Dealing with the Cold and Technology Issues Dealing with the Cold and Technology Issues
25 September 2022

Dealing with the Cold and Technology Issues

Written by: Krysta Bruce

Hello everyone, it's Krystjana again. It has been over a month since I started working at the AV archives, so I'm back to tell you more about my adventures. For one, you may notice in my photos that I am always in long sleeves. This is due to the archive being on the cold side. Archives tend to be cold because colder temperatures prevent all types of items from deteriorating. Heat or temperature fluctuations cause most materials to break down at a faster rate than when in a stable, lower temperature.

This is especially true in AV archives, as most technology does not do well in hotter temperatures.

Recently, I have been struggling with technology issues. Two of the hard drives I have been transferring data to encountered issues. Unfortunately, the computer froze when the drives were plugged in, and the drives malfunctioned. It is important to remember to always eject hard drives and thumb drives properly before disconnecting them so that the drives do not malfunction. Incorrectly removing drives can lead to the files corrupting on them or even breaking the drive. Luckily my two drives are not completely broken, and IT is working on fixing them. This is not always the case and not everyone has an IT that can fix the issue, so best practice is to always eject drives properly when you can.

Due to the two drives being temporarily unusable until IT fixes them, I am primarily writing metadata on another hard drive. Metadata is the information about a file or document that is saved to the item or in a system. This information usually includes title, author, creator, date, and other relevant information. For students, think of it similarly to a bibliography at the end of a paper. Libraries and Archives often use metadata to manage and maintain an items information. Proper metadata provides future users with the information they will need related to an item. Metadata can also be kept in a system, like a library catalog which tells you all about the book as well as the library's tracking information like a call number.

I currently embed the metadata into the item itself using Adobe Bridge. Embedding the metadata makes it part of the item so the information will always follow the item and be accessible. At the AV archives, I save the information on the box number, the project name and number, the date if available, and any other description in the metadata of each item. The only exceptions are when an item is a specific type of file that is not editable, and therefore I cannot embed the metadata. Therefore, the files are also organized in a specific hierarchy to let the user know more by the outer folder names, like project name and number. The main point is for anyone accessing the file to have enough information about it.

Agency: National Park Service

Program: Harpers Ferry Center Program

Location: Harpers Ferry Center for Media Services

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

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