Digital Archives

In Partnership with the Lake cree Nation we have created a digital archives tolkit for indegenious groups to use. The toolkit consists of a variety of documents and links that include the best practices and standards.

Archiving Basics

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AABC Archivist Toolkit

The Archivist's Association of British Columbia provides a toolkit of archival basics, knowledge, and know-how. They also include guides on Indigenous archiving and creating trauma informed archives.

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Archives 101

Written in 2009 by Rebekah Sheffield, this is a crash course into what an archive is and how they work.

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Aboriginal Archives Guide

The Association of Canadian Archivists guide to Aboriginal Archives. Originally published in 2007, it provides helpful context on Indigenous archiving and what materials may be helpful for selection, as well as how to incorporate oral traditions and record keeping into your archives.

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Basic Rules of Archival Description

This guide, written by Jeff O'Brien of the City of Saskatoon Archives, gives the basic rules of describing materials within an archive according to existing archival structure and theory.

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Manual for Small Archives

The Archives Association of British Columbia created this manual for small community archives to physically archive their materials are the basics of archiving theory put together to make it easy for a beginner archivist to start the process.

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Metadata 101: The Purpose of Metadata

This guide, written by the team the the UC Merced Library in California, offers a brief explanation of metadata for archives and how to get started using it for those who are unfamiliar.

Archival Content Management Systems

An archival content management system is software used by archives staff to record, preserve, and make archival items available to researchers and the general public. When choosing a system you will want to consider the needs of your users and your orgranization.

Content Management Systems

This document contains suggestions for CMS.

Open-Source vs. Proprietary Software Pros and Cons

This white paper from Optimus Information analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of proprietary vs. open source software to help you to determine what is best for your needs.

Sample Needs Assessment Questions

This document contains a variety of questions to ask when deciding on the purchase of a CMS.

Digitization of Materials

Digitizing Images

This guide provides warnings and suggestions for resolutions and scanning practices for photographs or images. Digitizing photographs can be as simple as scanning the image, but to make sure it's the best quality, be sure to check the style of photograph and it's size to ensure your best result.

The Art of Scanning

This document outlines the practices used at the Digital Commons / Institutional Repository Information at the University of Nebraska.

Digitizing Text Documents

This guide provides suggestions for resolutions and scanning practices for text documents. Text documents can include any sort of printed matter including handwritten, typewritten, or printed documents, and can often be accompanied by images.

Guide to Imaging and Management of University Records

This guide from UW-Madison Archives and Record Management gives guidelines for determining if digitization of documents is appropriate, as well as planning for a digital imaging program.

Digitizing Documents

This guide goes through the steps to take to digitize audio cassette tapes. Although cassettes are now considered obsolete, many places will still have some pieces of their history contained on these materials. This document guides you through each step to preserve those tapes, as well as recommendations for cassette to MP3 converters.

Digitizing VHS Tapes

This guide provides suggestions for converting VHS tapes to a digital format. Having access to a VCR player is key.

Sustainable Heritage Network - VHS Digitization: Best Practices and Training

This presentation from the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University Libraries, provides an introduction to video digitization and best practices for planning digitization projects.

Testing Results

This document provides notes from our testing phase of the digitization portion of this project, and findings about the process.

Protocols and Best Practices for working with Indigenous Materials

The release of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Canada report and the related Calls to Action have given us an opportunity to make changes in our society. There is a need for Indigenous communities to not just preserve their heritage and history, but to also make it accessible to their community (and beyond) for curriculum, research and for help with identity-building in a post-residential school Canada. The 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous People states that Indigenous people have the “right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions” (United Nations, 2007). Having a publicly available digitization toolkit will allow Indigenous communities to be stewards of their own identities, culture, and history as they will gain the ability to create their own community archive.

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AABC Indigenous Archives and Record-Keeping

This is a selection of resources to support people who find themselves working with Indigenous community records and/or archives.

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Indigenous Peoples Histories and Archives

This webpage from the University of British Columbia contains information and resources about protocols for museums, libraries & archives

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Resources for Working With Indigenous Archival Materials

This document outlines the First Nations principles of OCAP as well as other protocols for Indigenous archives.

About Author

Chasity Berast


Applied Research and Innovation Team, Saskatchewan Polytechnic

City of Saskatoon Archives

Erica Hartman, Student Research Assistant

Muskeg Lake Cree Nation


Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan