Showing posts from October, 2013

Advice for our donors and depositors

Anyone who knows anything about digital archiving knows that one of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your digital data is to plan for it at the point of creation. If data is created with long term archiving in mind and following a few simple and common sense data management rules, then the files that are created are not only much easier for the digital archivist to manage in the future, but also easier for the creator to work with. How much easier is it to locate and retrieve files that are ordered in a sensible and logical hierarchy of folders and named in a way that is helpful? We are producing more and more data over time and as the quantity of data increases, so do the size of our problems in managing it. We do not have many donors and depositors at the Borthwick who regularly put digital archives into our care but this picture will no doubt change over time. For those who do deposit digital archives, it is important that we encourage them to put good data management into p

Do sound engineers have more fun?

At the end of last week I was at the British Library on their excellent ‘ Understanding and Preserving Audio Collections ’ course. British Library and Newton by Joanna Penn on Flickr The concept of  ‘Preserving audio’  is not a new one to me. Audio needs to be digitised for preservation and access and that pushes it firmly into my domain as digital archivist. I know the very basics such as the recommended file formats for long term preservation, but when faced with a real life physical audio collection on a variety of digital and analogue carriers it is hard to know what the priorities are and where exactly to start. This is where the  ‘Understanding audio’  part of the course came to my rescue, filling in some of the gaps in my knowledge. The course The first day of the course was fascinating. We were given a run-down of the history of audio media and were introduced to (and in many cases, allowed to handle) many different physical carriers of audio. Hearing a wax cylinder being playe