"If you aren't managing digital content yet, you will be!" according to Wenxian Zhang, Head of Archives and Special Collections for Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
On May 2, 2012, Zhang presented the seminar "Managing Digital Content Over Time" to a packed house at the 2012 Society of Florida Archivists Annual Meeting in Sarasota, Florida.
Attendees from large and small institutions faced the new digital reality. According to a 2010 Library of Congress assessment, 95% of libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies are already holding digital content.
Archivists have extensive training in preserving and providing access for physical assets, but many do not feel as comfortable with the technological aspects of digital preservation. Zhang and a select group of other archivists attended a Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE) Baseline Workshop to address this need. Designed to "train the trainers," the workshop prepared Zhang and other attendees to help fellow archivists preserve valuable digital content before it is too late.
Zhang presented six key modules that can help archivists from all sorts of organizations to begin digital preservation in their institutions.
What are the Six Key Modules to Digital Preservation?
- Identify. What digital content do you have? Zhang discussed how to create a digital content inventory that is documented, usable, available, scalable, and current.
- Select. How to determine which digital assets are worth the costs associated with managing them over time and which are not.
- Store. How to store redundant copies of digital files and the administrative, structural, and descriptive metadata associated with the files.
- Protect. How to schedule management of your physical media to make sure that media degradation does not result in file corruption.
- Manage. How to put together the organizational and technical resources required to make digital preservation a long-term success.
- Provide. How to approach meeting the dual objectives of long-term preservation and present-day access for digital assets.
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