FAQ - donors of digital archives (personal)

What kinds of digital material are of interest to the Library?

The Bodleian Library has long collected the archives of individuals. Much of these materials are now created and maintained in digital form. It is the content of the material, rather than its format, which is of interest.

What kinds of digital archives does the Library collect?

Our holdings include the archives of individuals, ‘personal archives’, from many walks of life. The materials we collect are of long-term research value, typically created during the normal course of life. Archives can include email, calendars, word-processed documents, still images, digital sound, digital video and much more besides.

I maintain a personal web site. Can the Library archive this too?

Yes, the Library can archive your web site or blog. We can provide you with more information about this.

Some of my digital records are old. Will the Library be able to deal with these?

It depends. The Library is able to handle a variety of older digital media, and many file formats which were used in the 1980s and 1990s. If you can tell us something about the computing environments you have used to create your digital material, this is always a great help. It is particularly helpful to have information about software applications you have used.

How should I prepare my material?

This is something we would like to discuss with you, prior to transfer. In most cases we prefer that you do not rearrange your material, or convert it to other formats.

How will I transfer material to the Library?

We would like to discuss this with you. There are a number of options available, but we need to know more about your material to make the right decision.

How long will the Library preserve my digital archives?

We aim to preserve your material in perpetuity.

Does the Bodleian continue to collect archives in paper format?

Yes, but we expect that modern archives will come to conatin more and more digital material.

Who should I contact if I have any questions?

Susan Thomas, Digital Archivist – susan.thomas@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

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