It May Work In Theory . . . Getting Down to Earth with Digital Workflows

Recently, Joe Coen, archivist at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, posted this to the ERS listserv:

I’m looking to find out what workflows you have for ingest of electronic records and what tools you are using for doing checksums, creating a wrapper for the files and metadata, etc. We will be taking in electronic and paper records from a closed high school next month and l want to do as much as l can according to best practices.

I’d appreciate any advice and suggestions you can give.
51069522_fa3dd37b07_z
“OK. I’ve connected the Fedora-BagIt-Library-Sleuthkit to the FTK-Bitcurator-Archivematica instance using the Kryoflux-Writeblocker-Labelmaker . . . now what?” (photo by e-magic, https://www.flickr.com/photos/emagic/51069522/).
Joe said a couple of people responded to his question directly, but that means we’ve missed an opportunity to learn as a community of archivists working with digital materials about the actual practices of other archivists working with digital materials.

There are a lot of different archivists working with electronic records—some are administrators, some are temps, some are lone arrangers, some are programmers, some are born digital archivists and some have digital archivy thrust upon them—and this diversity of interests and viewpoints is, to my mind, an untapped resource.

There are so many helpful articles and white papers out there offering general guidance and warning of common pitfalls, but sometimes, when you’re trying to cobble together an ingest workflow or planning a site visit, you just think, “Yeah, but how do I actually do this?”

Why don’t we do that here?

If you’ve got links to ingest workflows, transfer guidelines, in-house best practices, digital materials surveys, or any other formal or informal procedures that just might maybe, kinda, one day be helpful to another archivist, why not post or describe them in the comments?

I know I’ve often scoured the Internet for similar advice only to find it in a comment to a blog post.

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7 thoughts on “It May Work In Theory . . . Getting Down to Earth with Digital Workflows

  1. Mike Shallcross June 2, 2015 / 3:34 pm

    The Bentley Historical Library’s processing manual includes a section on ingest and processing procedures for digital archives: https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/bhl-archival-curation/processing-archival-collections/08-digital-processing

    The blog for our current Mellon Foundation-funded ‘ArchivesSpace-Archivematica-DSpace Workflow Integration’ project includes additional information on our development of local procedures and plans for the future: http://archival-integration.blogspot.com/

    Like

  2. Danielle Spalenka June 9, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    The team member from the Digital POWRR Project (http://digitalpowrr.niu.edu/) at Illinois Wesleyan University recently created a workflow for her institution based on the findings of the project. She recently wrote a blog post on our website about her workflow and has created an awesome visual. Here is the blog post: http://digitalpowrr.niu.edu/powrr-plus/

    She based this off of a decision flowchart created by the University of Utah. (http://campusguides.lib.utah.edu/ld.php?content_id=5929084)

    Like

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