Rights in the Digital Era

On February 27, 2015, in Research, by Chris Prom

When working with electronic records, we often feel like we stand on shaky ground.

For example, when I teach my DAS course, some of the most difficult questions that course participants raise are related to rights: “How do we know what is copyrighted?” “How do we identify private materials?” “How can we provide access to ________”  “How can we track rights information?” “What do we do if we get sued?”

As archivists, we like to provide as much access as possible to the great things our repositories hold.  How can we do that and still sleep soundly at night?

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Arrangement and Description of Electronic Records

On February 23, 2015, in Research, by Chris Prom

Over the next few days, I’ll be updating the curriculum for the Society of American Archivists DAS course, “Arrangement and Description of Electronic Records,” (ADER) which I developed several years ago.   Ania Jaroszek from the SAA Eduction Office tells me the course has been taught 17 times since May 2012  and that it is scheduled for an additional four offerings between now and September, making this a good time to undertake a thorough update.

The ADER course seeks to put into practice the philosophy that led me to start this site in the first place: to demystify digital preservation techniques as they apply to archival practice, facilitating practical methods and steps that can be applied in any archival repository.

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ADER Accession Tracking Spreadsheet

On February 11, 2015, in Research, by Chris Prom

We’re building out a basic tracking spreadsheet for use in the SAA DAS Course, Arrangement and Description of Electronic Records:



E-Records Examples

On February 11, 2015, in Research, by Chris Prom

Here are a few examples of Processed Electonic Records, as cited in my SAA DAS course, Arrangment and Description of Electronic Records

Organizational Records

Personal Papers


In summer/fall 2012, I posted a series regarding the implementation of WordPress as an content management system.  Time prevented me from describing how we decided to configure WordPress for use in the University of Illinois Archives.  In my next two posts, I’d like to rectify that, first by describing our basic implementation, then by noting (in the second post) some WordPress configuration steps that proved particularly handy.

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Knight News Challenge Proposal

On September 30, 2014, in Research, by Chris Prom

Imagine a world in which everyone’s life story can be made preservable and accessible.

The Mykive project seeks to provide people with a flexible set of tools that they can use to help people preserve, aggregate, and make accessible the digital legacies that are currently trapped in “the cloud” or in other locations that make them difficult to access, preserve, and use. By aligning the work of several innovative projects into a broader software environment and archival framework, myKive seeks to enable the development of the trusting partnerships that underlie successful archival acquisitions, and ultimately to build a storehouse of personal digital archives that are open to research, interpretation, analysis, and innovation.

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Resources for the Accidental Digital Curator

On May 7, 2014, in Research, by Chris Prom

Today I am speaking with Sam Meister and Erika Farr at a Lyrasis Town Hall Meeting, The Accidental Digital Curator: Acquiring and Preserving Digital Archives​​.  In my talk, I will describe the “More Product Less Process” approach to processing born-digital materials at the University of Illinois.  Here are some resources that I’d like to cite, as supplementary resources to my talk, or having some value for those who are  just getting started with the acquisition, management, processing, and access to born digital archives:

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Email Transfer Form

On May 6, 2014, in Research, by Chris Prom

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with an administrator whose email will be provided to the University Archives for permanent retention.  Since the materials in question are not being donated the the University, but are being preserved as records, we do not secure a deed of gift.  Instead, the following form provided an effective way to gain informatory about the records and to inform the individual of actions the archives will be undertaking to preserve the records, as well as the management principles that lie behind those actions:

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Thematic Theme Structure, Hooks, and Filters

On April 14, 2014, in Research, by Chris Prom

One of the most useful resources I found when developing a child theme in the wordpress thematic theme framework was the theme structure document formerly found on the bluemandala.com website.

With permission from Deryk, I am reproducing it here:  http://e-records.chrisprom.com/manualuploads/thematic-structure.html.

And, here is another great resource for development using Thematic:  http://visualizing.thematic4you.com/

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Job Announcement – University of Illinois

On April 4, 2014, in Research, by Chris Prom

I would like to take the liberty of noting something off topic, that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is recruiting to fill the position of Archives and Literary Manuscript Specialist in our Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

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