Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day of Digital Archives

My Day of Digital Archives is not going at all as planned. I meant to be working on web archiving and training my students in processing the e-records of our last University President. Instead, I'm sitting at home typing one-handed and nursing a broken elbow (on my dominant arm, of course) sustained in a cycling crash yesterday on my way to work. So this post will be pretty short, and if anything catches your interest feel free to email me at khomo [at] uoregon [dot] edu for more information.

First, a little background about me: I'm the Electronic Records Archivist at the University of Oregon. I'm responsible for the ingest and preservation of e-records in Special Collections and University Archives. My current most pressing projects:
  • Processing raw video files of oral histories documenting the Latino experience in Oregon. I had a plan, and then Final Cut X threw a wrench in the works: the raw video footage created in Final Cut 7 can't be read with Final Cut X. This is a textbook example of why proprietary digital formats are not a preservation solution.
  • The aforementioned presidential e-records. Organic file trees are a nightmare, and trying to sort out the records designated as non-permanent by state law only adds to the confusion.
  • Creating an inventory of all our audio-visual material in order to prioritize both for digitization and for traditional preservation/conservation.
  • Doing some pre-emptive work with a couple of faculty members who are teaching oral history classes this academic year and who want their students to deposit the audio files in the archives. I'm happy to take the content, but if I work with the professors ahead of time and get myself scheduled to do some basic instruction in the class I'm far more likely to get usable files at the end of it.
  • Archiving University web content, both from the official UO pages and from other sources (social media, news outlets, etc.)
  • Working with our data management team to create ingest and cataloguing workflows for acquired digital data.
I think that's it. Now excuse me while I take some pain medication.

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