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Challenges to born-digital institutional archiving: the case of a New York art museum

Anthony Cocciolo (School of Information and Library Science, Pratt Institute, New York, New York, USA)

Records Management Journal

ISSN: 0956-5698

Article publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving using a New York Archive Museum (NYAM) as a case.

Design/methodology/approach

The digital record-keeping practices at NYAM were studied using three data sources: focus groups with staff, totaling 81 individuals, or approximately one-third of all staff; analysis of network file storage; and analysis of digital records in archival storage, or specifically removable media in acid-free archive boxes.

Findings

This case study indicates that the greatest challenges to born-digital institutional archiving are not necessarily technological but social and cultural. Or rather, the challenge is getting individuals to transfer material to a digital archive so that it can undergo the technological transformations needed to ensure its long-term availability. However, transfer is impeded by a variety of factors which can be addressed through education, infrastructure development and proactive appraisal for permanent retention.

Practical implications

This paper highlights the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving, yet notes that these challenges can be overcome by following a multi-pronged approach.

Originality/Value

This paper outlines the challenges to born-digital institutional archiving, which is not often discussed in the literature outside of the context of higher education.

Keywords

Citation

Cocciolo, A. (2014), "Challenges to born-digital institutional archiving: the case of a New York art museum", Records Management Journal, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 238-250. https://doi.org/10.1108/RMJ-04-2014-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited