Creation & Acquisition

As mentioned in the Introduction, the Guidelines are designed to address digital newspaper preservation and curation—not creation and acquisition. The issues involved in creating and acquiring digital newspapers warrant their own “Guidelines” documentation (and indeed, there are many standards and guidelines available on these topics: see e.g., National Digital Newspaper Program Technical Guidelines for digitized newspapers, the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines, and the International Internet Preservation Consortium Web Archiving resources for born-digital newspapers to name just a few)—however, there are components of digital newspaper preservation and curation that should be addressed as an institution initiates digital newspaper collections of any type. This “Additional Considerations” section aims to provide an overview of the creation and acquisitions concerns an institution should consider as part of its overall approach to digital news preservation.

There are a number of preservation-oriented practices that stewards of digital news collections can begin to integrate and incorporate at the creation and acquisition phase. For example:

  1. Curators can begin to record a full set of inventory data (see Section 1: “Inventorying Digital Newspapers for Preservation”) as digital newspaper content arrives via hard drives or FTP retrievals (or other mechanism) from vendors, institutional digitization units, or publishers and other data providers;
  2. Curators and their technical staff members can coordinate to analyze and record file format information at creation/acquisition through whatever form(s) best suits the institutional framework and its new collections: e.g., lightweight manual processes, automated workflows using open source tools, or some combination of both (see Section 2: “Format Management for Digital Newspapers”);
  3. Curators and metadata specialists can negotiate with digitization vendors, institutional digitization units, and data providers (including publishers) to provide the institution with the most complete, usable and conformant set of metadata elements and formats possible. This can help to ensure integration with supported schemas and metadata workflows for preservation (see Section 3: “Metadata Packaging for Digital Newspapers”). The National Digital Newspaper Program’s Technical Guidelines illustrate how specific metadata requirements were organized and made available for reference and implementation by digitization service providers;
  4. Curators can request checksum information from digitization vendors, institutional digitization units, and any other data providers prior to their hand-off of news collections. These checksums can then be used to verify that the initial transfer, as well as any subsequent work performed on the content, has not altered the original objects (see Section 4: “Checksum Management for Digital Newspapers”);
  5. Curators can proactively request that digitization vendors, institutional digitization units, or publishers/born-digital news producers create and store newspaper content in established structures that conform to the institution’s preferred file and folder-naming conventions (see Section 5: “Organization for Digital Newspapers”); and
  6. Finally, curators can request that those producing or providing the institution with born-digital newspaper content provide the explicit permissions needed by the institution in order to preserve the content over time (see Section 6: “Packaging Digital Newspapers for Preservation” and the section below on “Preservation Partners and Permissions”).