Blog

Practical Preservation: West Yorkshire Archive Service accepts a digital collection

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 13 December 2016

Nobody has the perfect answer to digital preservation for every case. If we try we may fail; if we don’t try we will certainly fail.

Digital Preservation can be intimidating for organizations which have previously been used to managing and collecting paper archives. In this case note, staff from West Yorkshire Archives Service report on their experience in taking their first large digital archive. This made them confront new problems and new ways of working, they conclude that If we try we may fail; if we don’t try we will certainly fail.


See the full text of the case note here.

Read More

Small Steps - Long View: how a museum service turned an oral history headache into an opportunity

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 13 December 2016

The benefits of digital preservation can be expressed in terms of new opportunities they create in the short and long term. Even relatively simple steps can bring early rewards if properly embedded within the mission of an organization.

This case note examines Glasgow Museums' approach to its large and growing digital collections. It describes how some simple steps in addressing digital preservation have created short and long term opportunities for the museums. They used some very traditional simple and well know approaches - creating an inventory, assessing significance and promoting access - as the basis for building confidence to manage the wider challenges they face.


See the full text of the case note here.

Read More

ASR2: Using METS to keep data and metadata together for preservation

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 13 December 2016

Long-term access is improved when content and metadata are wrapped in a single package. In this way data managers will be able to access technical and administrative information with the content. The METS standard can help achieve this.

This case note examines the 'Archival Sound Recordings 2' project from the British Library, noting that one of the challenges for long term access to digitised content is to ensure that descriptive information and digitised content are not separated from each other. The British Library has used a standard called METS to prevent this.


See the full text of the case note here.

Read More

Welsh Journals Online: Effective Leadership for a Common Goal

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 13 December 2016

Long-term access often requires co-operation from many staff. There is a risk that responsibilities are unclear. Consequently it is important that a senior member of staff is charged with delivering an organization’s digital preservation strategy.

This case note examines a complex digitisation project at the National Library of Wales from the perspective of the organisation. There are many parties with an interest in digital preservation and many different skills are required. This creates a risk which can be managed where an organisation is clear about where responsibility lies for preservation actions. The solution in this case was to nominate a single senior member of staff as the lead officer for digital preservation and allowing them to work across different sections of the institution to achieve a shared goal.


See the full text of the case note here.

Read More

Cabinet Papers: Policy as a Measure of Commitment

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 13 December 2016

Digital preservation policies indicate whether an organization is committed to long-term access. Grant giving organizations should request copies of applicant’s digital preservation policies when funding data creation.

In this case note we examine the relationship between policy and practice in digital preservation. The National Archives has digitised a significant volume of the UK's Cabinet Papers, using techniques and practices that they have developed over many years. It has considerable expertise in digital preservation. However the measure of their commitment to long term preservation is not so much their undoubted expertise so much as their carefully considered policy framework for the long term management of digital resources. Funders often ask to see policy documents in assessing grant applications: for digitisation grants, or other grants likely to create prolific amounts of new and valuable digital content, it is reasonable to assess their digital preservation policies.

See the full text of the case note here.

Read More

Freeze Frame: Preservation Partnerships

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 13 December 2016

Partnership is a critical success factor for long term access to data from small or short-lived projects. This depends on a thoughtful dialogue between the project team and their preservation partner. Thorough documentation will be required.

In this case note we examine the relationship between the relatively short lived Freeze Frame project at the Scott Polar Research Institute and the institutional repository which offered to provide long term preservation services to ensure ongoing access at the end of the project. This study shows that small organisations don't necessarily need to establish a sophisticated preservation infrastructure when they embark on digitisation and that partnerships need need to be managed but can bring unexpected benefits to both parties.

See the full text of the case note here.

Read More

Conference Report: Curating Research: e-Merging New Roles and Responsibilities in the European Landscape

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 30 September 2016

17 April 2009, The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Netherlands

1. Summary of issues relevant for DPC members 

  • Training is popular but what sort of training will be most effective: what will drive down costs and support our work best?
  • Considerations of scale: what is the right size solution to our digital preservation challenges? Do we want lots of small DP facilities or a small number of large ones?
  • How do we collaborate without undermining institutions?
  • There would appear to be a lot of policy development which is an important change from a decade ago: but how do we assess the value of these emerging policies and how do we know if they are being applied?
  • There is still a policy gap. There are some high level aspirations in the UNESCO Charter and some very detailed guides, but a gap in between. What would be our
  • golden rules for creating digital data?
Read More

Report on IS & T Archiving 2005 Conference, Washington, 26 - 29 April 2005

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 30 September 2016

By Hugh Campbell, PRONI

1. I attended the Imaging Science & Technology (IS&T) Archiving 2005 conference at the Washington Hilton. This is my report on the conference.

2. Washington is quite a long way away – home to hotel was about 20 hours with hotel to home about 18 hours. This needs to be borne in mind when planning travel to such a conference and return to work - the body needs time to recover.

3. The conference itself started on Tuesday, 26 April with a number of tutorials. I attended the Long-Term Archiving of Digital Images tutorial – see attached summary. The conference proper ran from Wednesday 27 April – Friday 29 April, kicking off at 0830 each morning (and finishing at 1700 on Wednesday and Thursday and 1500 on Friday). Wednesday featured a 40-minute keynote address and 15 20-minute sessions; Thursday featured a 40-minute keynote address, 10 20-minute sessions and approximately 20 90second poster previews followed by the opportunity to visit the poster presentations. Friday featured a 40-minute keynote address and 10 20-minute sessions. I felt that there were too many sessions, cramming too much into a short space of time.

Read More
Scroll to top