A digital newspaper inventory may be basic or detailed, and typically, the level of detail recorded in an inventory reflects the level of preservation an institution supports. As an institution matures in its lifecycle management processes, its inventory may likewise mature to include additional information.
No particular preservation readiness step—including the inventory creation—happens in isolation. Instead, institutions will circle back around to update their inventories as other preservation readiness activities occur. To this end, institutions at early stages of preservation planning should produce inventory instruments that will scale up over time to include additional categories of information. Institutions should also think carefully about categories of information that are likely to change, including file location (as an institution upgrades its storage media) and file type (if migrations or normalization occur).
At the lower end of the preservation readiness spectrum, an institution might start small, but build a strong foundation for future work. Simply establishing a flexible inventory document and identifying and recording information about all of an institution’s digital newspaper collections at a basic level (e.g., collection file names, file sizes, file locations, and file types) is an important beginning. Some institutions will accomplish this work without systems experience, either through manual entry or very basic systems report generation. At the higher end of the preservation readiness spectrum, an institution likely will use automated mechanisms to gather this information, plan for the inclusion of future collections, and record additional information (e.g., checksums and digital object identifiers).
Reference: Inventory Readiness Checklist
- Complete file count & sizes (MB/GB/TB/PB)
- Complete named list of associated title/issue folders & page/article files (with metadata & ocr)
- File location paths (if not included in the above)
- File format extensions (MIME types)
- Checksums and hash-functions (if available)
- Digital object identifiers and identifier schemes used (if available and/or deemed useful)