Panel: Access

Alison Clemens, Shira Peltzman, Brian Dietz, Kelly Bolding, Matthew Farrell, Heather Smedberg, Cheryl Cordingley, Tori Maches, | BitCurator Consortium

Levels and Practices of Born-Digital Access: Reports from the DLF Born-Digital Access Group

Providing access to born-digital archival content presents a number of practical challenges, ranging from institution-specific workflows, to access and use policies, to a lack of clarity around researchers’ needs and desires. Compounding these challenges is a lack of community best practices or recommendations, all of which leads to a fractured landscape with respect to born-digital access in special collections libraries. Growing out of in- and semi-formal discussions of practitioners, the DLF Born-Digital Access Group has convened since late 2017 to develop two projects. The first project, which took inspiration from NDSA’s Levels of Digital Preservation, is the creation of a set of tiered guidelines that provide benchmarks for levels of access to born-digital material. The second project is the design of a survey for users of born-digital archives to determine what works for them, what does not, and what an ideal access environment might look like. During this presentation, team members from the Levels of Access project will discuss the product of their work, share a one-page summary, and share a report detailing actions that organizations can take. Team members involved in the creation of the access practices survey will present on their work to gather information from users of born-digital archives, including instrument design, methodology and preliminary findings from the survey. Both groups will discuss planned future activities, including public release strategies for the products and feedback and sustainability mechanisms. The presentation will conclude with a discussion with the audience about their institutions’ born-digital access practices.

  • Brian Dietz, NCSU Libraries
  • Kelly Bolding, Princeton University Library
  • Shira Peltzman, UCLA Library
Alison Clemens, Yale University
  • Matthew Farrell, Duke University

Implementing Accessibility for Born-Digital Archival Materials

In 2019, UCLA Library Special Collections embarked on a graduate student-led project to improve our access strategy for born-digital collections with a particular focus on increasing the likelihood that people with disabilities will be able to use this material for research. This presentation will share the results of our efforts to provide more inclusive access to our collections.

  • Cheryl Cordingley, UCLA
  • Shira Peltzman, UCLA Library

Establishing a Virtual Reading Room Service: Collaboration, Challenges, and Possibilities

Virtual Reading Rooms (VRRs) hold a promise to provide remote yet mediated access to born-digital and digitized collections, making collections more accessible to researchers who lack funding for long research trips, and reducing the environmental impact of air travel. However, this promise is constrained by practical and philosophical challenges. How to provide access to born-digital collections that may be large in scale, or in diverse formats? What about collections with copyright or privacy issues? How can you manage expectations, and keep technical, policy, and ethical considerations in mind, while still providing access to born-digital and digitized materials?

  • Heather Smedberg, UC San Diego
  • Tori Maches, UC San Diego
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Cite this resource:
Alison Clemens, Shira Peltzman, Brian Dietz, Kelly Bolding, Matthew Farrell, Heather Smedberg, Cheryl Cordingley, Tori Maches,. (October 25, 2019). Panel: Access. BitCurator Consortium.