How does it feel? The psychology of digital preservation

Charles Miller

Charles Miller

Last updated on 12 December 2018

Charles Miller is a former BBC documentary producer, currently working for a tech startup in London and studying for a Masters in History. Anchoring will be his second book.


In all discussions about digital preservation, there’s an impossible question to answer: how much should I keep? While institutions are limited by budgets and staff time, for individuals, it’s more personal. Decisions about deleting, and the very process of organising and preserving, bring out complicated emotions about family, nostalgia and sometimes grief.

It’s one of the issues I’m looking at in a book I’m writing about how the digital world has changed ideas about what we want to hang on to and how we can best do it.

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Afterclap: WDPD for everyone, for ever

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 30 November 2018

Afterclap (n) – the last person who claps after everyone else has stopped.

It’s Friday, so it must be Schiphol Airport Amsterdam. Here’s me at the departure gate for the flight home after a day that has lasted almost 48 hours and has crammed in a year’s worth of digital preservation news. 

An airport lounge seems an appropriate place to reflect on World Digital Preservation Day.  It’s practically home: my work involves so many airport lounges that, rather being an honorary lecturer at Glasgow University, I should really be an honorary air-traffic controller at Glasgow Airport.  Schipol offers so many connections: in every one of them an emergent digital preservation need is arising, and in many an incipient digital preservation community is forming.  There’s also a lot of time dependencies at airports too, a lot of verification of identities and checking of manifests: a lot of strong metaphors for our daily work.  These challenge us to connect but remind us that if we hang about too long then our digital preservation work is going to become a lot harder and a lot more expensive.  As with aeroplanes, if you want digital preservation to be difficult and costly just ignore the repeated calls to get on board.

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Current State of Digital Preservation at Library and Archives Canada

Faye Lemay

Faye Lemay

Last updated on 4 December 2018

This is part 3 of a 4-part series on Digital Preservation at Library and Archives Canada. Part 1 addressed “Building the Momentum for Change” and Part 2 talked about “Learning from our past”.

Although our recent efforts have been focussed on program development, the DP team has also sought to stabilize and grow its digital preservation infrastructure: specifically the LAC Digital Archive, which serves as the repository of preservation masters.

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Thinking Creatively to Understand Complexity: A Workshop for the UK Legal Deposit Libraries’ Emerging Formats Project

Caylin Smith

Caylin Smith

Last updated on 28 November 2018

Caylin Smith is the Legal Deposit Libraries Senior Project Manager for the British Library


Earlier this month, the British Library hosted a workshop for the Legal Deposit Libraries’ Emerging Formats project. The purpose of the workshop was to engage stakeholders and look at some new approaches to address challenges the project has identified.

In this post, Caylin Smith, project manager for the Legal Deposit Libraries and a researcher on the Emerging Formats project, outlines the importance of Non-Print Legal Deposit in the UK, provides background information on the Emerging Formats project and in-scope content, as well as introduces the workshop.

Sara Day Thomson of the DPC then describes her experience of the workshop and how the Emerging Formats project reflects broader trends in digital preservation.

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Against Entropy:  An Update

Sheila Morrissey

Sheila Morrissey

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Sheila Morrissey is Senior Researcher at Ithaka S+R, based in New York


If there’s one thing digital preservationists understand, it’s the importance of continual investment in infrastructure.  That includes our own technical infrastructure – the systems we rely on to collect and manage and deliver digital objects over the very long term.

On the first World Digital Preservation Day, we were just at the mid-point of a two-year project to rebuild Portico’s technical preservation infrastructure, pretty much from the ground up.  At the end of September of this year, we closed out our “NextGen” project as scheduled. 

As we noted in last year’s WDPD day of blogging, a big motivation for our “gut rehab” project was the need to grapple with issues of scale – with geometric growth across pretty nearly every measure of content streaming into the Portico archive:

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Sustaining your own Digital Preservation Efforts

Nancy McGovern

Nancy McGovern

Last updated on 26 November 2018

Nancy McGovern is Director of Digital Preservation at MIT Libraries


I love what I do! My role combines research, instruction, and practice and has since I started at Cornell as the Digital Preservation Officer in 2006 - that means by design I never have to stop doing what I am doing to work on what I want to do, which is amazing.

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Recap of Born to Be 3D Forum Hosted by the Library of Congress

Kate Murray and Jesse Johnston

Kate Murray and Jesse Johnston

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Kate Murray and Jesse Johnston are B2B3D Program Coordinators and work at the Library of Congress in Wasghington DC, USA


On November 2, 2018, the Library of Congress hosted Born to Be 3D: Digital Stewardship of Intrinsic 3D Data (#B2B3D), a small group forum to discuss stewardship of born digital 3D data. Born-digital 3D content is an emerging research and technology area. Digital preservation approaches and stewardship requirements for this content are not yet mainstream, but the impact and influence of this content is undeniable. In its role as a convener, the Library’s goal for sponsoring B2B3D is to support and amplify existing research projects while also bringing together a “sampler” of 3D-related development across a wide spectrum of stakeholders. The publication of the Library’s new Digital Strategy with renewed focus on driving momentum in our communities and building towards the horizon made this the ideal opportunity to engage in the building energy in the well-named Year of 3D.

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Preservation Rights

Jared Lyle

Jared Lyle

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Jared Lyle is an Archivist at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), where he directs the Metadata and Preservation Unit which is responsible for Metadata, the Bibliography of Data-Related Literature and Digital Preservation. He also serves as Director of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), an international metadata standard for describing survey and other social science data.


While my thoughts about digital preservation tend to gravitate to issues of file format longevity, on the occasion of this World Digital Preservation Day I've been thinking quite a bit about preservation rights, especially from the perspective of a data custodian.  Why the recent shift in concentration?  The repository where I work, ICPSR, a data repository for social and behavioral science data, has applied for the CoreTrustSeal Data Repository certification. ICPSR has participated in several repository audits and certifications. In 2006, it was a test case for Trusted Repositories Audit & Certification (TRAC). ICPSR was one of the first six data repositories to earn the Data Seal of Approval in 2011. ICPSR earned the World Data System certification in 2013.  CoreTrustSeal Data Repository certification replaces the DSA certification and WDS Regular Members certification.

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Designing a Universal Virtual Interactor (UVI) for digital objects

Euan Cochrane

Euan Cochrane

Last updated on 23 November 2018

Euan Cochrane is Digital Preservation Manager at Yale University Library


In the EaaSI program of work we're developing the ability to click on a link to a digital object (for example in a library’s catalogue or an archival finding aid) and have it "automagically" open in a representative version of the “original” software, within your web browser, using an emulator.  For example, the gif below demonstrates clicking a link to automatically open a Microsoft Works file running in Windows 98 within a web browser[1].

 Euan_1 (1) (3).gif

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Audiovisual archives & digital preservation

Bertram Lyons

Bertram Lyons

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Bertram Lyons is Senior Consultant for AVP


I want to tell a story to demonstrate the inherent relationship between audiovisual preservation and digital preservation.

1. What is it about audiovisual preservation today that requires us to engage in digital preservation?

My story begins with a collection of folk music analog audio recordings in the Alan Lomax Archive.

The year is 2002. The recordings -- I’ll focus on the 2,000 quarter-inch magnetic reel to reel audio tapes -- date from 1948 to 1997. They vary in composition from paper, to acetate, to polyester. They display a variety of states of physical condition, from excellent, to disheveled, to disintegrating, to sticky.

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Cloud-Enabled Preservation of Life in the 20th Century White House

Stephanie Tuszynski

Stephanie Tuszynski

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Stephanie Tuszynski is Director of the White House Historical Association Digital Library in Washington DC, USA


The White House Historical Association was founded in 1961 to "enhance the understanding and appreciation" of the White House by offering educational resources to students, teachers, scholars, and the general public to help them learn about the building and its history. The WHHA Digital Library is a key piece of our outreach strategy, with more than 10,000 images and documents in our growing collection available to the public for free at whha.org/library.

The "Cloud-Enabled Preservation of Life in the 20th Century White House" project is making previously-inaccessible images of the White House available for the first time. The Association has thousands of photos covering public and private events at the White House from the Kennedy era through the current administration, which we are adding to the Digital Library with the help of Amazon Rekognition (a cloud-based facial recognition technology) in the processing of our collections, and by using Amazon Glacier cloud storage for the long-term preservation of these materials.

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Perspectives on the Evolving Ecology of Digital Preservation 

Oya Reiger

Oya Reiger

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Oya Y. Rieger is Senior Advisor at Ithaka S+R, based in New York


As an organization that provides research and consultancy services to the global higher education community to support the creation, discovery, dissemination, and preservation of scholarship, Ithaka S+R is interested in exploring the current landscape of digital preservation programs and services in order to identify research questions that will contribute to the advancement of strategies in support of future scholarship. To this end, we recently published a brief, The State of Digital Preservation in 2018: A Snapshot of Challenges and Gaps, which is based on interviews with 21 experts and thought leaders to survey their perspectives on the state of digital preservation. The digital preservation community now represents deeper expertise involving a robust exchange of best practices, standards, preservation techniques, tools, and systems. Nevertheless, given the complexity of designing preservation strategies at scale, it is inevitable that there is lingering anxiety.

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PDFS: When a Standard isn’t Standard in your Collections

Leslie Johnston

Leslie Johnston

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Leslie Johnston is Director of Digital Preservation at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington DC, USA


In 2017 the DPC announced its “Bit List” of Digitally Endangered Species as a crowd-sourcing exercise to discover which digital materials our community thinks are most at risk, as well as those which are relatively safe thanks to digital preservation. The “Items of Concern” portion of the list included PDF, a format bearing some discussion and use cases.

Let’s start with a number - the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has over 10.2 million PDFs in its holdings. In a collection of close to 1.5 billion files, that doesn't seem like a significant file management challenge, until one digs deeper into the data.

During 2017, NARA created a Holdings Profile: see my blog post for World Digital Preservation Day 2017 for an introduction to that work. The outcome was an analysis of what formats NARA has in the holdings. It’s inevitably not perfect, as there are always levels of uncertainty involved in assessing file formats, especially when an organization has been accepting a wide variety for formats for 50 years. There are different levels of tooling in place for different portions of the holdings housed in different preservation systems, something that will be gradually rectified as we migrate records into the new ERA 2.0 system.

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A Parliament of Owls: Leveraging internal wisdom to build support for digital records

Jeanne Kramer-Smyth and April Miller

Jeanne Kramer-Smyth and April Miller

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Jeanne Kramer-Smyth is Archivist and April Miller is Program Lead for Archives at World Bank Group Archives


 

WBG 1

World Bank Group Archives Digital Vault logo.

We considered writing a blog post about the technical solutions selected for the World Bank Group (WBG) Archives’ “Digital Vault” digital preservation project. We spent months working through an RFI and RFP, selecting a vendor, and finalizing contract negotiations. This was followed by work on technical design and internal approvals.

This is not what this blog post is about. Instead, this post is about identifying and tackling the people and process investments required to evolve into an archives that handles both analog and born-digital records.

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Typology of Digital Collection as a Framework for Digital Preservation

Helen Hockx-Yu and Donald Brower

Helen Hockx-Yu and Donald Brower

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Helen Hockx-Yu is Program Manager for Digital Asset Strategy and Don Brower is the Digital Library Infrastructure Lead at the University of Notre Dame in the USA


Like many academic and research libraries, the University of Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library collection has evolved over the last twenty years or so from analogue to increasingly digital, and from a physically owned and locally stored collection to a broad range of both local and external resources, organised around users’ needs.

The complexity and varied nature of our collection means this is no one- size-fits-all digital preservation approach. Different strategy is required dependent of the significant properties of the collection items.

To gain a better understanding of the Library’s overall digital content, and to help plan for digital preservation, we recently co-led a project at Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame, where we developed a Typology of Digital Collection as a framework to guide digital preservation.

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The Archivist’s Guide to KryoFlux

Dorothy Waugh

Dorothy Waugh

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Dorothy Waugh is Digital Archivist at Emory University in the USA


On this World Digital Preservation Day, we’re here to remind you of the humble floppy disk, last century’s save icon. Though limited in terms of capacity, these inexpensive and lightweight disks were the dominant storage device for three decades, as is evidenced by the boxes of floppy disks now found among the stacks of most archives. Among the disks at Emory University are files created by novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, poet and former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, poet and writer Lucille Clifton, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (an Atlanta-based organization founded in the wake of the 1957 Montgomery Bus Boycott under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King). Unfortunately, the deterioration of such magnetic media due to age and poor storage conditions has been difficult to avoid and, with even the youngest of these disks now approaching twenty years old, recovery of data frequently proves challenging.

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On Robustness

Cal Lee

Cal Lee

Last updated on 30 November 2018

Christopher (Cal) Lee works at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Digital preservation is about conveying meaningful information between contexts over time [1].  A great deal of the complexity stems from digital information residing at multiple levels of representation [2]  This process is never free.  It requires resources (human, technical, financial).  Ensuring a steady flow of resources over time is difficult. 

At any given time, dedicated individuals and informal groups play a vital role in the provision of resources (collecting, organizing, storing and sharing information in which they have an interest).  Commercial providers of information systems also play a major role, by providing the platforms upon which consumers create, manage and share information.

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Preserving Research Data

Brian Lavoie

Brian Lavoie

Last updated on 30 November 2018

Brian Lavoie is Senior Research Scientist for OCLC Research


The scholarly record is evolving to incorporate a broader range of research outputs, moving beyond traditional publications like journal articles and monographs. Research data is a salient and well-documented example of this shift, and many universities are now investing considerable resources in developing RDM services for their campus, as we document in our recent Realities of Research Data Management report series. These services sit alongside much of the research life cycle, from support in developing data management plans prior to commencing research (think of DMPOnline or DMPTool), to computing and storage resources for storing, working with, and sharing data during the research process (often called active data management; for example, the DataStore service at the University of Edinburgh), to data repository services for storage, discovery, and access to final data sets (like the University of Illinois Data Bank).

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Contrastes en Preservación Digital: Lo que hemos aprendido de sistemas de Preservación Digital Distribuida y Metodologías Tradicionales / Contrasts in Digital Preservation: What we have learned from Distributed Digital Preservation Systems and Traditional

Pamela Vizner Oyarce

Pamela Vizner Oyarce

Last updated on 23 November 2018

Pamela Vízner es Consultora de AVP / Pamela Vízner is a Consultant for AVP


Como comunidad enfrentada a la responsabilidad de preservar la memoria de nuestras respectivas organizaciones, nos ha tocado una tarea difícil. Casi la de adivinos. Cuando hablamos de la preservación y de proteger y poner a disposición “para siempre” nuestra historia - en el medio que sea se haya originado, papel, objetos, audiovisual, etc. - dichas palabras nos quedan grandes. Hay mucha incertidumbre en ese “para siempre”. Sin embargo, hemos sido capaces de encontrar juntos poco a poco la respuesta a nuestras necesidades, y seguimos construyendo en esa dirección. Las comunidades son de suma importancia en nuestro quehacer, y cómo hemos dado forma a nuestra disciplina a pesar de esa incertidumbre. ¿Será que un enfoque comunitario es la respuesta a nuestras necesidades en preservación digital?

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The fire at the National Museum in Brazil – on saving objects and digital information

Millard Schisler

Millard Schisler

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Millard Schisler is Adjunct Faculty Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University and currently working as a researcher at the Digital Culture Center, CEBRAP in São Paulo, Brazil


As news of the fire broke out on Sunday, September 2nd, 2018, the desperation hit everyone working with museums, archives and preservation of cultural heritage. Those that knew the museum, quickly realized the potential for loss of the majority of the collection due to the size of the fire as viewed through the live news sources. The following day, as the ashes were still smoldering I wondered how much of the collection had been digitized. It also dawned on me that whatever had been digitized or photographed could somehow survive as a testament to what was in the collection – not ideal, because many types of research and viewing cannot be done on a digitized version of an object – but losing the object and not having any information on it at all was even worse. Slowly news started coming out on certain collections of historical documents, photographs, and early wax cylinder recordings, among others, that had been digitized in earlier projects and even though the originals no longer remained, the digitization of these objects has provided us with something to live with, as long as these digital assets can be cared for the long-term.

