Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


The No-Nonsense Guide to Born-Digital Content

Date of this Version

Spring 2019


Graham, B. (2019). The No-Nonsense Guide to Born-Digital Content. The American Archivist 82(1), 248-251.


The No-Nonsense Guide to Born-Digital Content is a one-stop-shop introduction to the basic considerations of understanding, collecting, and preserving born-digital content. The authors, Heather Ryan and Walker Sampson, offer a practical guide that is intellectually stimulating for many different audiences, especially students, practitioners, and archives enthusiasts. Heather Ryan (at present Heather Bowden) is the director of the Special Collections, Archives, and Preservation Department at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries. Coauthor Walker Sampson works alongside Ryan as the university libraries' digital archivist. Both authors have an impressive background of professional and scholarly accomplishments, including instruction on digital preservation and authoring articles and essays on digital preservation advocacy and assessment, electronic records management, file format sustainability, and forensic workflows and workstations to name a few. Ryan has also served in leadership roles for several major international and cross-disciplinary initiatives (e.g., Carolina Digital Curriculum Project, or DigCCurr, and Digital Preservation Outreach and Education program, or DPOE). In The No-Nonsense Guide, readers will find a wide range of topics on strategic and practical approaches to collecting and preserving born-digital content. Overall, Ryan and Sampson's practical insights and synthesis of digital preservation theory and practice make this book not only a handy resource, but an excellent addition to the fundamentals of digital archives.