Anne Schweikert, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Summer 2018
The American Folklife Center is the Library of Congress's repository for American and international folk culture, with collections documenting Chicago preachers, Omaha Sioux drummers, and Maine boat-builders, among many others. In recent years, AFC has received progressively more digital content, which presents new processing challenges. In my internship at AFC, I worked with Digital Assets Manager Julia Kim and Processing Archivist Maya Lerman to develop a standard minimal digital processing workflow. In this work, I strengthened and automated AFC's technical metadata collection and standardized records of preservation actions taken by staff. I wrote two scripts that will become part of standard initial digital processing at AFC; the first extracts metadata, generate trees and checksums, and flag potential errors in files, and the second renames files and restructures directories. Both of these scripts autogenerate records of actions taken by the operator and script. I also helped define local minimal technical metadata standards, wrote a data dictionary explaining the interpretation of each metadata log, and documented script operation for future training. Over the course of my internship, I got to attend meetings of digital archiving interest groups throughout the Library, and spoke to many digital archivists about their policies and procedures.