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Transforming Archives / Opening Up Scotland’s Archives: Winning in 2016

Victoria Brown, Scottish Council on Archives

Victoria Brown, Scottish Council on Archives

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Victoria Brown is Programmes and Development Manager and Audrey Wilson is Skills for the Future Project Manager at the Scottish Council on Archives, and in 2016 they won a Digital Preservation Award for Teaching and Communications


When announcements of the nominations for the 2018 DPC digital preservation awards appeared, it was hard to believe two years had passed since (as hopeful nominees), we entered the grand marble foyer of the Wellcome Trust HQ. The list this year is truly impressive. The scale of the digital preservation challenge can obscure the fact that there are so many amazing projects and initiatives underway. Projects that are tackling sustainability, driving skills development and addressing the trickiest of quandaries through imaginative and applied research. It is both crucial and excellent that this work is being celebrated, recognised and shared.

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New Humanist Archive — A Feat of Preservation

Tom Rodenby

Tom Rodenby

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Tom Rodenby works for Exact Editions


Every issue of the New Humanist and its predecessors dating back to 1885 is now available through the state-of-the-art digital edition developed in partnership with Exact Editions. We like to think that those historical issues have now moved into the ‘safe pile’. In their digital format, they will stride forth into the future to be read by new generations of readers and thinkers. 

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Against the clock: videotape digitisation and preservation now!

Stephen McConnachie

Stephen McConnachie

Last updated on 22 November 2018

Stephen McConnachie is Head of Data and Digital Preservation and Charles Fairall is Clifford Shaw Head of Conservation, at the BFI 


In the late 1950s magnetic videotape recording transformed the way television programmes were made, edited and broadcast. For a generation, the 2” Quadruplex format dominated the UK broadcast industry – the machinery was manufactured to military specifications and some 60 years on, it is still just possible to replay the jumbo-sized tapes. Extinction for 2” Quad came remarkably quickly, with production of the last machinery ceasing suddenly in the early 80s. A succession of smaller tape formats followed, each one providing more and more sophistication from less and less physical footprint; open reels were replaced by cassettes and analogue transitioned to digital.

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Digitally Preserving the History of CILIPS

Sean McNamara

Sean McNamara

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Sean McNamara is Acting Director of Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in Scotland CILIP) in Scotland 


Libraries and digital preservation go hand in hand in Scotland. All across the country there are exciting initiatives ongoing in organisations such as the National Library of Scotland as well as Scotland’s thriving network of public and university libraries: ground-breaking projects only made possible because of the skills of Scotland’s library and information workforce.

With all the work that is going on we at CILIPS became aware that our own organisation did not have a strong digital history. Despite being over 100 years old (previously the Scottish Library Association) all our history was held in archives on site or with the National Library. With that in mind we decided to look at creating a digital archive via a timeline and highlighting notable people.

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Attention Please!

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Sean Barker runs a Technical consultancy on Enterprise Integration and Information Sharing for Products


Some time back long term data sustainment lost the attention of my main funders, so last month - when I retired - I thought I'd have a chance to return my attention to it properly. Unsurprisingly, my immediate attention has been taken up with VAT returns, no longer putting off redoing the kitchen and the magnificent local buzzards circling low overhead.

Attending to the right thing is not straightforward. A colleague once said that a managing director should have nothing on their desk, otherwise that becomes locus of their attention rather than the future of the company. Look at any Computer Aided Design (CAD) demo and your attention will be drawn to a complex 3-D part rotating to show itself off. However, the future in CAD lies in the change from drawings to models, something only hinted at by the dull text boxes at the display's edge and which did not grab your attention. Although early CAD did replaced the drawing board, the modern CAD model replaces the model shop where  skilled craftsmen would construct wooden mock-ups, For example, Airbus created a full scale mock-up of the A340 wing, said to cost a million pounds, but saving several times that through design improvements. Now model-based CAD saves the cost of building those physical mock-ups.

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Libraries and the future of their USP

Pamela Tulloch

Pamela Tulloch

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Pamela Tulloch is Chief Executive of the Scottish Library and Information Council


Everyone tells us we live in a digital world and to a certain extent this is true. As a librarian, I first started creating digital content in the 1990’s and looking back, what we were doing then, does look so last century now. These are the digital dark ages and yet the content which was created remains as relevant now as it was then. So much has changed in a few decades and how expect to access content has changed too.

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Preserving Knowledge – Are we keeping the right things?

Neil Jefferies

Neil Jefferies

Last updated on 23 November 2018

Neil Jefferies is Research and Development Project Manager for the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries Research & Learning Services


I feel that there is an increasing disconnect between the digital artifacts that we capture and the mechanisms used to create the knowledge that they embody. This contributes to some of the difficulties with preserving these born-digital materials in a way that effectively retains their meaning.

The seed for this train of thought has been my involvement in the Cultures of Knowledge project and the accompanying online resource Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO). The aim of the project is to use digital methods to reassemble and interpret the correspondence networks of the early modern period (roughly 1550-1750). This period is interesting in that it saw the emergence of a significant social network across Europe and the associated Empires, enabled by the development of postal services and increased population mobility. This resulted in an explosion of intellectual activity that laid the foundations for the Enlightenment and established patterns for scientific discourse that persist until the present day - for example, the foundation of The Royal Society and the publication of the first scientific journals.

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If they can’t agree on the plug, how can they ever agree on the metadata?

Miguel Ferreira

Miguel Ferreira

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Miguel Ferreira is Executive director at KEEP SOLUTIONS based in Braga in Portugal


“If they can’t agree on the plug, how can they ever agree on the metadata?”… This sentence has stuck with me for over 13 years now. It came about in the summer of 2005, when a DSpace user group meeting was about to take place in the beautiful city of Cambridge, in the UK. The meeting intended to give a voice to real-world users and to provide an opportunity for young developers such as myself to learn from the collective wisdom of all of those present.

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Preserving the past: the challenge of digital archiving within a Scottish Local Authority

Lorraine Murray

Lorraine Murray

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Lorraine Murray is Archivist at Inverclyde Council in Scotland


During my masters course where I studiedInformation Management, Digital Preservation and Archives at the Department of Information Studies (or as I knew it at the time; HATII!) at The University of Glasgow, I came to realise how useful it was to create and use digital content with the aim of making historical information and original source material more widely accessible. However, the successful curation, management and preservation of any digital object is an absolutely essential part of this process.

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I’ve never met-a-data I didn’t like (or why metadata can help us learn about digital preservation)

Kristen Schuster

Kristen Schuster

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Kristen Schuster is Lecturer in Digital Curation for the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London


I lecture in digital curation and exploring the relationship between curation and preservation is one of my favorite topics of discussion. I find these discussions so interesting because as a librarian I often find that, on the surface, I have a different understanding of preservation than my students. And, as a result, my examples based in museums and archives are initially at odds with their work experiences and career goals -- many of my students want to work in news broadcast agencies. The idea of long-term preservation making media accessible and usable for decades often alludes them… the news moves forward, not backwards after all! I was quite intrigued by the disconnect between my well-intentioned explanation that we create content – analog or digital – because we want to use and re-use it, and that use, and re-use help us establish narratives and understandings of events, people, places and objects. My efforts to explain file types, compression ratios and the joys of file structures fell flat and, looking back, this shouldn’t have surprised me. After all, connecting the importance of file compression to the activities (cough curation) preservation support is elusive when put in abstract terms.  So now, instead of pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism to try and relate to my students’ interests, I discuss how preservation can save us the time, effort and the frustration of having to re-create valuable assets or regret the loss of content. Instead of directly discussing file types and file structures, I enthusiastically convince students that metadata and practical methods for organizing content makes it possible for everyone to participate in the curation and preservation activities.

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Everyone’s a winner?!

Kasandra O’Connell

Kasandra O’Connell

Last updated on 10 December 2018

Kasandra O’Connell is Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive


Last year I wrote a blog for World Digital Preservation Day contemplating the progress the Irish Film Institute (IFI) had made in the area of Digital Preservation; this year’s WDPD sees the IFI join the list of nominees for the DPC Digital Preservation awards in the Safeguarding the Digital Legacy category taking place in Amsterdam as part of the WDPD2018 celebrations.

The project we are nominated for, The Loopline Conservation Project, is one that we have been working on for nearly 2 years. It is our first end-to-end application of IFIscripts – our suite of open source digital preservation tools created to automate our own digital preservation activities but also adopted by a number of peer institutions internationally. Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland www.bai.ie. the project has focused on cataloguing and preserving the output of Loopline Films, one of Ireland’s most important independent production companies, run by filmmaker Se Merry Doyle. This collection provides an unparalleled record of key areas of Irish history and arts from the 1990s to the present day, documenting a transition in Irish society pre- Celtic tiger and post economic crash. In addition to material chronicling the rapid social and economic change in Ireland during the late 20th century it includes interviews with international cultural figures such as Margaret Atwood, Martin Scorsese & Maureen O’Hara. In 2017 Loopline closed its studios and transferred its holdings to the IFI Irish Film Archive.

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Digital Preservation: More than the bits, it’s the organisation.

Kalpana Shankar

Kalpana Shankar

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Kalpana Shankar is Head of the School of Information & Communication Studies at University College Dublin


How do you keep a data archive open and relevant for fifty years or more?

For the last four years, my colleague Professor Kristin Eschenfelder (School of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA), and I have been asking (and trying to answer) that question, along with many other questions, as part of a research project on the sustainability of data archives.  Thanks to the Digital Preservation Coalition for giving us the opportunity to talk about this project and why it matters on World Preservation Day.

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Can Digital Preservation become business-as-usual?

Jon Tilbury

Jon Tilbury

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Jonathan Tilbury is CTO and Founder of Preservica based in the UK


Digital Preservation has come a long way since the initial research activities resulted in cornerstone tools such as PRONOM, DROID, and JHOVE and the creation of the familiar OAIS reference model. The evolution of this change can be seen in the Digital Preservation Coalition itself, charting its creation, the growth in membership numbers, and the gradual move away from pure cultural heritage and academic organisations to the incorporation of different types of organisations. I’ve been there since these early days and am very excited about where the sector is headed.

Products have emerged to reflect this change. You can now choose between open source community tools and investment backed escrowed systems. These have a common core of functionality covering all the OAIS functions and growing sophistication to reflect their communities. They are supported by companies dotted around the world employing specialists in their sector. Choosing between these products depends on where your emphasis is, which functions you value most, the skill level of your team and a look at the total cost of ownership.

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Winning a Digital Preservation Award in 2016

James Mortlock

James Mortlock

Last updated on 26 November 2018

James Mortlock is Digital Archives Manager at HSBC in London, UK


HSBC’s digital archive journey began back in 2011 when we first sat down to develop a set of requirements for a system that would manage and preserve our growing born digital and digitised collections. This process developed into an exciting digital preservation project that was supported by senior management. After many years of hard work and collaboration by the archives team, our internal IT colleagues and external vendors we were able to launch the HSBC Global Digital Archive system (GDA) in 2015, just in time to support HSBC’s 150th anniversary celebrations. The following year, in November 2016, the success of the project was recognised when it received the Digital Preservation Award for Most Outstanding Digital Preservation Initiative in Commerce, Industry and the Third sector.

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Improving Digital Curation Teaching through International Collaboration: The Ibadan/Liverpool Curriculum Benchmarking Project

James Lowry

James Lowry

Last updated on 21 November 2018

James Lowry is a lecturer in the Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies


A three hour drive from Lagos is the expansive campus of the University of Ibadan, home to the oldest archival education programme in Nigeria. It was here in 2017 that the Ibadan/Liverpool Digital Curation Curriculum Review team finalised their benchmarking exercise, which had started earlier that year when Dr Abiola Abioye visited the Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies (LUCAS). Funded by the International Council on Archives, this collaboration was the latest in a long history of collaboration between the archives programmes at Ibadan and Liverpool dating back to the work of Professor Gabriel Alegbeleye and Dr Michael Cook in the 1990s.

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Developing a Digital Preservation Programme at the British Geological Survey

Jaana Pinnick

Jaana Pinnick

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Jaana Pinnick is Research Data and Digital Preservation Manager for British Geological Survey


We started to develop digital preservation capabilities at BGS in 2016 by exploring the initial requirements and writing a preservation policy to guide the future work. This blog describes the progress we have made so far.

Background

BGS is an approved Place of Deposit under the Public Records Act and committed to looking after certain geoscience data in its care “in perpetuity”. Its National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) makes most of its data openly available under the Open Government Licence. BGS also has legal obligations to manage some types of data. The UKRI Data Policy requires data with acknowledged long-term value to be preserved and made available for future research; however, the NGDC considers the retention of most of its geoscience data to be longer than the ten years stipulated in the policy.

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Spreading the Digital Preservation Word

Adam Harwood

Adam Harwood

Last updated on 29 November 2018

Digital Preservation day offers our community a chance to shout from the rooftops that what we do is important for everyone.  This day has given me recourse to consider my role in rooftop shouting and to reflect on how successful I have been in spreading the message about digital preservation.

My role at the University of Sussex is in both research data and digital preservation and I have a lot of opportunities to talk about digital preservation in both spheres.  So I list here everything that I can remember over the past year where I've managed to talk about digital preservation with someone who hasn't been familiar with it before.  What has been my reach this year?  Here is my highly scientific presentation of my findings.

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Normalising digital preservation

Elizabeth Oxborrow-Cowan

Elizabeth Oxborrow-Cowan

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Elizabeth Oxborrow-Cowan is the Chair of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme UK


EOC 1As any government minister will tell you from bitter experience,  it is very hard to effect change and get things done.  It requires a balance of different factors to come together to overcome obstacles, convince people of the need for change and encourage them to act to enable that change.  Digital preservation is no different.  As Kenney and McGovern neatly described in their ‘three-legged stool’ model, effective digital preservation requires three components – the provision of technology, resources and organisation.  Organisation is important because it is about providing the managerial cultural and policy environment within which digital preservation is accepted as necessary and the working norm.  UNESCO’s 2015 Recommendation on Documentary Heritage is one step in that process of normalisation.

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Preserving Poems. New challenges to archives and the digital creative process

Chris Loftus

Chris Loftus

Last updated on 29 November 2018

Although the shift from paper to digital has been a major issue in the world of archives for several years, the delay in some disciplines between record creation and archive deposit has meant that, for many repositories, the challenge of processing born-digital archival material is a relatively new one. And although this development has prompted the creation of new practices, tools and methods of working, one constant has been the commitment that archives make to donors; to care for, preserve and where possible make available their valued content. Whether a filmmaker is handing over boxes full of 8mm film or hard drives worth of MP4 files an archivist must be able to confidently state that the material will be safe in their institution’s custody and that every effort will be made to afford access to researchers and the public as required. In the University Library the recent development of some of our research strengths within Special Collections has been prompted by the acquisition of collections which have enabled us to consider some of the unique questions surrounding digital archives, and to challenge ourselves to maintain these commitments as an archive.

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Design, Deliver, Embed: Establishing Digital Transfer at the UK Parliamentary Archives

Christopher Fryer

Christopher Fryer

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Chris Fryer is Senior Digital Archivist at the UK Parliamentary Archives


The Parliamentary Archives organises UK Parliament's memory. We are a shared service, providing an archives and records management service to the administrations of the House of Commons and House of Lords. We hold records of unique national importance, often defining watershed moments in the history of the United Kingdom (for example the UNESCO Memory of the World recognised Bill of Rights from 1689). Core procedural and administrative records safeguarded due to transfer of corporate digital records represent a continuation of this heritage.

The types of records produced internally are unique, providing valuable background and context for Parliament’s decisions and actions. With the end of the print-to-paper policy in Parliament in 2012 and the introduction of a corporate Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS), the Parliamentary Archives has long recognised the need for a robust, end-to-end process for digital transfer directly from internal information systems. 

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Break up with legacy systems, there’s a new solution in town

Ben Saxton

Ben Saxton

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Ben Saxton is Head of Sales at Formpipe Life Science


By 2020, 50% of all current applications in the data centre will be retired. In fact, between 2016 and 2020, IT organisations will decommission more than three times the number of applications they have previously since 2000. This has resulted in the need for organisations to retire existing applications and seek out a future-proof solution, and fast. What was once an afterthought, retaining business assets and developing a plan for maintaining future records, is now a business-critical task.

But, seeking out a reliable solution comes with its share of hurdles. As enterprises modernise their application portfolios, they face a growing challenge in finding cost-effective solutions to retire their current applications and retain access to historic data that has yet to be migrated to a replacement solution.

