Simple E-Records Preservation and Access Plan

Over the past six months, we have been working out a process to implement the Do-it-Yourself TDR here at the University of Illinois Archives, and I’d like to summarize what we are doing with digital materials.  The work I am describing is based on the processing of the Edward Kieser Papers, Leon Dash Papers, Stanley Smith Papers, and the Records of the Office of Intellectual Freedom, currently in process by Melissa Salrin.  All of these contained several gigabytes of electronic records.  This page outlines our general processing, preservation, and access workflow, as it has been developed, documented, and implemented by Angela Jordan and Andrea Thomer, working in collaboration with me:

  1. Move all files as acquired into ‘unprocessed’ folder in our electronic records repository (basically a networked folder on a server with redundant, offsite backup.)
  2. Make an accession record for the files in our Archon database, record volume of records and descriptive statement.
  3. When ready to process the files, generate collection record in Archon using the ‘make collection button on the accession record.  Assign a record series number and make a full descriptive record in Archon.
  4. Move the files from the ‘unprocessed’ to the processed folder in our electronic records repository, by running the data accessioner, and supplying the correct target.  The parent folder for the collection MUST be the same as the ID for the record series number, e.g. 2002020/preservation
  5. Keep this ‘original’ files as the preservation copy, including the content and basic descriptive metadata using the xml produced by the Duke Data Accessioner.
  6. Make a ‘nearline’ access copy, which will be a complete or close to complete copy of the files as we received them.  Access will be only upon application and agreement to a conditions of use form (to be formulated) which to include agreement to copyright statement, etc.
    • Copy the existing content into a ‘nearline’ folder as a sibling to the preservation folder, e.g. 2020020/nearline
    • In the case of simple sets of records, the nearline copy will simply be a copy of the preservation copy.  In the case of more complex records, run Tree size pro on the nearline copy.  If possible and desireable, remove duplicates and any materials that need restrictions from the nearline copy.  Consult with archival staff regarding any additional processing or preservation actions you may wish to take on the nearline copy
    • Make a digital object record for the ‘nearline’ copy in Archon, and link it to the records series description record.  See this page for a sample of how to do it.
  7. Make one or more ‘online’ access copies.  This folder, or folders will consist of selected content that is free of copyright or other IP concerns, and which is arranged and described in a way that is useful to users
    • make an online folder as a sibling of the preservation folder, e.g. 2602020/online
    • Establish a child folder structure in it, using folder names that  provide a summary content of the title
    • Optional: establish sub-folders in the folders you just made
    • put files from the collection in the folders and sub-folders, representing the nature of the collection
    • copy the entire folder into the simple e-records viewer (description coming later) on our webserver.
    • create the file info.inc.php in the root of your new folder, and put descriptive information into the header, using template info.inc.php from an existing folder.  For a sample of what the page might look like, use this as a template
    • Make a digital object record for the ‘online’ copy in Archon, then link it to the records series description record you made earlier. See this page for a sample of what the ‘online’ record should look like in Archon’s digital content manager.
    • Optional: If you feel like the sub-folders are complicated enough to require additional descriptive information to guide the user in understanding their context, structure, or content, make additional Archon records, link them to the sub-folders, and make additional info.inc.php files in the sub-folders.