S.101: Archives confidential: enacting privacy policies and requirements in digital archives

For the morning session I heard Mark Myers from the Texas State Library and Archives talk about key questions and considerations for digital archives. He encouraged us to think about how to best provide access to these records when trying to protect the privacy of the donor? Key considerations include: where we store our records (e.g to cloud or not to cloud?); how do we promote collections that may not be open (finding aids are still applicable here); how do we think about reviewing and redacting records (sounds similar to the accessioning and processing phases of any collection); and finally, when we use the term “closed”, what does that mean and for whom is the collection closed?

Maureen Callahan from Yale shared her thoughts about how best to leverage our tools and mark-up to best describe restricted records. The main question she asked us to consider was: who is vulnerable in reference to a given collection? She urged us to consider this question when drafting and enacting a deed of gift. Callahan suggested created a minimum level DACS finding aid to make accessions of restricted collections available to researchers, so at least they’re aware of these records. 

At the University of Rochester, we work with the library’s metadata unit to create collection level records in MARC that are uploaded to the library catalog to promote new collections, which is another option for initial  description.

Callahan also encouraged us to rethink how we talk about making e-records public, and the important distrinction between access and publishing. At Yale they use a very transparent and granular approach to conditions governing use and access rights statements. Explain how long something is restricted, and why.

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