Preservation Policy (DRAFT)

The structure and content of this policy is intended to reflect the focus of the Collections Development Policy (CDP): the digitisation of original analogue archive material and the facilitation of its accessibility through the BH website.

This Policy

Purpose

  •  To ensure that the record held by Bishopsteignton Heritage (BH) is preserved to facilitate access for as long as possible.
  • To ensure there is a verifiable and trusted means of preserving the integrity of digital records and facilitating long-term access to them.
  • To support the creation of an effective Collections Development Plan so that projects can be shaped around the collection in a cohesive way.

Scope

  • Sets out our policy regarding the collection and preservation of digital archives; both born-digital and those created by digitisation.
  • Sets out a Digital Preservation Strategy detailing our methods of processing and preserving digital archives from both internal and external sources.
  • Sets out our policy regarding the preservation of analogue records.
  • Introduces the relevant Guidance we use to train volunteers and others involved with preserving, managing and facilitating access to analogue and digital archives.

Approval & Review

  • This Policy and all its’ contents are not intended to be permanent. However, the purposes of the BH Digital Strategy above are intended to be permanent and should be the basis of any review and new version of the policy.
  • This policy and any changes made to it should be approved by the Bishopsteignton Heritage board of Trustees before being put into effect.
  • This policy must be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that the Bishopsteignton Heritage Trust’s activities and methods remain sustainable and future-proof. Review and changes to this policy should be prompted by changes in the governance or finances of the Trust (or other changes that affect the capabilities of the heritage project e.g. Hub room conditions, volunteer time) OR when 1 year has elapsed from the last approval.

Digital Preservation

 

What we preserve

For more general collecting information, please see the CDP.

1   Digital records to be considered for preservation:

  • Surrogates for analogue archive material which have been created as a result of BH’s Digitisation processes
  • Unique material that is relevant to the CDP which we can publish online
  • Material we cannot publish but is still relevant to the CDP and useful for research. This includes material which records potentially upsetting aspects of Bishopsteignton history. See Access Policy for labelling/censorship of potentially upsetting archives.
  • Bishopsteignton Heritage’s internal records that may be useful for research/reference in the future

 Who the records will be collected from:

  • The former Bishopsteignton Museum of Rural Life (property of the Bishopsteignton Community Centre)
  • Other external, relevant local organisations (we have no formal agreement with any other external organisation to collect and preserve their records or other material)
  • Individuals in the local community and amongst our wider audience
  • Bishopsteignton Heritage

3   The location of records in storage and other systems:

  • All catalogued digital archives will be stored locally.
  • All catalogued digital archives will also be stored, described and made accessible using the ODIN database
    –  The ODIN database stores archives and their metadata in the cloud via Amazon
    –  Archives stored in the ODIN database are managed and publicly accessible through the BH website (see Digital Strategy for more information on the development and management of the ODIN database)

4   What we do not preserve:

  • Material that falls outside of the requirements of the BH CDP
  • Material with relevance to Bishopsteignton that has already been made easily publicly accessible online by another organisation
  • Material for which digitisation and provision of access is the legal responsibility of another organisation

 

Digital Preservation Strategy

The methods by which BH endeavour to adhere to the parts of the Preservation Policy which relate to digital archives.

1   Storing digital archives in ODIN

  • ODIN (Online Data Interface) is an integrated database used for the creation, linking, storage and retrieval of finding aids, digital archives and metadata, information about people, places, events and environments.
  • Standard Operating Procedures (instruction on procedures for undertaking digital preservation tasks in a standard way to protect the integrity of digital archives):

–  Cataloguing (via ODIN): view the guide here

–  Digitisation: view the guide here

–  Collections online (via ODIN & WordPress): view the guide here

  • Service Level Agreement (level and extent of support provided to manage digital preservation processes):
    –  Digital Assets Manager: please see the Role Spec.
    –  Archivist: please see the Role Spec.
  • Ownership of digital preservation responsibility is to be decided
  • BH is committed to keeping informed about the ever-developing professional standards of practice for the preservation of digital archives.

Digitisation

  • Digitisation and online publication are subject to a permissions process to ensure BH have the right to reproduce valuable digital archive material. Material is also assessed for potentially upsetting content and treated accordingly. See the Digitisation Guide and the Appraisal and Accessioning Guide for details of these processes.
  • BH aim to ‘digitise’ collection items in line with short and long-term research project plans guided by the Curator, Trustees, other Hub team members, and volunteers. ‘Digitisation’ involves the creation of digital surrogates for original analogue archive material through the use of specialist copying equipment and adherence to an internal standard of practice.
  • Digitisation is carried out in adherence to the Digitisation Guide (including the BH Standard for Digitisation)
  • Digitisation is carried out by BH Hub Team members and volunteers who have undertaken a minimum level of training supported by the Digitisation Guide and supervised by the Archivist or trained Archive volunteers.
  • Some material made publicly accessible online on the BH website via ODIN has not been digitised in accordance with the above conditions. Low-quality images linked with catalogue entries are not intended to serve as ‘digital surrogates’ for archive material. These images are created in cases where material is owned, catalogued and photographed entirely remotely from BH, but is still relevant to the BH CDP and useful for research and education.

