Meta-morphosis: what’s the plan?

It’s that time of year where we regroup after Christmas and take stock of progress during the past six months. We have spent much of that time completing pilots, attempting to customise our software and attending JISC mash-up sessions. In the main, however, the team has been reading extensively around the subject to try and garner as much knowledge as possible from the various guidelines, toolkits, workbooks and case studies already written on the subject of digital archives.

The time has now come to begin creating detailed guidance and procedures for our archive depositors, both present and future, who wish to give us digital material. During the next three or four months we will be creating:

Revised donation and deposit agreements for archive material. These are the standard agreements signed by anyone that gives us their archive, which will now have to incorporate clauses relating to the ownership and preservation of, and access to, digital materials.

An additional guideline document for depositors with regard to their digital archives, which will include: initial questions and considerations around issues such as size, format, hardware and software; actions to undertake before the material can pass to the archive; and an outline of what the Institute of Education will be able to take.

A step-by-step procedural document for the intake and processing of digital materials by archive staff – in other words, the workflow for taking them into the Archive.

A metadata template to give to depositors incorporating all the fields the archivists need to add digital materials to CALM and e-prints.

Naming convention and version control guidance for depositors.

As a final output, the Archive team hope to write a detailed LibGuide containing all the information required by potential depositors when they give us their paper, hybrid and digital archive collections.

It all sounds like a lot of hard work and no doubt the documents will be revised and altered many times in the weeks and months to come, but it really feels like the JISC Transformations project will result in a fantastic set of guidelines and best practice. We’ll keep you posted.

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