An e-records’ transfer tale

In mid-December I received my first-ever completely electronic records transfer from a student organization. The group’s faculty advisor attended two of my campus presentations this year and followed up with a request for a one-on-one meeting to talk about their specific kinds of records. Before the end of the semester a student leader of the group sent me an email with attachments of five photographs from their biggest event of the year plus a scanned version of the event poster and a word document with the names of people pictured, event location and date.

Very exciting!

There were some problems with them not following the naming conventions I recommended, but since I was handling the accession on an item-level basis this wasn’t a big deal. I congratulated the student on being our first fully electronic donation from a registered student organization and thanked her for her efforts. Then I examined the photo files more closely 🙁

The images were 72dpi jpgs and when I tried upsampling they became fuzzy.

In a series of follow up email exchanges, the student told me the faculty advisor had taken the images with an iPhone5, and the advisor told me he hadn’t made any setting changes and the pictures in the phone were a large enough size. We assume the iPhone compressed them when he sent the images from his phone to the student. That close to the end of the semester we never completed the transfer.

{sigh} Something else to face in the busy time at the beginning of the new year.

Lesson learned: don’t accept emailed pictures at face value. Both of my constituents knew the digital object and metadata requirements I requested and thought they were in compliance, but the transmission was scrambled along the way. The old adage of “trust but verify” is still relevant!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.