3 Processing born-digital archives

  • In most cases, the born-digital archive material BH preserves will not require any processing which disturbs the authenticity of original files. Where possible, born-digital archive material will be processed and preserved in much the same way as digital surrogates produced as a result of digitisation.
  • BH may decide to accession particularly valuable born-digital records in formats which cannot be easily preserved or accessed.
  • In cases where born-digital records cannot be easily preserved or accessed (e.g., file formats close to obsolescence), BH will work with the depositor to ensure valuable archival evidence can be accessed in a manner respectful to the authentic version of the record guided by professional standards of practice.

4 Accepted/preferred file formats for donations

Preferred:
Images

  • jpeg
  • RAW

Audiovisual

  • mp4
  • AVI

Audio

  • mp3
  • wav

Text

  • PDF
  • doc/docx

Accepted (we can convert into sustainable formats):

  • Most image formats
  • Most audiovisual formats including DVD & VHS
  • Most audio formats
  • Most text formats

Conversion of some formats (e.g. Betamax) may need to be outsourced. BH welcome the opportunity to appraise any format as a potential donation and any further processing will be dependent upon its relevance to the Collections Development Policy.

Analogue Preservation

 

What we preserve

For more general collecting information, please see the CDP.

1 Analogue records to be considered for preservation:

  • Unique material that is relevant to the CDP which we can publish online
  • Material we cannot publish but is still relevant to the CDP and useful for research (e.g. newspaper cuttings). This includes material which records potentially upsetting aspects of Bishopsteignton history. See Access Policy for labelling/censorship of potentially upsetting archives.
  • Items produced as a result of BHs work in the community
  • Material that is at risk of loss, damage or destruction which cannot be preserved by an alternative heritage organisation (e.g. South West Heritage Trust) but is deemed of sufficient significance and archival value in its physical form to warrant the use of limited storage space in the Heritage Hub or Community Centre.

2 Who the records will be collected from:

  • The former Bishopsteignton Museum of Rural Life (property of the Bishopsteignton Community Centre)
  • Other external, relevant local organisations (we have no formal agreement with any other external organisation to collect and preserve their records or other material)
  • Individuals in the local community and amongst our wider audience
  • Bishopsteignton Heritage

3 The location of records in storage and other systems:

  • All analogue archives under the custodianship of BH will be stored in the Heritage Hub or in extra storage in the Bishopsteignton Community Centre
  • All analogue archives under the custodianship of BH and/or have been digitised by BH will be fully described in the ODIN database.

4 What we do not preserve:

  • Material that falls outside of the requirements of the BH CDP
  • Material that BH cannot easily preserve to a good standard
  • Material that BH can digitise and return to its owner after obtaining permission to publish its digital surrogate(s) online

Storage and access

  • The BH physical archive collection is stored in the Heritage Hub in the Bishopsteignton Community Centre. BH aspire to store analogue records to as high a standard of preservation as possible. BH are committed to creating an environment in the Hub where archives are stored for good preservation and visitors can have enjoyable experiences accessing them for as long as possible.
  • BH aspire to contribute to improving the preservation and accessibility conditions of objects from the former Bishopsteignton Museum of Rural Life collection.
  • The catalogue in the ODIN database contributes to the preservation and accessibility of all collections items by recording their condition and other information. The catalogue can be used to guide the actions taken by those handling analogue archive material to maintain a good standard of preservation.
  • BH is committed to keeping informed on professional standards of practice for the preservation of analogue archive material.

Conditions for loans

  • BH aspire to contribute to local education, community cohesion and wellbeing by loaning collection items for public exhibition by local heritage organisations, community organisations, local businesses, and other relevant bodies.
  • All requests for loans for display or any other purpose must be reviewed to ensure the safety, security and integrity of collection items during transportation and exhibition.
  • Where there is reason for concern for the preservation of a collection item, the use of facsimiles and digital surrogates is encouraged, and the loan request may be declined.

Preservation among our audience

  • A focus on digitisation allows for unique analogue archive material to be returned to the original owner who treasures it most. This focus also helps save on limited physical storage space in the Heritage Hub. However, valuable records should still be cared for, no matter who is the custodian.
  • BH contributes to a culture of good preservation amongst our audience of donors and lenders. Once records have been digitised using the equipment in the Heritage Hub, the BH Hub Team, Trustees and other volunteers have the opportunity to make recommendations for the conditions of storage in the home of the archive’s owner (or other location). This supports the idea of ‘the village as the museum’ (or archive) and ensures that precious archival records are treasured in their physical form whilst simultaneously allowing for maximum possible accessibility of material. This principle is supported by online guidance which can be viewed here: At Home with Your Archive.

Emergency Plan

– coming soon –

 

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