Project Team and Overview

Born Digital Collections:
An Inter-Institutional Model for Stewardship

Read the white paper.


The University of Virginia Library, in partnership with Stanford University, the University of Hull, and Yale University have been funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for “Born Digital Collections: An Inter-Institutional Model for Stewardship (AIMS). Over a two-year project period (October 2009 – October 2011), project partners will create an inter-institutional framework for stewarding born-digital content. The group plans to process and preserve thirteen born-digital collections of noteworthy individuals and/or organizations and make them discoverable via Hydra, a Fedora-based solution, which can easily be installed and implemented by other institutions. A cohort of digital archivists has been established with a mandate to engender a digital archivist community of professionals both nationally and internationally, and they will disseminate broadly the lessons learned from the real work of processing and preserving a varied range of born-digital collections.

Who We Are

Partner institutions for AIMS have assembled teams that will work toward the processing and description of their own born-digital collections problem set and also cooperatively pioneer the technology infrastructure needed to expand Hydra into an all-inclusive, multi-format repository environment. Each partner team has a Site Coordinator who, as project lead, will provide oversight for the project that includes coordination with the Hydra project and all stakeholders. Each partner has recruited a Digital Archivist to coordinate the work on their born-digital collections and interface with the other project principals and local experts through a series of face-to-face site visits. The Digital Archivists will also inform and guide the technical development of the archival and repository toolkit by providing requirements, working test cases, and continuous feedback to the technical staff at the relevant institutions.

Where We Are

We are thrilled to welcome Gretchen Gueguen to the AIMS team as Digital Archivist at the University of Virginia. We are currently engaged on a number of tasks including working on the AIMS model, which we hope will assist other institutions to implement policies and procedures for born-digital archives, and looking to share the lessons we have learnt as a result of processing of our born-digital collections. The AIMS model, case studies featuring the collections we have processed, and the lessons learnt will form the core of a White Paper that we hope to publish as the project draws to close in the autumn.

We are working closely with the Fedora/Hydra developers to develop Hypatia, a tool which will eventually allow archivists to arrange and describe born digital assets held in Fedora, and to use this descriptive information as the basis for EAD finding aids. Hypatia will take at least one year to reach maturity. The milestones for 2011 are (generally speaking) to ingest born digital materials into a Fedora Commons repository, be able to search the repository, edit metadata, and may include a prototype user interface for arrangement (creating series and subseries). For more details see the Hypatia charter.

We are also planning two events (one in Charlottesville and the other in London) to engage with the wider digital archives community.

The Rubymatica tool continues to be refined, with a beta version available for testing by interested parties. We will of course continue to provide commentary and updates on our blog. At this year’s SAA Conference we have a workshop (Tue August 23rd, 1-6pm) and session (Sat August 27th, 8-9am).

The project teams are as follows:

U. Va.’s University Library Project Team

Site Coordinator/Project Lead: Bradley Daigle – Director, Digital Curation Services

Project Staff:

  • Gretchen Gueguen, Digital Archivist
  • Tom Laudeman, Project Software Engineer
  • Andrew Curley, Digital Imaging Specialist
  • Nicole Bouche, Director, Small Special Collections Library
  • Petrina Jackson, Small Special Collections Library Outreach and Instruction Librarian
  • Kara McClurken, Head of Preservation Services
  • Guy Mengel, Director, Library IT Systems
  • Jennifer Roper, Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services
  • Tim Sigmon, Director, Advanced Technology
  • Martha Sites, Associate University Library for Productions and Technology Services

University of Hull – Academic Services Project Team

Site Coordinator/Project Lead: Judy Burg, University Archivist

Project Staff:

  • Simon Wilson, Digital Archivist
  • Chris Awre, Head of Information Management
  • Diane Leeson, Content and Access Team Leader
  • Richard Green, Repository Projects Manager
  • Simon Lamb, Repository Systems Integrator

Stanford University Libraries & Academic Information Resources Project Team

Site Coordinator/Project Lead: Tom Cramer – Associate Director, Digital Library Systems & Services

Project Staff:

  • Peter Chan, Digital Archivist
  • Glynn Edwards, Principal Manuscript Processing Librarian
  • Henry Lowood, Curator for the History of Science
  • Michael Olson, Digital Collections Project Mgr & Technologist, Special Collections
  • Lynn McRae, Digital Library Architect & Manager, Digital Library Infrastructure
  • Jennifer Vine, User Interaction Designer

Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives Project Team

Site Coordinator/Project Lead: Kevin Glick – Head, University Archives & Electronic Records Archivist

Project Staff:

  • Mark Matienzo, Digital Archivist
  • Michael Forstrom, Archivist, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
  • Laura Tatum, Architectural Archivist