Best Practices Exchange and Council of State Archivists (CoSA) Joint (un)Conference 2022: Community Approaches to Digital Initiatives

  • 5 September 2022
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Shout out to Preservica users @cbirch@KariLMay, and @bthomas who are presenting at the BPE/CoSA Joint (un)Conference in Nashville in September 2022. These sessions are sure to inform, excite and inspire:


Crawling into the Collection: Aligning Web Archiving with Traditional Archival Practice. Caitlin Birch, Assistant Archivist for Digital Collections, Dartmouth College

Early stages of web archiving initiatives are often driven by urgency. Web-based material is at high risk of loss due to the ephemerality of the internet and this risk, combined with an overwhelming volume of websites and the limited resources available to many institutions, often leads to abandonment of traditional archival methods when collecting the web. Archivists opt for broadly scoped captures of top-level domains, leaving behind the appraisal, arrangement, description, and discovery work applied to collections in more familiar formats. In this session, a Dartmouth College archivist makes the case for aligning web archiving with standard collecting practices. She shares the methods Dartmouth staff use to capture the institution’s web presence and outlines how their approach to appraisal, arrangement, description, and discovery for websites mirrors workflows and policies for non-web collecting. She advocates for less urgency and more sustainability in web archiving and invites robust conversation from attendees.


Metadata, Metadata Everywhere: Managing Metadata Across Three Systems. Kari May, Digital Archives & Preservation Librarian, University of Pittsburgh; Kayla Heslin, Digital Collections Coordinator, University of Pittsburgh

Finding aids have traditionally been used as the primary means of access for all collections at the University of Pittsburgh’s Archives & Special Collections (A&SC). Balancing the flexibility of digital collections with the need for efficiency, A&SC began exploring new ways to enhance discovery and access to their public assets and in their semi-dark archives. Digital Collections Coordinator, Kayla Heslin, recognized using the ArchivesSpace API to extract metadata would enhance and create additional description for digital objects for online researchers. Kari May, A&SC’s digital preservationist, realized reusing ArchivesSpace metadata could also further enhance the digital archive for use by collection archivists. The goal is to create additional access points for digital content that improve asset discoverability and collection navigation. This session will guide attendees through methods using ArchivesSpace, Islandora, Python, Preservica, and PowerShell for extracting and repurposing ArchivesSpace metadata in the creation of additional access points.


A retention schedule approach to social media preservation. Brian Thomas, Electronic Records Specialist, Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Preserving social media is problematic, especially at a state government scale. The typical approach has been to actively harvest social media using tools to preserve just the raw data/media, preserve just the graphical representation on a webpage, or a combination of both. These approaches place a time/financial burden on the archives raising concerns about feasibility. In response to these concerns, TSLAC researched a records management centric approach with Twitter, resulting in a tool for extraction and processing that places the burden of transfer back onto the agency. This session will talk about the background context for this research, how the tool works, and places it might go in the future.


Preservica staff @Halley Grogan and @aubreys will be attending the conference and available to meet with folks in attendance. Stop by our office hours and let’s talk digital preservation! 

Find more details about the (un)conference at

We hope to see you there!

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