¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The stewardship of born-digital archival collections promises nothing if not routine encounters with the unexpected. Unfamiliar or unannounced file formats, hardware, and collection additions seem to be one reliable constant as repositories increasingly collect born-digital archival content.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 The sections of this report describe good practices that can help reduce archival surprises. Conducting thorough and clear surveys, interviews, and other types of assessment prior to acquisition can help reduce the occurrence of unexpected large additions to collections, unfamiliar media and hardware, and unanticipated expansions to the scope of an acquisition. Documented and well-formed acquisition policy and practices may alleviate ambiguity about the details of transferring born-digital materials, such as timing, packing and shipping standards, frequency of accruals, and “rogue data” transferred unintentionally or not fully addressed in the acquisition agreement or contract. Furthermore, dealers and repositories should work to better understand and document donor computing habits to improve the quality of digital transfers and accessions. Earlier archival intervention in records and information management will help shape the archival impact of user and donor idiosyncrasies around file management and data backup.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The unexpected will continue to challenge and surprise repositories acquiring and managing born-digital materials, despite reasonable efforts at creating clear and actionable policies. Tactics such as opening the lines of communication between donors, dealers, and repository staff and establishing transparent, efficient archival practice promise to minimize unpleasant surprises and improve the quality of born-digital acquisitions.