Here at OCLC Research weâ€™re always eager to find ways to ensure that our projects have strong positive impact on our professional community, and weâ€™ve clearly hit the mark with our Demystifying Born Digital work agenda. I was reminded of this yesterday upon seeing the news that SAAâ€™s Manuscript Repositories SectionÂ is going to reprise its 2013 â€śJump Inâ€ť initiative. Whatâ€™s that, you say? Read on.
RickyÂ has been doing the heavy lifting on the Demystifying project, and both of her reports on managing born-digital archival content on physical media have been avidly received. â€śFinally,â€ť say our archivist colleagues, â€śguidance that helps me get started rather than assuming Iâ€™m already an expert!â€ť Thatâ€™s exactly what we had in mind when we launched the project. Yay.
The first report, Youâ€™ve Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born- Digital Content Received on Physical Media, served as the inspiration for â€śJump In.â€ť Hereâ€™s how it worked: Archivists were encouraged to follow the brief guidelines in the report for inventorying their born-digital holdings, and more than twenty did the work and submitted a report describing their methodology. The approaches taken varied a great deal and, taken as a whole, revealed that even this very first step in gaining control of born-digital holdings is not necessarily a trivial one. The â€śJump Inâ€ť reports then served as the basis for a panel, which Ricky moderated, at the Manuscript Repositories Section meeting at SAA conference this past August.
In fact, she was everywhere at SAA. Ricky also participated in a lightning round session on born-digital projects at the Research Libraries Roundtable meeting and spoke in a sessionÂ titled â€śDefining Levels of Preservation and Management for eRecords.”
Only weeks before the SAA meeting, we released Walk This Way: Detailed Steps for Transferring Born-Digital Content from Media You Can Read In-house, co-authored by Ricky and our amazing Diversity Fellow Julianna Barrera-GĂłmez, which greatly expands upon the brief technical advice offered in First Steps, enabling archivists to move on to converting content and getting it into secure storage. We brought along 150 copies to the conference, and they flew out of our arms wherever we made them available.
And so, if your library or archives also needs inspiration to get started with managing born-digital stuff, have a look at Ricky’s reportsÂ and â€śJump In Too/Twoâ€ť in 2014! You might win the raffle for a free course from SAAâ€™s acclaimedÂ Digital Archivist Specialist curriculum.