This collected volume, edited by Dr. Aaron D. Purcell, gathers contributions by archivists and librarians from across the US. In particular, the contributions gathered in the book—and specifically those in part two—provide a fascinating set of case studies, narrated from a first-person perspective, that could elucidate and ground in real-life examples concepts and material taught in archival and collection management courses. The Digital Archives Handbook will, and should, be read widely by archivists and librarians by whom and for whom it has been written.
The goal of this book is to give archivists the tools and confidence to “overcome current challenges and chart paths that anticipate, rather than merely react to, future donations of digital archives” (p. xxiv). These records cannot wait for the ideal situation; archivists must act now by learning about the formats being acquired by their institutions, setting realistic policies and procedures, talking early and often with their donors about expectations and access, documenting the work so future archivists understand their choices and actions, staying abreast of new technologies and tools, and continuously advocating for resources. Archivists have learned to maintain analog collections without the benefit of ideal staffing, funding, or resources, and Purcell wants to empower them to handle digital materials in the same manner. Action is important, andThe Digital Archives Handbookprovides realistic solutions and a way to get started.