Margot Note

Margot Note is an author, archivist, and records manager helping individuals and organizations harness their history. As the principal of Margot Note Consulting LLC, she facilitates the understanding of the importance of unique collections, suggesting ways to manage them and use them to tell stories to connect with people. To learn more, please visit margotnote.com.

Recent Posts

The Current State of Description for Archives

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 8/13/2018

In July 1945, Atlantic Monthly published “As We May Think,” by army scientist Vannevar Bush, an essay that had an immense influence on the history of computing. Bush was concerned about the explosion of information without a means to quickly retrieve data.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives

Metadata Best Practices

2 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 8/6/2018

Metadata is structured data about data, information that facilitates the management and use of other information. The function of metadata is to provide your users with a standardized means for access to digitized materials. However, it is not enough to use just any metadata standard.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives

Metadata for Archival Collections: Challenges and Opportunities

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 7/30/2018

Metadata is one of the significant costs of digitization. Although archival items can be digitized without cataloging, a digital collection cannot be created and delivered without metadata.

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Topics: Digital Archives

Ethical, Legal, and Cultural Considerations for Digital Archival Projects

2 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 7/23/2018

When digitizing collections, archivists should always take legal and ethical rights into consideration and proceed with caution when documenting culturally sensitive content—with sympathy as to the context of how the materials were collected, and consideration in the manner in which such content is presented.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives, Collections Management

Archives: Values to Consider During Selection for Digitization

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 7/16/2018

Selection practice in most archives is aimed at meeting the current needs of user communities. Criteria developed by archives to select items for digitization are based on evidential and aesthetic values, as well as informational, intrinsic, and artifactual values.

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Topics: Digital Archives

Archives: Digital Imaging and Resolution Recommendations

4 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 7/9/2018

Digital imaging captures all the information in photographic originals. Read on for some guidelines on making the best digitization choices, always with the ultimate usage of the images in mind.

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Topics: Digital Archives

Image Description Practices for Digital Archives Projects

4 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 7/6/2018

Formal standards, such as Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), Graphic Materials, and Rules for Archival Description (RAD), have been developed over time for the description of archival materials. While descriptive standards offer consistency, archival repositories employ descriptive systems suited to their holdings, not universal access, and description continues to be idiosyncratic.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives, Collections Management

Selection for Digitization – Best Practices

4 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 6/25/2018

The development of selection policies is a core component of digital projects, and many selection guidelines and criteria have been developed by institutions, national governments, and international organizations. Institutions need to validate their selection procedures for digitization concerning external criteria, especially with the increase of collaborations for digital projects.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Collections Management

In-house and Outsourced Archives Digitization

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 6/18/2018

Digitization can be performed either in-house or outsourced. In-house implies that a department of the institution captures the images—supplying hardware and software, trained personnel, and overhead. Outsourcing requires entering into a contract with a vendor who will receive the images, convert them, and return the originals with the required digital files. Both in-house and outsourced alternatives should be considered when embarking on a digitization project.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives, Collections Management

Best Practices for Planning a Digitization Project

2 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 6/11/2018

As archivists, we take our responsibilities seriously as stewards of the collections entrusted to our care, ensuring that our assets remain safe and accessible to users. The demand for increased online access to collections, coupled with limited fiscal and staff resources, makes balancing the two a challenge.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives, Collections Management

Staffing and Collaboration for Digital Archival Projects

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 6/4/2018

Staffing needs for digital projects depend on the project’s size and complexity. Training existing staff members to work on digitization projects is a critical component of change management within the institution because digital projects require new skills. The digital age is moving memory institutions into new paradigms of delivering both services and content, and this alteration brings with it a need for training in managing information in a hybrid environment.

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Topics: Digital Archives, Archives, Collections Management

Keys to Developing a Comprehensive Archives Collection Development Policy

3 minute read
Posted by Margot Note on 5/14/2018

Archives and special collection development policies should state what the organization currently holds and the collecting areas, especially records of enduring value that represent the organization's history. A policy will not only formalize the archives program, it will allow you to focus on what you would like to acquire as well as to disregard materials that fall outside of the collection. Focusing on what you will not collect will also allow you to deaccession materials that should not be in the collection.

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Topics: Archives Collections Management Software, Strategy, Digital Archives

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