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Digital Preservation News 045

Paul Wheatley

Paul Wheatley

Last updated on 24 February 2017

Roughly weekly/monthly news and opinions from the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Head of Research and Practice, Paul Wheatley. Opinions are the opinions of Paul and those featured. Not the DPC. They’re just opinions, ok? Just because the blog has moved to the official DPC website does not mean this isn't just a load of opinions. Back issues are here.

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OA > data > code : a conversation

Martin Donnelly

Martin Donnelly

Last updated on 21 February 2017

This blog post is derived from a series of emails between Jez Cope, Research Data Manager at the University of Sheffield, and Martin Donnelly of the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), University of Edinburgh, in early January 2017.

MD – From Open Access (OA) publications to research data management (RDM), over the past decade or so scholars and researchers – as well as the people who support them, such as librarians and IT professionals – have had to get used to constantly increasing responsibilities and expectations to prepare their outputs for long-term preservation. The next thing on the horizon is software, with open workflows and methodologies close behind. How does software preservation differ from its predecessors in this chain?

JC – I think there are some very high expectations to live up to, based on the success of OA and RDM. OA is seen by a lot of people as an overnight success, but like most overnight successes it’s been over a decade in the making. We’re already dealing with expectations that RDM can be solved quickly now that OA has been ‘solved’ (which in reality it hasn’t), and I think that problem will only be greater with software.

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Why digital preservation is or isn’t business as usual

Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson

Last updated on 17 February 2017

There seems to be a lot of chatter around at the moment, and has been for some time, about how digital preservation should be ‘business as usual’. I like the idea; preservation becoming a core part of business activity. What we do every day. The only thing is I think this approach is wrong.

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As realities erode: 3d4ever?

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 14 February 2017

My eroding realities

Alternative facts are the cliché du jour but let me pitch a problem that is categorically larger: alternative realities. Not just alternative, but alternative and obsolete realities. I spoke about this at a DPC briefing day at the end of 2016 – which already seems a life time ago. It was a surprisingly hard programme to assemble because there is precious little evidence that those involved in producing 3d data sets for the cultural heritage sector have any capacity – and in many cases no evident concern – to ensure the accessibility of their virtual realities outside of tightly constrained and poorly documented delivery mechanisms. Therefore, in relatively short order and despite much rhetoric to the contrary, interactions degrade, effort is wasted and new kinds of cultural disenfranchisement are engineered. 3d data faces – it already has – an endemic crisis of obsolescence, resource discovery and corporate abandonment.

This blog is a cry for help. I want to be wrong. I want to be corrected and contradicted on the assumption that there must be a better story. Some clever and generous person is going to collate and deploy the evidence to show how the 3d data community has a concern and the capacity to ensure a longer-term viability to their virtual realities. They will gently take the megaphone off me and reassure me that the tremendous opportunities associated with 3d data are being met with a commensurate capability to preserve them.

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Digital Preservation News 044

Paul Wheatley

Paul Wheatley

Last updated on 10 February 2017

Roughly weekly/monthly news and opinions from the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Head of Research and Practice, Paul Wheatley. Opinions are the opinions of Paul and those featured. Not the DPC. They’re just opinions, ok? Just because the blog has moved to the official DPC website does not mean this isn't just a load of opinions. Back issues are here.

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Cloudy Culture: Preserving digital culture in the cloud

Lee Hibberd

Lee Hibberd

Last updated on 9 February 2017

Lee Hibberd Cloudy Culture 1

Part 2: Uploading

The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, National Galleries of Scotland and the Digital Preservation Coalition are working together on a project called Cloudy Culture to explore the potential of cloud services to help preserve digital culture. This is one of a number of pilots under the larger EUDAT project, funded through Horizon2020.

We’ve already published a friendly introduction to Cloudy Culture and our second report focuses on uploading data. It will describe in detail how the National Library of Scotland is transferring data into a cloud service provided by Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre using iRODS data management software (https://irods.org). The use of a web API uploader is also provided by EPCC and compared with iRODS.  We want to know how easily, quickly and reliably we can transfer cultural data into the cloud. Is there anything that would dissuade us from using the cloud as a way to help us preserve access to the digital culture the Library is responsible for safeguarding? Can other organisations apply what we’ve learned to the content they’re responsible for?

