Born Digital

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The following applies to both "born digital" (has never been in analog form) and "incoming digital" (was digitized by others).


We currently are set up to programmatically manage two kinds of incoming digital content: Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) and Undergraduate Research Papers. These vary immensely in workflow, as we are not archiving the latter, and the former have metadata input by the creators via ProQuest, that comes to us in proprietary XML.

Since history didn't stop when the world went digital, other kinds of born digital content are pouring into archives and special collections around the world, and librarians and archivists are scrambling to determine how best to manage the influx.

Management of incoming digital content involves:

  • virus checking
  • identification
  • selection
  • testing, gathering metadata, documenting
  • tracking
  • identifying significant properties of content
  • selecting and documenting appropriate target formats
  • normalization and possibly emulation
  • storing
  • organization and description (and sometimes incorporation into hybrid collections)
  • online delivery

We have gathered and explored various Resources and devised a preliminary process for intake: Managing Incoming Born Digital Content.

For reference, here is our current Digital Services Permission Agreement, [Incoming Digital Form] and Preservation policies. Born digital content would be most often assigned to support levels 2-5, as we have no control over the quality or the incoming Formats.

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