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Digitisation

Taking in a digital collection

If someone wants to give you a donation of digital material, you will need to think about the following:

1. Do a digital appraisal

Some of the collection may not fit with your collecting policy, so there is no obligation to take these records in. Discuss with the donor – they may want to take these records back, or allow you to dispose of them or offer them to another collecting group. See further details on doing an appraisal.

2. Plan for what you can manage

Work out how much material is coming in so that you can ensure you have enough storage space. Make sure you store your collection records separately from your day-to-day records.

3. Label and organise

Some of the most useful information for archivists and researchers can be dates (creation dates or other important dates) and names (of people depicted in records, creators, and contributors). Listing this information will make it easier for you to catalogue the collection. Create an accession register to capture this information.

4. Protect your materials

Back up digital files, and make sure you don't exclusively rely on cloud storage. You may want to store the media carriers that hold the digital records in your archive storage area, for preservation purposes.

5. Virus checks

It’s a good idea to run virus checks before adding the new files to your preservation storage. Make sure that the computer is not connected to any others in your network when you first open the digital files, and run a virus check before reconnecting. Regularly run virus checks every couple of months.

Digitisation survey:

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