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Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories

4.4 Initial handling of materials at the repository

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Digital media may pass through the hands of numerous staff members during the acquisition process. It is good practice for repositories to minimize the number of people who handle digital media and files, and for each transfer of digital materials to be well documented. After born-digital materials arrive on site, the repository will want to ensure that they are transferred to the appropriate department safely, quickly, and in original condition. For example, items that are shipped physically, particularly if they are included in a larger shipment of paper-based materials, may require an inspection by conservators before they are integrated into the repository’s collection storage areas. Curators or other staff may inspect the materials in preparation for announcements about the acquisition, exhibitions, or other purposes. Digital media in collections that have been in storage for an extended period may not be discovered until archival processing is underway.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Because attempts to access born-digital materials can change the content, formatting, and metadata associated with the files, it is important for repositories to establish clear protocols for how these materials should be handled by staff. Such protocols should also include strategies to document which repository staff members have handled the media as the acquisition moves through different departments, and what actions they have taken.

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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/borndigital/key-stages-in-acquiring-digital-materials/initial-handling-of-materials-at-the-repository/