Alexandra Chassanoff Accepts National Archivist Award

Posted June 24, 2021, 10:17AM
An SLIS professor's summer project with a former colleague resulted in a guide to preserving born-digital information that earned an award from the Society of American Archivists.

An open-access handbook for curation of digital-born materials led to a national award for Library and Information Sciences Assistant Professor Alexandra Chassanoff and co-author Colin Post.

The 2021 Preservation Publication Award, presented by the Society of American Archivists, went to Chassanoff and Post, a faculty member at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, for “outstanding published work related to archives preservation.”

The pair created the handbook, OSSArcFlow Guide to Documenting Born-Digital Archival Workflows over the summer of 2020 to address the challenges of preserving information created and disseminated using online resources.

“A good example is a communications department creating all sorts of documentation of things happening at the university,” Chassanoff said. “All that information used to be in print and get dropped off at the university archives. Now it’s mostly digital. Our guide can help archivists and librarians work with born-digital information at any institution or could be used by anyone needing to archive their personal digital files.”

The guide outlines steps for creating workflows to handle born-digital archival materials, including selection, acquisition, accessibility and preservation based on results from OSSArcFlow, an earlier research project that analyzed digital preservation at a dozen institutions over three years.

The guide also includes three supplemental Video Learning Modules and several case studies.

The Society of American Archivists called workflow implementation an “under-discussed element of digital preservation.”

 The guide, published by Educopia Institute, received support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

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