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2014 Legacy Media Working Group

In 2014, a working group of libraries and archives explored the idea of a legacy media transfer service. The group was cosponsored by the Center for Jewish History (CJH) and the Metropolitan Library Council (METRO), and included archivists and librarians from the American Jewish Historical Society, the Guggenheim Museum archives, the Leo Baeck Institute, New-York Historical Society, and Queens Library.

The group began by surveying legacy digital media holdings and selecting materials for a pilot transfer project. Time-based media were excluded; the group focused on digital storage media such as floppy and Zip disks. Discussions centered on expectations and scope of work, contract agreements, workflows and deliverables, but also touched on other topics such as how to describe legacy media and how best to modify workflows to better address digital media being accessioned. The group was inspired by a variety of literature (see Links below) that suggests a shared approach where a variety of stakeholders address issues surrounding legacy digital media. As part of the working group, METRO built a basic forensic workstation. The participating archives and libraries provided materials to METRO, which transferred the data from the storage media. The group helped create components of METRO’s legacy media transfer service by creating a draft agreement and establishing a basic set of Tier I deliverables that include an E01 disk image, copies of logical files when available, and basic forensic metadata in XML and csv formats. The group also found that gaining intellectual control of legacy media holdings was a challenge due to inconsistent and insufficient description. For example, one archivist found a record that included, "Box of disks," and suggested that a more useful minimal description would be, "44 5.25 high-density floppy disks." Among other controlled vocabularies, the pbCore instantiationPhysical vocabulary seems to offer a precise terms for describing legacy media that when incorporated into finding aid inventories and other archival description would enable easy discoverability of materials by format type.

Interest in the working group’s pilot was seen at the SAA and Metrocon 2015 conferences. METRO and Center for Jewish History are seeking to expand and solidify METRO's service, and will provide more information as available.

Below are links to documentation, minutes, and other resources developed or discovered by the working group.

For questions, please contact Rachel Miller, Director of Archive and Library Services, or Margo Padilla, Strategic Programs Manager.

The working group was made part in possible by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

Presentations and blog posts

Slides from presentation [Born_Digital_Working_Group_FINAL.pptx]

OCLC blog post about Margo Padilla's presentation at SAA about the group, available at: http://hangingtogether.org/?p=4235

METRO blog post about the group, available at: http://metro.org/articles/borndigital-migration-service-pilot-project/

Links to additional resources

Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Richard Ovenden, Gabriela Redwine, “Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections” (Washington, D.C.: Council on Library and Information Resources, 2010), available at: http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/reports/pub149/pub149.pdf

pbCore instantiationPhysical vocabulary, available at: http://metadataregistry.org/concept/list/page/1/vocabulary_id/145.html

Laura Wilsey, Rebecca Skirvin, Peter Chan, Glynn Edwards, “Capturing and Processing Born-Digital Files in the STOP AIDS Project Records: A Case Study,” Journal of Western Archives: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 1, 2013, available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol4/iss1/1

Erway, Ricky. Swatting the long tail of digital media: A call for collaboration. OCLC Research, 2012. Available at: http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/publications/library/2012/2012-08.pdf