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“Do You DP?”

Antonio Guillermo Martínez Largo

Antonio Guillermo Martínez Largo

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Antonio G. Martinez is CEO & Founder of LIBNOVA and is based in Madrid, Spain


How many times have you heard this question? When it comes to Digital Preservation though, there’s no such thing as “to do or not to do”. Having worked with and advised all kinds of organisations, from the largest to the most compact, we’ve learnt that almost anything can be considered digital preservation. This means that “Do you DP?” is a hugely misleading question. A question that only allows for binary answers – a yes or a no, a 0 or a 1 – and makes the reply totally irrelevant to the truth. Understanding this key concept is essential for organisations to be able to move forward.

We have to take a step back and take in the full picture so we can then make others -colleagues and stakeholders- understand that there is so much depth to this relatively recent newcomer, digital, to the preservation world that it is not a simple yes or no, but a “What D.P. level shall we go?”.  We have to share our vision and make them (colleagues and stakeholders) understand that we can digitally preserve things in so many different ways and on so many different levels that the simple question of “Do you D.P.?” renders the answer obsolete.  You see, we all know that every little bit counts, and the more bits we actively layer our preservation cake with the more safely we preserve. But do our colleagues and stakeholders know this?  We have to make the case that as we move up layers our digital assets are safer and safer. So the question should be, “Up to what level do we need to D.P.?”.

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Archiving Crossrail

Alistair Goodall

Alistair Goodall

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Alistair Goodall is Head of IT for Crossrail Ltd and Transport for London


Crossrail is an amazing project to be part of and, when the central section opens next year, visitors to London are going to see stunning new stations and travel on new 200 metre long trains capable of carrying up to 1,500 people.

My team in IT has been responsible for most of the enterprise wide applications which are needed on a mega-project.  Some of these we have worked with the vendors over the last 10 years to develop and configure, others have been developed in house by our team to support specific business needs (such as vehicle movement planning and agreements).  These applications now hold over 10 years of project data across all business areas including health and safety, commercial, delivery, programme controls and technical information.

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PREMIS News & Highlights for 2018

Karin Bredenberg

Karin Bredenberg

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Karin Bredenberg is Chair of the PREMIS Editorial Committee and she works for Riksarkivet/Swedish National Archives


It’s been a very productive year for the PREMIS Editorial Committee!

We’ve brought several projects to fruition and embarked on a number of new efforts since our last WDPD report on PREMIS and Linked Data. As you probably know, we released version 3.0 of the PREMIS Data Dictionary in 2015 and since then we’ve devoted a lot of our resources towards modelling and completing an OWL ontology, creating supporting documentation for the new ontology, and updating the related preservation vocabularies on LC’s Linked Data Service. We are proud to say these are all available now!

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In Certification I believe or... Are we doing it YET AGAIN?

Yvonne Tunnat

Yvonne Tunnat

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Yvonne Tunnat is Digital Preservation Project Manager at Leibniz Information Centre for Economics in Germany


“Are we doing it YET AGAIN?” is the question I would most certainly ask if I were not the one most likely to suggest that we go the next level of certification, or, interchangeably, for the more recent or updated version of a certain certification level.

We have gone through the Data Seal of Approval in 2015, have acquired the nestor Seal in 2017, and at the end of 2018 we will hand in our documentation for the Core Trust Seal. We would certainly have found found us another nice certification process in 2016, but as I was away for maternal leave for a great chunk of that year, we were too busy just archiving stuff.

So, why are we constantly heading for another certificate to prove how trustworthy our Digital Archive is?

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Launch of the New Digital Archiving Platform at the National Archives of France: Act I!

Violette Levy

Violette Levy

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Violette Lévy and Béatrice Hérold work at the National Archives of France in Paris


Confronted with the ever-growing surge of digital services used by government agencies, the aim of the ADAMANT Project (Administration of archives and their metadata at the National Archives over time) is to preserve the integrity of the resulting digital archives and to ensure they remain permanently reliable, intelligible and accessible, which is the basic mission of the National Archives.

Levy 1After two years of gestation, the new platform will launch on November 29, 2018. This first version will focus on the collection and management of digital archives. Versions 2 and 3, expected to be rolled out in 2019 and 2020 respectively, will focus on the consultation and reuse of these archives by the public, as well as long-term preservation.

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Project Preview: “Weaving Digital Stewardship into the Organizational Fabric”

Shira Peltzman

Shira Peltzman

Last updated on 4 December 2018

This post was written by: Shira Peltzman, Digital Archivist for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Julia Kim, Digital Assets Specialist, Library of CongressPeggy Griesinger, Metadata Librarian, George Mason University LibrariesVicky Steeves; Librarian for Research Data Management and Reproducibility, New York University; and Karl-Rainer Blumenthal, Web Archivist, Internet Archive.


As digital preservation programs and stewardship initiatives mature, so may they become more dysfunctional.

One of the most important takeaways from the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) staffing surveys conducted in 2012[1] and 2017[2]-- discussed here last World Digital Preservation Day -- is the increasing dissatisfaction among stewards with the way that digital preservation is organized at their respective institutions.

Perceptions that the digital preservation function at their organizations “works well” among respondents to the NDSA Staffing Surveys of 2012 and 2017.

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Bit by bit, byte by byte: web archaeology going strong in the Netherlands!

Tjarda de Haan

Tjarda de Haan

Last updated on 29 November 2018

Tjarda de Haan is Guest Curator for E-culture at Amsterdam Museum in the Netherlands


Since winning the Digital Preservation Award 2016 in the category The National Archives Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy in December 2016 our project accelerated! We have published the 'DIY Handbook for Web Archaeology' and the 'FREEZE! A manifesto for safeguarding and preserving born-digital heritage' and with this we have put web archaeology on the map in the Netherlands. Many initiatives took up the challenge. The KB National Library of the Netherlands has done some remarkable excavations, journals have published articles about web archaeology and the Journal for Media History will publish a special issue next year 'Media history for the future: Web Archaeology'.

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Heritage preservation of contemporary dance and choreography

Suzan Tunca

Suzan Tunca

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Suzan Tunca is a Dance Researcher for ICKamsterdam and this project was undertaken in collaboration with Motion Bank


 

Heritage preservation of contemporary dance and choreography through research and innovation in digital documentation and annotation of creative processes

ICKamsterdam and Motion Bank.

ICKamsterdam and Motion Bank join forces to optimize caring for the heritage of contemporary dance and choreography through the invention of new forms of digital documentation, notation and transmission of embodied knowledge. This unique collaboration integrates the verbal movement language research of Emio Greco I PC and ICKamsterdam with the annotation systems and goals of Motion Bank software development. In this way digital preservation media development is linked directly to the potential of establishing working vocabularies specific to various choreographers and performing artists. Documenting and annotating processes in performance creation enables the safeguarding of ephemeral and ineffable artistic contents in dance through time.

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What, who, where, how? Persistent Identifiers at the National Library of Luxembourg

Roxana Maurer-Popistașu

Roxana Maurer-Popistașu

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Roxana Popistasu is Digital Preservation Coordinator at Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg 


“In digital preservation, identification of digital content is essential”, say A. Dappert and A. Farquhar in their iPRES 2017 article Permanence of the Scholarly Record: Persistent Identification and Digital Preservation – A Roadmap. The same idea appeared in the introduction of Robert E. Kahn’s keynote at iPRES 2016:

Pop 3

https://twitter.com/RoxPoNinja/status/782850754059132929

At the National Library of Luxembourg (BnL), we agree unequivocally: we cannot preserve and provide access to our national heritage without taking into account the reliable and sustainable identification of our digital resources. But how do we do that? What is the “best” persistent identifier (PID) system? Are there best practices when it comes to persistent identification? These are some of the questions we set out to answer at the start of our journey into finding the right PID system.

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The question of what can we do in this political climate… has, again, a relatively modest answer: small interventions with grand intention

Patricia Sleeman

Patricia Sleeman

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Patricia Sleeman is Archivist (Electronic) at UNHCR in Geneva, Switzerland


Sleeman 1Tiffany Chung’s reconstructing an exodus history: boat trajectories in Asia, 2017

To be a digital archivist in UNHCR is interesting, challenging and inspiring all at once. To be part of an organization whose staff are often at the coalface of conflicts and operations which are concurrently taking place all over our world, witnessing the misery of displaced people is a unique experience. A privileged one. 

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Let’s be honest … a “honey we need to talk” with digital preservation

Michelle Lindlar

Michelle Lindlar

Last updated on 4 December 2018

Michelle Lindlar is Digital Preservation Team Leader at Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) in Germany


It seems that most of us are well into the commitment stage of our relationship with digital preservation – it’s no longer a task tucked away in exclusive projects which only few institutions can participate in, but has growing acceptance as an institution’s core function. Or, to put it in the words of William Kilbride himself in reflecting on last year’s WDPD: “we have learned that it’s not about delaying the digital dark age: it’s about coming good on the digital promise”.

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Music Treasures

Marjon van Schendel

Marjon van Schendel

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Background

Within the Netherlands there are several archives with sheetmusic. There is not a national organization which covers those archives. Due to financial problems in 2013, all these archives were closed for public and their collections were no longer available. The largest collection is at the Stichting Omroep Muziek ((SOM) Dutch Broadcast Music), which has about 650,000 titles, classical music as well as popular music, salon music and, the unique part, the music which was specifically composed or arranged for the national radio and television broadcasts from 1920 until 1980 (180,000 titles).

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Scotland, a leading Nation in Digital Preservation.

Fiona Hyslop

Fiona Hyslop

Last updated on 28 November 2018

Fiona Hyslop is Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs within the Scottish Government


On World Digital Preservation Day, I’d like to reflect on Scotland’s long tradition of preserving its documentary heritage and showcase how Scotland is helping to lead in the global challenge digital preservation.

This tradition dates back to 1286 to the first reference of a Scottish Government official William of Dumfries who had the responsibility of looking after records. This responsibility eventually evolved into the current role of Keeper of the Records of Scotland that we have today. To store our national archives General Register House was built in the 18th century, it is one of the oldest custom built archive buildings in the world still in use for its original purpose, and is home to National Records of Scotland which is responsible for Scotland’s national archive, as well as the registration of vital events and the taking of the 10 yearly national census.

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Good Morning World Digital Preservationists!

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 23 November 2018

A new day is dawning on this part of planet earth… but this day is like no other, this day is special, this day is all about digital preservation and this day is ours!

via GIPHY

Ok, that sounded a bit full on and slightly arch-baddy, but it’s actually ALL good. All of it!

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Supporting Digital Preservation Infrastructures

Maria Guercio

Maria Guercio

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Mariella Guercio is President of ANAI (Italian National Association of Archivists)


In the past few years, many initiatives have been developed to support or promote digital preservation infrastructures, specifically with reference to the quality of the repositories and to the definition of standards for interoperability. This might seem a promising opportunity for making concrete experiences and implementing technical solutions, but I think that the professionals in the preservation sector (mainly archivists and digital curators) should monitor very carefully these initiatives on digital preservation (for example, the ETSI draft for defining  policy and security requirements for trust service providers offering long-term preservation of digital signatures; and – even more -  the standard ISO 17068 “Information and documentation — Trusted third party repository for digital records,” with its narrow and limited definition of authenticity), for many reasons.

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It was 20 years ago today...

Marcel Ras

Marcel Ras

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Marcel Ras is Digital Preservation Manager for the Dutch Digital Heritage Network


It is almost 20 years ago that the pioneering publications on Digital Preservation were issued by initiative of the KB, the Dutch National Library. The NEDLIB papers described technical challenges and solutions for digital preservation. Preserving digital information was a very different job at the turn of the Century. The challenges with digital preservation were mainly framed in technical terms, as the NEDLIB papers showed us. With the turn of the century also came the millennium bug and the dooms of the “digital dark age”. Gloomy predictions adding some state of urgency and awareness to our work and the profession of digital preservation.

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Thoughts on obsolescence

Lourdes Fuentes-Hashimoto

Lourdes Fuentes-Hashimoto

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Lourdes Fuentes-Hashimoto is Archivist for Total in Paris, France


When you hear the word “obsolescence” what do you spontaneously think about? I asked the question to a dozen random coworkers, who are neither archivists nor digital preservation specialists. The majority immediately think of planned or built-in obsolescence, that is to say the fact of designing something with an artificially limited useful life so it become quickly unfunctional or unusable. They mentioned “my washing machine” or “my smartphone” as examples. Other colleagues’ quick-fire answer was “something being out of date” or “outmoded” and consequently useless.

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Keeping Blogs Alive

Kelly Merks

Kelly Merks

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Kelly Merks works at the Expatriate Archive Centre in the Hague, Netherlands


The Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC) is an independent non-profit foundation. We aim to collect and preserve expatriate life stories, regardless of a person’s country of origin or where they moved to. Our focus is primarily on unique personal writings. Though much of our collection is tangible — including photographs, letters, diaries and other documents — in recent years we have begun to collect born-digital material.

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Des cerises sur le gateau de la préservation digitale / Cherries on the cake of digital preservation

Jean-Yves Le Meur

Jean-Yves Le Meur

Last updated on 21 November 2018

Jen-Yves Le Meur is Digital Memory Project Leader at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland


Le projet de la Mémoire Numérique du CERN, commencé en 2016, se devait de s’attaquer en priorité à la sauvegarde des collections sonores, photographiques et audiovisuelles nées avec l’institut en 1954, et déjà menacées par l’obsolescence de ses supports. En charge de ce projet, je me suis lancé tête baissé dans les inventaires, classifications, regroupements, analyses des pratiques, spécifications, appels d’offre et recherches de fond sans me douter un instant des magnifiques surprises qui orneraient ce chemin.

Ce sont ces surprises que je veux partager ici, à l’occasion de cette journée mondiale de la préservation. Elles sont quelques cerises sur la gateau de notre héritage. Cerises qui donneront peut-être une motivation supplémentatire à tous les acteurs engagés dans des projets de ce type.

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Digital preservation at home……. and beyond

Joost van der Nat

Joost van der Nat

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Joost van der Nat is a researcher for the Dutch Digital Heritage Network. In 2016 he and his team won the DPC Digital Preservation Award for Research and Innovation.


A short, personal story of how Digital Preservation came into my life, and the way our household deals with it now. Some astounding figures on how the world is expanding its digital universe lead to a burning question…

n=1, or how digital non-preservation showed its ugly face to me

When I try to explain to Muggles (the major part of the population that is ignorant of the blessings of, and the need for Digital Preservation) what Digital Preservation is all about, I often give the example of the scenario that took place in 2004. A trip to New York with our then 11 year old son. I made a lot of video recordings, and spent 60+ hours in producing a home video of 30 minutes on a DVD. Menus and Gershwin’s music topped it off, a great success with family and friends. Then 3 years later the DVD wouldn’t play. Bit rot or low quality DVD? But no problem, of course I had a backup on a separate hard disk. And as you may guess, the hard disk didn’t function… A company called The Disk Doctor saved me, for the round sum of € 750. Lesson learned: store your stuff in the cloud (too).

n=2, or how our household deals with its (digital) objects

Over the years E (my better half) and I have collected significant amounts of recorded music. Vinyl to start with, and countless CDs as of the 1990-ies. Digitising LPs is fun, but time consuming. Fortunately the vinyl collection was not too big. Ripping 600+ CDs and finding and applying cover photos in the course of 15 years is achievable. The music, along with other stuff, is stored on a Synology NAS that is backed up to Amazon Glacier in Ireland for $ 2.34 per month (600 Gb). The point is however that nowadays Spotify has (almost) all of our music at a fingertip.

The same goes for DVDs. In the course of many years the collection of movies grew up to 150+ (modest, compared to some friends). At present Netflix is streaming a lot of this content straight into our home.

