Describing Digital: The Design and Creation of a Born-Digital Archival Description Standard at the University of California Libraries

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Journal of Western Archives, ISSN: 2154-7149, Vol: 9, Issue: 1, Page: 10

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Berdini, Annalise; Macquarie, Charles; Peltzman, Shira; Tasker, Kate
Hosted by Utah State University Libraries
Born-Digital Archival Collections; Born-Digital Archives; Archival Description; Electronic records, Cataloging of archival materials
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case description
This case study outlines the process of creating a set of standards to guide description of born-digital archival collections materials in an archival context across the University of California (UC) system. The authors outline the need for such a standard, including the research methodology that helped establish this need, and the procedures by which these new guidelines were created, refined, and accepted across the UC. The paper goes into detail about the processes, considerations, and discussions that went into drafting rules for each descriptive element included in the standards. The authors argue that much of the specific guidance for describing born-digital materials that is present in these new standards does not exist elsewhere, and that existing archival description standards could benefit from consideration or incorporation of these new descriptive rules. This is identified as an area for future work.