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Digitizing from an Archival Student’s Perspective

October 27th, 2009 · No Comments


Digital preservation is a wonderful thing…as long as I do not have to do it. As I work in an archive/library at my university, digitizing a collection for online use, I have lots of time to think about digital preservation, its benefits and disadvantages, how the nature of libraries and archives is changing and what it means for us all.

As a newly graduated student, I dream of processing unique materials, rummaging through boxes and loosely organized files to find the rhythm of a collection. Documents and artifacts that tell someone’s story, that make me chuckle or make me sad, that surprise me and some that bore me. These materials get my hands dirty, make me feel gritty, make my skin break out, but make me feel real. But the scanner? It makes me feel definitely like something other than an archivist or a librarian. I must work quickly and without thinking РI am there to scan only, not to make judgment calls, or to find order in chaos, nor to find that collection rhythm.

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Category: Archiving Challenges