This seems to be about the digital equivalent of literary personal papers; an urgency based on the recent deaths of authors like John Updike & others. Based on planning grant funding from NEH, resulting in a deliverable as a White Paper.
Digital objects in this case are artefacts, not just records; both the physical and the virtual require materiality. Some of this is regarding the computers as important parts of the creative context.
Recommendations: keep the hardware and storage media. You can tell things from hand-writing on diskette labels, etc.
Recommendation: Image disks (both pictorial images, but also forensic imaging), see Jeremy Leighton John.
Recommendation: computer forensics (see forthcoming CLIR/Mellon report on Computer Forensics in Cultural Heritage, expected to be available next fall).
Recommendation: document the original environment, eg 360 degree views.
Recommendations: value from interviewing the donors themselves.
Recommendation: since they are balancing lots of needs, they need to put careful thought for interface development.
Recommendation: Scholarly Communication Needs, have to have new tools and methodologies on citation (eg of a tracked change in a Word document), reproduction, copyright and IP issues. White paper available at http://www.neh.gov/ODH …
There is a time window open now that may not stay open for long, for computers from the early 1908s!