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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Digital Accession and Processing Workflow

This page outlines the general processing, preservation, and access workflow for electronic records. In order to process born-digital and digital surrogate records in accordance with archival standards, process materials using the below steps.

Be sure to record all steps on the Digital Checklist. Keep this form in the unprocessed folder until processing is complete, save as a pdf, then transfer it to the preservation folder. Also, print a copy of this completed form and put it in the record series' administrative file. The links and menu to the left provide detailed information on each process.

Note: all newly created e-records series must have folders created by either Chris, Melissa, or Angela. Before processing, have one of these individuals create the folders required for your processing project.

  1. Storage for Unprocessed Electronic Records

    All born-digital and digital surrogate records should be transferred unprocessed to Libsysdigi->Archives->Electronic Records Repository->UA->Unprocessed E-Records (or the ALA equivalent) under the newly-created record series folder. If the computer operating system does not automatically open Teracopy upon transfer, right click on the open program (Teracopy), select "Use TeraCopy as default copy handler" and "Always test after copy." Electronic records acquired on CDs or DVDs must be ripped using the specified programs in Processing Multimedia and placed in the same unprocessed records folder.

  2. Archon Collection Record

    If the series is comprised of hybrid records (i.e. analog and digital), generate a collection record for the analog records. A digital collection record will be generated at a later point in the workflow process. If the series is entirely digital and is not associated with an analog series, create a collection record for the series. The record series title should be "Electronic Records of..." to indicate born-digital records, or "Digital Surrogates of..." for electronic copies of original analog records. Most of the descriptive information for stand-alone electronic records series will be generated later in a digital collection record.

  3. Expunging Personal Information and Non-Archival Records

    Before generating preservation metadata, make sure the record series contains no personal information. Private records often found in donated materials include social security numbers, banking and credit card information, student records, and medical records. For larger electronic records ingests, Firefly can quickly scan and identify files that contain social security and bank numbers. Once the program is installed, select "Configure," and search for the correct scan location. Delete any identified files that contain personal information. Save the results in the preservation folder (see 5. Storage for Preservation Copies).

    In the case of complex records, run TreeSize Pro to gain a better sense of file structures and type. Delete any material not worth archiving. Save the results of TreeSize Pro in the preservation folder.

  4. Generating Preservation Metadata

    Process all electronic records using NARA's File Analyzer, found in Preservation Metadata. Upon successful creation of preservation metadata, transfer the files from the Unprocessed folder to the Preservation folder. The Unprocessed record series folder should be deleted. Send Melissa or Angela an email with the record series number to be deleted.

  5. Storage for Preservation Copies

    Series that contain only audio-visual files are kept in the corresponding ALA or UA folder in \\libsysmartin\Preservation\Archives. Series that contain non-AV documents, or are mixed collections, are kept in libsysdigi\archives\electronic_records_repository\UA\preservation.

  6. Generating Access Copies

    Depending upon restrictions of copyright and donor request, electronic records may be restricted, available upon request, or publicly available. All documentation for these processes is located on the Public Access page. At a minimum, make a nearline access copy, which will be a complete or close-to-complete copy of the received files, minus only those files that have access restrictions. In some cases, online access copies will consist of content free of copyright or privacy concerns, arranged and described in a way that is useful to users.

    Before materials are made publicly accessible, Bill, Chris, or Ellen must review the records placed online. Upon permission, update the Archon collection record to signify permission was granted. Under the appropriate record series, select "Other" and make a note of the date permission was granted for public accessibility, and the archivist granting permission.

Providing public access to digital records requires greater attention to copyright and privacy restrictions than when working with analog records. If you have any questions or concerns, see Bill or Chris!