Showing posts from March, 2014

Discovering archives: it's all about the standards

Yesterday at the UK Archives Discovery Forum we mostly talked about standards.* Specifically metadata standards for resource discovery of archives, both physical and digital.. Standards are key to making archival data discoverable and of course this is our main reason for being - we preserve things so that they can be reused - they can only be reused if they can be discovered. The day was really relevant to work we are currently doing at the Borthwick Institute, with the installation of a new archival management system ( AtoM ) underway and scoping work ongoing for a retroconversion project which will help us move our legacy catalogues into this new system - both major initiatives intended to make our catalogue data more widely discoverable. Nick Poole from the Collections Trust talked about user focused design (both for physical buildings and digital interfaces), how we should avoid putting barriers between our users and the information we need. The website is an obvious exam

'Routine encounters with the unexpected' (or what we should tell our digital depositors)

I was very interested a few months back to hear about the release of a new and much-needed report on acquiring born-digital archives:  Born Digital: Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories published by the Council on Library and Information Resources. I read it soon after it was published and have been mulling over its content ever since. The quote within the title of this post "routine encounters with the unexpected" is taken from the concluding section of the report and describes the stewardship of born-digital archival collections. The report intends to describe good practices that can help reduce these archival surprises. The publication takes an interesting and inclusive approach, being aimed at both at archivists who will taking in born-digital material, and also at those individuals and organisations involved with offering born-digital material to an archive or repository. It appeared at a time when I was developing new content for our new website aime