Benefits of digital preservation of archival material at Goldsmiths

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Activity Outline

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Digitisation of archival material from Goldsmiths College Archive, for example old photograph albums from the late 19th, and early 20th century, will enable wider access and use, and should help minimise damage to the fragile original material.  This digitised material should then be curated and documented in such a way as to enable long term preservation of the digital asset.

Digitisation of archival material from Goldsmiths College Archive, for example old photograph albums from the late 19th, early 20th century, will enable wider access and use, and should help minimise damage to the fragile original material.  This digitised material should then be curated and documented in such a way as to enable long term preservation of the digital asset

Benefits Analysis and Alignment with Institutional Objectives

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Generic or high level benefit Detailed benefit description Aligns with Institutional Objective
See these example benefits for ideas to help you get started. Describe the benefit in one sentence or less Describe the benefit in more detail and how it relates to the activity Enter the institutional strategic objective(s) that the benefit aligns with
Enables long-term access to digital assets. If something was deemed important enough to archive and digitise, then it is probably important enough to preserve for the long term.  Assets can be used and re-used for multiple purposes, and any new information that comes to light about them can be added to their record/metadata. “The College’s primary concern is the production of knowledge.” (http://www.gold.ac.uk/media/strategic-plan-mission.pdf)
Enhances outreach and engagement Archives and special collections are of interest to the general public as well as to researchers and students.  In the case of the digitised photo albums brought to SPRUCE, they are also of interest to the marketing department and the college architects (they were referenced before the current refit of the main  building) as well as alumni – Goldsmiths is currently making a large effort to reach out to alumni and the local community, and artefacts like these are of huge interest. “London and the world” section of the main strategy. - Local history of the college and it's place in the local community is of interest in this area.

Help with our legal responsibility to look after assets produced by, or deposited with the college. We have a legal responsibility to look after our archives (and other documents) to the best of our ability, both in analogue and digital from.  This can include digitisation for preservation, using surrogates to protect originals, as well as curating born digital material deposited with the library/archive/institutional repository. http://www.gold.ac.uk/records-management/strategy/
Return on investment and value for money. Staff time, expertise and money is invested in the creation of digital material, which needs to be preserved if it is not to be wasted.  
Use of digital surrogate to protect fragile original archival documents. Some material is very fragile, and we do not wish to put it at risk with over-handling.  Digital surrogates are very useful for researchers, but the act of digitisation can damage material if it has to be repeated over again.  Preservation of the digital surrogates is important to minimise damage to the originals.  
Dissemination of knowledge Digital assets can be accessed, shared and re-used for research and scholarship for as long as possible. This aligns with the main point of Goldsmiths strategy, which is scholarship and the dissemination of knowledge.
Prestige and reputation High quality, well managed and curated digital resources that can be used for a long time reflect well on the University.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
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