Digital resources

Below is a comprehensive suite of digital resources that can be used or shared by FAN members. Click on a category in the list below to navigate through the resources. These resources will continue to be updated. 

 

Blogs and podcasts
Information and records management 
Policies and principles
Reviews and reports 
Requirements
Staffing and expertise
Standards
Strategies

 

Blogs and podcasts

  • ​Digital Archives of the Future – a podcast

Author / contact: The National Archives UK (TNA): https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/

Published: March 2018

Source: TNA

URL: http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/digital-archives-future/ 

To mark forty years since The National Archives moved to Kew, Surrey, England, John Sheridan, Digital Director, discusses the challenges that archives will face in the future. John is currently leading efforts to transfer our digital offer to become an archive that is digital by instinct and design.

  • Technology and innovation – blog 

Author / contact: The National Archives UK (TNA): https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/

Published: ongoing

Source: TNA

URL: http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/category/technology-innovation/

Visit The National Archives UK blog for technology and innovation insights from our in-house experts.

 

Information and records management

  • Guidance on a New Approach to Managing Email Records (aka the Capstone Approach)

Author / contact: Lisa Haralampus, Director of Records Management Policy and Outreach, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – lisa.haralampus@nara.gov

Published: August 2013

Source: NARA

URL: https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2013/2013-02.html

Capstone is a records management approach developed by NARA to address the difficulty of applying traditional records management to overwhelming volumes of email. Capstone offers a more simplified and automated approach. Using Capstone, agencies can manage email based on the work and/or position of the email account owner. This allows for the capture of email records for permanent preservation from the accounts of officials at or near the top of an organisation. An agency may designate email accounts of additional employees as Capstone when they are in positions that are likely to create or receive permanent email records. Other accounts may then be scheduled as temporary and preserved for a set period of time based on the agency’s needs.

While this approach has significant benefits, there are also risks that the agency must consider, including choosing the appropriate Capstone accounts, the possible need to meet other records management responsibilities, and the possibility of incidentally collecting personal and other non-record email. Agencies must determine whether end users may delete non-record, transitory, or personal email from their accounts.

The Capstone Approach was further implemented through several other documents that may also be helpful:

General Records Schedule, September 2016: https://www.archives.gov/files/records-mgmt/grs/grs06-1.pdf
Frequently Asked Questions, December 2017: https://www.archives.gov/files/records-mgmt/grs/grs06-1-faqs.pdf
Capstone presentations and other resources, various dates: https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/email-management/capstone-training-and-resources.html

  • Format Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records

Author / contact: Lisa Haralampus, Director of Records Management Policy and Outreach, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – lisa.haralampus@nara.gov

Published: January 2014

Source: NARA

URL: https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2014/2014-04.html

This NARA Bulletin specifies which file formats are acceptable when transferring permanent electronic records to NARA. This Bulletin contains the authorization, scope and general requirements for file formats acceptable when transferring permanent electronic records. It also contains an appendix of tables (https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/policy/transfer-guidance-tables.html) that specify the file formats that NARA will accept. 

  • Metadata Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records

Author / contact: Lisa Haralampus, Director of Records Management Policy and Outreach, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – lisa.haralampus@nara.gov

Published: September 2015

Source: NARA

URL: https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2015/2015-04.html

This NARA Bulletin defines the minimum set of metadata elements that must accompany transfers of permanent electronic records to the National Archives. Per 36 CFR 1235.48, Federal agencies are required to transfer documentation adequate for NARA to identify, service, and interpret permanent electronic records for as long as they are needed. This guidance applies to all permanent electronic records and is a companion to 'NARA Bulletin 2014-04: Revised Format Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records': https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2014/2014-04.html 

This Bulletin has two appendices: 

Appendix A, Metadata Element Definitions: https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2015/2015-04-appendix-a.html 

Appendix B, Recommended File and Folder Naming Conventions: https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2015/2015-04-appendix-b.html 

  • Business applications - Minimum metadata set

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: January 2016

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/information-management/digital-transition-and-digital-continuity/information-is-interoperable/metadata/index.aspx

The minimum metadata set comprises nine properties required for the efficient and effective management of business information, regardless of what it is and where it is held. The set represents a practical application of the Australian Government Recordkeeping Metadata Standard (AGRkMS 2.0)

  • Transfer Guidance

Author / contact: Lisa Haralampus, Director of Records Management Policy and Outreach, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – lisa.haralampus@nara.gov

Published: January 2017 

Source: NARA

URL: https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/policy/transfer-guidance.html

This page provides links to different documents supplying guidance for transferring records to NARA. The guidance is divided into two documents. The first document is entitled ‘Metadata Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records’, this defines the minimum metadata elements which NARA requires as well as recommended file and folder naming conventions. The second document is entitled ‘Revised Format Guidance for the Transfer of Permanent Electronic Records and provides details of the formats NARA finds acceptable to receive. This document includes an appendix stating preferred or acceptable file formats for different categories of electronic records. The page also provides links to transfer guidance issued by NARA which has been superseded.

