Step 5: Validation and ingest

Upon transfer of the digital records to The National Archives the Digital Preservation Team will prepare them for ingest. The first stage is to virus check the material. Then a copy will be uploaded onto the holding area of our Dark Archive.

After this the Digital Archivists carry out a Quality Assurance (QA) check of the files and metadata to confirm the material is ready to be ingested into the Digital Records Infrastructure (DRI). If any issues are identified, such as corrupt data, the Digital Archivists will work with the Digital Transfer Advisers who may consult with the transferring department to obtain any relevant information or replacement copies, as required.

After this stage the material will be copied to the pre-ingest area. The pre-ingest process carries out automated validation checks on the metadata and integrity of the files using the CSV Validator to ensure no errors have occurred in the copying process. It also runs a version of DROID utilising the latest signature version of PRONOM (the file format registry which DROID uses to identify formats). The PRONOM signature will have been updated with any formats which were previously unidentified in the collection; these will have been researched earlier in the transfer process. Pre-ingest will confirm that all formats within the collection are listed as acceptable formats.

After the material has successfully passed the pre-ingest process it will be ingested into the test version of the DRI. QA checks will be carried out on the metadata within the system by the Digital Archivists to ensure it appears as expected before proceeding with ingest to the live version of DRI.

An export of the open content and catalogue information can then be created to send to Discovery, where open records are available to download for free. If a record is closed, you can submit an FOI request via the button displayed with the catalogue entry. Click on the links below to see examples of what transferred records look like.

When viewing these records note how the metadata is used to provide context to the records, that is title, description, date, arrangement, file path. This information is displayed on the catalogue to allow researchers to search, browse and ultimately find the records they are looking for.