December 2018 meeting recap

My much overdue recap of the December meeting! (What happened to December, anyhow? Here and gone in the blink of an eye.)

Topic was dealing with digital. Some of the questions the group discussed where what do you have, what are you doing with it, what are your questions?

Among the types of stuff our participants hold are things like 3.5″ floppies, digital photos, video formats, audio, hard drives, thumb drives, data cds, laptops, dvds, other portable storage devices.

Questions/issues that came up: dealing with data dumping since it’s so easy to send stuff and not always easy to clean it out first, dealing with digital backlogs, does anybody have a good ingest mechanism, is more fine-grained description really necessary, dealing with migration, what kind of training, what resources are out there, what case studies are out there, what kinds of software are out there, is is there a basic practices document, what do workflows look like?

Ongoing costs! So much in the way of digital goes away from the more typical one-time costs (one box that can be used for decades, building space) and into regular recurring costs that are often high.

Here’s some resources suggested by attendees:

From Leah at the Alaska State Archives:

The Digital POWRR Institute is designed for helping institutions (especially ones with little/no funding) get a handle on their digital materials.  There are tons of open source tools out there and there’s a really great community of users to help with questions when you get stuck.  In particular the Tool Grid is really helpful for if you’re just getting started – it’s a comparative list for dozens of tools, proprietary and open source, and you can compare them by what functions they perform within digital processing.

From Sarala at the Alaska Native Language Archives:

Rather than sharing ANLA’s form (which is still under revision), I’d better point you to my original inspiration for this project, at the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA). Their form is available online.


And from Arlene (me) at the UAA/APU Consortium Library:

Two sources for case studies that I like: the Electronic Records section of the Society of American Archivists has a blog on which they publish regular things like this and you don’t have to be an SAA member to read it: and the BitCurator Forum has some publicly available resources on their Digital Forensics page (with links to case studies and publications and presentations and such) here:

Any more resources anybody wants to suggest? Feel free to add to the comments below.

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