L-110. Integrating Born-Digital Materials: Archival Standards & Approaches

Bill Landis Gabriela Redwine

Archives have always been format agnostic and nothing has changed with the introduction of born-digital materials (born-digital materials are those that began life on a computer, rather than as digitized surrogates of real-world artifacts). Managing archives and providing access to them requires a toolkit of flexible strategies and standards that archivists can deploy based on a shifting landscape of institutional priorities and realities. We will explore the range and utility of existing archival standards and approaches to integrate management of born-digital materials into the broader endeavor of keeping archives. Strategies for managing or incorporating digitized surrogates into archival finding aids will not be discussed in any detail. This course assumes a basic understanding of archives and archival management, and builds on concepts introduced in L-95: Born-Digital Materials in Special Collections, though that course is not a prerequisite.

Although we welcome students with varying levels of experience and expertise, in their personal statements applicants should briefly describe any experience they have with born-digital materials (including coursework), tell us about repositories or institutions where they’ve worked with archives, and describe specifically their familiarity with archival description and standards. Most exercises require the use of a computer, and students admitted to this course are expected to bring a laptop to class each day. Lack of access to a laptop should not prevent you from applying to the course, but please indicate in your personal statement if you do not have ready access to a laptop that you can bring with you for the week.

Course History

Bill Landis & Gabriela Redwine co-teach this course.
This course is not currently being offered. Please do not list on any RBS fellowship or scholarship applications.

Course Resources

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  • Bill Landis
  • Gabriela Redwine

Bill Landis

Bill Landis is Associate Director for Public Services in Manuscripts & Archives, a department of the Yale University Library. His professional interests and experiences are in archives and digital libraries, especially relating to metadata and descriptive standards, access issues, and outreach and teaching with special collections. He is an active member and Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, for many years taught an introductory workshop on Describing Archives: A Content Standard for that organization, and recently completed a term as an elected member of its governing council. He recently co-chaired a joint task force (with the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries) responsible for creating the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy, and served for two years as the inaugural editor of the SAA’s ePublication Case Studies on Teaching With Primary Sources

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Gabriela Redwine

Gabriela Redwine is Digital Archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. Before coming to Yale she was Archivist and Metadata/Electronic Records Specialist at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She has written and presented extensively on different aspects of born-digital materials. She leads Yale’s Born Digital Working Group, and serves on the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s Coordinating Committee.

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