Old family photo albums are great. Altogether we have some 15, containing priceless pictures dating back to the early 1900’s. On the pictures one can look back in time, seeing familiar faces in their young versions, and historic views of modernized places. Digitising these albums is fun, Photoshop slowly reveals its secrets and the result is spectacular. The extended families love it. Minor details is the meta data. The date a picture was taken is often not available, and some of these faces must be family, but who is it again ? Too late to ask…

And then, as of the early 2000’s, the digital camera came into our lives. The number of pictures was not longer limited to the 24 or 36 one would have on an analogue camera. An influx of 100’s of pictures per year in the household was manageable. However, soon the camera became part of the smartphone (or is it the other way round ?), and things got worse. E. travels a lot, and loves to share places, moments, people, diners, outings, seminars, nature, odd pictures, and what not. The potential ingest of pictures of her phone is now well over 2.000 per year. As many of these pictures are instantaneously shared with WhatsApp (in various groups) the number of files is likely to be around 4.000. duplicates included. The family curator is in trouble…
Recently I heard of Gudak. This is an app for the smartphone that will let you make 24 pictures, no reviewing. You then wait 3 days before you can check the results. I am going to try to replace the camera function of E’s phone with this app.

All in all our household seems to have reached the maturity level of “backed up bit preservation”. Which is something…

n = zetta, or how the world develops its digital universe

Now only imagine what the above n=2 story turns into when you realise that the number of active mobile social users in the world in 2017 has come to well over 2.5 billion (a third of the world population, see We are Social and Hootsuite). In 2015 Bernard Marr gave some staggering figures in Forbes:

  • Facebook users send on average 31.25 million messages and view 2.77 million videos every minute.
  • We are seeing a massive growth in video and photo data, where every minute up to 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube alone.
  • In 2015, a staggering 1 trillion photos will be taken and billions of them will be shared online. By 2017, nearly 80% of photos will be taken on smart phones.
  • The data volumes are exploding, more data has been created in 2013 -2014 than in the entire previous history of the human race.
  • Data is growing faster than ever before and by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet.

IDC forecasted in 2017 that by 2025 the global data sphere will grow to 163 zettabytes (a zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes [JvdN: A trillion seconds is 31,710 years, to give you an idea.]). That’s ten times the 16.1 Zb of data generated in 2016.

Now my conclusive question is: either the Digital Preservation Community comes up with some ideas on how to tackle this, or should we say “Digital Preservation, don’t try this at home !”?
I do not have the answer (yet ;-). Maybe the industry has, in the longer run?

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(Already) 10 years of LHC Data Preservation

Jamie Shiers

Jamie Shiers

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Jamie Shiers is Data Preservation in High Energy Physics Project Leader at CERN


From the early days of planning for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) it was known that it would generate an unprecedented amount of data. As we come to the end of the 2nd multi-year run (Run2) of the LHC, the CERN data archive has broken through the 300PB barrier. The LHC, including its planned upgrades, such as the High Luminosity LHC, will continue to take data for between one and two more decades when it restarts for Run3 in 2021 (so around 3 decades from start to finish).

All of this data – past, present and future – will need to be preserved for at least the data-taking period of the LHC, if not for an extended period thereafter.

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NULLA DIES SINE LINEA …DIGITAL: What is and what is not digital preservation? Or the need for a few mantras

Isabel Bordes Cabrera

Isabel Bordes Cabrera

Last updated on 28 November 2018

Isabel Bordes Cabrera es Jefe de Área de Biblioteca Digital, Biblioteca Digital Hispánica a la Biblioteca Nacional de Españaña  / Isabel Bordes Cabrera is Head of Area at the Hispanic Digital Library at the National Library of Spain


Con motivo del día mundial de la preservación digital hemos querido pararnos a pensar y explicar qué es la preservación digital, qué no es y de dónde surgió esta necesidad en las instituciones de la memoria.

As it is World Digital Preservation Day (#WDPD2018) we’ve wanted to take a break so to think and explain what digital preservation is, what is not and why this is needed for memory institutions.

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Preserving and providing access to digitally-born documentation

Frédéric Blin

Frédéric Blin

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Frédéric Blin is Director for Heritage Collections, Preservation and Digitisation at the National University Library in Strasbourg, France


If all libraries are faced with providing access to digitally-born documentation, not all of them have the responsibility to preserve this documentation for the longer term. This is mainly the task of national libraries, or libraries bearing legal deposit responsibilities. International programmes and consortia have been created between libraries and publishers to keep academic resources secure, or between national libraries for the preservation of Internet. Academic libraries have been active in the field of research data preservation, in collaboration with institutional or shared data storage services.

For an autonomous medium-sized library, having the responsibility to preserve the regional heritage including the one coming through legal deposit, while at the same time trying to serve research needs based more and more on access to and use of digitised material, digital preservation is a question that tends to be at the back of the professional’s minds, leading however to no clear solution.

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What we learned from Leren Preserveren

Frans Neggers

Frans Neggers

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Frans Neggers is Digital Archivist at Het Nieuwe Instituut, and Project Manager and Trainer for Leren Preserveren


What should teaching heritage professionals about digital preservation be about? Autumn 2016 we - the Dutch Digital Heritage Network (DDHN) and Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam) - started developing Leren Preserveren (Learning Digital Preservation). We commissioned a professional to make a educational design. Decided was that it should become a blended learning environment for online students and with a group training. The target group was defined as practitioners that maybe don’t know too much yet about digital preservation or don’t know how to apply their knowledge. So it does not serve the more experienced practitioners who already know ‘how to’, nor the ones who are looking for answers to specific problems. Then all things to be learned had to be brought within a logical learning process. This resulted in a three module setup (learning to speak the language of digital preservation, becoming able to consider digital preservation in your own situation and learning to take the first steps). Important part of the group training were the module assignments as well as the expert sessions and exercises.

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Digital Preservation and the Grand Gallery of IT Evolution

Eng Sengsavang

Eng Sengsavang

Last updated on 29 November 2018

Eng Sengsavang is Reference Archivist for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France


Last autumn, I moved to Paris to take on the role of Reference Archivist at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). My morning commute begins on a network of streets named after some of France and Europe’s prominent 18th-century naturalists. Rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire takes me past the Jardin des Plantes, site of the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN). The MNHN houses, among other displays, the Gallery of Evolution, an immense space exhibiting varieties of taxidermied animals. On the ground floor, an African elephant heads a procession forming the centerpiece of the ‘grand gallery,’ so-designated in French.

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What if … your smartphone movies were suddenly all erased?

Brecht DeClercq

Brecht DeClercq

Last updated on 29 November 2018

Brecht Declercq is Manager of Digitisation and Acquisition at VIAA, the Flemish Institute for Archiving in Belgium


There it is, lying next to you. Or maybe it is in your handbag or pocket. It may still be on your bedside table. Or your children are messing with it. Yesterday you used it to make some video clips. From your partner, your parents, your children, your BFF or just from the car before you. You probably didn’t think about it, but you documented your life in images and sounds. Some clips you erased quickly ... they better be not saved! Others are very valuable to you. Your 3-year-old granddaughter pressing a wet kiss on your camera lens. The champions celebration of the hockey team of a dear friend. Grandpa's voice at the birthday party ... three weeks before he died unexpectedly.

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BitList 2018: The Global List of Digitally Endangered Species

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 29 November 2018

BitListThe 2018 Revision of The BitList offers a chance to update and review progress since initial publication in 2017. It was always intended as an interim statement that identified major changes or trends but offering commentary rather than a comprehensive review. It designed around the commitment that the DPC makes to the Digital Preservation Awards in alternate years, recognizing that the capacity for a full review would be limited in Autumn 2018. However, the pace of change is also relatively slow so the appetite and impact of an annual revision would be limited.

 

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Authenticity of The Electronic Records: Presenting The Context

Özhan Saglik

Özhan Saglik

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Özhan Sağlık is Lecturer at Bursa Uludag University in Turkey


 This is my hard drive, and it only makes sense to put things in there that are useful. Really useful. Ordinary people fill their heads with all kinds of rubbish. That makes it hard to get at the stuff that matters. Do you see?" Sherlock Holmes, Season 1, Episode 3.

Archives are the banks of semantic capital (Floridi, 2018; Gollins, 2018) and we can ensure the intellectual control over this capital by context which is everything in digital archiving (Sheridan, 2018).

On the National Archives building of the United States it is written that “This building holds in trust the records of our national life and symbolizes our faith in the permanency of our national institutions” (National Archives and Records Administration, 2018). This sentence is valid for every country. Archives hold the trust for records whether they are physical or electronic.

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Staying on Target: Reflections of a Digital Preservation Business Analyst

Opher Kutner

Opher Kutner

Last updated on 21 November 2018

As Rosetta’s business analyst, I’ve always positioned myself on the receiving end of this blog. The ever-growing experience and different perspectives of digital preservation expressed in the stories shared here - and elsewhere - has significantly contributed to my ability to provide informed recommendations and decisions concerning the product’s roadmap and feature set. Therefore, when approached to contribute a post for this World Digital Preservation Day, I was ambivalent: My eagerness to contribute to this conversation seemed at odds with the product-oriented type of knowledge I can offer, which many would find uninteresting, if not inappropriate. After mulling over this for a while, I decided to share a recent dilemma I’ve been facing, with the hope that it will resonate well with the, er, designated community.

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10 Years of Digital Preservation Collaboration in Finland

Heikki Helin

Heikki Helin

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Heikki Helin is Senior Technology Coordinator for Digital Preservation Services at CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd in Espoo, Finland


Back in 2008, the National Digital Library of Finland (NDL) initiative was formed within the remit of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland. The initiative aimed at creating a nationally unified structure for contents and services ensuring the effective and high-quality management, dissemination, and especially digital preservation of cultural digital information resources. The basis for the NDL was formed by libraries, archives and museums (partner organisations).

In the early days of the NDL, it was decided that a centralized and shared digital preservation service should be created. It was estimated that common infrastructure and services reduces costs, increases system integration, strengthens cooperation, and brings the practices of partner organisations closer together. Besides technical solutions, the collaboration between partner organisations was an essential goal of the NDL.

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Preserving digital anthropology resources at the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre

Wachiraporn Klungthanaboon is Lecturer at Department of Library Science, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University and Sittisak Rungcharoensuksri is Researcher at the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre


Learning the human behaviours and cultures in a particular community and time may not easily be done through the only lens of printed resources. The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (SAC), founded in 1991, is one of the most leading research centres in Thailand in the accountability of gathering and providing anthropological data to foster education and research in anthropology and archaeology in Thailand.

The SAC collaborates with local museums and communities across the country. The SAC has developed a digital platform for collecting, organizing, and disseminating gathered data and research output to the public with the aims of educating and preserving ritual practices, festivals, and other cultural expressions. 

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CIE TC8-15: Colour Imaging for Digital Preservation

Robert Buckley and Melitte Buchman

Robert Buckley and Melitte Buchman

Last updated on 27 November 2018

Robert Buckley and Melitte Buchman are members of CIE TC8-15 – Archival Colour Imaging Technical Committee where Melitte is the Chair.


CIE TC8-15 is the CIE Technical Committee on Archival Colour Imaging.  Overall the CIE is a technical, scientific and cultural non-profit organization in the field of light and lighting, encompassing fundamental subjects as vision, photometry and colorimetry. What does this have to do with the DPC and digital preservation? To the DPC, digital preservation refers to the series of managed activities necessary to ensure continued access to digital materials for as long as necessary. Basic activities are the good capture of physical originals and keeping the digital data safe and secure. CIE TC8-15 exists in the zone where the two organizations overlap for the accurate capture (or digitisation) of colour originals.

The TC’s Terms of Reference are “to recommend a set of techniques for the accurate capture, encoding and long-term preservation of colour descriptions of digital images that are either born digital or the result of digitising 2D static physical objects including documents, maps, photographic materials and paintings.”

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A Case Study – WhatsApp Records Capture

Jingwen Yang

Jingwen Yang

Last updated on 27 November 2018

Jingwen Yang is Records Management Officer for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany


Digital technologies are radically transforming business practices in the workplace as organizations become more mobile and virtual. Led by the increased prevalence of smartphones and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in organizations, more and more employees are turning to consumer messaging apps to collaborate with their colleagues and customers. Although an organization can benefit from this adoption, this also generates a huge amount of unstructured data outside of the technical platform managed by the organization, creating new challenges in digital records management, information security and information privacy protection.

Among a diverse landscape of messaging apps, WhatsApp stands out as one of the most popular: in 2018, WhatsApp reported more than 450 million daily active users, and it has been downloaded and installed by over 1.2 billion people worldwide. WhatsApp provides fast, simple, and secure services at no cost, allowing users to send text messages, voice messages, pictures, documents and other files as well as place voice calls and video calls to other WhatsApp users, all for free. It is expected that the unstructured data generated by WhatsApp alone will double in volume within the next 4 years.

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Digital is an Illusion, but Film is a Reality?

Sanchai Chotirosseranee

Sanchai Chotirosseranee

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Sanchai Chotirosseranee is Deputy Director of the Film Archive (Public Organization) in Thailand


When it comes to the digital age, most people believed that there is no need to preserve original materials, once they are digitized. When we had a funding campaign for a film storage a decade ago, Dome Sukvong, the founder of the Thai Film Archive, used the motto inspired by a famous Thai saying that the “Digital is an Illusion, but Film is a Reality” to champion an awareness about the importance of preserving analogue prints in the digital world.

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A review of the Chinese Conference on Digital Preservation (CCDP) 2018

Zhenxin Wu

Zhenxin Wu

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Zhenxin Wu is Professor of the Information System Department and Deputy Director of the Digital Preservation Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences at the National Science Library in Beijing, China


回顾CCDP2018:汇聚多方力量,应对新型数字内容资源长期保存挑战

十月底在北京举办的2018年数字资源长期保存全国学术研讨会非常成功,获得了很好的反响。作为会议的组织者,很高兴看到数字资源长期保存在中国国内得到越来越多的关注,越来越多的人和机构开始从事研究与实践。我也希望通过世界数字保存日(World Digital Preservation Day),让更多人了解中国保存者所作的努力。

数字内容资源已成为科技、教育和文化传承的主流资源,它们的长期保存已经成为各国信息基础设施战略的重要部分。科技部已经启动国家数字科技文献资源长期保存系统建设,在中国本土自主长期保存重要的国内外科技期刊、会议、学位论文等文献数据库。与此同时,数字内容的形态和应用正在迅速变化,数字音视频、数字图像、科学数据、社交媒体、计算机辅助设计、数字艺术、数字人文资料、开放教育资源等迅速成为知识创作、传播和利用的常规形态,成为人类知识和文化的自然和重要的组成部分。

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Digital Preservation Song Challenge

Serena Coates and Rachel Merrick

Serena Coates and Rachel Merrick

Last updated on 28 November 2018

Serena Coates is Coordinator of Digital Preservation (Preservation Services) and Rachel Merrick is Metadata Specialist at State Library of Queensland


With more conferences being held south of the equator (iPres in 2014, IDCC in 2019) for the first time, and local communities of practice growing in numbers (Australasia Preserves, and the National and State Libraries of Australia DP CoP), the digital preservation community is Australasia is growing stronger by the minute.  So why not put this growing enthusiasm to music?

A recent thread on the Australasia Preserves web forum posed the question – “Does AusPreserves need a theme song?”.  A couple of DP themed songs already exist, but the creative juices got flowing, and ideas were thrown in to the mix – “If I Could Turn Back Time” (Cher), and “Born this Way” (Lady Gaga) were put up as two possible candidates.

On behalf of the NSLA community of practice, we took it one step further, and issued a song challenge – to create a parody of an existing song, or write an original song with the theme of digital preservation.  More ideas flowed - “Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears), and “[Files] Will Survive” (Gloria Gaynor). 

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A Greener Film Archive

Janice Chen

Janice Chen

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Janice Chen is Archive Officer at the Asian Film Archive in Singapore


Much has been written about the escalating carbon footprint arising from digital consumption and its resulting environmental impact. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that the world needs sweeping changes to energy, transportation and other systems to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.[i] The bleak future facing our world and the devastating natural disasters in 2018 that have hit Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, and other parts of the world, inspired the thoughts of this piece.    

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The Maturing of Digital Preservation

Ross Harvey

Ross Harvey

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Ross Harvey is Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia


I’ve been thinking lately about the maturing of digital preservation. Exactly when it was born is difficult to determine. Wikipedia’s ‘Timeline of Digital Preservation’[1] starts in 1972, and Peter Hirtle suggests ‘at least the 1960s’.[2] Other contenders include the establishment of data archives in the 1960s. But although its precise age is debatable, we can agree that digital preservation has been around long enough to have developed processes, standards, theories, and ways of thinking that the digital preservation community generally accepts. For example, that the OAIS Reference Model is the basis for digital preservation systems, or that we need geographically-distributed copies – although there is no consensus about how many.

