CURATEcamp SAA 2012 Notes

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Session 1: Acquisition & Appraisal


Review your policies to make sure “digital” is included. (Collection development, accessioning, donor agreements, etc.)


Life cycle management

The role of the archivist and the issue of preservation needs to be addressed sooner in the records creation process.

Proactive collecting policy, eliminates backlog.

"Don't be the person that your successor curses, five, ten years down the road."


Partnering and staying a part of the discussion (data governance, IT policy/records management) as a way of knowledge management in your institutions.

American Folklife Center posted policies on ethnographic collections; engaging donors to describe so cultural context isn’t lost.

Think about value-added services that you can provide. (file plans, develop tools, guidance on embedding metadata, training) - things that will make their lives easier; consider easiest steps with most rewards

Develop file plans. Link file types to retention schedules and working workflow out of that. JISC and UK universities have roll-up file plans. Management tool that downloads into the email.

Encourage embedded metadata. Offer training through HR.


Looking for resources on up-front and ongoing costs of preservation, i.e. “How much does it cost to process a terabyte?”


ACTION items:

  • Review your policies to make sure “digital” is included. (Collection development, accessioning procedures, donor agreements, etc.)
  • Share your policies on your websites, please.
  • Do more cost analysis & share your findings.

Session 2: Arrangement and Description


Digital Collections

  • People don’t really know how to organize electronic files.
  • No respect des fonds the same way for electronic files.
  • What is the intent of archival arrangement and description?
  • At the aggregate level, knowing where a file falls in the collection.
  • Metadata
  • Clarifying (Record creating environment)
  • Digital files/ media messes with the concept of original order
  • Multiple versions of the same photo. Which is the presentation version?
  • Files and software interaction
  • As archivists, do we continue to focus on creating the context, or do we focus on preserving to create access to allow context to be discovered?
  • Producer Archive Method Interface Standard
  • DACS doesn’t allow to describe record keeping practices well
  • Messiness of files: how much organization can you get out of the filenaming ?
  • What tools do we need in order to apply DACS-like arrangement to electronic files? Do we WANT to apply DACS-like arrangement to electronic files?

Hybrid Collections

  • Adding description re: processing legacy files/media to existing
  • Context (representing)

Moving Towards Solutions

  • Reproducible Methods (Tools and Workflows)
  • Moving beyond file level approach
  • MPLP approach to arranging and describing electronic files
  • One approach is to create a directory printing that users can view in Excel, and thereby can manipulate and sort
    • Stopgap measure (some access is better than none) but all this really provides access to is file names and extensions, which may not be all that helpful
  • Metadata extraction at accessioning (disk image level)
  • Let the computer do more of the processing.
  • MPLP for digitization-- Repurposing the finding aid in a digital environment so you don’t have to do item level description.
  • Scalability (file storage, workflow)
  • Object management (PIDS, Compound/single)
  • Setting up at start of project
  • Look at Vis. Resources Community
  • Scanning priorities
  • Delivery methods


ACTION items:

Session 3: Tools & Workflows

(management tools, not access tools)

Discussion of what tools are being used to acquire and manage born-digital content:

Tools for digital preservation

  • Archivematica
  • Droid
  • Curators Workbench
  • FTK (Imager)
  • Bagger
  • Fiwalk
  • Confluence
  • Karen’s dir printer
  • MD5 Deep
  • Tika
  • Elastic Search
  • Duke Data Accessioner
  • Disk Imager
  • Sleuth Kit
  • Mac Drive
  • Cider press
  • FITS
  • Bulk Extractor
  • FC-5025 Software
  • Archivists Toolkit
  • Kryoflux
  • Media Info
  • WCT & Heretix
  • Google Refine
  • Guymager
  • Collective Access
  • Bitcurator
  • DPSP (NZ) Digital Preservation Software Platform(?)
  • Taper Tool
  • Cinch
  • Mount Holyoke Tool
  • WARCreate

DAMS, Access Systems & Repositories

  • Access:
    • ContentDM (Heather G. but we’re moving away from it)
    • Collective Access. (Kari)
    • Digitool (Meditor = metadata tool) (going away)
    • XTF (Kari)
    • Fedora
    • ICA Atom (Cindy)
    • digital collection builder. QUBIT (testing Kari)
    • Omeka (Heather G.) (Alison H.) (Cynthia G)
    • Blacklight (Heather G.)
    • Islandora
    • Drupal (Heather G.)
    • Dsapce
    • Luna Insight (Meg- but not for long)
    • Open WMS (Heather G.)
    • Resource Space (Cynthia G)
    • Eprints
    • Kora
    • Homegrown
    • Piction (Alison H. - we just adopted it, i don’t have experience with it yet)

Is anyone storing their data in the cloud?

Pre-Ingest (prep) - Ingest/Acquisitions - Processing

35-minute discussion on how to move through these processes

A lot of this work is represented in AIMS. Where do we go from there?

What kind of functional requirements will determine what tools we need?

5 bits of information needed to determine which tools will help us get there:

  1. Risk assessment > Media fragility/ data triage
  2. With born digital --access vs. preservation > Records need to be maintained as records. Made accessible
  3. Metadata of the objects, vs. metadata about
  4. Start at creation
  5. Traditional archivists vs. digital conservators > Houses of expertise


Session 4: Access

Hybrid collections, consider:

  • Level/Type of description (Live links in finding aids series, folder, or item level depending on where description ended)
  • Use Curators Workbench to create a MODS record to embed in the EAD -- bringing two descriptions together.
  • Metadata management- synching of descriptions in various places --with preservation repository.
    • Database of record issue
    • Some are making policies to edit in one place, then push out.
  • Rights management

Are we talking to users about how they want to access digital content?

  • User engagement
  • Issue temporary usernames and passwords while researchers are in reading room so they have access to materials only in the reading room

Is anyone creating access to materials that have varying levels of restrictions?

  • Yes, metadata triggers access, e.g. UCSD
  • Mukurtu - dissemination program developed specifically to address cultural sensitivity.
  • Norc data enclave
  • Virtual reading room - you need a DSpace user login approved to see collection--allows for varying access at different levels of granularity.

Northwest digital archives- bringing in contextual information for multiple digital asset management systems. User contributed metadata--(commenting, tagging)

  • Review boards to review user contributed data--sustainable?
  • What do you do with this data? If you have only folder level metadata on an item, and
  • Users contribute data, how can you leverage this data into other fields?
    • Linked data - different communities
    • Prioritize the resources of your institution
    • User community is not always the same as our creator community
    • Designated communities of users vs. a broad audience of users.

Linked Data ... How will this solve issues of round-tripping data and description?


Wrap Up

Future Camps:

  • Ask a few people to come with a lightning talk to fill any dead space.
  • Brainstorm, then breakout groups, then report back to the bigger group
  • Diversify community - Multiple disciplines are dealing with a lot of the same issues as us. We need to create a better dialog with these other communities.
  • Sit in a circle
  • Multiple whiteboards has been useful
  • Consider organizing regional hackfests (NEA, NWA, MAC, MARAC)
  • Bring best practices
  • Post policies, workflows, field surveys
  • Utilize liaisons (internal and external groups, sections, roundtables)

ACTION items:

CURATEcamp SAA 2012

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