycle from the intent to create to creation and through the phases of archival curation: appraisal, description, access, reuse, and beyond, with the objective of ensuring that selected digital content is able to be preserved.
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