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The importance of digital preservation

Richard Ovenden

Richard Ovenden

Last updated on 26 November 2018

Richard Ovenden is President of the Digital Preservation Coalition, and Bodley's Librarian at The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford


I am really pleased to be celebrating World Digital Preservation Day (#WDPD2018) in Amsterdam, with the Netwerk Digital Erfgoed at the Annual Digital Preservation Awards event at the Amsterdam Museum. #WDPD2018 succeeds International Digital Preservation Day and aims to celebrate the work that is done across the globe to protect information created in digital form, and to mark the efforts made by the communities of practice that work in this vitally important area.

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Automation in digital preservation

Richard Lehane

Richard Lehane

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Richard Lehane is an archives and recordkeeping consultant with Recordkeeping Innovation, Sydney, Australia. Next year he'll be joining the IAEA's Archives team in Vienna, Austria


When I find spare moments, I work on siegfried, a file format identification tool like DROID and fido. I've been tinkering on it now for over five years. Automation has been critical for me to sustain the project; otherwise I just wouldn’t be able to attend to all the things that need doing, besides improving the tool itself. So far I’ve automated:

  •  testing,
  •  building and publishing releases,
  •  updating signatures,
  •  profiling the codebase,
  •  and benchmarking.

Automating these processes isn’t just about relieving me of manual work and freeing up time, it is also about putting in safety nets so that I can dive in and make changes knowing that any serious errors or regressions will surface in the tests and benchmarks.

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TownsWeb Archiving celebrates World Digital Preservation Day with a WEEK of announcing digital access

Marshall Parr

Marshall Parr

Last updated on 28 November 2018

Marshall Parr works for TownsWeb Archiving


We have decided to celebrate World Digital Preservation Day with an entire week of announcing organisations who have made the leap to digitising their collections and providing access online. We have helped each of these organisations using our PastView System to manage and publish their collections online. Keep an eye on our Twitter page, as we celebrate new websites every day this week.

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Making Australia’s biodiversity literature openly accessible and discoverable online

Nicole Kearney

Nicole Kearney

Last updated on 10 December 2018

Nicole Kearney is Manager of Biodiversity Heritage Library Australia at Museums Victoria


The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest online repository of biodiversity literature and archival materials. I manage the Australian component of this global project and, to celebrate world digital preservation day, I’ve been asked to share what we do to make Australia’s biodiversity literature openly accessible and discoverable online.

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Digitising David

Michaela Hart

Michaela Hart

Last updated on 30 November 2018

Michaela Hart is Senior Archivist for the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria, Australia


What better way to celebrate World Digital Preservation Day than tell a story about global superstar David Attenborough? I hope folks will let me know if I’ve drawn the bow too long.

This case study demonstrates some of the complexity of working with audio-visual material, and how this archivist was able to justify watching a 40-year-old documentary on a Friday afternoon. I am working on a project to digitise magnetic tapes that were acquired by our archives during the 1990s when most of the psychiatric intuitions were closing. Some of the tapes contain recordings with clients on them, but this particular accession contains educational material, recorded seminars, and talks.

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Digitising the Dorothy Hill collection at the University of Queensland Library

Kellie Ashley and Mandy Swingle

Kellie Ashley and Mandy Swingle

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Mandy Swingle and Kellie Ashley are Curators at the University of Queensland


 

In 2017, The University of Queensland Library unveiled an online exhibition about Professor Dorothy Hill (1907-1997), Australia’s first female professor. This exhibition is the result of an 18 month project that showcases the extensive collection of papers she donated to the Library and celebrates the scientific contribution of one of Australia’s leading academics. The exhibition features digitised content curated from the ninety boxes of her collection. Today, on World Digital Preservation Day, we are excited to share our story of how we aim to digitally preserve this wonderful collection.

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(What A) Wonderful World

Sharon McMeekin

Sharon McMeekin

Last updated on 27 November 2018

Back in February of this year I wrote a post for this blog describing work the DPC was embarking on to formalise our commitment to supporting inclusion and diversity in the digital preservation community. Then followed a lot of reading and research, discussions with people across the community, and numerous drafts and reviews of the document.

But, I am happy to report our Inclusion and Diversity Policy was published in June and launched at our yearly member’s unconference ‘Connecting the Bits’. There are a number of reasons why this is a topic that is important to me and I was honoured to have a chance to work on the policy. I must admit that it is perhaps the piece of work I am most proud of in my career to date.

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It’s not all technical, digital preservation at State Library NSW

Jo Fleming

Jo Fleming

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Joanna Fleming is Digital Curation Specialist for State Library of New South Wales


The State Library of New South Wales (the Library) is the oldest library in Australia, with a history dating back to 1826 and a collection of historical, cultural and informational significance documenting the heritage of Australia, New South Wales and Oceania.

The Library has a long history of collecting born-digital material and collection digitisation. However, systems, delivery, infrastructure, policy and practise required improvement to keep up with the demands of digital collecting and the expectations of readers. The Library also needed to be able to ensure the ongoing sustainability of digital collections. 

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Digital preservation as “communication with the future”? How really to do that?

José Borbinha

José Borbinha

Last updated on 28 November 2018

José Borbinha is Professor of Information Systems at IST / INESC-ID in Lisbon, Portugal


I am an engineer… as that, I’m “cursed” with the fundamental (lack of?) knowledge to understand the root causes of the digital preservation challenge… But let us not talk about that today! The crime was committed a long time ago, and the criminals have escaped for good… We have no option than to address it the best we can…

OK, so let us do all the necessary engineering for that! Let us move on!!! Let us analyse the problem, conceive the corresponding technological solutions, and… just do it! Correct? NO! WRONG!

It is wrong because even if it is true we need “engineering” to address the problem (good for me and my friends… we still have work… ;-), we also know it is not enough… Let us then restart…

My preferred definition for digital preservation is “communication with the future”. This was the slogan of the SHAMAN project (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/85468_en.html), but I’m sure we took it from someone else… unfortunately I could not trace it to its due source… my apologies!

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Developing a community code of conduct 

Jaye Weatherburn and Rachel Tropea

Jaye Weatherburn and Rachel Tropea

Last updated on 30 November 2018

Rachel Tropea is Senior Reseach Archivist and Jaye Weatherburn is Digital Preservation Officer at the University of Melbourne


Australasia Preserves is an active digital preservation community of practice for the Australasian region, established in February 2018 (http://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/digital-preservation-project/2018/03/06/australasia-preserves-establishing-a-digital-preservation-community-of-practice/). This community aims to nurture a community of learners, teachers, researchers, managers, and practitioners from a variety of professional and personal backgrounds and skill levels.  

A team from the University of Melbourne has committed time and resources during 2018 for organising online monthly meetups, featuring a variety of speakers and topics. The Twitter hashtag #AusPreserves is used to share information with the broader international digital preservation community.  

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No Time To Wait 3: Rough Consensus and Running Archives

Ashley Blewer

Ashley Blewer

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Ashley Blewer is AV Preservation Specialist for Artefactual Systems


 

Blewer 1

NTTW3 Group picture - Photo credit E. Verbruggen CC-BY

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Introducing ePADD

Glynn Edwards

Glynn Edwards

Last updated on 28 November 2018

Glynn Edwards, Josh Schneider and Peter Chan are part of the team at Stanford University Libraries


Email offers singular insight into and evidence of a person's self-expression, as well as records of collaboration, networks, and transactions. Email communications of prominent individuals, including politicians, writers, scholars, and the like, reveal not only their professional and personal actions, decisions, and creative output, but also relationships within society and communities. Thus, the appeal of email collections extends beyond historians to all manner of researchers, journalists, and the general public seeking to obtain insight into individuals and their lives.

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Community Cultivation and the Software Preservation Network

Jessica Meyerson

Jessica Meyerson

Last updated on 30 November 2018

Jessica Meyerson is Research Program Officer for Educopia Institute and coordinating member of the Software Preservation Network


Introduction

As the Software Preservation Network (SPN) makes its first attempt to transition from a grant-funded effort to a member and sponsor-supported community, we do so with an awareness that initiating a new collaborative effort looks very different, in terms of required skills and resources, from sustaining an existing collaborative effort. We are lucky to be informed by Educopia Institute’s Community Cultivation - A Field Guide (CCFG), which provides a comprehensive description of community growth both in terms of lifecycle stages (Formation, Validation, Acceleration, Transformation) and growth areas (Vision, Engagement, Infrastructure, Governance, and Finances & Human Resources).

I want to take this opportunity to map a subset of SPN’s activities using the CCFG with the goal of demonstrating SPN’s commitment to responsible development and to provide an example of how other digital preservation communities can use the field guide as a tool for assessment and development.

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The supermassive black hole in the middle of our current digital preservation strategies

Carl Grant

Carl Grant

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Carl Grant is Dean (Interim) for the University of Oklahoma Libraries


In July 2018, astronomers announced that they had located a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, our home galaxy. (Black holes are gravitational fields that have such intensity that when things enter, they disappear without a trace.)  Which reminded me of a concern I’ve been voicing about digital preservation for the last several years, i.e., the fact that we have no apparent organized strategy for preserving cloud-based services.

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PERSIST – UNESCO’s Commitment to Digital Heritage

David Fricker

David Fricker

Last updated on 20 November 2018

David Fricker is the Director-General National Archives of Australia and President of the International Council on Archives


For some time, UNESCO has recognised the transformative power of digital media as a creative engine of cultural heritage, and as a carrier through which culture is transmitted across populations and through time to future generations. Of particular concern, however, is the fragile nature of digital heritage and the risk that, as technology advances, so much of our digital heritage is lost through neglect or technological obsolescence. Back in 2003, in article 12 of its visionary Charter for the Preservation of the Digital Heritage, UNESCO defined its task ‘to serve as a reference point and a forum where Member States, intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector may join together in elaborating objectives, policies and projects in favour of the preservation of the digital heritage’.  More recently, in 2015, UNESCO adopted its Recommendation Concerning the Preservation and Access to Documentary Heritage, including in Digital Form, which calls upon member states to establish cooperation and dialogue between governments, social organisations, and the ICT industry, and to create practical solutions in the area of sustainable digital preservation.

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What Do We Need & What Can We Do Without for Digital Preservation Storage?

Andrea Goethals

Andrea Goethals

Last updated on 20 November 2018

Andrea Goethals is Digital Preservation Manager at the National Library of New Zealand


What We Learned by Playing Games at iPRES 2018

Over the last few years a group of us have been working on a list of criteria for storage that supports digital preservation (see version 3 at https://osf.io/sjc6u/). At the recent “Using the Digital Preservation Storage Criteria” iPRES 2018 workshop, we put the criteria to the test.

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Once Around the Sun: World Digital Preservation Day 2018

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 29 November 2018

At the point this blog is published, the calendars in Fiji and Auckland and Wellington will already have clicked over to 29th November.  As the sun sets over my hotel in Amsterdam it will have risen already on World Digital Preservation Day, so I have the privilege and pleasure of welcoming you all to World Digital Preservation Day 2018.    

Happy World Digital Preservation Day

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Expecting the Unexpected... World Digital Preservation Day

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 30 October 2018

You never quite know how some things are going to pan out, and that was certainly true for our first World Digital Preservation Day (formerly International Digital Preservation Day) in 2017. For those of you who weren’t involved in last year’s inaugural extravaganza, honestly it was one of my favorite DPC days ever - and for those who were, I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

In the hope that I can encourage even more people to join in the fun on 29th November, I shall endeavour to try and sum up why World Digital Preservation Day was SO great last year.

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Here comes the sun: IDPD17+1

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 1 December 2017

The sun has set now on International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD17) around the world, so, at the very last tick of the clocks on the most westerly reaches of the setting sun, we’d like to conclude by offering our thanks to colleagues in all time zones.

We have been astonished, delighted and massively energized by the numbers that participated, by the number of blogs, tweets, emails, messages on every media platform imaginable. There has been a significant effort of disk-imaging, file-migrating, and archive-describing. I never knew that ‘digital preservation cake’ was a thing but there’s been an awful lot of it in show; I didn’t know that a working ‘day’ could last for 39 hours; and I could scarcely have imagined the word ‘cryo-flux-a-thon’.  There has been enthusiasm and generosity, insight and commitment, and a wonderful sense of celebration at the gathering of our dynamic, diverse and dispersed community.

I think it is safe to say that our first International Digital Preservation Day has been a success. 

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Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group in Mexico City, 2019

Natalie M. Baur

Natalie M. Baur

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Natalie Baur is Preservation Librarian at Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, El Colegio de México in Mexico City.


 The Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas at the Colegio de México in Mexico City is thrilled to announce that we will be the hosts for the next Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group meeting! This exciting conference will be held at the Colegio de México’s installations from February 12-14, 2019, so save the date now! You will not want to miss this unique opportunity to talk digital preservation with colleagues from around the world. PASIG 2019 will be unique in that this is the very first time that the meeting will be held in a Latin American country. Mexico City is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that will afford lots of excellent discussion on digital preservation advances locally in Mexico and throughout the Caribbean and Latin American region. We plan to have many attendees from across the region present at the meeting and this new infusion of perspectives and experiences will undoubtedly reinvigorate discussions happening in the international digital preservation community.

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Creating a Linked Data version of PREMIS

Evelyn McLellan

Evelyn McLellan

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Evelyn McLellan is President of Artefactual Systems and member of the PREMIS Editorial Committee.


It has been a busy couple of years for the PREMIS Editorial Committee. Since June 2015, when we released version 3.0 of the PREMIS Data Dictionary, we have been revising and releasing supporting documentation such as revised Guidelines for using PREMIS with METS and Understanding PREMIS, and updating and enhancing the preservation vocabularies, particularly the eventType vocabulary.

Perhaps the biggest undertaking, however, has been the preparation of a new OWL ontology by a working group that includes some members of the Editorial Committee plus external Linked Data experts and preservation practitioners. This is a work in progress and we are hoping to release a draft soon for a period of public review and feedback.

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Losing the Battle to Archive the Web

David S. H. Rosenthal

David S. H. Rosenthal

Last updated on 7 December 2017

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 last years there was a significant growth in initiatives and countries hosting these initiatives, volume of data and number of contents preserved. While this indicates that the web archiving community is dedicating a growing effort on preserving digital information, other results presented throughout the paper raise concerns such as the small amount of archived data in comparison with the amount of data that is being published online.
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Digitization Is Not Digital Preservation

Peter Zhou

Peter Zhou

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Peter Zhou is Director and Assistant University Librarian at University of California, Berkeley


Over the past decade, I have spoken frequently at conferences on both sides of the Pacific, on digital information management and digital preservation, and I have just as frequently encountered academic leaders, librarians, and information specialists working under the misconception that digitization somehow equals digital preservation.

To many, converting print or analog content to a digital format and transferring the converted content to a disk, server, or other storage devices is an exercise in digital preservation. I usually point out that digital conversion makes content digital, but it cannot and will not guarantee that the digitized content can or will be preserved for an unspecified period to come, since the new format may become old, obsolete, or unusable in a matter of a few years—and then there are the problems of format reconciliation, checksum, error correction, data storage, and data migration, all of which are critical components of a robust digital preservation operation, whereas by simply storing the digital content and doing nothing else, one will miss all those vital steps.

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Digital Preservation 2007-2017

Art Pasquinelli

Art Pasquinelli

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Art Pasquinelli is LOCKSS Partnerships Manager at Stanford University Libraries in Palo Alto, California USA


Pasquinelli 2

I wanted to take the opportunity of the International Digital Preservation Day to do a retrospective on how we have evolved with regards to Preservation and permanent access over the last decade. So, I looked at two agenda snapshots; one from one of the earliest Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group's (PASIG) meetings in May 2008 and the other the latest meeting in Oxford in September 2017. The initial meeting can be seen at http://www.preservationandarchivingsig.org/index.html and the latest one can be viewed at https://pasig.figshare.com/pasigoxford. After looking at the content of the two Preservation meetings I came away with a very positive impression. Here are a few reasons why I feel so upbeat. 

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It’s difficult to solve a problem if you don’t know what’s wrong

Shira Peltzman

Shira Peltzman

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Shira Peltzman is Digital Archivist for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library Special Collections


Buried in the recently published findings from the 2017 NDSA Staffing Survey is evidence of a growing discontent among practitioners with regard to their organization’s approach to digital preservation. The survey asks respondents whether or not they agreed with the following statement: “The way our digital preservation function is currently organized (staffing levels, expertise, where they are placed within the larger organization) works well.” Of the 133 people who took the survey, 61 of them, or roughly 46%, either disagreed or strongly disagreed with that statement.

