Center for Archival Resources On Legislatures (CAROL)
This portion of the Resource Center covers issues about understanding your records, recognizing your responsibilities, methods of content acquisition, and information on formats and standards. These are concepts you should understand or consider before you develop strategies for preserving or providing access to digital content. Links to white papers produced by the NDIIPP project team and related outside resources are also provided.
Understanding Your Records and Your Responsibilities
To preserve and provide access to legislative records, you should understand what you have, what you are responsible for, and how long you are required to maintain and provide access to the records. Ask questions like: What types of records are we producing or collecting from others? What records are important over the long-term? How long are we required to keep them? Who uses the records? Are there legal requirements to follow? Do we need to authenticate the records you provide access to?
A description of the types of legislative records used throughout the NDIIPP project can be found here.
Additional information on these issues can be found here.
Methods of Content Acquisition
The content you are preserving or providing access to may be your own or may be produced by someone else. If you are not the content creator, how are you acquiring the content. Partnerships and collaborations often result in methods of direct acquisition. Other times methods of indirect acquisition such as web harvesting must be used. More information on both direct and indirect methods of content acquisition can be found here.
Formats and Standards
The more technical standards and best practices that are used for managing information, the easier it will be to preserve and provide access to that information over time.
Choosing the appropriate file format for your records is the first step. The use of a well-known and well-supported file format will assist with both long-term preservation efforts and with access. The use of appropriate technical standards will also assist with these goals.
More information on format registries and standards can be found here.
White papers created during the NDIIPP project provide information on topics related to understanding standards and the use of 'best practices' issues can be found here.
The following are a few selected resources relating to developing a foundation for digital preservation and access as discussed in this section of CAROL. A more extensive list of resources can be found here.
- The National Archives Frequently Asked Questions About Record Inventories
Preserving Access to Digital Information (PADI); National Library of Australia (Content is organized by topic; archived August 2011. The current digital preservation home page for the National Library of Australia can be found here.)
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
The W3C is a resource for standards on many topics including XML technology, web architecture, e-government, accessibility, computer protocol and language information. W3C Schools has many online tutorials on related topics.
Resource Center Navigation
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Links to the main sections of CAROL are provided below.
April 24, 2012; links updated March 29, 2013.