Series 11
Born digital materials, 1988-2011

Scope and Content Note

Born digital materials in this collection come from three sources: Lucille Clifton's personal computer, an HP Tower Pavilion Elite M9040N; four diskettes formatted for use with the Magnavox Videowriter, a word processor available from the mid-1980s; and Clifton's personal email account. Content from the four Videowriter diskettes dates from between 1988 and 2008 and consists primarily of drafts of Clifton's poetry and teaching materials from her time at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she taught poetry and creative writing from 1989 until 2006. There are also a handful of documents and letters pertaining to her position at St. Mary's College. The unlabeled diskette (see container list below) was found still in the Magnavox Videowriter, suggesting it was the last one used by Clifton during this period.

The Born digital materials taken from Clifton's personal computer, dating from 2007 to 2011, include drafts of Clifton's poetry and files relating to her participation in various literary organizations and festivals. Also included are itineraries documenting Clifton's travel, correspondence both from and to Clifton, photographs, and several poems written by others. A number of files relate to Clifton's collection Voices, published in 2008.

Email dates from between 2005 and 2008. The bulk of this is incoming mail; all of Clifton's sent mail dates from 2008.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Researchers are not permitted to copy or download any digital files from the computer workstation.

Restrictions on Access

Access to born digital materials is only available at the computer workstation in the Manuscript Archives and Rare Book Library (the Rose Library). Use of the original digital media is restricted. Due to technical complications, the Rose Library is currently unable to provide access to remaining unprocessed born digital materials.

Processing Note

Individual files from Lucille Clifton's personal computer were extracted from a forensic image of the computer's hard drive and were scanned for viruses using McAfee's anti-virus software. Text-based files were migrated to PDF and image files to JPEG to create access copies. Files have been screened for private information.

Three copies of these extracted files are available to researchers, each organized differently to accommodate varying approaches to research: 1) Files retain the original file structure, as found on Clifton's hard drive. No duplicate files have been removed; 2) Files have been sorted into series to match the arrangement of the collection's paper component. Duplicate files have been deleted; 3) Files have been organized by their original file format. Again, duplicate files have been deleted.

The proprietary formatting of Clifton's Magnavox Videowriter diskettes posed a significant challenge in terms of capturing and processing their data. Forensic images of each disk have been captured but cannot currently be accessed and rendered. Due to these limitations, the original Magnavox Videowriter was used to print out copies of each of the diskettes' files, which were then scanned using OCR technology to create searchable PDF files. These files are available to researchers at dedicated laptops in the Rose Library's reading room. Each diskette's files are stored in their own directory. The Videowriter did not automatically record date information when files were created or modified. Clifton did, however, record dates of creation manually. Based on these dates, files appear to be stored on the diskettes in chronological order and this arrangement has been maintained for access copies.

An inventory of files taken from the four Videowriter diskettes is also available to researchers at dedicated laptops in the Rose Library's reading room. This inventory lists the original file names, in addition to date information and comments as recorded by Clifton. Researchers should refer to this inventory for file name information, as the file names of access copies have in some instances been changed to accommodate file naming restrictions imposed by modern operating systems.

The printed copies of files from the four Videowriter diskettes are also available to researchers and are arranged as they were on the diskettes, in what appears to be chronological order.

One of the Magnavox Videowriter diskettes, "Selected Poems, Spirit Series," is unreadable and remains unprocessed.

Email was captured from two sources: one set of email was migrated directly from Lucille Clifton's email account, while the other was migrated from a locally downloaded copy of email saved to Clifton's personal computer. All email has been migrated to PDF to create access copies viewable in the Rose Library's reading room. Unfortunately, this migration process has, in some instances, resulted in some incorrect formatting, although this does not appear to have obscured any content. All email has been screened for private information. Access copies of all email have been arranged into two directories: an inbox, containing incoming mail, and a sent folder, containing outgoing mail. Some attachments had been lost prior to the email's transfer to Emory; where available, attachments are stored with their relevant email in sub-directories inside the inbox folder. All files and sub-directories (for those email with attachments) are listed chronologically; dates correspond to the date the email was originally sent. In some case, these dates were inadvertently changed during the migration process; where this occurred however, dates have been corrected manually.

Box Folder Content
RRL Access copies of processed born digital material [Reading room access ONLY]
- - HP Tower Pavilion Elite M9040N, 2007-2011 [Original RESTRICTED]
Magnavox Videowriter diskettes [Original RESTRICTED]
- - "Book of Light," 1988-1992 [Original RESTRICTED]
- - "Memphis," 1991-1995 [Original RESTRICTED]
- - "Selected Poems, Spirit Series,"(unprocessed) [Original RESTRICTED]
- - "Quilting," 1989-1991 [Original RESTRICTED]
- - Unlabeled, 1994-2008 [Original RESTRICTED]
Printed copies of Magnavox Videowriter files
83 1 "Book of Light," 1988-1992
83 2 "Memphis," 1991-1995
83 3 "Quilting," 1989-1991
83 4 Unlabeled, 1994-2008