Students at a session on digital records and information at the CAIS Study School earlier today. The session, entitled 'Digital Dilemmas', looked at the issues faced by record keepers when dealing with digital information in respect of the unique properties and significant characteristics of electronic records, their capture, processing and access to them. The students also examined a variety of digital media and thought about the problems that the evolution of digital media and digital formats create for records managers and archivists. Some of the more interesting items included a program on punched paper tape from the 1970s and a USB thumb drive that needed to read a biometric signature before its contents could be accessed.
The speakers at this session were Chris Prom, visiting Fullbright Distinguished Scholar, Susan Thomas, Digital Archivist, Bodleian Library, Oxford and Philip Lord, Director, The Digital Archiving Consultancy Ltd.
Earlier today the students heard Jan Merchant, Perth and Kinross Council Archive, discuss archival access and preservation issues, followed by Susan Mansfield, Head of the Scottish Parliament Information Centre and Vanessa Charles, Book and Paper Conservation Unit, University of Dundee, examining business and management issues and disaster recovery.
The students have another full day tomorrow concluding with a seminar on the development of the record keeping professions. We'll put up a post about that session soon.