In November 2013, the first phase of the Legacy Digital Media Survey began with examining collection information of the legacy collections at the Rockefeller Archive Center.

The Legacy Digital Media Survey aim is to gain intellectual and physical control over digital media materials in the collections. This survey came about due to the accumulated backlog of unprocessed and unknown amount of digital media over the past forty years of collection building at the RAC.  Initial steps are being taken in order to manage the backlog of born-digital content for identification, separation and accessibility of these at-risk items.

The collection files and accession binders have been reviewed to find instances digital media being mentioned. The collections’ corresponding Archivists’ Toolkit resource and accession records were reviewed as well. Collections to target for sweeping were identified, documented and prioritized based on predetermined criteria.

The next phase will be sweeping the collections based on the identified instances of digital media in the collection files and accession binders.

As a result of the survey, a comprehensive inventory of the digital media materials at the RAC will be created, Archivists’ Toolkit records will be updated with known digital media items from each collection, and storage of digital media will be tracked in order to locate for future photo-documentation and imaging.

The goal of the Legacy Digital Media Survey is to separate digital media from legacy collections that have not gone through special formats separation at accession, focusing on collections with material creation dates of 1975-2008. By separating and documenting the digital media, we will be able to identify the types and quantities of digital media presently held by the RAC in order to effectively plan media imaging projects and to identify necessary equipment for data extraction. Lastly, this survey will help gather information on which to base future appraisal and processing decisions.