PhD alumni Alexandra Chassanoff and Colin Post win SAA Preservation Publication Award

June 15, 2021

Alexandra Chassanoff and Colin Post, graduates of the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) doctoral program, are the 2021 recipients of the Preservation Publication Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA) for their handbook, OSSArcFlow Guide to Documenting Born-Digital Archival Workflows (Educopia Institute, 2020). The award recognizes the author or editor of an outstanding published work related to archives preservation.

Photos of Chassanoff and Post
 Alexandra Chassanoff (PhD '16) and Colin Post (PhD '20)

According to SAA’s award announcement, Chassanoff and Post’s guide makes the daunting task of selecting, implementing, and refining workflows for born-digital archival materials more achievable. The guide describes the steps that are commonly included in digital curation workflows, from acquisition to access and preservation, and provides a process map for readers to produce their own workflow documentation in both visual and descriptive formats.

The guide also provides a set of case studies that illustrate how readers can use these workflows to improve institutional born-digital archives practices. A unique component of the guide are the three supplemental Video Learning Modules, which map to specific sections of the guide and provide high-level guidance in creating and using born-digital workflow documentation.

The guide’s systematic approach to documenting activities for archiving born-digital material is informed by the innovative OSSArcFlow research project, a three-year empirical analysis of 12 institutions at different stages of born-digital workflow implementation and documentation.

Educopia Executive Director Katherine Skinner served as principal investigator (PI) for OSSArcFlow, with SILS Professor Christopher “Cal” Lee and former Educopia Preservation Communities Manager Sam Meister as co-PIs. OSSArcFlow and the award-winning guide were made possible by support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Alexandra Chassanoff earned her MSIS from SILS in 2009 and her PhD in 2016. She completed a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) postdoctoral research fellowship in software curation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is currently an assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University.

Colin Post, who earned both his PhD and his Master of Arts in Art History degree at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2020, is now an assistant professor in Library and Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.