Optimal Readiness

For institutions with more resources, devising and implementing a meaningful, consistent set of folder/sub-folder relationships and schemas across all digital news collections will serve to improve the preservation outlook of these collections.

The degree of work involved depends upon an institution’s practices-to-date. In some cases an institution may only need to review and refine its existing collection structures. In other cases, an institution may need to re-organize its digital news content entirely according to a newly designed set of consistent folder and file-naming conventions. Below are some examples of how institutions with extensive experience in managing digital newspaper collections have approached the organization of their collections. Institutions are also encouraged to reference the National Digital Newspaper Program’s Technical Guidelines2 as mentioned in the Introduction.

Once a set of uniform collection structures and file-naming conventions have been established, curators and technical staff can work together toward implementation. This process should always begin with experimentation with a sub-set of digital newspaper data copies and the batch renaming and/or relocating tools that are most appropriate for the institution’s needs. Once the remediation process is tested thoroughly, implementation can begin, ideally using a copy of the content rather than the originals. Remediation work, including the tools used, should be documented and this documentation should be included with the collection upon packaging (see Section 6: “Packaging Digital Newspapers for Preservation”).

Caution: It should be noted that if you have previously made use of any BagIt utility to create checksums for your collection content and have subsequently re-organized your collection sub-folders you should re-run BagIt to get an accurate file listing and set of corresponding checksums.