Today is the day to “raise awareness of digital archives among both users and managers … archivists, digital humanists, programmers, or anyone else creating, using, or managing digital archives are asked to devote some of their social media output to describing their work with digital archives … by collectively documenting what we do, we will be answering questions like: What are digital archives? Who uses them? How are they created and managed? Why are they important?”
As someone working in an academic library, I’m always interested in the intersection between digital archives and academic libraries. For a recent presentation proposal, I found that one of the 2010 Top 10 Trends in Academic Libraries was “Digitization of unique library collections will increase and require a larger share of resources.” This trend, along with the current development in digital technologies are definitely creating new opportunities for increasing access and value to unique and rare collections housed in libraries, archives, and museums. One of the challenges, however, in creating a digital collection or archive is dealing with a number of factors that can affect the decision-making process … examples of those factors are presented in the article The Collection Management Perspective by Linda M. Matthews.
Once a digital archive is online, another activity that also deserves special attention is maintenance, which often requires processes such as migration or web redesign. Here -at Miami University Libraries- we’re exactly in that process of moving our local digital archive into a statewide repository … just today, I’ve learned that our most recent ticket has been closed and a DSpace theme is correctly installed on our production instance available at: http://digitalcollections.lib.muohio.edu/ … where the two first collections will be about Civil War Diaries.
Ok, that’s it for today … oh and as a side note on the Day of Digital Archives, this morning I was surprised by an email (inquiry) on a customization work done a couple of years ago … it’s always rewarding to know that whatever has worked for us … can also work for others