These are the basic steps for working with Electronic records that Archival Processing and Digital Archives will work on together.

  • You are assigned a collection with Electronic records.
  • Survey Electronic records and include them in the project proposal.
  • Confirm whether you will use FTK to process the collection.
  • Sign up to use a FRED workstation on the Digital Archives Lab Calendar.
  • Label files.
  • Bookmark files.
  • Bookmark review by Digital Archives staff.
  • ArchivesSpace import by Digital Archives and Manager, Archival Metadata.

Communicating with Digital Archives staff

Send email to digitalarchives@nypl.org when

  • You are assigned a collection with Electronic records.
    • Be clear about where you are in processing when you contact Digital Archives.
  • You have completed your processing proposal.
  • You find digital media in a collection.
  • You sign up for time on the Digital Archives Lab calendar.
    • At least 24 hours in advance
  • You are ready to begin bookmarking.
  • You are done bookmarking.
  • You have completed any revisions suggested by Digital Archives staff.

Beginning Work with Electronic records

Collection Assigned

  • Review the collection for Electronic records.
  • Send an email to digitalarchives@nypl.org and let us know the project timeframe.


  • Include electronic records in your initial survey for the project proposal.
  • Read media labels to get an idea of the contents, at minimum.
  • View hard drive contents with a write-blocker if files aren’t transferred.
  • You may have the option to conduct the initial survey in FTK if files are transferred.
  • Use labels instead of bookmarks in the initial survey.
  • Labels are a tagging feature in FTK that assign a name and a color to a file or a range of files.
  • You can view label names in the File List.

Preparing to Process

  • Reserve your FTK session at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Click the FTK icon to open FTK and begin your session.
  • Select your collection from the bar on the left hand side of the screen.


Spend some time evaluating the electronic records before you begin bookmarking. You’ll be using the same strategies you use for paper records for the most part but FTK has appraisal tools you should use as well.