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Analysis of the Article

The analysis of the article Personal digital archiving: issues for libraries and summary of the PDA conference by Howard Besser is focusing on the investigation of the Personal Digital Archiving (PDA), which explores methods of creation and managing the digital personal collections. The analysis is also concentrated on studying the main aspects presented during the PDA Conference on the tools and issues necessary for the development of the special collections in libraries. 

Digital Archiving in Libraries

The article begins with the issue that multiple works are increasingly coming to the library’s special collections in digital forms. The author presumes that soon the majority of works in the special collection will be digital. He emphasizes that those libraries should focus on the development of different methods that refer to preserving, managing, and providing access to new digital materials. It is also important to notice that the corpus of the digital materials formed by the definite organization does not concentrate in a single location.  In the analog world, people can obtain a set of file cabinets with many relevant materials. However, in the digital world, the same material is extended over the hard disks or websites and belongs to the Stage Two archiving problem elaborated by the author of the article (Besser, 2015). The majority of the commercial services forbid to download the material to anybody except the owner. Nevertheless, there were many situations when some collections have been donated to the library by the relatives and saved on the special commercial services, which was illegal.

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The Main Purpose of the Personal Digital Archiving Conference (PDA)

The authors of the article pay great attention to the development and the main principles of PDA, which was established in North America with the aim to discuss and resolve the problems faced by the libraries with digital collections (Besser, 2015). The individuals began increasingly expressing the desire to manage their personal digital photographs, movies or documents better, which induced librarians and archivists to gather annually with the aim to identify the specific principles for more efficient management. Today, the issue attracts many researchers who want to have a better understanding of which aspects should be analyzed more thoroughly for identification of the right strategy. The article represents an original “Call for Papers” for the 2015 PDA Conference, which focused on the increasing use of digital materials that induced welcoming of a broad community for ensuring a long-term access to different collections and archives (Besser, 2015). The purpose of the conference was to gather and review the presentations which represented different ways of the necessary collection approach by the individual. Personal Digital Archiving 2015 also regarded proposals on the full spectrum of topics pertinent to the personal digital archiving (Besser, 2015). The committee of the conference encouraged papers and presentations which focused on both digital media and home-produced digital solutions. The abovementioned presentations had to address such challenges as ubiquitous recording devices, action cameras, cloud storage, social media, email, open source, security, library and archival issues, and migration data.

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The Conference 2015

The author explicitly describes the sense and tasks of the PDA conference, which was held in April. The conference was sponsored by the Organizing Cometee, the Coalition for Networked Information and NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Masters Degree Program, and NYU Library (Besser, 2015). During many years, PDA concentrated on the individuals’ collections. In 2015, the issue of communities’ and activists’ collections was added to the problematic aspects of the conference. The conference emphasized on the collections of time-based media and proposed halfway workshops which concentrated on the tools for managing the PDA-type collections. The workshops comprised Archivematica and AtoM, which included assessment, processing, email delivery, archives’ curation, and a self-made personal digital archiving (Besser, 2015). The author also outlined four multi-participant panels presented in the conference: special methods of PDA, community based approaches to PDA, the professional is personal, and digital preservation and art.

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A part of an article is dedicated to the discussion of Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Project by Don Perry, which emphasized the involvement of African-American communities throughout the US in saving and making available different information concerning the African-American history (Besser, 2015). The project supported the images and social networks moving with the aim to involve people in archiving and to provide access to the sources which contained information about their families. The second discussion was initiated by Rick Prelinger and Howard Besser who focused on the past and future of the personal digital archiving and its representation in a larger context (Besser, 2015). The participants of the discussion forecasted further development of the field and replaceability of the term “personal archiving” with the term “personal digital archiving”. The authors also mentioned that the majority of presentations focused on the investigation the relationships between PDA and social media. There were many short talks referring to the Poster Sessions. All interested people may review the presentations and complete the conference session in the internet archive (PDA 2015). 

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A deep investigation of the digital archiving in the libraries has been caused by increasing number of the digital materials and lack of the well-established methods for managing those materials. The PDA Conference was established with the aim to develop special tools which may help solve the problematic issue. 

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