Call for Speakers – SAA Panel Discussion on Processing Hybrid Collections

My colleague, Laurie Rizzo, and I are putting together a panel on processing hybrid archival collections (analog + born-digital/e-records) for the Society of American Archivists annual meeting next year in Cleveland, Ohio. We are seeking three to four additional speakers for an informal panel discussion on the subject. Our aim is to provide attendees with practical methods for arranging and describing digital records within a larger mixed format collection that they can easily apply to their own workflows.  This topic is quite timely considering The Signal‘s recent interview with Sibyl Schaefer.

Below is a draft of our abstract, which will be revised as speakers are added to the panel. Please contact me at aadams at hagley dot org if you are interested in participating!

The Evolution of “Traditional” Formats: Twenty-first century hybrid collection processing

Archivists who process materials created within the last three decades are eventually confronted with the task of providing access to born-digital content. Often, this is within the scope of a larger physical collection. The concept of “traditional” archival formats is disappearing, and the old excuse “I’m not good with computers” is no longer acceptable. Even archivists who largely process analog manuscripts and still images will in time find it necessary to create descriptions for either born-digital or digital derivatives within the scope of a finding aid. Not to fear, electronic records are merely a “virtual” representation of the archival formats we are already familiar with. Their description follows the same standards the archival profession uses for all other formats.

Speakers will discuss workflows for accessioning, digital preservation, arrangement, description, and access. Emphasis will be placed on maintaining consistency and providing context by assigning descriptive work to the archivist(s) responsible for processing the physical collection. Examples of finding aids for hybrid collections will be provided, with detail on following standards, including DACS and DCRM(G), to create physical descriptions for born-digital content.




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