The following are a selection of Digital Preservation-specific resources recommended or created as part of the Carolina Seminar: Digital Preservation Issues with Artists’ Materials. More will be added as the seminar continues over the 2018-2019 academic year.
Social Media and Website Archiving tool: Webrecorder
Webrecorder is a project of Rhizome, a community connecting artists and technology in projects, exhibitions, and public programs. This includes digital preservation programs that support “social memory for internet users and networked cultures through the creation of free and open source software tools that foster decentralized and vernacular archives” with a particular focus on born-digital artworks. Anyone can put a website URL into the Webrecorder to record the website in a format that is interactive and accessible online (via a free registered account with 5 GB of storage), or through a downloadable desktop app that can be used to access these archives while not online.
Guidelines for Preserving Born-Digital Materials:
Born Digital: Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories
This 2013 CLIR report, authored by Gabriela Redwine, Megan Barnard, Kate Donovan, Erika Farr, Michael Forstrom, Will Hansen, Jeremy Leighton John, Nancy Kuhl, Seth Shaw, and Susan Thomas, offers recommendations to help ensure the physical and intellectual well-being of born-digital materials transferred from donors to archival repositories. The report surveys the primary issues and concerns related to born-digital acquisitions and is intended for a broad audience with varying levels of interest and expertise, including donors, dealers, and repository staff. Full PDF download available.
The No-Nonsense Guide to Born-Digital Content
Authored by Heather Ryan and Walker Sampson, The No-Nonsense Guide to Born-Digital Content provides an entry-level how-to guide that aims to help ease inexperienced students and practitioners into this area. It explains step by step processes for developing and implementing born-digital content workflows in library and archive settings of all sizes and includes a range of case studies collected from small, medium and large institutions internationally. Coverage includes:
- the wide range of digital storage media and the various sources of born-digital content;
- an overview of digital information basics;
- selection, acquisition, accessioning, and ingest;
- description, preservation, and access;
- methods for designing and implementing workflows for born-digital collection processing;
- a comprehensive glossary of common technical terms; and
- strategies and philosophies to move forward as technologies change.
Artist’s Studio Archival Assessment Template: Artist Studio Archival Assessment Workbook
Produced by Erin Dickey as a model for assessing the Nlele Institute Photographic Archive.
Description of Assessment Tools
The Collection sheet records basic information about the collection:
- collection ID:
- creator: Record the name (last name first) of the person, family, or corporate body that created, assembled, accumulated, and/or maintained the collection.
- title: The word or phrase by which the material is known or can be identified. Include the type of collection (described below) in the title.
- type (archive): Identify the collection as one of four basic types (papers, records, archive, or collection)
- first year (inclusive): Record the earliest year associated with the papers or records or the activity that generated them.
- last year (inclusive): Record the latest year associated with the papers or records or the activity that generated them.
- extent: How many and type of envelopes/boxes
- items: Total number of items
- accession date
- physical access (arrangement): Rate the ease with which material in the collection can be located. Take into account the size and complexity of the collection. Do not assume that arrangement to the item level is necessary or desirable. Assign one of the following: 5 (excellent) Fully arranged to the item level in series and subseries, as appropriate; 4 (very good) Arranged in series and subseries, as appropriate, to the folder level. Generally good order within folders; 3 (good) Roughly arranged by date, document type, function, source, or other characteristic. May require researchers to work through extraneous material to locate pertinent items; 2 (fair) Partially or superficially arranged; arrangement discourages use except with staff assistance; 1 (poor) Totally unarranged; lack of arrangement prohibits use even with staff assistance.
- intellectual access (description): Rate the ease with which the collection can be discovered, identified as relevant, and used, based upon the existence and the accessibility of finding aids, assigned metadata, keywords, or other descriptive text. Assign one of the following: 5 (excellent) The collection has a detailed narrative, inventory, and description more granular than at the collection level. This description could be adapted into a finding aid; 4 (very good) The collection has a detailed narrative and description at the collection level, plus an inventory; 3 (good) Some of the items in the collection are described via metadata or keywords, in addition to a general collection description. The inventory is incomplete; 2 (fair) There is some assignation of keywords to items, or a general collection description. The inventory is incomplete; 1 (poor) The collection is not described.
- documentation interest: An indication of the value of the collection in terms of its topical significance. Documentation Interest will also receive a narrative description in the assessment. Assign one of the following:5 (very high); 4 (high); 3 (moderate); 2 (slight); 1 (negligible or none)
- documentation quality: An indication of the value of the collection in terms of its topical richness. Documentation quality will also receive a narrative description in the assessment. Assign one of the following: 5 (very rich); 4 (rich); 3 (moderately rich); 2 (incidentally valuable); 1 (slight)
- research value: This is a calculated value that automatically adds the documentation interest rating and documentation quality rating. Research value will also receive a narrative description in the assessment.
The Container Level and Item/Condition sheets record either container-level or item-level and condition information about the materials in the collection:
- parent collection title
- container title/item title (if applicable) [If not applicable for any, cut this field]
- date of origin (if known)
- place of origin (if known)
- location (envelope/folder/box number)
- sensitive material (yes or no): Record “yes” if the collection includes material containing sensitive (or potentially sensitive) information (personal or confidential information that should be protected from public scrutiny). Otherwise, record “no.” [ask about politically sensitive content]
- themes/keywords: [free text]
- individuals pictured (if known) [Cut if unknown]
- creator/photographer (if known, or creating institution) [If not known for any item, cut]
- film base type (likely cellulose acetate, diacetate, triacetate, or polyester)
- housing quality (1-5): Rate the overall quality of the boxes, folders, and other containers in which item is housed. The only boxes that are considered “archival quality” are Paige, Hollinger, and “metal edge” boxes. Assign one of the following: 5 (excellent) The item is housed completely in archival-quality boxes and folders/envelopes that are in good condition. Boxes and folders contain a reasonable amount of material and are of the correct size and type for the material they contain; 4 (very good) The item is housed partially in archival-quality boxes and folders that are in good condition. Most of the boxes and folders contain a reasonable amount of material and are of the correct size and type for the material they contain; 3 (good) The item is not housed in archival-quality boxes or folders but they are in good condition. Most of the boxes and folders contain a reasonable amount of material and are of the correct size and type for the material they contain; 2 (fair) The item is not housed in archival-quality boxes or folders. A significant number of the boxes and folders contain an unreasonable amount of material and/or are not the correct size and/or type for the material they contain; 1 (poor) The item is difficult to handle because it is not housed in archival-quality boxes or in boxes at all. Much or all of the material is not in folders; if boxes and folders are present they are so damaged, dirty, ill-fitted, and/or overstuffed that handling is difficult.
- physical condition (1-5): Rate the condition of the material. Assign one of the following: 5 (excellent) Little damage with no further deterioration expected due to the high quality of the material; 4 (very good) Little damage with some further deterioration expected due to the mixed quality of the material; 3 (good) Expected deterioration with some further deterioration possible; 2 (fair) Somewhat worse than expected deterioration with some further deterioration possible; 1 (poor) Significant damage and/or deterioration that makes the collection difficult to use.
- conservation issues (controlled vocabulary terms, separated by semicolons): Determine which of the conservation issues listed below are of immediate and/or potential concern: needs new housing; visually deteriorating carrier; mold; insect damage; brittle; folded or creased; vinegar syndrome; multiple items stuck together; other
- date of assessment: Record the date the item was assessed. Use yyyy/mm/dd.
- assessed by (name): Record the name of the individual who assessed the item.
Some of the data recorded in the assessment will be described in narrative form:
- documentation interest
- documentation quality
- research value