Arrangement and Description of Electronic Records: Part I

Certificate Eligibility: 
Certificate Eligibility: 
0.75 CEUs, 5 ARCs
1 day
Max Attendees: 

This one-day course introduces you to processing strategies that are applicable to born-digital records, with an emphasis on basic concepts that archivists use to establish descriptive control over digital content. You’ll learn about standards and tools that can be used to implement an integrated processing strategy. You’ll also participate in a set of instructor–led exercises that arrange and describe some electronic records in ways that maintain the integrity and authenticity of the digital records. A laptop with wireless connectivity is required to participate in this course, and you must have the ability to install and use open-source software on that laptop.


In the morning, you’ll review the unique processing challenges posed by electronic records before undertaking a detailed discussion on how standards, protocols, and best practices can help you address those challenges. In the afternoon, you will explore the applicability of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) to digital records and manuscripts. The instructor will demonstrate the use of basic tools that implement descriptive standards and best practices, leading you in a processing exercise that results in the generation of an archival information packet for some relatively homogeneous records. The day will conclude with a discussion of lessons learned and next steps to be taken, considering individual repository needs.

Learning Outcomes: 
List the major processing challenges posed by electronic records
Suggest strategies to mitigate them
Identify the elements of an integrated arrangement and descriptive program for electronic materials
Describe the major standards supporting descriptive systems for electronic materials
Identify basic tools that will help you to arrange and describe born–digital records
Who Should Attend?: 

Repository managers, archivists, practitioners, and anyone responsible for the arrangement and description of electronic records

What You Should Already Know: 

Registrants should have basic knowledge about digital preservation strategies.

This course builds on others, such as Basic Electronic Records.

DAS Core Competency: 
1. Understand the nature of records in electronic form, including the functions of various storage media, the nature of system dependence, and the effect on integrity of records over time.
3. Formulate strategies and tactics for appraising, describing, managing, organizing, and preserving digital archives.
4. Integrate technologies, tools, software, and media within existing functions for appraising, capturing, preserving, and providing access to digital collections.
A&D Core Competency: 
1. Arrangement: Understand the process of organizing materials with respect to their provenance and original order to protect their context and facilitate access.
2. Description: Analyze and describe details about the attributes of a record or collection of records to facilitate identification, management, and understanding of the work.
3. Descriptive Standards: Apply rules and practices that codify the content of information used to represent archival materials in discovery tools according to published structural guidelines.
4. Management: Demonstrate ability to manage physical and intellectual control over archival materials.
5. Discovery: Create tools to facilitate access and disseminate descriptive records of archival materials.
6. Ethics: Convey transparency of actions taken during arrangement and description and respect privacy, confidentiality, and cultural sensitivity of archival materials.
7. Risk Management: Analyze threats and implement measures to minimize ethical and institutional risks.
“This course was a great introduction to various tools. I really benefited from the description of the SIP & AIP process with a correlation to existing tools for accomplishing the work.”
“We were introduced to the various Internet tools available for arranging & describing e-records.” — Jane Kenamore
“The course manual is comprehensive and provides step-by-step instructions. It will be valuable resource as I attempt to work through the arrangement & description (arranging) of electronic records.”
“The walk-through of the OAIS components was very helpful; I really got a good sense of how to put together SIPS & AIPS to preserve authenticity & context of records.”
Co-Sponsor Provides: 
  • Classroom: 6-foot tables with two chairs each or 8-foot tables with three chairs each
  • LCD projector and replacement bulb for the LCD projector
  • Projection screen
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Coffee/tea/water for morning break
  • Water/assorted soft drinks for afternoon break