When Crisis Comes: Rapidly Acquiring, Describing, and Preserving Community-Created Digital Collections

Authors:McClurken, Kara, University of Virginia LibraryUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-2245-1721Glendon, Ivey, University of Virginia LibraryUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0003-0825-9861

For many institutions, the question is not if natural or human-made emergency will come to your community but when. This program will discuss strategies for memory institutions for urgent, crisis related acquiring, describing, and preserving of community-created digital collections, taking into account legal, logistical, and organizational approaches for rapid digital collecting. Librarians from the University of Virginia will share their experiences documenting events such as their university president’s ousting and reinstatement, a high-profile publication about an alleged sexual assault on campus, and a white supremacist rally and counter-protests on University grounds. In each event, staff from special collections, preservation, metadata services and digital humanities units mobilized and collaborated to create a capture, description, and preservation infrastructure for digital formats such as images, websites, audio, video, and tweets. This program will focus on:(1) Organizational evolution from a team of a few in 2012 to the creation of a Digital Collecting Emergency Response Group in 2017 to include pan-University staff from the special collections, preservation, metadata, digital humanities, user experience, information policy, and information technology units of the University Library, Law Library, and Health Sciences Library; (2) Strategies for acquisition, description, and preservation during volatile, changing, and complex collecting circumstances, including considering how choice in language informs discoverability and access; and (3) an interactive conversation with the audience about developing national best practices for emergency scenarios for digital collection creation and maintenance.

The UVA Library has made great strides in the last five years to create an infrastructure for rapid digital collecting during times of institutional and community emergency. We are eager to share our successes and challenges with our colleagues, to learn from others who are already doing similar work, and to propose a nation-wide support system for libraries doing the critical work of documenting their communities in time of crisis.

digital collecting, disaster preparedness, community collecting, disaster planning, digital collection emergency response team, metadata, preservation, Special Collections
Contributor:Boggs, Jeremy, University of Virginia LibraryUniversity of Virginia
University of Virginia
Published Date:
June 25, 2018