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Journal article

Researcher access to born-digital collections: an exploratory study

25 May 2018

While a small, but growing number of institutions offer access to born-digital collections, there is scant literature documenting researcher interaction with these materials. This paper addresses this gap through documenting and analyzing researcher interactions to portions of born-digital collections at New York University (NYU) Libraries, with the cooperation of NYU’s Fales Library and Special Collection and the Digital Library and Technology Solutions Department, as well as the National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) program. From September 2014-May 2015, NYU Libraries began implementing an “access-driven” born-digital workflow for their 3 archives: Fales Library and Special Collections, NYU University Archives, and the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives, using several model collections as part of a 9 month NDSR project. One goal was to provide access to these collections by the end of the project period. The project concluded with 5 researcher interviews investigating how researchers navigate, understand, and value forms of born-digital access. This paper will focus on these interviews and how new forms of access were interpreted and received.

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