Personal Digital Archives

The (paradigm) Personal Archives Accessible in Digital Media was designed to provide support and guidance for preserving digital private papers in terms of accessioning, ingesting digital private papers into digital repositories, and processing them in line with archival and digital preservation requirements. The project is a bit older (2005-2007), but the paradigm documentation is still very useful as a primer for anyone new to the ideas and concerns for working with born digital materials.

In particular, I like the section on Practical Tips, which advises against overly long filenames and spaces in names. This might¬† seem to be a bit basic, but because it’s basic people often don’t think about it. Part of the process of working with born digital files is knowing that while some of the work may be very technical, other times it’s very mundane. Sharing this helps to demystify the differences and parallels for working with all archival collections. See the paradigm workbook and (workbook in PDF) for more. (I’m blogging this for my own quick reference because, as more people ask me to help with born digital matters, I’ve found this documentation to be the most successful first reference point to share after which¬† a productive discussion can move forward.)