Saturday, April 18, 2015

Tech talk in the archives: how can we redefine our processes & priorities in the digital age?

Tech talk in the archives: how can we redefine our processes and priorities  in  the  digital  age?  Erin  O’Meara. PASIG Presentation. March 12, 2015. [PDF]
Tech talk for archives usually revolves around workflow, data clean up and translation, infrastructure needs, and digital content pathways. Traditional archives have a physical focus, work is long term and ongoing, and priorities are established based on perceived use. For digital archives, the focus is on the digital objects, which tends to be more of a project based approach that needs dependency analysis before work is done. Prioritization is based on a grid of preservation needs, use and access, and an impact on the larger repository.

Get to know your complete digital holdings (servers as well as boxes of disks); the infrastructure, your capabilities for acquiring, processing and preserving digital holdings; staff and their training needs; and the gaps in all of this. Your processes need to change from "as-is" to "to-be".
  • Gain momentum and resources "building the ship while flying"
  • Geta business analysis and outsider perspective
  • Manage processes and know when to change
  • Continue building, and allow the archive to grow and mature
  • Allow time to review and reflect
  • Clarify and integrate roles between archive and tech staff

In determining your directions:
  • State the  larger goal then document  it
  • Break it down into executable chunks
  • Engage and educate stakeholders and leadership
  • Talk to colleagues outside your workplace
  • Curiosity and tinkering  encouraged
  • Give your team a break and recognition

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