Issues

Browse the Knowledge Base by a cross section of legal, organisational and technical issues such as File Format Obsolescence, Procurement or Metadata.

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Articles

Time to become our own profession?

William Kilbride asked us earlier this week (Born in a Storm 18 July 2017) what digital preservation professionals say when people ask us what we do. Like him I usually try to go under the radar and say I teach at a University. If pushed I say I teach digital information management – it seems a little more understandable than digital curation. Mostly this is met by a polite silence and a change of subject. Sometimes it leads to a lively discussion – especially if I personalise the message –...

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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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Getting digital preservation started

This is a joint blog post by Lizz Jennings (Research Data Librarian (Systems)) and Lizzie Richmond (University Archivist and Records Manager) The University of Bath has engaged in digital preservation activities since launching our Research Data Archive in 2015.  We outsourced bit-level preservation to Arkivum, and focused development efforts on discovery and interoperability.  Our 50th Anniversary prompted a flurry of interest in our archival materials over the past two...

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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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Chicken and the Egg: Applying Digital Preservation Approaches to Social Media at DPASSH 2017

 On the 14th June, DPASSH commences its second conference addressing the issues of digital preservation and the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities. I look forward to taking part and giving a paper on the application of some hard-earned best practice in digital preservation to social media research and heritage collections.

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JP2 and colour profile limitations: a positive conclusion and findings

At the National Library of Scotland we were finding that some colour profiles in tif files were causing errors when we tried to convert them to JP2. So a couple of weeks ago I posted a question to the DPC-Discussion list asking members for their advice on JP2 files and colour profile support.  In the end we had some great help from Johan van der Knijff, from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) in the Netherlands, who has given me permission to use a distillation of our email exchange...

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The acceptance speech I didn't give

Last week was an exciting one for us, and action packed, I’ve only really had time to pause and reflect on our achievements now. For those of you who missed it, the DPC was presented with the IRMS Innovation of the Year Award for the fantastic Digital Preservation Handbook! Turning up for the awards, I was secretly hoping we’d win one of the three – yes three – awards we’d been nominated for, but didn’t expect it at all. Over our pre-dinner glass of fizz I even asked William in jest whether...

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Recordkeeping Informatics - Monash University Workshop

IRMS Scotland, in partnership with the Digital Preservation Coalition, National Records of Scotland and Scottish Council on Archives, invites you to a free 1-day seminar on Recordkeeping Informatics, led by a renowned team of leading academics from Monash University in Australia. This is a rare opportunity for the records management community in the UK to hear directly from Barbara Reed, Frank Upward and Gillian Oliver, who are currently in the final stages of developing a new informatics...

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DPC’s Digital Preservation Handbook wins IRMS Innovation of the Year Award

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) was presented with the Information and Records Management Society's (IRMS) Award for Innovation of the Year in recognition of its re-imagined and revised Digital Preservation Handbook at an awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on 22nd May. Revealed by Iron Mountain’s Tim Callister and beating off competition from the UK Government Department for International Development's Vault Project for digital storage, the Digital...

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Are we there yet? Understanding digital preservation costs and benefits.

Over the last 18 months I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to reflect, research, and synthesise with colleagues, what we have learnt about costs and benefits from digital curation and preservation. The results are now published in a cost-benefit advocacy toolkit released by the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). It was a small project focussed on the needs of social science data archives but much of what it has done will be of interest to anyone involved...

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Instaforever: a digital preservation perspective on social media

At first glance, the terms ‘social media’ and ‘long-term preservation’ do not seem to belong in the same sentence. The two terms are perhaps even incompatible, mutually exclusive, and contradictory.

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Obsolescence 2.0 Digital Preservation by people, for people

On Sale at All Good Pharmacies: Eternal Life There’s a paradox that links digital preservation with medicine. Digital preservation systems are subject to the same obsolescence that they exist to guard against: and even great doctors catch colds. I believe my doctor is mortal but that doesn’t mean I reject her advice. Her advice is not intrinsically dependent on her own experience but is situated within a global, dynamic community of research and practice. The medical profession deals with the...

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Quantitative File Formats for Preservation

Last month I emailed William Kilbride at DPC with a query about file formats for quantitative data for long term preservation and, as a result of that email and the ensuing conversation, I appear to have agreed to write a blog post about the topic. Here is that blog post.

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Chippy campaigning: how the DPC likes to spend its ‘spare’ time

November 2016 saw the culmination of possibly the most exciting Digital Preservation Awards EVER! Well, it was for me anyway. Here’s why: we attracted more nominations than ever before – more than 30 from around the world and many from outside the Coalition too, we were able to offer more categories than ever before including a long overdue celebration of the work of our colleagues in commercial organisations and industry, the event was live streamed enabling another 300 people to watch on the...

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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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UK National Commission for UNESCO launches Policy Brief on UNESCO’s Recommendation on Documentary Heritage

UK organisations involved with the identification, preservation and promotion of documentary heritage should use UNESCO’s 2015 Recommendation on Protecting Documentary Heritage as a valuable advocacy and communications tool, a Policy Brief launched at the British Library this week suggests. The UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Preservation of, Access to, Documentary Heritage in the Digital Era was agreed at the 38th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris in November 2015. It...

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Procuring Digital Preservation: A Briefing

Introduction Selecting and deploying solutions is challenging enough in well-established business processes: but where the processes are new, or where the available resource to support procurement is stretched, moving from project to ‘business as usual’ can be hard.  It helps that a healthy market of digital preservation tools and services is emerging rapidly, into which a series of companies and not-for-profit agencies are now supplying products. And so digital preservation staff are...

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Digital Preservation Coalition nominated for IRMS Awards

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International Digital Curation Conference 2017 Edinburgh

As was to be expected, technology was a common theme running through many of the sessions at this year’s digital curation conference. As a LAM devotee and PhD student, I spend much of my time immersed in theories and policies, so this exposure to the newest tools is very useful. As I steer my attention toward my own research on digital objects in cultural heritage settings, IIIF is emerging as a potential tool. Pronounced “triple I-F”, the tool was highlighted brilliantly in Neal Stewart’s...

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Why digital preservation is or isn’t business as usual

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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