Blog

Unless otherwise stated, content is shared under CC-BY-NC Licence

Collaboration in Digital Preservation

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 18 May 2018

In May 2018 I was invited to participate in a workshop entitled ‘The Challenges of Managing Digital Information for Measuring the Sustainable Development Goals’ with a brief to discuss ‘Fostering National and International Collaboration in Preserving and Reusing Digital Information’.  This blog post is the manuscript for that presentation. The workshop organisers intend to publish the outcomes of the workshop so the text is presented here as an early draft to encourage comment, criticism or addition.


In this short paper I want to talk about the opportunities and the challenges of collaboration in digital preservation. In particular I will draw on the experience of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), an agency which will be familiar to some of you. I want to reflect on some of the successes we have achieved and barriers we have faced over the years and how we have overcome them, or not as the case may be.  I will also project a little to the future, recognising that the collaboration possible through organizations like the DPC cannot be static.  I also want to question in a slightly more light-hearted but hopefully insightful way why the DPC is still here and why we have not all been able to get back to our day jobs.

Read More

Developing a Membership Model, or: How to review everything you’ve ever done and who you talked to along the way

Natalie Harrower

Natalie Harrower

Last updated on 14 May 2018

Dr. Natalie Harrower is the Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland


Major organisational transitions can be challenging, requiring clear goals, and genuine buy-in across the entire organisation. If you think about it, both of these aspects are dialectic and work in concert with each other -- goals can only be attained if they are supported, and support, or buy-in, requires … something clear to buy into.

Read More

My first month as a digital archivist

Matilda Knowler

Matilda Knowler

Last updated on 3 May 2018

Spring brought more than just a change in season for me this year, as I also made the leap from archives trainee at HSBC to starting a new role as Digital Archivist at the bank. In this post I have been invited to share some of my experiences so far and why I chose to move into the field of digital preservation.

I am starting this role without a background in technology and am still in the very early stages of my career, graduating less than two years ago. I began my career in archives as a trainee at HSBC in London during 2016 and I started my new role as Digital Archivist in March this year. If I was told at my graduation “in 18 months’ time you will be a digital archivist” I probably would have said “I couldn’t do that!” – which is a feeling that I think many archivists grapple with when presented with the challenges of digital preservation.

Read More

The things I’m bringing with me

Adele Tamar

Adele Tamar

Last updated on 2 May 2018

I’m one week into my post as Digital Archivist here at Parliament, so I doubt I’ll be offering any ground-breaking insights just yet! But it’s never too early to jump into the conversation, and I look forward to meeting with and talking to lots of you soon.

This role is an internal move – I’m from an information management background – and as I prepared to move teams, I tried to pack up both the things and the ideas that that I thought would be useful.

My previous team operates with a service-oriented model, delegating a lot of day-to-day records management to a devolved network, and focusses on providing that network with training, advice and support whilst acting as a centre of expertise. I’ve been thinking about what we could learn from this approach in the Digital Preservation team, so here are a newcomer’s ideas about where we could be heading...

Read More

What's Going On...

Sharon McMeekin

Sharon McMeekin

Last updated on 23 April 2018

As anyone who has attended one of our ‘Getting Started with Digital Preservation’ workshops will know, I love maturity modelling (and talking at length about why I love maturity modelling…..) Whether you're looking for a light weight tech-focused approach like the NDSA Levels through to something more indepth like the Digital Preservation Capability Maturity Model, there's something out there for you. Why am I such an advocate for this process, you ask? It’s because I believe that if you’re serious about achieving success in any endeavour, and especially in the case of digital preservation, that it is essential to stop every now and then to take a breath and have a critical look at how you’re doing. Maturity modelling is an excellent tool for this, allowing you to benchmark your progress and shape where you want to go next. The information you generate from this process is not only useful for review and planning, but also for activities like advocacy and building a business case.

Read More

User access to born-digital archives: first steps for Wellcome Collection

Rioghnach Ahern

Rioghnach Ahern

Last updated on 19 April 2018

The post was written by Victoria Sloyan, Archivist at the Wellcome Collection


Last November, the Collections Information Team at Wellcome Collection and Dr James Baker from the University of Sussex organised a workshop to bring together researchers and archival professionals to explore methods for providing access to born-digital archives.

