In the CUA Archives, our staff is small, our collections are small, but the extent of our collections is ever-growing, especially since more of our collections are searchable online. Something I have been managing over the last two years is dealing with international delivery of files, especially larger a/v files. What's the best or easiest way to deal with the delivery international a/v requests, and to a lesser extent even high resolution photo requests?
When I started, almost two years ago, I received few international requests, and even the few I received were from Canada and didn't involve air mail across an ocean. I would mail CDs just like I would for national requests. However, with the increasing demand from national and international publishers, archivists have to adapt to new(er) technologies, some of which are FREE, to provide faster, online file delivery.
At work, I use FileZilla FTP client (free, opensource program), which allows me to deliver files via FTP. The patron provides a directory name, user name, and password, I log onto their FTP server and then upload the files, which is very similar to moving files around between folders on your computer.
Recently, I had an international client that did not have access to an FTP, so I signed up for a FREE file drop box site, 4shared. There are varying levels of membership based on how much room you have for files and how big the files can be, and you can buy an account to share larger or more files. In this case, I uploaded the file to the site, set it to shared, and provided the patron with a URL to view and then download the files.
There are other options, as well as other FTP clients and file sharing, or "drop-box," sites. Both of these options save on shipping costs, CD/DVD costs (to send material to patrons), and provide almost immediate access to high resolution archival material suitable for publication.
I'm wondering what other archives are doing to accomodate this type of request?