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CLIR Publishes “Born Digital: Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories”

Report offers guidelines for donors, dealers, and archives on the acquisition and transfer of items created and managed in digital form

Washington, DC, October 31, 2013-The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has published Born Digital: Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories. The report provides recommendations to help ensure the physical and intellectual well-being of materials created and managed in digital form (“born digital”) that are transferred from donors to archival repositories.

Ten archivists and curators from institutions in the United States and United Kingdom collaborated on the report. The lead author, Gabriela Redwine, is digital archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Additional authors are Megan Barnard, of the Harry Ransom Center; Kate Donovan, of the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University; Erika Farr, of the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University; Michael Forstrom and Nancy Kuhl, of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University; Will Hansen, of Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library; Jeremy Leighton John, of the Department of Digital Scholarship at the British Library; Seth Shaw, of Clayton State University, and Susan Thomas, of the Bodleian Library’s Western Manuscripts Department.

The report is presented in four sections, each of which provides an overview of a key area of concern: initial collection review, privacy and intellectual property, key stages in acquiring digital materials, and post-acquisition review by the repository. Each section concludes with two lists of recommendations: one for donors and dealers, and a second for repository staff. Appendixes provide more specific information about possible staffing activities, as well as a list of resources and ready-to-use checklists that incorporate recommendations from throughout the report.

The report is available as a PDF download free of charge at

First made public as a draft online with MediaCommons Press, the report has benefited from a period of open public review. The MediaCommons version will remain open for comment at

CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. It aims to promote forward-looking collaborative solutions that transcend disciplinary, institutional, professional, and geographic boundaries in support of the public good.

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