Wellcome has been acquiring born-digital records for over a decade. Initially, the focus was on encouraging donations of digital media and getting hold of the material. Once records started to arrive we turned out attention to making sure they were kept safe and adequately preserved. We then began cataloguing in earnest, leading to all kinds of questions being considered about arrangement and description: is there an original order? How will researchers expect to navigate and use born-digital records? To what extent is the metadata embedded in digital files sufficient for research use? Many of our decisions were based on best guesses, recognising that we didn’t fully understand how the catalogue records or the born-digital records themselves would be interrogated and used by researchers.

Read More

Notes from IDCC 2018 - Day Two

Clare Mulhall

Clare Mulhall

Last updated on 7 May 2018

Day two of IDCC18 explored not only how we can better support data management, but also what we can do with data to meet the aims of our organisations, and finally how we can work together to create more inclusive communities that support innovative solutions.  Inclusivity was also the theme of the closing remarks, which revealed that the conference organisers had taken steps to encourage a more even gender balance in the contributing voices.  The overall atmosphere of the second day was one of being invited to consider new possibilities, adopt new approaches and contribute to the conversation.

Read More

Notes from IDCC 2018 - Day One

Clare Mulhall

Clare Mulhall

Last updated on 7 May 2018

The 13th IDCC took place in Barcelona in February this year and with the help of a scholarship from the DPC, I was able to attend for the first time. The conference theme was ‘Beyond FAIR’ (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) data, and these principles were at the heart of many of the talks. Questions surfaced about the extent to which it is possible to make data FAIR, the challenges involved and what needs to be considered outside these principles.   As a new professional, it was interesting to hear about data curation in a range of contexts from those actively engaged in digital practice. The focus on sharing practical lessons meant being able to see examples from across the data curation community of the principles of FAIR data being applied. The enthusiasm of the speakers to talk about the work they are involved in, the developments they’ve made as well as the setbacks they’ve experienced in the pursuit of making data FAIR was not only useful but inspiring.

Read More

I Second That Emotion....

Sharon McMeekin

Sharon McMeekin

Last updated on 5 April 2018

In my previous blog post ‘Let’s Get Together and Feel Alright….’ (can we see a theme with the titles?) I touched on some of the reasons why I think it’s important to not only accept diversity and inclusion within the Digital Preservation Community but to actively work to encourage it. Similar themes are picked up and expanded upon in Somaya Langley’s important new post on the DPOC Project Blog ‘The Ethics of Working in Digital Preservation’.

Somaya talks about her own experiences, both good and bad, and how they have led her to the conclusion that only by working together as a respectful, welcoming and inclusive community can we achieve real progress towards our digital preservation goals. No one can do this in isolation and we must invite all kinds of different people to the table.

I could not agree more whole-heartedly, especially with Somaya’s conclusion that we must be proactive and clear about who we want to be as a community. At the end of my blog post I mentioned that at the DPC we were embarking on a piece of work to look at best practice for inclusion, diversity, accessibility and codes of conduct. I’m pleased say this work has been making good progress and a draft proposal for a ‘Digital Preservation Community Charter’ is going out to some key stakeholders for their input and feedback. We hope to develop this further with the wider digital preservation community over the coming weeks.

Keep an eye out for more on that in the near future, but in the meantime make sure to check out Somaya’s blog post.

Read More

Digital preservation at the UNMICT: the year in retrospect...

Angeline Takawira-Magaya

UNMICT

Last updated on 5 April 2018

The United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism) was established in December 2010 by the United Nations Security Council as the successor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It began operations in Arusha in 2012 and in The Hague in 2013. According to its Statute, the Mechanism is mandated to, among other things, preserve and provide access to the archives of the ICTR, the ICTY, and the Mechanism itself. The Mechanism took custody of the ICTR and the ICTY archives by the time of the closure of these Tribunals in 2015 and 2017, respectively.  

The volume and complexity of the material presents a variety of technical challenges, particularly with regard to the digital records. The ultimate volume of the digital archives will be approximately three petabytes, composed of born-digital and digitized documents, audio and video recordings, photographs, databases and websites - all of this in a variety of formats. To date, more than 50 file formats have been identified.

Read More

Subcategories


Scroll to top