Thomas, L. M. (2012). The Embedded Curator: Reexamining the Documentation Strategy of Archival Acquisitions in a Web 2.0 Environment. RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts & Cultural Heritage, 13(1), 38-48.
This article introduces the term “embedded Curator” which is essentially someone who documents a specific community using a collection policy while also serving as a resource to that community. With the ever developing digital age we live in, the article discusses the need to find ways to archive digital material using collection development policies and the struggle with preserving digital records in time before they no longer become available. These curators can use a something called More Product Less Process (MLPL) which helps with community and donor relationships and the collection or they can speak directly to their donors early on before records are gifted to an institution. Thomas stresses the importance of sharing archival processes with donors and communities so that these communities might be better informed in how they can back up and preserve important files for archiving.
I found this article interesting because it focuses on how important it is to implement a solid collection development policy in order to archive important and relevant digital materials from various communities. According to Thomas, “well-designed collection development policies and deeds of gift can provide curators with tools and documentation to allow them to change their minds about the direction of the collection…should they need to do so” (p. 40). These embedded curators can also impact the collection and archival processes by speaking to the donors about the importance of maintaining their records for future archiving. This was interesting because often I hear of stories of archival records coming to repositories in boxes without any arrangement or order. By speaking directly to important donors whose records are anticipated being gifted, curators and archivists would be able to satisfy their collection policy much easier.