ICA Training Programme Online Workshops 2021: Managing Digital Archives

Friday, October 15, 2021 | 15:00–18:30 (CET)
Monday, November 1, 2021 | 15:00–18:30 (CET)

Maximum number of participants: 30 participants 
Language: English 




Managing Digital Archives is a virtual workshop based on some of the materials from ICA’s online course of the same name. It aims to provide participants with an understanding of the challenges and requirements for managing and preserving digital archives over time. It also aims to de-mystify some of the technological issues that can seem daunting when beginning to manage digital archives.  

It begins with an overview exploring the nature of digital archives programmes covering terminology, standards, policies and procedures and introducing the main building blocks – Collecting, Ingest, Preservation, Infrastructure, Access and Stewardship. Following this, the workshop moves on to inventory, collecting and appraisal before looking at workflows for ingesting digital records and managing digital archives over time. Part one ends with details of the interim assignment on gathering data for gap analysis. 

Part two will explore the Attributes of a Trusted Digital Repository and go through the elements of digital archives programme infrastructure. There will also be a session on using the freely available tools and techniques to measure progress. The final session suggests next steps for participants to consider both for their own continuing professional development and in implementing or improving their digital archives programme.  

The workshop is designed to provide time for break-out groups for both exercises and the opportunity for participants to network with each other. The break between the two parts allows participants to apply what they have learned by carrying out a practical assignment. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss strategies, try out some digital archives processes, explore digital archives and preservation assessment, and outline an action plan to meet their programme’s needs.


Learning Outcomes 

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to: 

  • Explain what digital archives are and the difference between them and archives in physical formats 
  • Describe the functions and activities of which a digital archives programme consists 
  • Identify the main standards applicable to digital archives programmes 
  • Conduct a simple gap analysis for digital archives programmes 
  • Outline the Attributes of a Trusted Digital Repository  
  • Describe digital archives programme infrastructure 
  • Identify tools and techniques to measure progress in implementing digital archives preservation and management 

The workshop is intended for beginners in digital archives management. It is helpful if participants have an archival background but not essential. As a two-part workshop, participants will need to be able to attend both sessions as well as to spend time on the interim assignment.



   Nancy McGovern B&W portrait 

Nancy Y. McGovern is the Director of Digital Preservation at MIT Libraries and of the Digital Preservation Management (DPM) workshop series that has been offered more than sixty times since 2003.

Nancy has over thirty years of experience with preserving digital content. Her research and community interests include increasing organizational capacity for developing sustainable digital preservation programs; building an inclusive digital community through radical collaboration; and enabling our community to continually respond to ongoing technological change. She is the author of entry an entitled “Digital Archive and Preservation Framework (DAP),” in The Handbook of Archival Practice that is forthcoming in 2021. She is a past president and Fellow of the Society of American Archives (SAA). She completed her PhD on digital preservation at UCL in 2009.

james Lowry B&W portrait

James Lowry is the founder and director of the Archival Technologies Lab (ATL) at Queens College, City University of New York, where he is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies.

He is an Honorary Research Fellow and former co-director of the Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies, where he taught following a ten year career in archives and records management. As a practitioner, James worked in Australia, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, including projects for international organisations such as the African Union and the International Criminal Court. His research is concerned with information and governance, particularly in colonial, post-colonial and diasporic contexts. His recent publications include Displaced Archives, an edited collection published by Routledge in 2017. James is convenor of Archival Discourses, the International Intellectual History of Archival Studies research network, and editor of the Routledge Studies in Archives book series. 

Margaret Crockett

Margaret Crockett is a consultant archivist and records manager based in the UK. She acts as Training Officer for the International Council on Archives and is responsible for leading the Training Programme which includes an online learning platform.

She variously commissions, co-writes, writes or edits the courses. The rest of the time Margaret works on a range of archives and records management projects for clients. Current projects include managing the archives of a large department store and establishing the archives of a private museum. She has worked in the US and Hungary, Bosnia and Palestine as well as Africa and the Caribbean. She is author of the 2016 publication “The No-Nonsense Guide to Archives and records Management” and is a Fellow of the Archives and records Association.  

Karia Smith B&W portrait Kari R Smith is the founder of Global Archivist LLC and was appointed the Institute Archivist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2018. She joined MIT in 2011 as the first Digital Archivist and continued as the Program Head for Digital Archives. She has over 25 years of experience with electronic records and digital cultural material in corporate, academic, government, and third-sector organizations. She has taught courses in the SAA DAS curriculum and is a Senior Instructor for the Digital Preservation Management Workshops. Kari's professional and research interests include assessing tools and techniques for suitability in local contexts, and techniques for supporting cultural heritage using digital technologies.



15th October: Part One
15.00General Introductions
15.15Overview: What is a digital archives programme?
16.15Break out 1 group discussion: What are the differences between digital and Paper archives
16.45Inventory, collecting and appraisal
17.05Looking at workflows for ingesting digital records then managing digital archives over time
17.35Break out 2 group exercise: drafting the ingest workflow
17.55Interim assignment: Gathering data for gap analysis
16th – 31st October: Interim assignment for workshop participants
Interim assignment: Getting ready for managing digital archives
Monday 1st November: Part Two
15.00Welcome back and questions
15.15Interim assignment feed back
15.35Attributes of a Trusted Digital Repository
16.00Digital Archives Programme Infrastructure
16.30Breakout 3 group exercise: deciding what you need
17.00Measuring progress – tools and techniques
17.30Breakout group discussion: identifying strengths and weaknesses
17.45Action plans and next steps
18.30Wrap up and close