Last Friday, I attended the annual symposium of the Greater New York Metropolitan Area Chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL/NY). This year’s theme was Money and Power, and the talks covered standards, instruction, labor, and other library issues that intersect with issues of money and power.
Last week, I attended the Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group (PASIG) Fall 2016 meeting, here in New York, at the Museum of Modern Art. Each day of the three-day conference focused on a different theme: Day 1 was “Bootcamp/101,” Day 2 was “Preservation and Archiving in Practice” and Day 3 was “Preservation Frontiers and the Bigger Picture.” While all three days were great, and I’d recommend checking out all of the presentations, the talks on the final day made me reflect critically on what it means to responsibly engage with digital preservation activities, especially at an institution like the Rockefeller Archive Center.
Earlier this year, the Rockefeller Archive started a multi-year plan to re-envision its digitization activities. The goal of this project is to contribute to the RAC’s mission of preserving and providing access to our collections as widely as possible by making digitized content findable, usable, and accessible in a timely manner. In order to achieve this goal, we will provide archivists with the tools, experience, and competencies to handle any digitization request that comes to the RAC, whether it is from a researcher, donor, or other staff member. On top of these tools and competencies, we will create mechanisms for prioritizing requests for in-house and outsourced digitization. Continue reading
Last week I attended the Radcliffe Workshop on Technology and Archival Processing. It was a really amazing event that brought together archivists, historians, librarians, digital humanists, technologists, and others to discuss the relationship between technology, archival processing and digital humanities. The talks were thought-provoking and introduced new ideas and methods I hadn’t considered before. One talk that really stood out to me was Jarrett M. Drake’s reconsideration of archival principles including provenance and respect des fonds. It brought up similar themes to those we discussed in the RAC reading group last month that focused on the concept of original order. Fortunately, it’s now available online; it’s a really worthwhile read, especially in light of our conversations around respect des fonds a few weeks ago.
A few weeks ago, in a series of conversations with some of the smart people in our Research and Education division, we came up with the idea of a reading group that would allow all RAC staff to engage with professional literature, share methodological expertise, and in general exercise our critical reading and thinking muscles. We’ve since had our first session – which focused on the concept of original order – and will be holding the next one on April 29th. Overall, our readings will focus on methodology – rather than the history of a specific organization or more general field – in order to get us talking comprehensively about the what, how and why of our work. Continue reading
Part of my job is being up-to-date on the latest happenings in technology and digital archiving. In my attempts to accomplish this (one can never be truly up-to-date; there’s always some new information out there) I tend to browse through many, many, many, publications, blog postings, presentations, videos, etc. each week. Some are gems, some reinforce knowledge I already had, some introduce new technologies, and some make you wonder why the author bothered. Thankfully that last category isn’t very numerous! Below are articles from the past couple weeks which I’d recommend. I’m listing these partly to spread the knowledge through the RAC, and partly to create a running bibliography of texts from which we can form discussions, or refer to when questions like “What did that project do?” or “Wasn’t there some article on a program that did that well?” come up. Please feel free to leave feedback or responses to the texts in the comments. Continue reading
Below is a list of resources I pulled together (with help from Laura) that should help guide discussion for our next meeting.
- Blog post reviewing the basics [good starting place]
- Brian Lavoie, The OAIS Reference Model: Introductory Guide [PDF]
- PDF from DCC’s Digital Curation 101 workshops. A bit on the technical side, but easy to use for reference.
- Digital Preservation Management Workshop. We may be using the questions listed for discussion during the meeting.
The following two resources are quite lengthy – please read the Introductions and areas that apply to your specific functional area (Appraisal, Description, etc) and browse the other sections.