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'Personal Digital Preservation: Photographs and Video' by Richard Wright

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 21 February 2017

‘The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) Technology Watch Report Personal Digital Archiving provides an overall approach and methodology for putting one's “digital house” in order. My purpose in this case note is to add the gory detail about digital photos and video, giving a one-person case study. I say exactly what software and processes I use (and which ones I've considered but rejected, or used and discarded), and try to be frank about successes and failures.’

 

  Download the full Case Note in PDF.

richard wright undamaged

 

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Digital Preservation News 043

Paul Wheatley

Paul Wheatley

Last updated on 9 February 2017

Roughly weekly/monthly news and opinions from the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Head of Research and Practice, Paul Wheatley. Opinions are the opinions of Paul and those featured. Not the DPC. They’re just opinions, ok? Just because the blog has moved to the official DPC website does not mean this isn't just a load of opinions. Back issues are here.

Welcome to a new era. Post-truth. Alternative facts. The 2017 that the pretty awful 2016 appears to have just been a gentle warm up for. And I suspect it's going to get pretty hot. As Terry Pratchett once said - there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a flamethrower.  But fear not dear reader. Although the DPC has a brand spanking new website to which Digital Preservation News has moved, the usual pedantry, gentle snark and (hopefully) useful digipres news is not going anywhere.

In uncertain times, some stability and permanence is reassuring. In a post-truth era, it's absolutely vital. So, my digipres friends, we've got our work cut out. Let's go to it...

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Highlights from the E-ARK Conference

Sharon McMeekin

Sharon McMeekin

Last updated on 3 February 2017

National Archives of Hungary

Over the last three years, the partners of the E-ARK Project have worked together to develop and test specifications and tools for the creation and management of information packages for preservation. Around this work they have also been busily undertaking complementary research and resource creation, resulting in a wide variety of new and improved practical solutions for those undertaking digital preservation activities.

On a crisp, cold day at the beginning of December 2016, we gathered at the beautiful main building of the National Archives of Hungary in Budapest (see right) to share the results of all that hard work at our final conference. I was there on behalf of the DPC and, even as a member of the project team, I was impressed by the scope and quality of the work shared during the event.

In this blog post, through the medium of the Tweets we sent out into the wild over the two days, I hope to share some of the highlights from presentations given at the conference. The tools, resources and solutions they mention will be of interest to many DPC members and friends. More information on all the E-ARK resources mentioned below can be found on the project website: http://www.eark-project.eu.

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PDF/Eh? redux: putting veraPDF into practice. Or how I rediscovered my inner geek

Paul Wheatley

Paul Wheatley

Last updated on 3 February 2017

Ancient history: how we got here

Way back in 2013 the DPC collaborated with the OPF on a project called SPRUCE. Following on from the success of another little project called AQUA, and with some very handy funding from the Jisc, we ran a bunch of mashup events and got hands on with all sorts of digital preservation challenges. The management of PDF files, and particularly risk assessment, was a recurring theme. In response, the SPRUCE project held a hackathon in Leeds where a host of DP geeks came up with a basic proof of concept for a PDF risk checker. Based on PDFBOX – a PDF/A validator – and with denizens of both Yorkshire and Canada in the room (plus a variety of other nationalities) it seemed entirely appropriate to call it PDF/Eh? For those unfamiliar with Yorkshire dialect, this probably won't help but is recommended nonetheless. A number of important elements (that would surface again in the future) were brought together at this hackathon, but the participants recognised that this would take a much bigger push and a dedicated project to do it "properly".

PDF is a preservation problem almost everyone has. It's certainly not the biggest problem out there, but it needs some work and it's a little surprising that as a community we haven't managed to nail it. PDF/A is beginning to form part of the solution but a standard needs to be adequately supported with tools. That's where veraPDF comes in.

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