A reusable application to enable self deposit of complex objects into a digital preservation environment

Jill Sexton, Mike Daines, Greg Jansen, UNC Chapel Hill Libraries

Patron-initiated ingest of complex, multi-part objects into digital preservation environments remains a challenging problem for many libraries. In this talk we discuss how we approached this problem at UNC Chapel Hill.

UNC Chapel Hill Libraries is the developer of the Curator’s Workbench, (download: http://www2.lib.unc.edu/software/ GitHub Repo: https://github.com/UNC-Libraries/Curators-Workbench/wiki) an open-source collections preparation and work flow tool for digital materials. In response to the demand for patron-initiated ingest into our preservation repository, we extended the functionality of the Workbench, creating a module that enables easy creation of web deposit forms suitable for varying content types. The forms use dictionary and crosswalk mapping components to map the input fields to the MODS schema. Form designs also include explanatory text and designation of required fields. The forms work in tandem with a server-side form-hosting application, which can be configured to put uploads and MODS records onto a filesystem, or to deposit materials into a repository via SWORD. The forms feature simplifies the creation of deposit forms, shifting form design from software developers to curators, who have greater familiarity with both the depositor community and with descriptive standards. We also shift metadata creation to the content creators, who have the most knowledge of submitted materials.

We will demonstrate how this process works for the submission of Studio Art MFA theses. These complex deposits consist of a narrative description of the artwork in addition to up to 20 video- or image-based files documenting of their work, and associated metadata for each file. In addition to preserving MFA projects in a stable environment, this procedure gives graduate students greater control over the submission and description process and provides online access to MFA Art Theses and supporting works. Additionally, the project has invited discussions with MFA students about the preservation of their personal archives.

Our talk will address how these tools could work within other digital preservation environments