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Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories

4.3 Transfer of materials

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Transfer strategies will differ for files stored on removable media, files that a donor wishes to transfer electronically, or files that an archivist may capture on a site visit. Determining the best method to transfer digital materials from a donor to a repository will depend on the specific materials in question. Each repository may have its own preferred methods of transfer, but any strategy involving the copying and electronic transfer of data can be time-consuming for both repository and donor. Donors should also be aware that some acquisitions present novel scenarios that may require repositories to research, develop, and test new methodologies to capture the collection materials.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Once acquisition terms have been established, the repository and donor should determine how the born-digital materials will be transferred. It is strongly recommended that donors and dealers seek the guidance of archival repositories before any transfer takes place. Often, repository staff will prefer to retrieve the media and files in person. If a donor is to send disks, computer hard drives, or other hardware directly to a repository, she should do so in accordance with the repository’s guidelines for safely and securely handling, packing, and shipping digital media. It is crucial that media are well protected from moisture, extreme temperatures, strong electro-magnetic fields, and rough handling when being transferred to a repository. Any equipment should be cushioned during transport, and moving parts stabilized (e.g., inserting a dummy floppy disk into a floppy disk drive may be advised). Alternatively, files may be transferred electronically by secure means. All of these scenarios would benefit from established repository protocols, easy-to-follow instructions, and tested documentation strategies to ensure that the correct files are acquired in a way that is well authenticated.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Throughout this process, it is important for donors and dealers to document who has handled the digital media and what actions have been taken prior to transfer to the repository. For example, donors or dealers should note whether files were copied from a computer hard drive onto a disk and identify the computer’s make, model, and operating system, if known. It is also important to consider early on what security measures need to be in place regarding the storage, handling, and secure deletion of electronically transferred files.

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Source: http://mcpress.media-commons.org/borndigital/key-stages-in-acquiring-digital-materials/transfer-of-materials/