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The Costs of Inaction: advocating for digital preservation

Neil Beagrie is Director of Consultancy at Charles Beagrie Ltd Illustration by Jørgen Stamp digitalbevaring.dk CC BY 2.5 Denmark Traditionally the major challenge in digital preservation has been seen to be technology obsolesence.  However, arguably the organisational challenges, particularly funding (and advocacy for funding), have proved to be much more significant over time. In recent years an increasing number of community efforts have focussed on helping organisations to...

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Where is the real risk?

Carl Grant is Associate Dean/Chief Technology Officer at University of Oklahoma Libraries It’s always one of my goals in my role, to watch emerging technologies and to try and identify those that, per the model Geoffrey Moore established, will “cross the chasm” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Chasm ) and have an impact in research and pedagogy.  This is always a risky move.  You can be totally wrong, spend a fair amount of money and have little to show at the...

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Operationalizing Digital Preservation: An Innovative New Curriculum

Kara Van Malssen is Partner and Senior Consultant at AVPreserve in New York I work at AVPreserve, a consulting and software development firm, where we focus on developing innovative solutions that advance the ways data and information serve individuals, organizations, and causes. Often, we are asked to come in to an organization and help them assess their digital preservation efforts, in order to move toward expanding capacity, scope, functionality, overall efficiency, or...

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The Threat of the Double Extinction

Cees Hof is Project Acquisition Manager at Data Archiving and Networked Services(DANS) in the Netherlands  A first glimpse at the DPC ‘Save the Bits’ announcement on the compilation of a list of Digitally Endangered Species confused me when it passed my screen. Further scanning the text only increased this feeling as I encountered more ‘species’ related references, but it soon turned out I was misled by my own biologically biased search image. It was especially the ‘IUCN Red List of...

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PERSIST: A Global Dialogue on Digital Preservation

{jcomments on} Robert Buckley works for the National Archives of the UAE in Abu Dhabi PERSIST: A Global Dialogue on Digital Preservation To those unfamiliar with PERSIST, it is a project within the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, whose International Advisory Committee is currently chaired by Dr. Abdulla Alraisi, Director General of the National Archives of the UAE. The Memory of the World (MoW) Programme was created in 1992 to facilitate preservation of the world’s...

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Losing the Battle to Archive the Web

David S. H. Rosenthal is a retired Chief Scientist for the LOCKSS Program at Stanford Libraries.  Nearly one-third of a trillion Web pages at the Internet Archive is impressive, but in 2014 I reviewed the research into how much of the Web was then being collected and concluded: Somewhat less than half... Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why this simplistic assessment is wildly optimistic. Costa et al ran surveys in 2010 and 2014 and concluded in 2016: during the...

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Keynote Address at 'RecordDNA: developing a research agenda for the future digital evidence base...', Westminster

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP is co-Chair of the All-Party Group on Archives and History for UK Parliament. This blog post is the text for a speech delivered by Nick Thomas-Symonds MP on 30 November 2017 at a RecordDNA event at Westminster.   As Co-Chair of the All Parliamentary Archives Group I am delighted to open this event, which is being held on International Digital Preservation Day. Delighted also to welcome such an impressive range of speakers. Let me start by thanking...

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The More You Know...

Leslie Johnston is Director of Digital Preservation for the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC, USA One of the greatest challenge for any archive is the multiplicity of file formats. For the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), with several decades of history accessioning and managing electronic records, this is compounded. We received our first transfer of electronic records in 1970! How do you plan a preservation strategy...

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Bit Preservation is NOT a Question of Technology!

{jcomments on} Eld Zierau is Digital Preservation Specialist PhD at the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark  And yes, it does involve technology, but technology is just a tool, in the same way as a word processing editor is a tool for a writer. Today, there is a growing awareness of the need for bit preservation, but there are still a lot of talk about backup, hardware longevity, bit preservation as a technology solution etc. I will here focus on the technology...

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If I had a time machine: Letter to past-DP-newbie-me

{jcomments on} Michelle Lindlar is Digital Preservation Team Leader at Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) in Germany. Dear past self, You left your IT job a couple of months ago to work in digital preservation. It seemed like a really exciting and good fit given your background and interests. I think you’re still trying to work out the culture shock of working in a public service environment and trying to figure out what digipres is ‘zactly. I thought a few pointers and...

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Long Now: Longer After

I’ve been thinking about interoperability a bit recently and wondered if it might help us frame a wider discussion on how digital preservation might integrate with the wider technology landscape. My basic thesis is that digital preservation remains a niche topic and this is bad news. For all the reasons we’ve discussed before, it’s hard to get chief technology officers, let alone finance directors to invest for the sake of the long term , but if we can build digital preservation capability for...

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Born in a Storm

In my last blog I briefly discussed how digital preservation came of age in turbulent times.  There was a lot going on in that post as I tried to make a link between economics and digital preservation, proposing a vital, necessary intervention that the digital preservation community should be making in some thorny but important matters of public policy. But it wasn’t an easy read.  Jenny Mitcham washed down an entire bowl of soup as I mangled three decades of economic history. ...

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No End of History

The DPC’s ‘big data siren’ went off again last month when no less an authority than The Economist proclaimed, ‘The World’s Most Valuable Commodity is no Longer Oil But Data’. Normally a mournful foghorn warning business away from things it cannot (or will not) understand, The Economist has been quite the advocate for the digital economy over the years. But whatever your view on the ‘big data bubble’ there is little doubt about the place data occupies in the long history of the economy: indeed...

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A foot in the door is worth two on the desk

Shibboleth I am asked, from time to time, how to persuade management that digital preservation matters. It’s a puzzling question in context and content. For a start, I am not sure I have ever persuaded anyone of anything. I have been on hand when people persuaded themselves but that’s not the same thing. It’s like finding the fire brigade at the scene of every major fire and assuming they are to blame. Moreover, I am not sure it’s possible to offer a global shibboleth for digital preservation...

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What the world needs now

{jcomments on} Inaugurations By coincidence I find myself working from home on the day a new US president is inaugurated. The coincidence: the last time an American president took office I was also working from home. Speeches and punditry burble through the kitchen radio as I hammer out a few more lines of something at the dining table. Same radio, same pundits, same table, very different presidents.   A different William too I suppose, mostly the effect of acquiring two children...

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DPC/4C Conference - ‘Investing in Opportunity: Policy Practice and Planning for a Sustainable Digital Future’

Introduction The 4C (Collaboration to Clarify the Costs of Curation) Project and the DPC (Digital Preservation Coalition) invite you to join them for a two day conference exploring the long term value and sustainability of digital objects. The 4C Project is an EC-funded initiative that is helping organisations across Europe to invest more effectively in digital curation and preservation. Research in digital preservation and curation has tended to emphasize the cost and complexity of the...

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Sustainability: Securing the Value of Digital Assets

Introduction The APARSEN project is delighted to announce that registration has opened for our latest training event, organised by DANS and focusing on issues relating to sustainability and digital preservation. Society is generating a vast amount of digitally encoded information, upon which it depends. Some of this will be needed for a long time. Those who have responsibility for preservation may well have asked themselves the following: How can I justify the resources needed for...

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