Peltzman 1

“Q16 - The way our digital preservation function is currently organized (staffing levels,  expertise, where they are placed within the larger organization) works well. [133 respondents]”] Taken from “Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation 2017 An NDSA Report”: http://ndsa.org/documents/Report_2017DigitalPreservationStaffingSurvey.pdf

To say that those numbers aren’t great would be an understatement. To make matters even worse, they represent an increase from the 2012 iteration of the survey, in which 34% of participants reported that they were unsatisfied with how things were organized.

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Lossy Accelerant: Surfeit and Fragment in Digital Collections Archives

Jefferson Bailey

Jefferson Bailey

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Jefferson Bailey is Director of Web Archiving Programs for The Internet Archive in the USA


Archival collections have always been incomplete. Being homogenous, selective groups of records preserved through time, they support attestation and evidentiary consideration only through their longitudinal availability. Multiple appraisal, selection, and processing strategies have developed over the history of the archival endeavor to address the ways in which the archival collection is, by nature, a partial or symbolic representation. From documentation strategy to the study of “archival silences,” both archivists and users alike have grappled with the challenges of incompleteness inherent in the archive. The emergence of born-digital records, and the ease of their creation, alteration, and publication, has compounded these challenges by introducing a documentary environment that is at once more rich and more easily  preserved, but also more dynamic, more ephemeral, and more partial. Furthermore, digital records have introduced their own characteristics of incompleteness: bit corruption, format migration, rendering and technological dependence, and other vulnerabilities that can impede recreation or interpretation.

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What we’ve done well, and some things we still need to figure out

David Minor

David Minor

Last updated on 1 December 2017

David Minor is Director of the Research Data Curation Program at the University of San Diego Library and formerly the Chronopolis Program Manager


I’ve worked in the Digital Preservation field for about a dozen years, and have had the good fortune to see a number of generations pass. I’d like to offer some thoughts on what we’ve done well, and some things we still need to figure out.

What we’ve done well:

  • Technology. In many ways, we’ve “solved” many of the digital preservation technology issues. Can we preserve bits for years and years? Yes. Can we move these bits around multiple locations and service backends and guarantee their persistence? Yes. Can we migrate data through various data types and outputs? Yes. (If we need to. Still an open question.) In many ways, the digital preservation community has made enormous strides in infrastructure that would have stymied us in the recent past. Can we do better? Of course. Will there be new technologies that come along and cause us to rethink everything we’ve done up to now? Hopefully. But if not, well, we can do our jobs, and we can do them well.
  • Variety of options. A striking facet of our community is the range of non/not-for profit options that 100% compete with commercial fare. We don’t celebrate this enough. Other significant segments of the digital library landscape have struggled with this for decades with little success. Today an organization that wants to contract with a preservation service can choose from at least a half dozen community-driven efforts, that are at least as good (if not better) than expensive commercial offerings. This is completely beyond awesome. It shows both the need for digital preservation across wide swaths of organizations and enterprises, as well as the dedication of large groups of people to solve thorny issues.
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Where is the real risk?

Carl Grant

Carl Grant

Last updated on 29 November 2017

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 end.  Or you can be right and be a leader in helping deploy that technology in addition to being well positioned to capture the historical record surrounding it.  

Too many librarians are extremely risk adverse, due to typically working in a publicly funded institution. I understand why that makes so many hesitant to take a risky approach. But I wonder if they’re weighing the right risk? In my mind, I want the library to be seen as a place to come and try out new technology, a place where people can get help evaluating the pluses and minuses of that technology and help in using it to pursue their pedagogical and research goals.  I want them to see the library as a place of engagement, exploration, innovation and synthesis.  We can’t do sitting on the sidelines. Especially, in a world where technology is advancing as rapidly as it is today.  Doing so is to risk being seen as obsolete, a problem I hear all too many colleagues moaning about being the perception of their library on their campuses. 

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Digital Preservation Opportunities at ICPSR

Jared Lyle

Jared Lyle

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Jared Lyle is Archivist and Director for ICPSR Curation Services and the DDI Alliance in Michigin, USA


The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a social and behavioral science data archive based within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, is happy to celebrate the first ever International Digital Preservation Day.  ICPSR curates, preserves and shares 10,000+ data collections.  We also provide educational opportunities, including our Summer Program in Quantitative Methods and Social Research, and conduct data stewardship research projects

ICPSR has been preserving data collections for over 50 years.  Over the decades, we’ve archived data from punched cards and floppy disks and other media, as well as data in a wide range of formats, including now-decommissioned OSIRIS dictionaries written in EBCDIC.  We still do the occasional legacy conversion, such as rescuing data from a pioneering 1950s study of retirement, although the majority of data we acquire today arrive in more modern formats, such as SAS, SPSS, Stata, and R.  Regardless of the age, type, or shape of the data, preservation opportunities and challenges abound.

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Networked Approach to Preserving Software

Jessica Meyerson

Jessica Meyerson

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Jessica Meyerson is Research Program Officer for Educopia Institute in Austin, Texas, United States


One of key characteristic of information infrastructure outlined by Star & Ruhleder (1996) is that is ‘becomes visible on breakdown.’[1] While software does in fact breakdown, requiring patches or upgrades, as digital materials move from active use to the reuse context of cultural memory organizations, software breakdown can be understood as the inability to support meaningful access to digital information (ie, scientific or social scientific data, born-digital manuscript materials, complex models of the built environment) due to software dependencies and their associated challenges. This breakdown not only shines light on software (as cultural heritage itself and a tool for accessing existing digital cultural heritage), it makes visible the social structures and practices in which software is embedded – is a comprehensive breakdown of social structures to support information access including communication, legal systems and markets. By thinking about software as infrastructure we gain insight into ways in which software preservation fits into broader digital preservation practice as well as approaches that may prove to be the most effective in addressing the challenges of software preservation.

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Towards a Philosophy of Digital Preservation

Stacey Erdman

Stacey Erdman

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Stacey Erdman is Digital Archivist at Beloit College, Wisconsin USA


Are archivists born or made? I suppose we’ll never know the answer to that question definitively, but I feel pretty confident that if there’s an archivist “gene” I’ve surely got it. I’ve been actively building a personal archive since I was old enough to understand what memories are.

Of course, coming of age during the rise of the personal computer presented me with challenges in this arena. I still own my first computer – an Apple IIc, along with the floppies that contain my clumsy attempts to learn to program in BASIC. When I went off to college in 1995, I purchased a used Macintosh Plus and dial-up modem; soon I was surfing Mosaic from my dorm room in Urbana-Champaign –  home to HAL 9000, the fictional computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I discovered BBSs, IRC, newsgroups, MUDs, and became a voracious e-mail correspondent. I dove headfirst into this new online life, but with time, I grew concerned about the astounding impermanence of it all. How was I to document the time I was spending in these realms?

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The Next Leg in the Preservation Relay

Amy Kirchhoff

Amy Kirchhoff

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Amy Kirchhoff and Sheila Morrissey work for the Portico digital preservation service which is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization in the USA


Portico, a service of the non-for-profit organization ITHAKA, is a preservation service for the digital artifacts of scholarly communication.  Portico’s original remit 15 years ago– one shared by many DPC member organizations – was to develop a sustainable infrastructure, both institutional and technological, that would support the scholarly community’s transition from reliance on print journals to reliance upon electronic scholarly journals – more generally, to ensure that scholarly literature, published in electronic form, remains available to future generations of scholars, researchers, and students.

The occasion of the International Digital Preservation Day is an opportunity for us to reflect both on the continuing challenges (and opportunities) in preserving scholarly literature, and what we think might be new challenges ahead.

Written into our institutional DNA is the requirement simultaneously to preserve content at scale, and to preserve it in a fiscally sustainable way.  Again, this is challenge we all share, across all the content domains we jointly seek to preserve. The sheer ever-increasing volume of content flowing into Portico was a major motivator for undertaking a two-year project, launched in mid-2016, to develop the next-generation Portico technical infrastructure project.

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Educating Digital Stewards

Rhiannon Bettivia

Rhiannon Bettivia

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Rhiannon Bettivia is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Information Sciences (iSchool) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


I frame this post as a set of considerations for developing training and teaching modules for students and trainees endeavouring to enter the field of digital preservation. I teach such a module 2-3 times a year, and my university offers it 4 times a year with the help of adjunct instructors. It is often full to waitlist room only, meaning we will send anywhere from 50 up to as many as 110 students through this course in a calendar year. Chris Prom, of the University Archives, related that he was once requested to teach a module on advanced arrangement and description of digital materials for the Society of American Archivists nine times in a single year. The trend here is pretty clear: there are plenty of practitioners in the pipeline, ready to enter our field and to steward us into the future of digital preservation.

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Brushing up on Digital Architecture, Design and Engineering Assets

Kate Murray and Theron Westervelt

Kate Murray and Theron Westervelt

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Kate Murray works for Digital Collections & Management Services at the Library of Congress in Washington DC


On November 16, 2017 the Library of Congress, Architect of the Capitol and National Gallery of Art hosted the Designing the Future Landscape: Digital Architecture, Design and Engineering Assets symposium at the Library of Congress. The programming for the over 140 attendees included panels on lifecycle data management, data flow, access use cases, future-looking approaches and an ADE formats primer.

Murray 1

The presentations were recorded for later distribution on social media platforms, including YouTube, and a report covering the themes of the day will be published in early 2018. See #DigADE2017 on Twitter for on-the-spot reporting during the event and links to published information will be widely distributed when available.

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DAM and LAM - towards convergence

Helen Hockx-Yu

Helen Hockx-Yu

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Helen Hockx-Yu is Program Manager, Digital Product Access and Dissemination in the Office of Information Technologies for University of Notre Dame, Indiana USA


INTRODUCTION

Digital media are frequently produced and widely used at the University of Notre Dame (UND) to support education and research, and to document campus activities and athletic competitions. UND’s media products range from photographs and simple sound or video capture to sophisticated footage appropriate for national broadcasts. UND’s video assets are presently estimated to measure ~2PB.

As part of a project aimed at developing a common solution for managing Notre Dame’s video assets, we gathered and documented requirements from a wide range of stakeholders on campus and used these to assess Digital Asset Management (DAM) software.

DAM software vendors seem to have picked a very broad term for a relatively small software products segment. DAM systems (DAMs) in general have a much narrower focus than the collective name suggests. Different variants of DAMs are difficult to differentiate, making it hard for organisations to select the right product.

DAMs are a breed of software that manages specific types of digital information within a specific organisational context. DAMs are mostly intended for multimedia or rich media, such as photographs, videos, animation, graphics, logos, and marketing collateral. DAMs emerged in the private sector to support digital media creation, marketing, publishing, and brand management.

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Operationalizing Digital Preservation: An Innovative New Curriculum

Kara Van Malssen

Kara Van Malssen

Last updated on 29 November 2017

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 standards-compliance. We start by looking at their current digital preservation practices, evaluating technologies, policies, workflows, procedures, staffing/roles, and other resources. It is not uncommon for us to find that the organization is “stuck” in some respect, struggling to, for example, consistently collect all digital assets of value, implement comprehensive ingest procedures, or store all content in a managed preservation environment. And while the causes of these challenges vary between organizations, lack of funding is generally not the culprit. There are a variety of operational factors that need to be considered in order to implement successful digital preservation processes.

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The only archival digital document format

Duff Johnson

Duff Johnson

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Duff Johnson is Executive Director of the PDF Association and Project Leader for ISO 32000 in Winchester, Massachusetts, USA


What is a “document”? It’s a record of some (typically written) content - a publication, a contract, a statement, a painting - at a moment in time. Until the advent of computers (and scanners), the only media considered useable for such records were papyrus, vellum or paper pages.

PDF became the document format of choice for business, government and the general public because it delivers the key qualities of paper in a digital format. PDF is fixed, self-contained, readily shareable and relatively hard to change. It’s not just PDF’s innate characteristics that make it successful, but the fact that PDF interoperates smoothly with paper documents. The classic “PDF it, send it, print it, sign it and return it” type of workflow introduced new efficiencies when PDF surfaced into public consciousness in the mid-to-late 1990s. This approach used only the most basic of the format’s capabilities, but it was enough to enable the slow economy-wide transition to digital documents.

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The Emergence of “Digital Patinas”

Euan Cochrane

Euan Cochrane

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Euan Cochrane is Digital Preservation Manager at Yale University Library in the USA


Physical objects often have a “patina” associated with them that illustrates their age and authenticity and evokes an emotional response in ways that are in contrast with responses to brand-new objects.

“Patina (/ˈpætɪnə/ or /pəˈtiːnə/) is a thin layer that variously forms on the surface of stonecopperbronze and similar metals (tarnish produced by oxidation or other chemical processes), [1] wooden furniture (sheen produced by age, wear, and polishing), or any such acquired change of a surface through age and exposure.” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Patina&oldid=810608866

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Inform and Form – The Role of Education in Digital Preservation

Millard Schisler

Millard Schisler

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Millard Schisler is Researcher at Digital Culture Center / CEBRAP in São Paulo, Brazil


It is wonderful to celebrate International Digital Preservation Day and recognize how much has been accomplished during the past decades, while also realizing how much we still need to work on, evidenced by the people, businesses and institutions struggling with how to deal with their ever-growing digital assets. As I think about our role in transforming this landscape, I go back to the beginning of this century, when Nancy McGovern and Anne Kenney talked about the three-legged stool that was necessary for digital preservation to happen: the organizational infrastructure, technological infrastructure and the resources (human and material). You cannot sit on a stool with just two legs – we need all three to maintain a balance, and one cannot be larger or smaller than another if we are to make the stool functional. I have used this image so much in my talks. With this awareness, another image came into my mind once when preparing for a lecture – if we were to connect all three legs at the bottom, it would provide the stool with extra sturdiness; this strength would come from the role of education within digital preservation.

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Archivo web de Proceso de Paz y Posconflicto

Johanna Gallego Gutierrez

Johanna Gallego Gutierrez

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Johanna Gallego Gutiérrez is Digital Deposit Manager for Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, in Bogotá


La Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia ha iniciado la construcción del Archivo de la web y de recursos estáticos digitales sobre proceso de paz y posconflicto en Colombia. Esta iniciativa pretende recolectar, custodiar, preservar y divulgar, para las generaciones presentes y futuras, la historia web del importante momento que vivimos en nuestro país, a través de las herramientas especializadas de harvesting que permiten la copia de sitios web, recopilan su contenido, diseño y arquitectura. 

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Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia. Foto por: Confidencial Colombia. Agosto 9, 2016.

Este interés surge, principalmente, por el actual proceso de paz que vive Colombia con las FARC, el mayor grupo guerrillero en el país y con mayor alcance militar. Pues, tras más de 50 años de guerra, nuestro país ha comenzado uno de los capítulos más anhelados por la mayoría de los colombianos.

Es importante resaltar que el escenario de producción en Colombia ha tenido un crecimiento importante desde la esfera digital; sin embargo, no hay una excepción en la legislación que le permita a la Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia realizar la preservación de este patrimonio. Además, las implicaciones de realizar la preservación web en casa, teniendo en cuenta que el dominio .co se ha vendido, es usado de manera comercial y su cosecha no garantizaría la salvaguardia de la web colombiana, por esto y teniendo en cuenta la compleja realidad, se ha iniciado un proyecto en alianza con la Universidad Externado de Colombia para la recolección selectiva sobre la producción web de proceso de paz y posconflicto.

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A Wish List for the Future of the Digital Preservation Community

Nancy McGovern

Nancy McGovern

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Nancy McGovern is Director of Digital Preservation at MIT Libraries in the USA


International Digital Preservation Day got me thinking about this: what might be most helpful for the digital preservation community to be able to continue to grow in a sustainable, inclusive, and responsive way? Here is a brief, annotated wish list for the digital preservation community using four attributes of an emergent group, a sociological convention to enable a group to be identified and studied.

  1. Membership: members have a sense of belonging to the group and it is possible to recognize other members.

Background: There is a perception that the digital preservation community exists and is growing. So far, the best ways to indicate membership has been attendance conferences and meeting.

