SAA 2013 New Orleans

This was an extremely informative workshop led by Nancy McGovern, Head of Curation and Preservation Services at MIT and Helen Tibbo Alumni Distinguished Professor at UNC Chapel Hill in which concepts, principles, and practices for developing a digital curation program to effectively manage digital content were reviewed. This workshop highlighted issues of advocacy, preservation planning, and policy development necessary to manage digital content for the future.

The workshop was divided into four sections that focused on understanding and building a digital program infrastructure, familiarizing attendees with relevant standards and good practices, disseminating concepts and objectives of workflows that enable long-term access, and understanding sustainability of cost models.

Each section was built around the following reports -

An interesting take away from this workshop was that there are various types of long term planning for sustainable management of electronic records. Long term planning can be an ongoing process that is flexible and malleable. It can be incremental and doesn’t need to be done all at once by a task force. Long term planning is about making documentation, workflows and strategy understandable outside the scope of your immediate tasks to an audience of peers or at an institutional level. It is centered on the idea of showing others that you understand the strategies that are needed to handle electronic records, how and why you have planned for their management and supporting documentation.

Another really helpful aspect of this workshop that could be implemented at Rockefeller Archive Center is the idea of self auditing and assessment. Self assessment can be the basis for self understanding and improving workflows to strive for better practices and sustainability. Also, it will help achieve the ultimate goal of delivering  the best possible access to our resources.