While the Sun Shines: Assessing Born-Digital Holdings Before It's Too Late

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Presentation given at the SAA Annual Conference in 2012.

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While the Sun Shines: Assessing Born-Digital Holdings Before It's Too Late

  1. 1. While the Sun Shines: Assessing Born-Digital Holdings Before It’s Too Late
  2. 2. Assessment Overview • Quantitative Assessment: – Not technical, but potentially time-consuming – Informs an electronic records program • Qualitative Assessment: – Slightly more technical, but potentially very powerful – Requires some kind of formal born digital plan
  3. 3. Quantitative Assessment 1. Will every box be opened? 2. How will extent be measured? 3. How will content be identified and categorized?
  4. 4. Quantitative Assessment 1. Will every box be opened? Let’s hope not 2. How will extent be measured? BYTES 3. How will content be identified and categorized? 1. Media type 2. Disk label 3. Other administrative info
  5. 5. Inventory Coll. Name Coll. # Media Type Label Info Fiona Pitt-Kethley 2457 Papers 3.5 inch disk ANTHOLOGY & PAN BOOK EXTRA Fiona Pitt-Kethley 2457 Papers 3 inch compact floppy Box/Fold er START OF DAY Craig Thomas Papers 11749 DVD Senator Craig Thomas Portraits Senate Photographic Services 202224-6000 Box 26 Craig Thomas Papers 11749 CD Afghanistan & Iraq Video march 2006 CT visit Box 24
  6. 6. Inventory Challenges • Digital media not noticed or welldocumented • If documented, legacy media not welldescribed in archival management systems • Distinguishing between ‘born-digital’ and ‘audio/video’
  7. 7. Inventory Challenges
  8. 8. Inventory Challenges “Digital,” “Electronic,” “Digitized,” “Disk,” “Disc,” “Diskette,” “Floppy,” “Floppies” “Computer-mediated” Format- or tech-specific: “doc,” “pdf,” “email,” “website,” “Microsoft,” “Mac” • “CD,” “DVD”, “CD-ROM”, “CD-R,” “DVD-R,” “DVD+R,” “DVD-RW,” “Compact Disk” • • • •
  9. 9. Inventory Challenges • A/V ≠ CD and DVD ≠ Born Digital (maybe) – Most all of today’s A/V is born digital – Playable DVD/CD vs. Data Disks – Ripping vs. File Transfer
  10. 10. Why Do This? • Documenting media types present helps determine hardware requirements • Documenting and totaling media types helps determine storage requirements (Extent) • Lays the groundwork for working with born-digital materials, which: • Enables qualitative assessment
  11. 11. Qualitative Assessment • • • • • Condition (Preservation) Physical Access (Arrangement) Intellectual Access (Description) Research Value Other Value ** Assumes some kind of formal accessioning plan for born digital material.
  12. 12. Assessing Condition Software Used: DROID (Digital Record Object Identification)
  13. 13. Assessing Condition
  14. 14. Physical Access (Arrangement) Software Used: Karen’s Directory Printer
  15. 15. Software Used: TreeSize
  16. 16. Intellectual Access (Description) Software Used: Quick View Plus (not free)
  17. 17. Research Value • Most collections are hybrid • Let the analog inform the digital
  18. 18. “Other Value”
  19. 19. I am probably out of time Ben Goldman Digital Records Archivist Penn State University goldman@psu.edu

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