Born-Digital Files

Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only, limited to UMN affiliates. Appointments must be made one week in advance of your visit. Contact for assistance or the curator of the collecting area you wish to use. We continue to provide scans of requested research materials when possible, especially for our non-campus clientele.


Knowledge production happens everywhere at the University of Minnesota, increasingly in digital formats with no paper equivalent. While there are no certainties in the world of digital content, creators of digital information can follow best practices and established standards that will help support sustained access and preservation of their materials.

The University Digital Conservancy program is the "digital arm" of the University Archives and provides access to digital scholarly and administrative records of the University of Minnesota and provides several basic best practices guidelines to help you manage your digital files. Individual consultation is also available.

These guidelines for digital content (including documents, photographs, publications, and websites) are designed to assist campus units and faculty as they assess their material for transfer to University Archives.

  • Born-digital documents / electronic records. When possible, converting to PDF will retain formatting. Certain situations may require retaining the original file format. Please contact University Archives for additional information.

  • Digital media publications. May include newsletters, newspapers, brochures, books by or about the University that are static or interactive in design.

  • Digital photographs. All digital photographs should be accompanied with descriptive information.

  • Harvested or crawled websites. URL should contain or the domain name should be owned by the University.