Only a few years ago the main means of Digital Content Transfer to the Library of Congress was shipping external harddrives. At that point in time, the data was far to large to be sent over the internet. However, with improved technology, it’s become standard to send archives via networks. In this process the data is securely downloaded from the sender. Once the data download is complete, the LC verifies the data. The most efficient way for this to occur is through the use of Bag-It software.
Bag-It software (Bagger) was created by the Library of Congress, California Digital Library and Stanford University. The software program is a way of standardizing the content container, or “bag.” The bags are written simply and contain metadata that is readable by multiple systems. They work as a manifest of files contained in the archive. “Holey bags” also exist and contain URLs to data for later retrieval. The software that has been developed is open source and available for free download.
A brief explanation of the Bagit file type is shown in the Youtube video below:
Currently the Mississippi Department of Archives and History uses Bagger as a standard for archiving paper records across the state. They provide a detailed tutorial on how to create an archive in bagger for transfer to MDAH available here.
Bagit archiving is a great push forward in the world of digital preservation, which does not have any specific standards. This one small step in digital content management has allowed many collections to be shared.