 

Policies and principles

  • Digital Transition Policy

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: July 2011

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/information-management/digital-transition-and-digital-continuity/digital-transition-policy/index.aspx

The Digital Transition Policy was developed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and approved by Cabinet in July 2011. The Archives was the lead agency responsible for implementing the policy.

The Policy:

  • aims to move Australian Government agencies to digital information and records; management for efficiency purposes
  • contains a set of requirements for agencies; and
  • states that Australian Government information created after 2015 will be accepted for transfer to the Archives in digital format only.

In 2016, approximately 70% of Australian Government agencies indicated they have completed their transition to a digital information and records management environment. This represents a strong increase from 40% of agencies in 2013.

  • Revised ‘Principles for selecting the Australian Government's national archives’

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: May 2015

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/information-management/selecting-national-archives/

The Archives’ appraisal policy framework was fully reviewed and updated in 2015 to ensure it remained relevant and appropriate in the digital environment. This document details the selection principles and associated considerations that underpin the Archives’ decisions when selecting Australian Government information for inclusion in the national archival collection. The principles apply to all Australian Government information and cater for the rapidly increasing volume of digital information.

  • Digital Continuity 2020 Policy

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: October 2015

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/information-management/digital-transition-and-digital-continuity/digital-continuity-2020/index.aspx

The Digital Continuity 2020 Policy was issued under the Archives Act 1983 and launched in October 2015.

The Digital Continuity 2020 Policy:

  • builds on the Digital Transition Policy;
  • aims to support efficiency, innovation, interoperability, information re-use and accountability by integrating robust digital information management into all government business processes;
  • contains three (3) principles (information is valued; information is managed digitally; and information, systems and processes are interoperable); and
  • identifies a number of key actions and interim targets and pathways.

A key target under Principle 2 ‘Information is managed digitally’ is that all records created in digital formats after 1 January 2016 need to be managed digitally.

  • General Records Authority 31

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: October 2015

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/information-management/records-authorities/types-of-records-authorities/GRA/GRA31/index.aspx

The purpose of this general records authority is to permit the destruction of information and records in accordance with Section 24(2)(b) of the Archives Act 1983 after they have been successfully copied, converted from an analogue to a digital format, or migrated from one system to another. It supports the Digital Transition Policy and the Digital Continuity 2020 Policy and is designed to ensure that government digital information is available for use now and into the future.

  • Distributed custody policy

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: November 2015

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/organisation/accountability/operations-and-preservation/distributed-custody.aspx

This policy was developed in part in response to the need for a clearly articulated distributed custody model to support the increasing number of digital records being held outside the Archives’ custody, and to provide a strategic and integrated approach to the management of digital records. The policy describes the Archives’ approach to managing Australian Government records of continuing value that are in the custody of an entity other than the Archives. It applies to records in all formats. The policy provides for records to be retained by the controlling agency or their agent, as well as the transfer of records from the Archives to another party. It also sets out the requirements which must be met to ensure the ongoing care and preservation of, and access to, records in a distributed custody arrangement.

  • Open Source Code Policy

Author / contact: Leslie Johnston, Director of Digital Preservation, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – leslie.johnston@nara.gov

Published: November 2016

Source: NARA

URL: https://www.archives.gov/files/digitalstrategy/nara0809.pdf

This document describes NARA's policy for the release of custom software code as open source, which is part of the US Government open source strategy, and also helps support sharing and reuse of tools across archives anywhere in the world. The policy document addresses the requirements set out in the Federal Source Code Policy and describes the terms of NARA’s open source code policy, coverage, responsibilities and authorities.

  • Australian Government Public Data Policy Statement and Data Availability and Use taskforce

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: December 2015

Source: NAA

URL: Australian Government Public Data Policy Statement - https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/aust_govt_public_data_policy_statement_1.pdf

Data Availability and Use taskforce - https://www.pmc.gov.au/public-data/data-availability-and-use-taskforce

These are government initiatives to increase sharing and release of government digital information and data, and improve discoverability and online access to digital information and data.

