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Saturday, May 31 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Electronic Media Session) Filling in the Gaps: Finding Your Way to Conscientious Curation and Preservation of Born Digital Collections and Objects

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The OCLC has, since 2012, released three reports that attempt to “Demystify” born digital for collection managers. The release of these reports and the positive response to them offer more proof that the archive and conservation world is not on the brink of but is, rather, firmly facing the challenge of how to deal with born digital collections and objects. This is no surprise to many collection managers, but it is a reminder that plans need to be made immediately to start appropriately caring for this material.

Media archivists predict that legacy video and audio formats provide preservationists a 10-15 year window to safely and completely migrate content to a more manageable form. Data – floppy disks, hard disks, USB drives, CD-Rs, etc. – is at least as volatile – if not more – than heartier media formats that came before it. Knowing that the clock is ticking can be motivating, and the OCLC reports attempt to foster that motivation into a plan. They, however, are just the starting point, and overworked collection workers who are, perhaps, not keen on learning command line operations at a born digital workstation may not put these quickly degrading, already obsolete (in terms of software) collections at the top of their list to process appropriately and quickly. While they are incredibly helpful and provide an overview of mandatory tools for born digital curation and preservation, they are written for a broad audience and, because of that, do not address some of the finer points of this potentially confusing, time consuming, and, thus, often passed-over work

This presentation, which will draw from a two-year born digital curation initiative at NC State which started in 2013, attempts to fill in the gaps for institutions and individuals who know there is a problem, who have read varying reports, and have stopped short at creating their own born digital workflow because of the complexity of the issue. It will discuss the reality and reliability of readily available tools and how to tap in to the expertise of a relatively small but growing Community of Practice. A discussion of digital media storage, born digital workstation creation, ingest workflow, appraisal, arrangement and description, access, and keeping the objects safe while performing this work at NC State will give just one example of how one institution has begun dealing with the challenge that born digital presents. Unfortunately, machine and software obsolescence will not wait for us to solve this problem, and this is not a problem that will be resolved easily or quickly. Luckily there are enough resources – both written and in the form of librarians, archivists and conservators working hard to mitigate these issues – to address this challenge head-on.

avatar for Jason Evans Groth

Jason Evans Groth

Digital Media Librarian, North Carolina State University Libraries
Jason Evans Groth is a Digital Media Librarian at NCSU Libraries. As part of the Learning Spaces and Services department he helps to support the eleven audio and video production suites and several other high-tech creative multimedia spaces. He earned his MIS/MLS from the School of... Read More →

Saturday May 31, 2014 11:00am - 11:30am PDT
Seacliff C-D