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Introduction to Digital Records

2 day workshop

Date: Monday, September 18 - Tuesday, September 19, 2023 

Time: 9:30am - 4:00pm PST

Location: online via Zoom

Registration fee: AABC members $350.00 / Non-members $500.00 CAD

Registration deadline: Closed, workshop full. Please contact to be added to waitlist.

Workshop description: This hands-on workshop will lead students from standards and the development of policies and procedures through to the practical elements of acquiring, processing and preserving digital records. The workshop will examine both the theoretical aspects of digital preservation, as well as provide an opportunity to use a number of the tools available to work with digital collections.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • understand the importance of policies and procedures in the creation and management of an electronic records program
  • learn about Open Archival Information System standard and model, and how it applies to digital archives
  • learn about the nature of records created in a digital environment
  • understand the importance of metadata and learn about relevant metadata standards
  • know how to plan for the acquisition of records from different media and systems
  • become aware of special needs for access to information stored on each medium
  • learn of legal concerns for acquisition and access
  • understand proper processing methods for electronic records
  • practice working with commonly used electronic records acquisition and preservation tools
  • understand theories of archival arrangement as applied in the digital realm
  • understand conditions that need to be met for long-term storage and preservation of electronic records
  • know how to care for and store various electronic media
  • understand specific Rules for Archives Description as they apply to electronic records
  • examine the needs and abilities of their respective institutions to select certain preservation strategies
  • identify how specific software can be used in their work with electronic records
  • discuss the benefits and challenges of both open-source and proprietary solutions
  • understand how to test and implement software for use in the archives

Schedule: Each day will contain two 15-20 minute breaks (morning and afternoon) and one hour for lunch.

Format: Lecture, examples, handouts, discussion. Participants will be sent training materials before the workshop starts.

About the Instructor: Jeremy Heil

Jeremy Heil has been the Digital and Private Records Archivist at Queen’s University Archives since 2001. He holds a Master of Archival Studies degree from the University of British Columbia (2000). Prior to working at Queen’s, he was employed as an archivist with the Chung Collection in Vancouver, and in the Private Records Section of the Provincial Archives of Alberta. He has served on numerous committees locally, provincially, and nationally, including terms as President of the Archives Association of Ontario and as Managing Editor of Archivaria. He has taught workshops on digital records and metadata in archives and presented papers on various topics related to digital archives over the past 20 years.  His publications include "The Procrustean Bed: A History of the Arrangement of the Al Purdy fondsArchivaria 76 (Fall 2013) and "Stones: Using Mashups to Understand a City’s Social Tapestry,” The Interactive Archivist: Case Studies in Utilizing Web 2.0 to Improve the Archival Experience (Society of American Archivists, 2009). He is a collaborator with the Vulnerable Media Lab at Queen’s University, as well as with the Queen’s Wicked Ideas-funded project “Will Digital Art Have a Digital Future?: The Challenges of Preserving and Restoring Digital Born Cultures.”

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The Archives Association of British Columbia acknowledges that it carries out its work on the land of Indigenous nations throughout British Columbia. We are grateful for the continuing relationships with Indigenous people in B.C. that develop through our work together.  

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