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What We Do With Your Files

What...

Upon acceptance of a deposit there are a number of processes involved in archiving a collection of digital files so that they can be preserved and, subject to access conditions, made available to the public.

Why...

These processes help to bring collections under the control of our archive and ensure that we are laying the foundations for the appropriate management of the material we are responsible for.

How...

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Transfer

  • Following a signed transfer agreement we shall confirm a mutually acceptable date of transfer as well as an appropriate method of transfer (dependent on the size and nature of your material).
  • Upon completion of the transfer we shall provide you with an acknowledgement of receipt.
  • We will accession your material within both our descriptive catalogue and digital archive repository, bringing it under the physical and intellectual control of the Modern Records Centre.
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Appraisal

  • Once under our control we shall appraise your material; checking for duplicate files, making sure files are not encrypted or password protected, amending the directory structure where necessary and ensuring there are no further issues with regards to access conditions.
  • We shall make sure the material conforms to the Data Protection Act 1998. If material requires any redaction techniques to be performed in order to be made available we shall contact you to discuss the options.
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Processing

  • Once we are happy that the material can be formally ingested into our digital archive repository we shall begin processing the data. This includes:
    • Fixity information generation.
    • Anti-virus check & quarantine.
    • Characterisation of the content - file format identification, file format validation and metadata extraction.
    • Access copy migration and thumbnail generation.
    • METS document creation detailing the technical metadata.
    • Storage designation.
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Metadata

  • As we process the collection we shall also be creating catalogue records containing descriptive and administrative metadata to aid the management of the material and ensure, that for content that is open to the public, suitable finding aids exist.
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Presentation & Delivery

  • The catalogue record along with the access copies of the material (where appropriate) are made available to the public.
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Preservation

  • We actively preserve the authenticity, integrity, reliability and usability of your data using a variety of tools and techniques against two types of threats; loss of the medium (physical loss or corruption of the bitstreams) and loss of the message (loss of the means of correctly interpreting the bitstreams as information we can understand).
    • Bitstream preservation - we keep multiple copies of your deposit, on multiple storage technology, in multiple, secure locations. This ensures we have a suitable degree of redundancy. We regularly validate the integrity of these copies using fixity information derived during our data processing.
    • Logical preservation - we monitor the technology required to render digital files and plan against any changes to technology that might affect the ability to render these files.