What resources are we focussing on?
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- What resources do you have available?
Money and people/time. Find out whether you can make the case for one or the other more easily. Know whether this is entirely new, or an extension of something you are doing already in part or in whole. Think about: staffing/skills, technical infrastructure (storage, processing), processes (e.g. cataloguing) Distinguish reccurent costs from capital investment costs.
- Where does the stuff come from?
Know your mandate, collecting policy, retention schedule. Know your producers and the nature of the relationship. Develop working understandings where possible. Understand the amount of influence you have and the guidance and support you can provide to control what you receive. Make sure you receive enough contextual information, or can create it during acquistion. Define an exit plan where possible. Where possible try to plan and project for the types and quantities of content you are likely to receive based on your collections policy.
- Have you got a skills gap?
Map existing roles and responsibilities. Identify gaps or unrealistic expectations by consulting staff, community team profiles and job descriptions. Decide whether the gaps or bottlenecks can be addressed by training for existing people or hiring new posts. Understand willingness to change - whether you can stop doing things you do now and change job roles. Define a skills roadmap showing development over time. Include succession planning.
- Have you got the infrastructure you need?
Accessioning workstation - capacity to process various media types. Ingest - tools for characterisation, fixity, etc. Store - capacity, understanding growth, redundancy/backups Access - user requirements, interfaces for discovery/rendering, accessibility Consult with other stakeholding departments to determine who has responsibility for supporting infrastructure. Are there existing resources within the wider organisation that could provide infrastructure Prioritise your implementation with a clear roadmap. Don't try to do everything at once!
- What are the access conditions affecting nature of resource?
Determine IPR, data protection and potential liability issues. Are they known or do they need to be reviewed? Ensure that depositor conditions are clear (closure periods or embargos, reproduction rights, etc.) Define use cases. Define user requirements (as far as they can be anticipated). For example authenticity, will material be available remotely?.
- What is the condition of the 'stuff'?
Know what you need to know - how much detail? Know what you don't need to know. What is enough information? Think about complexity/diversity, volume/growth What is the integrity of the content? Is it sanitised? Can you safely ingest it? Is the 'stuff' organised or catalogued in anyway? Is there any supporting material that provides wider context?
- What are the bit-level problems?
Save the bits! Find fragile media. Legacy devices, or short-lifecycle (e.g. floppy disk, CDs/DVDs, flash drives) If you have large files, understand if they have to be moved around, this can be problematic.
- What are the content-level problems?
Identify the variety of formats, and number of files in each format *use format identification tools Determine the problems that these formats cause: *decide the level of QA you can realistically achieve **pro-active (checking all files and formats) ***approaches: consult the community format registries, open every file, find software packages **reactive (provide files as-is and wait for problems to be reported) Decide what degree of stabilisation of assets is required via migration/emulation etc.