Presentation on theme: "The devil is in the details: Describing born-digital records using the Rules for Archival Description Kat Timms Library and Archives Canada SAA Archives."— Presentation transcript:
The devil is in the details: Describing born-digital records using the Rules for Archival Description Kat Timms Library and Archives Canada SAA Archives 2013 New Orleans
Overview Part I -Introduction to RAD -General issues with RAD -Issues with RAD Ch. 9 for Electronic Records Part II -Beyond RAD – metadata/descriptive standards landscape -What do we need? What do we have? Who needs which information for what purpose?
Rules for Archival Description: Introduction Original edition published 1990 AACR2/ISBD + archival principles (respect des fonds, multi-level description moving from general to specific, focus on context) ISAD(G) & ISAAR(CPF) vs. RAD CUSTARD = DACS; RAD2 (2008) Principles: provide access via descriptions; promote understanding of archives; establish grounds for presuming authenticity
Rules for Archival Description: General Issues Richard Dancy, “RAD Past, Present, and Future,” Archivaria #74 (2012) Bibliographic model that has moved on ISBD/AACR2-based organization: missing or packed & buried data Content standard? Data value standard? Describing intellectual entities, physical entities, or both?
A Peek at Physical Description 9.5B1: 6 photographs (tiff) 9.5B2 (optional): 5 GB of photographs 9.5B3 (optional): 2 CD-ROMs (textual records) 9.5B5 (when applicable): 2.4 MB of textual records and other material 9.5C1: 1 TB of cartographic material : col. 9.5C2: 1 computer disk : sd., col., single sided, single density, soft sectored 9.5D1: 1 computer disk ; 9 x 9 cm
What’s all the fuss about? Looking at a Born-Digital Item
Digital Reality = The Item On opposite ends from MPLP? Nesmith’s broader contextual descriptions? Existence and visibility of minute details (bit streams, file formats, metadata, structure, content & context) = necessity to manage all of these aspects/components of “recordness” Good start: devising a conceptual model for archival records, including items (digital or otherwise)
Rules for Archival Description: Chapter 9 - Records in Electronic Form Practical reality: instructions specific to digital records are needed Highlighting three issues in Chapter 9 i.Which date of creation is *the* date of creation? ii.Documenting “conservation” activities for 9.8B10b file format migration and digitization via RAD vs. via ANSI/NISO Z39.87 or PREMIS iii.Fonds/collection – series – file – item: where’s the rest of the arrangement structure?
What do we need? Clearer instructions for intellectual management (metadata for discovery) and physical management (metadata supporting curation over time) A conceptual model for archives, including at the item-level Build upon and re-use existing standards (e.g., PREMIS, EAD) Clearer interpretation and understanding of digital records and their structure Building an infrastructure based on the continuum model
Future RAD, considering “Who needs to know what?” Conceptual Model for Archives --> Framework of Standards --> Guidelines & Best Practices Outstanding theoretical questions for digital records Information needs of clients: Content, Context (how much?) and Curation (how much transparency?) Standards serve both inward facing needs (archival physical and intellectual management) and outward facing needs (resource discovery and access)
Final Thoughts We’re moving in the right direction… RAD has a future, but it’ll be different… Let’s keep on deconstructing digital archives coming to a better common understanding…