In this course we will address in readings digital records and digital records practices in general in order to flush out legal requirements for authenticity, but we will use our own personal digital records as a leverage tool to help understand the relevant principles and varieties of digital recordkeeping problems that people encounter every day at home and at work and that archivists are untimately going to have to deal with. We will be concerned with
the issues that cluster around the creation, acquisition, preservation, and use
of digital records. To be more specific, we will attempt to:
Understand how digital records exist and function as records (or nonrecords: who gets to decide? and what are digital records anyway?).
people create them and use them as they do in their original functional
environment; why people need and keep them; why people actively destroy them or allow them to die.
Understand the implications of both statutory requirements (where they are applicable) and the technological
environment for digital recordkeeping.
Review major trends in digital records archivy.
Appreciate and evaluate approaches to problems of media obsolescence.
Learn how to monitor and anticipate the digital recordkeeping implications of
technological change; be familiar with both traditional and emerging digital genres.
Participate in the identification, acquisition, and management of digital
There is a textbook this year (see "Text" page) that should be available at the Coop or you should be able to order on the day of the first class and have in hand by the time you need it, but most other readings will be available online; if you should encounter difficulty
accessing them, please let me know immediately, and NOT the day before
class. The class schedule and assignments are posted as part of this website and should be checked regularly for
any changes. Any students requiring accommodation for disability or religious
holy days should contact me at the beginning of class.