Recommendations for Authors and Creators

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Revision as of 15:18, 1 October 2012 by Jlderidder (talk | contribs) (Tools)

Overview and Best Practices

1) Library of Congress guidelines on "How to Preserve Your Own Digital Materials"

Includes instructions on how to scan your personal collections, and information about how long digital storage media last. Specific tips are provided for photographs, audio, video, email, personal digital records and websites.

Additionally, you will find here a video on "Why Digital Preservation is Important for you".

Key points of much of this guidance can be downloaded in a single brochure: "Preserving Your Digital Memories".

2) Personal Digital Archiving iLibrarian Series"

Based on a 3-hour hands-on workshop on "Personal Digital Archiving," this site features a series of blog posts by Ellyssa Kroski, Manager of Information Systems at the New York Law Institute.

3) "Guidelines for creators of personal archives"

This practical overview from the Paradigm project (University of Manchester and JISC) includes practical tips, including intellectual property rights and privacy concerns and the benefits of using open source software.

4) "Digital Preservation Education for NC State Government Employees" includes helpful tutorials on file naming practices, managing your email, Facebook, and many helpful resource links.

File Formats

"Sustainability of Digital Formats"

The Library of Congress describes the attributes they consider important when selecting file formats for archiving the LC collections. These include disclosure, adoption, transparency, self-documentation, external dependencies, impact of patents, and technical protection mechanisms. They provide a list of different formats, continually updated, and rate them according to these considerations. Look yours up here to see how well LC thinks it rates in terms of these attributes: "Format Descriptions".

"FAQ About Digital Audio and Video Records"

The U. S. National Archives offers advice when selecting a file format for long-term storage. For example:

 "When selecting a format consider the following aspects:
   * The format should be publicly and openly documented.
   * The format is non-proprietary.
   * The format is in widespread use.
   * The format is self-documenting.
   * The format can be opened, read, and accessed using readily-available tools."

Similarly, in 2008 the UK National Archives published a guide to "Selecting File Formats for Long-Term Preservation". This document provides instructions as to how to Look up your file format and find out how well it is supported: "PRONOM Technical Registry"

Note the differing levels of support provided by the University of Michigan for different file formats: "Deep Blue Preservation and Format Support Policy" and "Harvard's Recommended File Formats".

  • Images

  1. International Imaging Industry Association recommendations for digital photos: "Are your memories safe?" This site provides a comprehensive overview of what needs to be considered, and also drills down to specifics, such as how to label, how to back up, what to do in case of hard drive failure, virus attack or camera card failure.
  2. Here are some examples of "Forms of Image Deterioration" from the Image Permanence Institute.
  3. "Keeping Personal Digital Photographs" A single page printable handout that discusses Personal Archiving for Digital Photographs
  4. An NDIIPP-sponsored guide to best practices and workflow in digital photography
  5. "Archiving Digital Photos" (video) Phil Michel, Digital Conversion Coordinator at the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs division, offers practical advice on archiving digital photos from the May 10, 2010 Library of Congress Personal Archiving Day.

  • Text

  1. "Recommendations for PDF Files Created for Long-term Preservation and Access" by Andrea Goethals Harvard University Library. Basics include: Prefer PDF/A, add metadata to the files, remove security restrictions, embed all document fonts, tag if possible, include OCR if the PDF is created from images... and more.
  2. "Keeping Personal Digital Records" A single page printable handout that discusses Personal Archiving for Digital Records.

  • Audio

  1. "Keeping Personal Digital Audio" A single page printable handout that discusses Personal Archiving for Digital Audio.
  2. "Archiving Digital Audio" Peter Alyea, digital conservation specialist, Preservation Reformatting in the Library of Congress’s Music, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound division, offers practical advice on archiving digital audio from the May 10, 2010 Library of Congress Personal Archiving Day.

  • Video

  1. "Keeping Personal Video" A single page printable handout that discusses Personal Archiving for Digital Video.
  2. ""

  • Email and Text Messages

  1. "Archiving Cell Phone Text Messages" If you value this type of correspondence... this is worth a read. It's not easy or convenient, but it is possible to capture this content.
  2. "Keeping Personal Electronic Mail" A single page printable handout that discusses Personal Archiving for Electronic Mail.
  3. "Make a Local Backup of Your Gmail Account"

  • Social Media and Web Archives

Do you use blogs, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media? Do you have your own website? Here's your options for managing and/or archiving your content there so you can back it up properly.

  1. "Your Digital Afterlife"
  2. "Keeping Personal Websites, Blogs, and Social Media"A single page printable handout that discusses Personal Archiving for Personal Websites, Blogs and Social Media.
  3. Web Archiving (Video) An NDIIPP Digital Preservation Video Series video
  4. "Preserving Personal Web Content" Abigail Grotke, web archiving team lead and Gina Jones, digital media project coordinator, both from the Office of Strategic Initiatives’ Web Archiving team at the Library of Congress, offer practical advice on preserving web content from the May 10, 2010 Library of Congress Personal Archiving Day.
  5. "Guidance for downloading personal information from Facebook"
  6. "How to back up your social media presence"
  7. "Google’s Data Liberation Front"

Intellectual Property: Rights Issues

Just because you own or have a copy of a digital object doesn't mean you have the rights to it.

"Digital Copyright Slider"

"Copyright Crash Course"

Backups and storage

"Back Up Your Data!

What to back up, all the ways data can be lost, and why you shouldn't trust the cloud for storage.

"Cloud storage: a pricing and feature guide for consumers"

Dated April 26, 2012, this is a blog post by Casey Johnston to assist those who want to store their content in the cloud.

"2012 Best Online Storage Service Comparisons and Reviews"

Data Recovery

"Recovery Tips"

What to watch for, prepare against, and what your options are... this is offered by a company ("DriveSavers" selling their data recovery services.


  • Conversion Software Registry -- given an input format and desired output format, this interface will provide you with a list of software options for transforming your files.
  • Belvedere -- on Windows, this software can be configured to automatically move, copy, delete, rename, or open files based on name, extension, size, creation date and more. For Macs, try Hazel.

Much of the content of this page came from Columbia University Libraries, "Digital Preservation in a Box" (A product of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance), and The Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education modules.

13:17, 1 October 2012 (CDT)