[the formatting on this doc really got messed up when I pasted it into this post]
This document contains the Greenbelt Museum’s policy and strategies for managing their digital collection. It is meant to:
-Establish a strong foundation in digital preservation practices
-Complement the Collections Management Policy and Manual
-Support the mission statement of the Museum–We are a community museum that provides gateways to the New Deal history and living legacy of Greenbelt, Maryland. The Greenbelt Museum inspires residents, students, and visitors to explore this planned cooperative community.
The Museum Curator/Director is responsible for the Museum and is solely responsible for its digital collection. The Curator/Director will work with the Friends of Greenbelt Museum (FOGM) Board to improve the Museum. With the approval of the Collections Committee, they shall have the authority to accept acquisitions for the Museum collection. The Curator/Director will report annually to the Board on the condition of the digital collection.
This policy is a living document and will be regularly reviewed as digital preservation technology and strategies naturally evolve.
The Museum considers digital preservation as critical to their institutional mission and has identified strategies that aim to provide comprehensive, meaningful access to their digital collection over time. These will include:
-Identifying weaknesses and strengths of the collection to determine preservation priorities
-Bit-level preservation of digital objects
-Maintaining authenticity and provenance with appropriate metadata
-Scheduled review of file formats, metadata standards, and other preservation practices
The Museum utilizes the Levels of Digital Preservation from the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) as broad guiding principles when creating policy and their digital preservation approach.
Below are the recommended file types for the Museum’s digital content. While donations in different formats will be considered based on content and collection needs, acquisitions in the supported formats will be given priority. These formats were chosen because they are open source, widely utilized by the digital preservation field, and more likely to ensure file stability over time.
Recommended file formats:
-PDF for text documents
-TIFF for images
-MP3 or WAV for audio
-MOV for video
If the Museum acquires digital content in a different format than those listed above, it will be converted to a recommended format, provided the file’s original content and function will remain intact. Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Curator/Director whose contact information is listed on the Greenbelt Museum website.
Storage and Fixity
At least two copies of the Museum’s digital collection will be maintained in two separate locations at all times: one with the Curator/Director’s computer and one with the city of Greenbelt’s IT Department. A third copy of the collection will eventually be kept with a secure cloud storage service.
The Curator/Director will perform fixity checks twice per year on all copies to ensure that they are identical in number of file formats and metadata. Verifying fixity information allows the Museum to ensure that they have received the files they expected; check for corrupted or altered files; and to communicate to users that the organization’s digital objects are authentic and trustworthy. A master inventory will be kept of all digital objects; one copy with each backup of the collection. Files will be updated as needed. Digital records donated to the Museum by private donors or other organizations will be ingested using Exactly, a free tool offered through AVP that guarantees secure transfer of content and authentication of file integrity.
Digital archival records are currently handled differently than artifactual records and are not included in the Museum PastPerfect catalogue. However, it is imperative that the metadata for these records be standardized and consistent across the collection.
Metadata will include:
-Administrative data, or technical information such as when the file was created, file format, who can access it, and intellectual property rights.
-Descriptive data, or data that describes the object for purposes such as identification and searching.
When selecting material for digitization, the Museum will first ensure that there is copyright permission to digitize the original files and to make surrogates of the digital copy for preservation and/or distribution. They will then select the appropriate file format from the list of recommended formats. Photos and documents should be scanned at 300 dpi. All actions taken during the digitization process should be documented and included in the object’s metadata. Backup copies should be created at the point of ingest.
Bit-level preservation: all of the practices that preserve a file’s original content as it was collected or created.
Dots per inch (dpi): a measure of how many dots of color or shading are contained within one inch. Often used interchangeably with pixel per inch, or ppi.
Fixity: the property of a digital file or object being fixed or unchanged.
Bailey, J. et al. (n.d.). Levels of digital preservation. Retrieved from https://ndsa.org/activities/levels-of-digital-preservation/
“Collections management policy and manual.” (n.d.). Unpublished internal document, Greenbelt Museum.
De Stefano, P. et al. (2014). Checking your digital content. Retrieved from http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gdc/lcpub.2013655117.1
Digital Preservation Coalition. (n.d.). Creating digital materials. Retrieved from https://dpconline.org/handbook/organisational-activities/creating-digital-materials
“Greenbelt Museum mission statement.” (n.d.). Unpublished internal document, Greenbelt Museum.
Library of Congress. (n.d.). Scanning your personal collections. Retrieved from http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/personalarchiving/documents/scanning_collections.pdf
The National Archives. (n.d.). Developing a digital preservation policy. Retrieved from https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/digital-preservation-policies-cons-draft-0.9.pdf
National Library of Australia (2013). Digital preservation policy (4th ed.). Retrieved from https://www.nla.gov.au/policy-and-planning/digital-preservation-policy