Third Thursday #4: Wrap Up

Thanks to everyone who participated in Third Thursday #4! Last Thursday, we talked about the acquisition and appraisal of born-digital materials. Participants noted several challenges with respect to the acquisition and appraisal of born-digital content, as well as tools and resources that they find helpful. Several themes that emerged from this discussion include:

  • Difficulty of communincating to donors the importance and value of donating and preserving their born-digital materials and getting them
  • Balancing donor concerns about privacy and confidentiality with access
  • Visibility of digital content – do donors know what they have?
  • Appraising accession in its entirety before considering technological issues
  • Technological issues and size (what about born-digital photos?)

Participants noted several useful tools that help them appraise born-digital materials:

Lastly, participants recommended useful resources for others who want to learn about appraising born-digital materials:

Many archivists are grappling with challenges of appraising born-digital materials. These challenges stem from donor concerns/communication (privacy and confidentiality, value of digital content, knowledge of digital content); technological issues (size and formats); and the need for more discussion about digital donations.

Despite these challenges, there are resources out there! Participants recommended a number of tools that aid in the appraisal of born-digital material as well as resources that are useful for those interested in learning more. Even as resources evolve and new tools emerge, we hope discussions like Third Thursday will continue to provide a forum for the sharing of resources, thoughts, and best practices!

A note for readers who missed the comment and may want to contribute to an edited volume on “digital donations, to include the theory of of handling digital materials and donors, as well as case studies of how appraisal theory is being adapted to digital materials” — Aaron Purcell of Virginia Tech Special Collections commented on the blog last week. You may reach him by email regarding this book project :

Remember to join us here next month, on June 16,  for the next installment of Third Thursday Conversations about appraisal issues!

~SAA Acquisitions & Appraisal Section Steering Committee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s