January 24, 2022

New Report From CLIR: “Born Digital: Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories”

The following web-only report was released by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) earlier today.


Born Digital: Guidance for Donors, Dealers, and Archival Repositories
CLIR Report #159


Gabriela Redwine, Megan Barnard, Kate Donovan, Erika Farr, Michael Forstrom, Will Hansen, Jeremy Leighton John, Nancy Kuhl, Seth Shaw, and Susan Thomas


October 2013


This report offers recommendations to help ensure the physical and intellectual well-being of born-digital materials transferred from donors to archival repositories. The report surveys the primary issues and concerns related to born-digital acquisitions and is intended for a broad audience with varying levels of interest and expertise, including donors, dealers, and repository staff.

Direct to Full Text Report (37 pages; PDF) 

UPDATE: CLIR Shares a Bit More About the Report and Its Authors in a News Release

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.

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.

See Also: Other Reports Published by CLIR

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.