The Archiving Dossier Narrative

For researchers, the Archiving Dossier Narrative is the most important element of the DDP. The Archiving Dossier Narrative is a standardized description of a project’s achievements over the course of its active life-cycle, written with an audience of the subject-researchers’ peers in mind and linked to the project’s Catalogue Record and Persistent Identifier.

The Archiving Dossier Narrative is a crucial part of the DDP because it responds most directly to two coinciding but as-yet-unmet needs of the digitally-active scholar:

  1. the imperative to explain the value of computer-enabled work to peers who may not be familiar with digital methodologies, and, in a closely-related matter,
  2. the necessity to create a standardized documentary tool which enables the fair evaluation of digital scholarship by credit-granting bodies, including tenure and review boards, hiring, or fellowship committees.

The Archiving Dossier Narrative unites the cataloguing and preservation efforts of the DDP with an explanation of the DH project being archived. Ideally, Archiving Dossier Narratives would be published in field-specific journals, thereby bringing fellow researchers into the DH-inflected conversation.

The Archiving Dossier Narrative must address each of the following for the project being catalogued:

  1. Rationale and Scope;
  2. Trajectory;
  3. Digital Objects;
  4. Anticipated or Actual Outcomes;
  5. Documentation Statement;
  6. Bibliography.

Below is a downloadable archiving dossier created for the Image du Monde Project. This document can be used as a template for any project that needs to be catalogued. Simply download, then copy and paste a project’s information into the sections outlined in the Image du Monde example.

You can also use an Archiving Wizard to begin the DDP process, whether your project is ongoing or ready to be retired. The Archiving Wizard is particularly helpful when archiving within an institution.