Moving Beyond the Lone Digital Archivist Model Through Collaboration and Living Documentation

As born-digital archives become a core part of archival processing, traditional processing archivists who lack Digital Archivist job titles face numerous challenges when meeting the processing and preservation needs of born-digital collections. Knowledge, skills, and institutional culture about who is responsible for the management of born-digital archives can all be barriers for practicing archivists in traditional processing roles. On the other hand, relying on the expertise of one Digital Archivist per institution is not a sustainable practice as it can overburden and overwork those in these roles. This presentation will focus on steps archivists can take to break through these barriers, based on the collaborative practices of the Manuscript Division processing team at Princeton University. Our talk will discuss steps the Manuscripts Division has taken to manage its born-digital archives, including building our own digital processing workstation, creating extensible workflows, documentation, policies, and investigating means of access that have been informed through collaboration with our colleagues at Princeton and with those in the profession at large. Our hope is that sharing our experiences can empower more archivists to reach across their institutions and the profession to meet the challenges of managing born-digital collections no matter their job description entails.

11:50 AM
10 minutes