My wish: That we identify more and increasingly better ways to be able to “join” the digital preservation community, whatever that may come to mean.

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Collaboration is essential for Digital Preservation

Thomas Ledoux

Thomas Ledoux

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Thomas Ledoux is Co-ordinator of Digital Production at the National Library of France


Digital preservation, seen from the outside, may appear as a very technical topic where you only talk about formats, storage, infrastructure and the like.

Indeed, in order to appraise, audit or ingest digital material, a certain degree of technical expertise is needed. But when you follow these steps, it becomes clear that the first requirement is collaborating and building up communities, because what you build should last.

Of course, the first community you need to build is inside your organization: aggregate an internal team. This means you need to define your own goals and start to share a common vocabulary (here is where tools like OAIS or METS can be helpful). A better understanding about the collections and the kind of media you have to deal with is essential. At the same time, you need to pool the means (especially storage infrastructure) so that what you build is sustainable.

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The More You Know...

Leslie Johnston

Leslie Johnston

Last updated on 12 December 2017

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 to account for decades of electronic files? I started by drawing a picture. Not a literal picture, of course, but I wanted to find a way to analyze and visualize what NARA has in its holdings.

NARA has recently completed a file format profile of its electronic records files. Why did we do this? Because we could not plan without first getting a better idea of what we really have. NARA operates under several different regulatory mandates, each with different restrictions on collection schedules and scope, as well as access controls. This led to the implementation of multiple systems--developed over more than 20 years with different technologies--which meant a real challenge in understanding the scope of the holdings.

I worked with the system owners and our IT operations to get the most granular reporting possible on each set: federal, legislative, and individual presidential administrations. The reporting didn’t always match in terms of granularity, given different tooling for the format analysis and report generation, but in the end I was able to compile a record of what we have, what formats we have, and counts. Could we identify every file format with complete certainty? No. Were there decisions in the past about format normalization that I had to take into account? Yes. Will it help me plan for preservation program and technology priorities? Absolutely.

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Digital Preservation at Historic Environment Scotland

Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith

Last updated on 5 December 2017


My name is Hannah Smith and I work for Historic Environment Scotland, based in the digital archive team within the Heritage Directorate. For the first ever Digital Preservation Day I thought I would share some of the progress we have been making in terms of digital preservation at HES, as well as some of the more day to day work in the digital archive. We have been actively collecting digital archive since 2003, receiving both internally and externally generated material. Historic Environment Scotland currently holds more than 437,000 catalogued digital items which equates to around 32TB of archived data. Over the last 2 years, the digital archive has been making huge strides in renewing the technical infrastructure that underpins our work and to ensure the long term preservation of our digital records. Our goal is to provide the best possible care for our digital archives and we are looking to bench mark our services within the European accreditation framework. In 2015 HES invested in new trusted digital repository software, and work has focused on integrating this preservation system with our own repository. We have made huge advances in the standard of care we provide to our digital archive: 617,338 individual digital files have been audited and processed to ensure they conform to appropriate standards.

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The Threat of the Double Extinction

Cees Hof

Cees Hof

Last updated on 1 December 2017

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 Threatened Species’ that was steering me wrong. A list very familiar to me as a former coordinator of several large Biodiversity data programmes. But the DPC suggested list had nothing to do with plants, animals and microbes soon to disappear from our planet’s surface. It was all about their digital equivalents occupying binary niches and threatened by the lack of proper digital archives, outdated software formats, or insufficient human efforts to safeguard their existence.

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Two early episodes on digital preservation… plus one!

José Borbinha

José Borbinha

Last updated on 29 November 2017

José Borbinha works at INESC-ID – Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) at Lisbon University, Portugal


(Episode 1) When unsuccessful digital preservation can be convenient

The year of 1998 was special. In May, it opened the Lisbon World Exposition! In June, it was held the “Sixth DELOS Workshop on Preservation of Digital Information” in the beautiful Tomar. Finally, in October, I became CIO of the National Library of Portugal.

In retrospective, 1998 was my definitive commitment with this great world of digital libraries and archives. A seed has been planted in 1996, when I got involved in the new DELOS Working Group on Digital Libraries, and it blossom in 2000 when I had the privilege of organizing the 4th ECDL conference in Lisbon. DELOS was a community that still brings special memories (“saudade” as we say in Portuguese - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudade)

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Lansio Polisi Cadwedigaeth Ddigidol i Gymru / Launching the Digital Preservation Policy for Wales

Sally McInnes

Sally McInnes

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Sally McInnes is Director of Unique Collections at the National Library of Wales


Today is the first International Digital Preservation Day. The aim of the day is to create greater awareness of digital preservation and the issues associated with preserving and providing access to digital material. There are particular challenges associated with the preservation of digital material, notably the fast pace of software and hardware developments, the increasing complexity of digital resources and the resulting impact on the stability of such media.  If digital material is to remain accessible, both in the short-term for business continuity, research, economic and legal requirements and for preserving the historic record in the longer-term, measures have to be taken to ensure that this information is accessible.

The International Digital Preservation Day has been co-ordinated by the Digital Preservation Coalition http://www.dpconline.org/. The NLW is a long-term member of the DPC, the aim of which is to support its members to make digital information available in the future.  It has published a 'Bit List' of the World's Endangered Digital Species http://dpconline.org/our-work/bit-list) which has been unveiled today as part of this campaign to raise awareness of the need to preserve digital materials.

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Guten Tag from the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre

Martin Iordanidis

Martin Iordanidis

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Martin Iordanidis is Information Safety Officer at HBZ in Germany


 

Ionadidis 1

Hey, thats us! Us at the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz) in Cologne, which is an authority of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

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The Costs of Inaction: advocating for digital preservation

Neil Beagrie

Neil Beagrie

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Neil Beagrie is Director of Consultancy at Charles Beagrie Ltd


Beagrie 1

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 identify benefits and write a business case for digital preservation. The Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) Digital Preservation Benefits Analysis Tools and the Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit are good examples.

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Digital Preservation Milestones at the University of Sheffield

Chris Loftus

Chris Loftus

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Chris Loftus is Digital Preservation Manager at the University of Sheffield Western Bank Library in the UK


The first International Digital Preservation day allows us an opportunity to reflect on some of the milestones and significant events so far in the implementation of the University of Sheffield’s Digital Preservation programme. The Library became one of the early adopters of Rosetta, a Digital Preservation solution provided by ExLibris, in 2015. Following installation Rosetta was given the Sheffield brand name ArchiveUS and initial priority focussed on developing ingest routes for our valuable digital material; born digital and digitised collections from Special Collections and the National Fairground and Circus Archive.

In September 2016 the University's Festival of the Mind event gave the Library the opportunity to highlight the thinking behind Digital Preservation through a collaboration with local artist Paul Carruthers. ‘Memories in the digital age’ is a triptych film that featured difficult to access footage from the library’s collections. The piece, which was exhibited at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery, explored some of the ideas underpinning Digital Preservation; such as the generation and use of digital information and its relationship to memory.

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To deposit, or not to deposit (or whether it is a question at all)

Kuldar Aas

Kuldar Aas

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Kuldar Aas is Deputy Director of Digital Archives at the National Archives of Estonia


Prologue

October 2006. A workshop discussing digital information management. A known and respected IT visionary comes up and delivers a statement about file format obsolescence: “It is really not an issue to worry about. In ten years we will certainly have artificial intelligence which is able to render any bitstream there is”.

Aas 1

Pixabay, CC0, https://pixabay.com/en/artificial-intelligence-robot-ai-ki-2167835/

The digital society and the digital archivist

“Dear community! My name is Kuldar and I’m a digital archivist in Estonia.”

The particular thing to note about this confession is the country as such – just Google for it and you are guaranteed to get a fair number of hits which describe how in e-Estonia you can set up companies in 18 minutes, declare taxes in 3 minutes, or tell you that 99% of public services are available online. Digging a bit further you will find out how Estonia has implemented nice things like ‘once-only’, ‘digital by default’, and ‘no legacy’ – principles which, when spoken out aloud, will lead any reasonable archivist straight to a mental institution along with inflicting a serious heart condition.

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A day at the digital archives of the National Archives of Denmark

Anders Bo Neilsen

Anders Bo Neilsen

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Anders Bo Neilsen is the Senior Adviser on Digital Preservation at the Danish National Archives


Thursday was yet another busy and versatile day here at the section of Digital Preservation of the Danish National Archives. As usual there were the daily audit reports and the results of the quality assurance of the ingested SIPs which once again were spit out (pun intended) by our QA system. The producers of the SIPs were notified and given a new deadline for resubmitting SIPs which we can ingest and digest. Almost all of the rejected SIPs were produced by national authorities, but one or two were actually produced by a colleague. A taste of one's own medicine can be bitter and hard to stomach. The errors were the typical ones: lack of context documentation, missing explanation of code values, broken referential integrity and poor conversions to TIFF.

Having dealt with the ingest problems we turned our focus on the next item in the process, the packaging and storage of the AIPs. We are in the process of storing five AIPs from five similar authorities ranging in size from two to eight TB. At first we could not understand the huge size of these AIPs produced from ordinary digital case and document management systems. It seems that many incoming documents are an order of magnitude larger than the outgoing. Apparently, quite a few citizens seem to reply to these authorities by printing out the documents they receive, adding handwritten comments on them, taking pictures of all the pages using their smart phone, and emailing them to the authorities. That is how an outgoing black and white document is transformed into an incoming document in full colour - and full size.

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Name that item in…?

Kirsty Chatwin-Lee

Kirsty Chatwin-Lee

Last updated on 5 January 2018

Kirsty Lee is Digital Archivist for the Division of Library and University Collections at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


I’d like to start International Digital Preservation Day, by putting a conundrum out to the community. My colleague, Lorraine McLaughlin, here at the Centre for Research Collections in the University of Edinburgh, and myself are currently appraising a hybrid collection that documents the history of computing at Edinburgh University from the inception of the Edinburgh Regional Computing Centre (ERCC) in 1966, to its later incarnation the Edinburgh University Computing Service in the 1980s.

The ERCC was to have a considerable impact on computing services as we know them today. Following the Flowers Report in 1966 there was to be regional computing centres set up in London, Manchester and Edinburgh tasked with providing computing services for local university users, research council establishments and other universities.

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

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP

Last updated on 29 November 2017

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 Elizabeth Lomas of UCL and Julie McLeod of Northumbria University, for organising and implementing such an impressive programme. Thanks also to all of you for coming. You are a critical part of this partnership.


Records matter. We all depend on them. Members of Parliament rely on them to inform debate, make better laws and hold the executive to account. Everyone will at some point need records, whether investigators into injustice, members of the public researching their family history or needing access to their health history, or scholars needing an evidence base for their research.

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How can Digital Preservation move beyond those in the know to those with the need

Jon Tilbury

Jon Tilbury

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Jon Tilbury is Chief Technology Officer for Preservica, based in the UK


Digital Preservation has come a long way since the early research projects. The earliest practitioners were academics and specialists who set this field in the right direction and contributed hugely to defining what Digital Preservation is, creating the language of SIPs and DIPs, ingest and dissemination and preservation planning that we all use today. This journey will be complete when information is preserved without the need to understand how and long-term retention and use is just another tick box in your day-to-day IT platform. How far are we away from creating this preserved future?

The early Digital Preservation research projects started in the late 1990s and reached their peak with large numbers of EC funded projects in the first 15 years of the millennium. I become involved in the early PRONOM days and enjoyed many trips around Europe on four different research projects as practitioners exchanged ideas and built prototypes that encapsulated these ideas. We used the OAIS reference model to create a common language that we all now use to describe our systems.

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And the answer is…

Roxana Maurer-Popistașu

Roxana Maurer-Popistașu

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Roxana Maurer-Popistașu is Digital Preservation Co-ordinator at the National Library of Luxembourg


National Library of Luxembourg’s Digital Preservation challenges

As a national heritage library, the National Library of Luxembourg (BnL) has as a mission to collect, catalogue, enrich, and preserve the national heritage, both in print and in digital form. Since 2002, the BnL has been digitizing documents to not only ensure the optimal preservation of the originals weakened by their age and / or frequent use, but also to promote the published cultural and intellectual heritage, facilitate access to it and support new research methods. The digitized collection includes historical newspapers, books, manuscripts, postcards, and posters from the Luxemburgensia fund (publications from Luxembourg – legal deposit – or issued abroad by Luxembourg residents or in connection with Luxembourg).

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Welcome to International Digital Preservation Day

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Although the sun has barely risen over the DPC offices, International Digital Preservation Day (#IDPD17) has been in full swing for at least the last 12 hours thanks to our colleagues in Asia and Australasia who have been doing a great job of celebrating on behalf of the whole community!

International Digital Preservation Day is fundamentally about this large but dispersed community around the world and the opportunities for access and re-use which are made possible when digital assets are preserved. Supported by digital preservation networks around the world – old friends and new - IDPD17 is open to participation from anyone and everyone interested in securing our digital legacy.

While we’ve been asleep a whole pile of blog posts have been published, and we can see through the twitter and instagram feeds that colleagues in New Zealand and Australia are clearing up after important and well-attended events.

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Web preservation demands access

Daniel Gomes

Daniel Gomes

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Daniel Gomes is Arquivo.pt Service Manager for the Foundation for Science and Technology in Portugal.


"Collect the web to preserve it?! I don't envy that job."

That is a direct quote from my first "real-world" meeting.

I was 23 years old, I had just graduated from the University and that was my first job. We were in the year 2000.

One year later, we had developed a running prototype to perform selective collection of online publications. It was the first effort to preserve the Portuguese web, resulting from a collaboration between the National Library of Portugal and the University of Lisbon.

Even in those early-days of the Web, it became clear that acquiring and storing information from the Web before it quickly vanished was a challenge. But a rather simple one, in comparison to ensuring the accessibility of the stored web data across time.  

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Preservation as a present

Barbara Sierman

Barbara Sierman

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Barbara Sierman is Chair of the Board of Directors for the Open Preservation Foundation (OPF) and Digital Preservation Manager in the Research Department of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands).


20 Years of preservation have brought us valuable insights, useful tools and a large quantity of digital material that is now taking care of.

For the general public, used to their tablets and phones where everything is stored for them somewhere in the cloud and new updates are almost always compatible with older versions, the issue of preservation is invisible. This is very convenient for them, but not for us trying to get political attention and sustainable funding for our invisible activities.

Most people however value their digital stuff. This “digital capital” should be in our story to convince funders when asking for budgets to preserve the digital materials.  Preservation should not be a problem but a commodity. Something that helps you to take care of your stuff in a way you were not aware of. Like water that comes out of the tap: reliable, clean and always available (at least in part of the world). Only a few will know about the organisation behind this clean water. Although often taken for granted, in fact the running water is a present, resulting from a wide range of carefully planned actions.  Similarly the preservation community could mirror this water model.

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Dear IFI Irish Film Archive of five years ago

Kasandra O’Connell

Kasandra O’Connell

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Kasandra O’Connell is Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive in Dublin, Ireland


Dear IFI Irish Film Archive of five years ago,

I know you are filled with trepidation at the sudden need for the IFI Irish Film Archive to preserve Ireland’s digital moving image heritage alongside your analogue collections. The switch to digital formats within the film and broadcasting sector in Ireland has been sudden, encouraged by a government sponsored scheme enabling cinemas to change from analogue to digital exhibition.  This has left you with no option but to take in digital material as part of your preservation agreements with the two main funders of moving image production in Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Irish Film Board. Starting from scratch is scary. No one on your small team has an IT background, you haven’t the necessary equipment and infrastructure to deal with digital deliveries and the thought of making preservation format decisions or developing digital polices is so alien at the moment that it induces a cold sweat. I’m here to give you some reassurance. Five years from now the IFI Irish Film Archive will have made more progress in this area than you could have possibly imagined. While there is a still a lot to do and there are many challenges ahead, the team have accomplished a huge amount in a short time and the archive as you now know it is unrecognisable.

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Preserving digital cultural heritage: Better together!

Barbara Signori

Barbara Signori

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Barbara Signori is Head of e-Helvetica at the Swiss National Library, Bern.


The Swiss National Library has a mandate to collect, catalogue, store and disseminate the cultural heritage created in Switzerland and abroad by and about the Swiss. This sounds like a clear enough mission, but dig deeper and this mandate raises all sorts of tough questions especially in a digital world.

