Session Proposal: Skills and Tools for Digital Archives

A question that’s been explored before before, but one that remains current — especially with the appearance of several new open-source for digital records: What do archivists need to work with digital records? Of course, having a saw, hammer, and nails doesn’t mean that you know how to build something. The trick is to figure out how to use these tools wisely, to get a sense of crafts* and best practices.

Join in a conversation about tools you use and the skills essential to use those tools. Learn about other participants’ favorites. If interested, the group can continue the conversation as an online community to explore these ideas in depth. Participants should be prepared to talk about how they work, the tools they use, and what knowledge and skills they think are essential (whether they have them or not) to succeed in the digital era.

>Examples of tools include the Duke Data Accessioner, the Curator’s Workbench, and Archivematica. (Not to mention other tools that have been around for a while, such as Archon, Archivist’s Toolkit, not to mention Dspace. It’s just as important to have a safe place to “play.” VirtualBox allows you to host a fully functioning Ubuntu Linux computer, and many of these tools run best in a Linux environment. These applications will be available for demonstration during the session.

*Changed craftsmanship to craft out of respect for International Women’s Day (today) and to acknowledge the important issues raised in the session proposal: Is Coding Privileged Work?

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About Richard Pearce-Moses

I've been a practicing archivist for thirty+ years, working with photographs, government records, and personal paper in areas of regional history (TX, AZ), history of photography, and Native American culture. Have been working almost exclusively with digital archives and libraries for more than ten years. Areas of research: knowledge and skills archivists need to work with digital materials, the archival lexicon, and automated, rules-based processing. Currently director of and faculty in the Master of Archival Studies Program at Clayton State University. Started programming in 1968.