Rockefeller Archive Center Digital Media Transfer Workflow

Digital Media Transfer Overview

This is the Rockefeller Archive Center’s documentation for digital media inventorying and transfer workflows using the Digital Media Log, a tool for documenting the discovery of digital media items as well as the transfer actions applied to those items. For the purposes of inventorying and transferring digital media at the RAC, the term “digital media” is used to describe the various data storage devices records creators use to store born digital material. Examples of the types of digital media items that these workflows address include optical disks, hard drives, flash drives, and 3 1/2 inch and 5 1/4 inch floppy disks.

The workflows were developed in order to empower archivists to process records consisting entirely of digital media as well as to process digital media items found in mostly analog or mixed collections. Their use supports the RAC’s objective to preserve and provide access to archival records, regardless of format.

Required Steps for Transferring Digital Media at the RAC

There are four required steps for the correct inventorying and transferring of digital media. The steps require the use of various tools, hardware, and workstations, and digital media transfer files will need to be saved and moved to different destinations, depending on the stage in the workflow. The end result will be a transferred digital media item, free of viruses and malware, stored on the Digital Records (X) drive with complete documentation of the item, and the transfer actions applied to it saved on the Digital Media Log.

The steps should be completed in the following order:

  1. Inventory digital media item using the Digital Media Log
  2. Transfer digital media item using appropriate hardware and tools (If you experience difficulties using the available tools for transferring digital media items, consult the Troubleshooting Page and/or use the Advanced Troubleshooting Template to communicate your issues to the Advanced Troubleshooting Team)
  3. Document transfer using the Digital Media Log (If digital media item failed to transfer, you cannot proceed to the next step)
  4. Scan digital media item for viruses using the virus checking workstation (Ginger machine)

Documentation Components

  • Inventorying Digital Media: Instructions for when and how to inventory digital media and for recording transfers of digital media, using the Digital Media Log
  • Transfer Instructions: Instructions for identifying the correct method for transferring digital media as well as steps for imaging different types of digital media
  • Scanning for Viruses: Instructions for setting up the virus checking workstation and running the virus checking script to scan for viruses and malware on disk images
  • Troubleshooting: Description of common imaging error warnings and instructions/solutions for troubleshooting imaging of different types of digital media and other workflow procedures
  • Error Reporting: Template for describing issues encountered during disk imaging that cannot be resolved with the solutions provided on the troubleshooting page