DRECs Committee Meeting Notes
August 7, 2013
Sibyl Schaefer, Laura Montgomery, Meg Hogan, Suzie Havranek, Hillel Arnold, Mary Ann Quinn
• Video Presentation and discussion of “Past Forward! Meeting Stakeholder Needs in 21st Century Special Collections, Session 1: Managing Twenty-first Century Special Collections – No One Cooks the Bacon Alone”
• Comparative discussion of OCLC’s “Walk This Way: Detailed Steps for Transferring Born-Digital Content from Media You Can Read In-house” report and Rockefeller Archive Center’s digital media workflow
• Review outstanding projects
o Asian Cultural Council digital transfer
o Archivematica/XTF integration
• D-Recs one year review
1. Video Presentation and discussion
A video was shown of Erin O’Meara from the Gates Archive presenting “No One Cooks the Bacon Alone: Models for Success in Building out a Digitally-Integrated Special Collections Program” during the OCLC Research Library Partnership event, Past Forward! Meeting Stakeholder Needs in 21st Century Special Collections 4-5 June 2013 in New Haven, CT.
The presentation focused on implementing sustainable and integrated digital workflows and processes. This is in contrast to what many organization have done which is to hire a digital archivist as an agent of change. Bringing one person into an organization to affect change may result in that individual suffering from burnout if institutional support and collaboration aren’t available.
Based on the presentation, the resulting conclusions came from the discussions. The Digital Team can’t manage electronic records and digital media alone, and it isn’t ideal to create a digital archive separate from the existing archival infrastructure and workflows. Digital material workflows need to be built on top of and incorporated into preexisting workflows for appraisal, acquisition, accessioning, preservation, description and access.
Donors need to become more involved with and proactive about managing materials, including creating inventories and providing context of creation for digital items to determine their archival nature prior to accession and transfer. Discussions with donors need to be held to assess their IT comfort level in regards to electronic transfers. Support from the top levels of management will be needed in order to find and create solutions with donors regarding incoming materials.
2. Comparative discussion of OCLC’s “Walk This Way: Detailed Steps for Transferring Born-Digital Content from Media You Can Read In-house” and Rockefeller Archive Center’s digital media workflow
The OCLC Walk This Way report is one of three reports in an ongoing series focused on preservation of electronic records. The other two reports are You’ve Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media and Swatting the Long Tail of Digital Media: A Call for Collaboration. Walk This Way addresses physical media collections that can’t be read or handled in their current format. It details how the physical media should be inventoried as well as migrated from obscure media formats to more easily managed formats.
The following discussion arose from an OCLC_digital_workflow_comparison in which the digital media workflows of Rockefeller Archive Center were compared with the steps for transferring born-digital content in this report. The discussion was extremely positive and everybody was happy to hear that Rockefeller Archive Center was on track with its digital workflows. As a result of this analysis, there was interest in doing more of these report comparisons with other workflows at Rockefeller Archive Center.
3. Review outstanding projects and status
The Asian Cultural Council digital transfer is still in process. We are currently working with their technical support to transfer the records as Bags (using the Bagit transfer utilities) and the rsync transfer protocol.
Archivematica/XTF integration is on track to finish by early Fall 2013. The Foundation for Child Development digitized microfilm has completed ingest and processing in Archivematica. As of August 8, 2013, Artefactual had run a script to add digital object links to the FCD resource record in AT. There will be user testing for the displaying of digital objects in XTF. The resulting changes will be pushed out onto our production server and available for public viewing.
4. D-Recs one year review
The D-Recs committee has been meeting for a full year now. As a result of discussion, the D-Recs committee will increase its openness, accountability and transparency. The committee will try to involve RAC staff members more by sending notice when meetings are taking place. In addition, a Brown Bag Lunch Series will begin in Fall 2013 where presentations and discussions will take place regarding various aspects of electronic records and their management. This series will be open for all RAC staff members to attend.