At a glance

Special Collections & University Archives

Born-digital program

Stanford University Libraries acquires born-digital archival material and obsolete handheld media. The latter is comprised of magnetic and optical disks and tapes containing digital files produced both via historical computing platforms on legacy media and technology stacks, as well as via contemporary applications and file formats on modern media. While the proportion of digital content to other materials from the last third of the 20th-21st centuries is relatively small, it is a growing field. Materials include unique and irreplaceable intellectual, cultural and scientific materials from the dawn of the information age.

The Born-Digital Program at SUL seeks to preserve and provide access to these at risk materials. The forensic lab consists of workstations with the ability to read a wide range of digital media such as floppy discs, CDs/DVDs, hard drives, and most consumer types of flash memory. Another workstation will be portable to facilitate the remote capture of born digital materials anywhere in the world. Special Collections and Digital Library Systems and Services staff will be trained in the forensic capture and processing of born digital materials for preservation in Stanford's Digital Repository. These materials will then be made available for scholarly research.

For further information on SUL’s digital forensics initiatives please contact