  • Disposal of records in the Archives’ custody following digitisation - policy

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: December 2016

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/organisation/accountability/operations-and-preservation/records-disposal-in-archives-custody-following-digitisation-policy.aspx

The document outlines the Archives’ framework for disposing of post-1980 records of archival value in its custody following digitisation. It supports the Digital Transition and Digital Continuity Policies, which have requirements for the reduction of paper stockpiles and the replacement of paper-based work processes with digital practices. In implementing the Digitise & Dispose Policy, the Archives is modelling the requirements of the Digital Transition and Digital Continuity Policies, by replacing paper holdings and paper-based processes with digital holdings and processes.

  • Digital preservation policy

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: February 2018

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/organisation/accountability/operations-and-preservation/digital-preservation-policy.aspx

The Archives has recently reviewed the foundation principles and approaches to digital preservation and is developing a revised Digital Preservation Policy.

 

Reviews and reports

  • The digital landscape in government 2014-15: business intelligence review

Author/contact: The National Archives UK (TNA): https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/

Published: February 2016

Source: TNA

URL: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/digital-landscape-in-government-2014-15.pdf

The Digital Transfer Project launched in September 2013, to prepare The National Archives and government departments for large-scale born-digital record transfers, starting in 2016 under The Public Records Act. The aim of the project was to develop a scalable process for the transfer, preservation and presentation of born-digital records with long-term value; enabling them to be held securely while closed, and be accessible to the public when open. As part of the project, we undertook a business intelligence review to understand the current digital landscape and digital challenges of government departments in the UK.

  • The application of technology-assisted review to born-digital records transfer, Inquiries and beyond: research report

Author/contact: The National Archives UK (TNA): https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/

Published: February 2016

Source: TNA

URL: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/technology-assisted-review-to-born-digital-records-transfer.pdf

Born-digital records pose many challenges for government departments. These include high volumes of records and a lack of structure of born-digital record collections. This affects not just the appraisal, selection and sensitivity review processes when transferring records to The National Archives but also poses challenges for departments responding to Inquiries and Freedom of Information requests. There are also broader information management and security concerns for born-digital record collections. The report concludes that technology-assisted review using eDiscovery software can support government departments during appraisal, selection and sensitivity review as part of a born-digital records transfer to The National Archives. This support also extends to responding to Inquiries and Freedom of Information requests, as well as information management and information security.

  • Better Information for Better Government

Author / contact: Cabinet Office Digital Records and Information Management Team, working in collaboration with The National Archives UK (TNA) and Government Digital Service (GDS)

Published: January 2017

URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/better-information-for-better-government  

Source: www.gov.uk

This report, along with the programme of activity it describes, is the government’s response to Sir Alex Allan’s Review of the government’s strategy for managing its digital records and archives. It sets an agenda for change and notes wider, structural issues that require further attention. As all departments are different the focus is on developing collaborative approaches across departments and professional disciplines.

[Synopsis source: www.gov.uk]

 

Requirements

  • Universal Electronic Records Management (ERM) Requirements

Author / contact: Lisa Haralampus, Director of Records Management Policy and Outreach, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – lisa.haralampus@nara.gov

Published: August 2017 

Source: NARA

URL: https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/policy/universalermrequirements

The Universal ERM Requirements is a spreadsheet identifying approximately ninety-five prioritised, high level model business requirements for managing electronic records. The scope covers both programme requirements (relating to policy and process) and technical requirements (relating to the specification and procurement of IT tools and systems). These requirements are intended for use as a starting point for agencies when developing their own requirements and it is recognised that they should be evaluated and tailored to specific needs. The requirements are framed in the context of a ‘lifecycle’ model of records management and cover the following activities:

  • Capture
  • Maintenance and Use
  • Disposal
  • Transfer
  • Metadata
  • Reporting

The resource is created and supported by NARA and will be updated to reflect changes in technology, regulations and good practice.

 

Staffing and expertise

  • Staffing and expertise - Digital capability matrix

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: December 2016

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/information-management/support/qualifications/capabilities-matrix/index.aspx

The matrix outlines the capabilities government agencies need to transition to fully digital information management and to ensure information remains accessible and usable over time. The matrix, launched in May 2015 by the Archives’ Director General, identifies skills and knowledge needed for the following three roles:

  • all staff
  • ICT specialists; and information and records management specialists.

 

Standards

  • Digital Service Standard

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: April 2017

Source: NAA

URL: https://www.dta.gov.au/standard/

The Digital Service Standard establishes a consistent digital-by-design approach to government client service delivery.  It ensures government services are simpler, clearer and faster for all users. The DSS is administered by the Digital Transformation Office (DTO).

