Records Toolkit

Archives New Zealand’s guidance on information and records management

Checksums and a digital transfer case study - new guidance released

Posted by Archives New Zealand on 21 December 2017

Marble 2

Did you know that the beautiful marbling on the edges of index and register books, like the one pictured, has a purpose?

A break in the pattern of marbling indicates that pages have been removed, and we know the record has been altered. In the same way a checksum, a computer-generated string of numbers and letters, acts as a digital fingerprint for a digital object. Even the smallest change in the content of the digital object will cause the checksum to change completely.  

Archives has released a  factsheet on checksums covering why they are used, when they are used and how Archives New Zealand uses them.

Also released this quarter is a case study on a digital transfer from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).  In August 2017, Archives completed this first end-to-end born-digital transfer from a live shared drive environment into the Government Digital Archive.

With this success came some challenges and lessons, which Archives New Zealand is sharing,  with the agreement of the CAA. We hope that this will encourage more public sector organisations  to contact us to start their digital transfer journey.

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