This policy is to guide current and future society members and volunteers in protecting their digital materials and upholding their mission of collecting and preserving materials pertaining to Wentzville, Missouri and its surrounding areas. All portions are directed toward reaching the highest levels of digital preservation as defined by the National Digital Stewardship Alliance Levels of Digital Preservation.
Reinforce the society’s mission: To collect and preserve information pertaining to historical events of Wentzville and surrounding areas; to assume responsibility for proper recognition and preservation of various historical landmarks, relics, souvenirs, and Missouriana, to do suitable honor to those hardy pioneers of this area who laid the foundation of our present happiness by arranging celebrations and meetings in their memory; to engender rightful pride in our rich history; and to establish and maintain a museum, library, and archives.
Protect current and future digital materials from destruction or obsolescence
Establish a hierarchy for digital care and guidelines to ensure continuity of preservation across presidencies and time
Introduce and educate future members and volunteers on basic digital preservation practices
Nature of the Collections
At the time of this policy’s creation, the Wentzville Community Historical Society digital collections consisted of scanned photographs from within their collections and from outside donors. Many of the materials are stored on single laptop computers or a jump drive. Future collections could include additional digitized photographs, oral histories, and digital imaging of the society’s material objects.
The Wentzville Community Historical Society will create and maintain a centralized location for all of their digital materials. This central location will be in addition to their Past Perfect collection management system.
The Society will create a comprehensive copy of all digital materials and store this copy on an external hard drive. The hard drive will be located to an off-site secure location such as a safety deposit box, the President’s personal safe, or the local library.
If the budget allows, the Society will create and maintain a Google One account and create another copy of their digital materials for internet storage.
Subsequent copies of the collections should be made quarterly or biannually, depending on the volume of new materials, to all copy locations.
Fixity and File Integrity
The Society will create an inventory spreadsheet or document to track their digital materials.
The President or a responsible volunteer will refer to the inventory and perform an audit of the digital materials biannually to ensure that files were not accidentally or maliciously removed. If files were lost or corrupted, replacements should be obtained from one of the other copies.
Every two years, if volunteer time allows, the Society will upload their digital files to www.weareavp.com to check file fixity. Hashes should be recorded within the prepared inventory to ensure the integrity of the files. If files were lost or corrupted, replacements should be obtained from one of the other copies.
Security and Permissions
All volunteers will be trained on how to appropriately name and copy files before they gain access to the materials. They will also be trained on how to accurately input the materials into Past Perfect before they begin working with those materials and software.
Volunteers will log any changes, additions, copies, or deletions and the date in which the actions occurred in an accompanying spreadsheet or within Past Perfect.
All work performed by volunteers shall be checked by another volunteer for quality assurance.
Inventories for each record type (i.e. photographs, audio files, born digital documents, scanned documents, objects) will be created for existing and future digital materials. Copies of the inventory will reside within the folder containing the collection materials. The inventory will include information including, but not limited to, file title, location of file, creation location, donor, collection, people, dates, and events. Technical metadata can also be represented in the spreadsheet and include information such as file format, picture size, and picture resolution.
All appropriate metadata will be uploaded to the Past Perfect instance of the digital materials.
Metadata on donor transactions will be maintained either digitally or on paper within authority files. Authority files should be kept in a seperate folder within the Society’s system.
Using a spreadsheet or Past Perfect, volunteers will note any changes made to files.
Backups of all metadata will be made quarterly.
The society will strive to save their files in a singular format. They will also encourage donors to format their materials to conform to their predetermined formats.
- JPG or TIFF for photographs
- MOV for videos
- DOCX or PDF for documents
- MP3 or WAV for audio
Digital photographs will be named in the following format: yyyy-mm-dd-subject-of-photo.jpg and will be saved in folders based on year, event then donor. The date should indicate the date of the event. (Example: 2018\ 2018-10-31-Fall-Festival\ Jane Doe\2018-10-31-Queen-Float (slashes indicate cascading folders.)
Photographs of objects will be named in the following format: yyyy-mm-dd-object-position. The date should indicate the date the photograph was taken. (Example: 2018-05-23-sewing-machine-front).
If formats become obsolete, the Society will take financially minimal measures to migrate files to useable formats. Formats should be checked annually if there are more than three formats for each record type (i.e. .doc, .pdf, and .txt).
Roles and Responsibilities
The elected President of the Wentzville Community Historical Society will oversee that this policy is enforced. Changes can be suggested to the President. All changes must be approved by the President, or if s/he deems necessary, the board and/or general membership.
Due to the donation-based nature of the Society’s income, it is up to the elected president and the society members to decide on initial and future expenditures relating to digital preservation. However, they should make every attempt to create and maintain a stable environment for and practice of digital preservation.
Born digital – Information created in electronic format (SAA Glossary
Fixity – The quality of being stable and resisting change. (SAA Glossary)
Hashes – Numerical and alphabetical strings created by a fixity program used to compare files and check for corrupt bits
Date and Author
This policy was created in November 2018 by a MLIS candidate at the University of Maryland College Park.
Library of Congress. (n.d.). Scanning Your Personal Collections. Retrieved from http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/personalarchiving/documents/scanning_collections.pdf.
Meta Archive Cooperative. (2010). Preservation Policy Template. Retrieved from https://metaarchive.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ma_dp_policy_template.pdf.
National Digital Stewardship Alliance. (n.d.). Levels of Digital Preservation. Retrived from https://ndsa.org/activities/levels-of-digital-preservation/.
National Library of Australia. (2013). Digital Preservation Policy 4th Edition. Retrieved from https://www.nla.gov.au/policy-and-planning/digital-preservation-policy.
Society of American Archivists (n.d.). A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology. Retrieved from https://www2.archivists.org/glossary.
*NOTE: Sorry for the weird formatting. The blog site doesn’t make it look as pretty as a PDF or word doc.