Practical Technology for Archives

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Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) at the University of Maryland Libraries have accepted born-digital content from donors for the past ten years and these donations have grown exponentially over the last few years. Born-digital acquisitions will continue to grow as modern record-keeping moves to exclusively digital formats. Despite the volume of data acquired, almost none of it has been processed into the Libraries’ digital collections for long-term preservation and access. Hard drives and other digital storage media have instead been processed like paper material and placed in boxes, often with printed copies of file inventories or of the digital contents. This can only be a temporary solution as digital storage is susceptible to degradation. As born-digital donations grow, so will the need to protect this data in long-term digital storage.