  • Information Management Standard

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: April 2017

Source: NAA

URL: http://www.naa.gov.au/information-management/information-management-standard/

In 2017, the Archives’ developed the Information Management Standard to assist Australian Government agencies to create and manage business information effectively. The document outlines principles for well-managed information within Australian Government and the Archives’ expectations for the management of business information to enable agencies to meet business, government and community needs and expectations.

 

Strategies

  • Strategy for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access: 2015-2024

Author / contact: Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – pamela.wright@nara.gov

Published: December 2014

Source: NARA

URL: https://www.archives.gov/digitization/strategy.html

This document provides a high-level outline of NARA’s Strategy for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2015-2024. It divides this into the following sections:

  • Digitizing Objectives
  • Current Public Access to Online Content
  • Definition of Digitizing for Public Access
  • Approach to Digitizing
  • Key Enabling Factors and Prioritizing Digitization Projects.

It provides a broad overview of how the aim to ‘expand public access to our important historical holdings through digitization’ will be achieved. 

  • Digital strategy 

Author / contact: The National Archives UK (TNA): https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/

Published: March 2017

Source: TNA

URL: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/our-role/plans-policies-performance-and-projects/our-plans/digital-strategy/

Archives are special. They are the homes for our collective memory. We use them to help understand the past, make sense of the present, and to guide us for the future. Our ability to preserve and make available digital records will decide what evidence people in the future will have of today. Archives need to develop extraordinary capabilities to ensure digital records can be kept. To do this we plan to:

  • create the disruptive digital archive
  • extend our reach and engaging new audiences using the web
  • transform how the physical archive is accessed and used
  • develop our digital capability, skills and culture
  • forge partnerships with other archives progressing digital transformation

 

  • Strategy for Preserving Digital Archival Materials

Author / contact: Leslie Johnston, Director of Digital Preservation, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – leslie.johnston@nara.gov

Published: June 2017 

Source: NARA

URL: https://www.archives.gov/preservation/electronic-records.html

NARA’s digital preservation strategy aims to reduce risk and achieve best practices to preserve and maintain access to their digital holdings. The key components of the strategy comprise the following:

  • Documentation of standards and procedures.
  • A risk based approach to prioritisation of digital preservation activities e.g. in regards to areas such as format and media sustainability and information security.
  • Infrastructure: file management via their Open Archival Information Systems (OAIS) compliant Digital repository.
  • Data Integrity: ensuring authenticity via an audit of digital preservation actions.
  • Collection of comprehensive preservation metadata to ensure that essential contextual, administrative, descriptive, and technical information is preserved along with the digital objects.
  • Wider engagement and collaboration to stay abreast of technological change and emerging risks and practices in order to continually improve their digital preservation practices.

 

  • Australian Digital Economy Strategy

Author / contact: National Archives of Australia (NAA) – http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/contact/index.aspx

Published: September 2017

Source: NAA

URL: https://industry.gov.au/innovation/Digital-Economy/Pages/default.aspx

The Australian Digital Economy Strategy will be launched in the first half of 2018.  The strategy will set out how government, the private sector and the community can work together to develop world-leading digital business capability and build digital capability nationally.

Strategy for a Digital Preservation Program

Author / contact: Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC): http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/contact-us/Pages/contact-us.aspx

Published: November 2017

Source: LAC

PDFs (attached to the end of this page): Strategy for a Digital Preservation Program, Library and Archives Canada, BAC Stratégie pour un programme préservation numérique

The Strategy for a Digital Preservation Program was launched by Library and Archives Canada in November 2017.  While they already have over 10 petabytes of material (primarily digitisation outputs and audio-visual collections) on LTO tape in their Preservation Centre, they recognise that much more work is required to ensure long-term preservation of all their digital material. The digital preservation program is seen as supporting the digital curation aspects of their wider 2015 digital strategy.

The system will be designed to take into account the OAIS reference model (ISO 14721:2012) and also the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) Lifecycle Model: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/curation-lifecycle-model

A key overall objective is that ‘By 2024, LAC will have a sustainable digital preservation program that is compliant with 'ISO 16363: Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories’ (https://www.iso.org/standard/56510.html) and the system should be able to handle 300 TB a month, with potential for 30% annual growth. The program will comprise three phases.  The first phase will be information gathering, building on the business requirements adopted in June 2017, and leading to a roadmap for development. Phase 2 will begin to take the roadmap forward, refining requirements and determining the amount of investment required, and practices, procedures and policies development plan will be issued. The third phase will be the implementation of the agreed solution.

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