Case Studies and Examples

Government Email Symposium

CoSA and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) hosted a symposium on government email on September 15 at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC. The invite-only symposium, Government Email in an Age of Risk: Preventing Information Loss, brought together participants from state and federal government to examine case studies on email policy, preservation, and access, with a principal commentary, then a general discussion of the case study. NHPRC is preparing and will soon release annotated versions of the case studies.

Case studies area available on the National Archives website.

AIP Structure (University of Illinois example)

An AIP at minimum must include the Content Data and the Preservation Description Information (PDI). The The University of Illinois Archives uses a nested folder structure to organize this information for the archival collections in which the content data and PDI are all kept in a folder. 


Screenshot of Folder structure

The top folder (1505050) is the unique ID for the collection.  The pdi folder contains the checksums for both preservation and access copies of the records (generated by Karen's Directory Printer) and any other documentation regarding accession, provenance, etc.   The access folder holds copies of the files that are available via an access system (after being weeded and arranged).  The preservation folder holds a disk image or the original content as provided to the archives.  

For more detailed information, review the Archival Information Packet Structure post on the Practical E-Records blog. [Back to Ingest.]   


The Commonwealth of Kentucky has standardized its security structure for firewall protection managed centrally. Secure servers and storage are placed behind the firewall and users connect via Secure Socket Layers (SSL) standard protocol. Public Access points (web servers etc.) are placed outside the firewall in a regulated DMZ perimeter network. Those access points have secure connections to servers behind the firewall. This is highly simplified and may not fully reflect all latest networking structure.  In addition the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives has other security based processes including multiple copies in multiple places and employing the use of SHA-1 checksums. [Back to Security Level 2.]


The elements contain the administrative metadata pertaining to the files comprising a digital library object, as well as that pertaining to the original source material used to create the object. There are four main forms of administrative metadata provided for in a METS document: 1. Technical Metadata (information regarding files' creation, format, and use characteristics), 2. Intellectual Property Rights Metadata (copyright and license information), 3. Source Metadata (descriptive and administrative metadata regarding the analog source from which a digital library object derives), and 4. Digital Provenance Metadata (information regarding source/destination relationships between files, including master/derivative relationships between files and information regarding migrations/transformations employed on files between original digitization of an artifact and its current incarnation as a digital library object). (source) [Back to Preservation Metadata Level 3.]

Role Based Access

Systems often use methods that provide appropriate permissions or levels of access to users.  Role based access grants permissions based on roles rather than based on an individual basis.  Repository or records management software use role based permissions - this allows for a wider range of controls. [Back to Security Level 3.]

DSpace, an access repository, is one system that uses role based access.  In Kentucky some of these specific roles include:

  • System Administrators:  Full permissions to read, write, and delete records and collections.  This role also reviews and edits submission for public access.  
  • Record Submitters: Rights to submit to a particular collection.
  • Registered Users: With a log-in and password, users can request notifications of new additions to collections, and view and download records.  
  • Public Users: Without a log-in and password, users can view and download records.

Another example comes from Missouri's Records Management software.  Roles include:

  • Administrators: The analyst section of the Division of Records Management so that we can see across all state agencies.
  • Agency Contract Personnel: For temporary state employees. We disable these users at the end of every fiscal year and require the agency to contact us to ensure they are still working with the state.
  • Archives Processing: Assigned the Missouri State Archives processing staff for materials that have been signed off for transfer.
  • Assignee: These individuals have profiles in the system but cannot login. This allows us to transfer materials (files, boxes) to them. These individuals are not required to be trained in the system since they cannot login.
  • Destroyed Records Review: Administrator like access but can see boxes/files that exist and those that have been destroyed.
  • Records Center User: Our main type of user, they can view their own agency’s boxes/files.
  • Records Management Liaison: Like Record Center Users above, only they are allowed to request updates/changes to their records retention schedule.
  • Records Services Clerks: Records Center employees who have a need to see all boxes/files in the system, but do not need administrator like access.
  • View Only User: Users who want to view what boxes/files their agency has in the Records Center, but don’t actually need access.

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