First of all, what is digital cultural heritage? Obviously it goes far beyond e-books and e-journals, it includes Swiss websites, newsletters of Swiss societies, and so on. But what about all the digital data that is created by Swiss people every minutes of every day? The selfies, blogs, tweets, social media, personal digital archives. I’m sure that not everything can or should be considered cultural heritage. But who decides what is and what isn’t?

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Frisch’s speech in Hamburg and what it tells us about radio archiving

Brecht DeClercq

Brecht DeClercq

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Brecht Declercq is Secretary-General of FIAT/IFTA, Digitisation Manager at VIAA


Hamburg, Germany, almost day on day 40 years ago. Swiss writer Max Frisch, at age 66, went to great lengths to travel from his hometown Berlin to Hamburg. He has accepted to give a speech at the SPD party congress in Hamburg. Frisch has had a good relationship with prominent German Social Democrats such as Willy Brandt and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt for years and the speech may be regarded as a friends service. The party congress is known as "the day the Chancellor asked the poets for advice" - Günther Grass is also present - and takes place in the midst of what the Germans call the German Autumn: a period of far left attacks and kidnappings, from Germans, against Germans. The speech of Max Frisch is a benchmark, even a crisis. To the German Social Democrats Frisch will point out their social democratic responsibility, also as a government party, and also in times when the street's call for severe repression against the very young RAF terrorists sounds particularly loud.

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We need to talk about copyright

Susan Reilly

Susan Reilly

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Susan Reilly is Director of Digital Library, Licencing & Copyright at Qatar National LibraryDoha


With a European Parliament vote on copyright reform looming it’s worth taking a look at the relationship between digital preservation and copyright  law and why we need copyright reform at international level to help ensure the preservation of the digital cultural and scientific record.

You don’t need to be a lawyer to figure out that one of the biggest challenges facing digital preservation today is copyright. Digital preservation usually necessitates the making of several copies, shifting formats or making derivative works, circumvention of technical protection measures, not to mention making available. Each one of these acts can require an exception and limitation in copyright law.

Reilly 1

Possibly one of the least discussed aspects of the current proposal for an EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market is Article 5 on the preservation of cultural heritage, which introduces a mandatory exception to the right of reproduction allowing cultural heritage institutions to make copies of items (in any format) in their collection for the purpose of preservation. This article recognises the fact that a single copy is not sufficient for digital preservation and that it is necessary to multiple copies. It also allows for format shifting. The proposed directive also has a provision on technical protection measures but does not go far enough in providing a mechanism for recourse should rights owners not cooperate in allowing cultural heritage institutes to circumvent these measures for the purpose of preservation.

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1997-2007: the main challenge after two decades of digital preservation research is the weakness of the professional and institutional networks

Maria Guercio

Maria Guercio

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Maria Guercio is President of Associazione nazionale archivistica italiana


The main challenge after two decades of good research is the weakness of international and national professional and institutional networks with reference to the capacity of sharing knowledge and solutions.

It is a paradox that in the modern society, interconnected by definition, the international community involved in digital preservation (more robust and interrelated than other professionals and rich of two decades of good research and experience) does not have planned tools and communication channels strong enough to play with continuity its role with success. In fact and indeed, the networked digital world is more fragmentary than in the past, while the archival heritage can survive for future only if our professional and institutional community will be able to put in place a long-term program of research and a stable cooperation framework. The relations we have to create and maintain could be able to re-enforce our capacity of identifying and improve solutions by cooperating and sharing our experiences, our successful achievements, but also our failures.

The lack of continuity and the increasing isolation of the stakeholders is the most critical aspect of the whole sector, but the international funding and coordinating bodies do not seem to be aware of this. For instance, this factor has seriously weakened the European effort in this area and prevented the completion of ambitious and promising projects and implementation plans, at the point that no robust programs for funding preservation projects are in place within Horizon 2020 and no coordination is available to discuss and compare the models developed in the European countries. A similar attitude is present in the ICA initiatives where a temporary group of expert has been created for handling with digital records (DREG, http://www.ica.org/en/our-professional-programme/expert-group-digital-records-dreg), but no resources are available neither for events nor for meetings. 

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Fifteen years with digital preservation

Zhenxin Wu

Zhenxin Wu

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Zhenxin Wu is Professor of the Information System Department and Deputy Director of the Digital Preservation Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences at the National Science Library in Beijing, China


 

Wu 1

与长期保存共同成长的十五年

        长期保存对我而言,是我研究生涯的开始,之前我是一个图书馆系统程序员。2003年,张晓林教授找到我,希望我能参与斯坦福大学图书馆的一个项目协助做些事情,也就是日后很成功的LOCKSS项目。出于对这所著名大学的敬仰,我立刻就答应下来。从配合LOCKSS项目在中国北京建立一个测试节点开始,我逐步了解了数字资源长期保存的内涵,以及这项工作的重要意义,并产生了浓厚的兴趣。2004年,在北京作为工作人员参加组织了第一届数字资源长期保存国际会议(iPRES),目前iPRES已成为长期保存领域最有影响力国际会议。2005年Neil Beagrie先生介绍我到英国数字保管中心(DCC)作高级访问学者,在爱丁堡,我学习到很多新东西,也看到很多新思想的碰撞,结识了很多长期保存领域的专家。

        回到北京后,在中国科学院的资助下,我开始从事电子出版物的长期保存研究和试验,对文件格式管理、fixity check,起源信息管理,数据迁移,以及可信赖审计与认证等进行了深入的研究,与团队一起开发了基于Fedora的电子期刊存档试验系统,并致力国家层面的宣传呼吁。

       

 

图1.电子期刊存档试验系统功能框架  

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PERSIST: A Global Dialogue on Digital Preservation

Rob Buckley

Rob Buckley

Last updated on 1 December 2017

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 documentary heritage and to assist in providing universal access to it.

When my colleague Hamad Al Mutairi, Director of the Archives Department here at the National Archives of the UAE, and I first sat down to discuss this contribution, he drafted the outline of a general digital preservation policy. We realize that having a policy for digital preservation or digital continuity is not a unique thing; numerous institutions have one already, suitably adapted to the environment in which they operate. What is different is that the effort here is partly stimulated by our participation in the PERSIST project.

The PERSIST project is essentially a digital component of the MoW programme. It is an outgrowth of the The Memory of the World in the Digital age Conference  held in Vancouver in 2012. PERSIST aims to address the challenges of long-term digital preservation and the risks of losing access to part of our digital heritage. Partnering with UNESCO on PERSIST are the International Council of Archives (ICA) and the International Federation of Libraries Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

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Building blocks of digital preservation in India

Dr. Dinesh Katre

Dr. Dinesh Katre

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Dr. Dinesh Katre is Associate Director and Head of Department at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Pune, India


 It is a matter of great pride for me to have associated myself with the global cause of preserving information in digital era. I wish to congratulate the team of Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) for taking this initiative to celebrate International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD)! This can be a very effective tool for creating awareness about rampant digital obsolescence among general public.

We have been working on digital preservation in India since 2009. I take this opportunity to present an overview of “Centre of Excellence for Digital Preservation”, the flagship project undertaken as part the National Digital Preservation Programme sponsored by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. The Centre of Excellence of Digital Preservation is established at C-DAC, Pune, INDIA. Being the Principal Investigator (PI) of this project, I would like to share information on major outcomes of this project.

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Digital Preservation at the University of Melbourne

Jaye Weatherburn

Jaye Weatherburn

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Jaye Weatherburn is Digital Preservation Officer at the University of Melbourne


Background

Three years ago, at the September 2014 meeting of Academic Board at the University of Melbourne, the Digital Preservation 2015–2025: Strategy[i] and Implementation Roadmaps[ii] were endorsed. By early 2016 the Digital Preservation Project team had formed and commenced the “Establishment phase” towards implementing the Strategy. A central aim of the Strategy is to establish a university ecosystem of repositories with the capability to archive, preserve and provide ongoing access to the university’s digital assets.

The project has survived and thrived through a large-scale university restructure, and significant resourcing challenges, thanks to the ongoing dedication of the library Research & Collections team at the university, led by Donna McRostie.

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Digital Preservation of Indian Cultural Heritage: Issues and Challenges

Ramesh Gaur

Ramesh Gaur

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Dr. Ramesh C Gaur works at the Jawaharlal Nehru University


At the outset, let me congratulate all on initiating 30th November as the International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD17).

My introduction to digital preservation started in 2005 when I visited Germany with the support of Max Mueller Bhawan. My three-week stay, one week each at Belfield University, Belfield; German National Library Frankfurt; and State Gottingen University Library, Gottingen; provided me opportunity to closely study some of the digital preservation initiatives in Germany in particular and in Europe in general. The interaction with researchers working at project like NESTOR, KOPOL, and REUSE, etc., helped me in learning the basics of digital preservation. After coming back from Germany, I shared my experience in the form of various lectures delivered at various national and international conferences in India. Since then, digital preservation is one of the prime area of my interest.

Digital preservation is a process of preserving both digitized and born-digital contents to a distant future in reusable condition for access by its users. It involves a set of systematic guidelines, processes, strategies, technology and approaches.' The technological obsolescence, shorter and uncertain life-period for current storage media, information glut, and internet revolution are some of the major factors which have made preservation of digital information more complex and challenging. Being a librarian, preservation for access is key to my thought process.

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How do I keep my digital films safe

Joshua Ng

Joshua Ng

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Joshua Ng is the Information Technology (IT) & Technical executive at the Asian Film Archive (AFA) based in Singapore.


Hi Joshua,

I made some short films a couple of years back. Some of them were submitted to competitions and won some awards. I have been keeping them in an external hard disk, thinking that since the files are backed up, it should be safe. But I had quite a scare the other day when my computer couldn't detect the hard disk. Fortunately when I tried it with another USB cable it worked. Is there something I can do to ensure my short films are safe?

Warm regards,

Paul Soon

Filmmaker

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Plans are my reality

Yvonne Tunnat

Yvonne Tunnat

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Yvonne Tunnat is Preservation Manager at the ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics


I was fresh from university when I started my job as a preservation manager in October 2011 at the ZBW. Having taken a module named “Digital Preservation” during my studies of library and information science and after a 9-week-internship at the Digital Preservation Department of the university of Utah, I obviously was the best they could find for the job, although I knew next to nothing and they knew it.

Only, I did not know it. I felt self-confident and well-prepared. I had seen the OAIS slides several times, I knew our ingest was more or less solved and I did not need to think about access as we run a dark archive, so preservation planning was the one big task left on my desk.

There was this software, JHOVE, which miraculously was able to decide if a PDF was ok, flagging the bad ones for later preservation actions. As I knew nothing (like Jon Snow), I took all JHOVE findings as granted.

My preservation plan was as following:

  1. Gather all bad PDF
  2. Migrate them to good PDF
  3. Check if they still look alike

Thanks to JHOVE, the first step was easy. I left the second step to our IT guy, who quickly built a small java program, which transformed all the bad PDF into good ones. At least, after the migration JHOVE could not find anything wrong with them anymore.

But I had to rack my brain about the third step. Somehow I needed to compare the new PDF version with the original to see if there were any changes that would make the data producer angry (like layout changes, missing content etc).

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What does digital preservation mean to you?

Jaye Weatherburn

Jaye Weatherburn

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Jaye Weatherburn is Digital Preservation Officer at the University of Melbourne


In a review conducted in 2016 for the University of Melbourne’s Digital Preservation Project, key research staff at the university were asked the question, What does digital preservation mean to you? The primary aim of this review was to identify and document gaps in service provision for research data management, and to highlight the main barriers impeding the implementation of sustainable digital preservation.

The responses from the review have been anonymised, remixed slightly, and in parts edited for length, but still accurately represent the answers as provided. They are presented here in both transcript form, and as an audiovisual creation using the Mac OS X El Capitan (version 10.11.6) speech-to-text voices: Fiona, Alex, Karen, Samantha, Tessa, and Daniel.

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Twittering on the edge of two conferences: Themes of power and empowerment at ASA-ITIC and iPRES 2017

Rachel Tropea

Rachel Tropea

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Rachel Tropea is a Senior Research Archivist at the University of Melbourne in Australia. 


2017 has been a year for digital preservation firsts – the first ever International Digital Preservation Day on 30 November 2017, the University of Melbourne became the first Australian institution to join the Digital Preservation Coalition, and on a personal level it was my first time attending iPRES.

iPRES is the major international conference on the preservation and long-term management of digital materials. In 2017 it was hosted by Kyoto University, and the theme was Keeping Cultural Diversity for the Future in the Digital Space — From Pop Culture to Scholarly Information.

At the same time, the Australian Society of Archivists Conference & Information Technologies Indigenous Symposium (ASA-ITIC) took place in Melbourne, and its theme was Diverse Worlds.

Although these communities confer separately, their concerns are largely the same as evidenced in part by their shared theme of diversity this year. And, as I hope you’ll see from my discussion of ASA-ITIC, the challenges posed by the keynote speaker Jarrett Drake go to the very core of what we all do.

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What’s in a name?

Amber Cushing

Amber Cushing

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Amber Cushing is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) for the School of Information & Communication Studies, University College Dublin


When it comes to digital curation in Ireland, a lot, actually.  In 2014, I was recruited by University College Dublin (UCD) to start an Msc in Digital Curation.  Digital curation has been concisely defined as “the management and preservation of digital material to ensure accessibility over the long term” (Abbott, 2008).  In essence, preservation is only part of the process, digital curation prescribes that sustaining long term access to digital material should be considered before the object is even created, but selecting optimal file formats, a preservation strategy, etc.  I thought my background, having been a PhD student at the UNC School of Information and Library Science, that launched one of the first degrees in digital curation had prepared me for this.  I knew the major issues in the field, as well as the key literature.  Just to be sure, I, along with UCD School of Information and Communications Head of School Professor Kalpana Shankar, decided to embark on a needs analysis of digital curation in Ireland.

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This is not a part

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Sean Barker runs a Technical consultancy on Enterprise Integration and Information Sharing for Products


Barker 1Dear colleagues,

This photo shows my paperweight for the last 25 years. The suggestion is that it was a test part, used in a prototype for a flight control mechanism. You might think that it is the physical part that endures long after the design has been lost in an archive, but this piece of metal demonstrates the opposite - it is a part without provenance, so not an aircraft part at all.

Yes, we could measure and redraw it, but that would not be its design. The holes are set where they are because of the geometry of the mechanism, but which mechanism was it designed for? The flanges - the metal ridges round the edges that stand up from the base plate - are there to stiffen the plate. They will have been analysed through a finite element stress model, but without knowing the original mechanism, we don't know the forces the stress model tested. And even if we can find the most likely mechanism, it is likely that it went through several versions, and which version, which loads is this designed for?

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Crossroads

Andrea Goethals

Andrea Goethals

Last updated on 30 November 2017

 Andrea Goethals works at the National Library of New Zealand


Recently I unexpectedly found myself with extra time on my hands, as I was preparing to take a new position halfway around the world. Like most of you, I’m assuming, I normally don’t get the time to go back and reread some of my favorite digital preservation papers, discover new favorites I missed previously, or to follow the sourced papers to see where it takes me. Because my interests lie in what it takes to build and grow effective digital preservation programs, I focused on preservation requirements, capability criteria, maturity models, self-assessments, risk assessments, audits and certifications.  Besides all the benefits that come from rereading these guidance documents, papers, and standards; several things struck me in the process that I’d like to share with you.

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Welcome to the Digital Preservation Laundrette!

Matthew Addis

Matthew Addis

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Matthew Addis is Chief Technology Officer for Arkivum


This blog post is both a demonstration of how to extensively torture a metaphor if you try hard enough, which I'm certainly want to do from time to time, and a look at some of the serious issues of digital preservation at an industrial scale outside of memory institutions. 

The metaphor is washing machines, the industrial application is research data preservation, and the answer, perhaps paradoxically, is to choose to do less for more.

Addis 1aI've been involved for over 2 years now with the Jisc Research Data Shared Service (RDSS).  This has the ambitious and laudable goal of providing a national Shared Service for Research Data Management to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the UK, including the deposit, storage, publication and preservation of a wide range of digital research outputs. 

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Bit Preservation is NOT a Question of Technology!

Eld Zierau

Eld Zierau

Last updated on 30 November 2017

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 contra non-technology parts, and I will therefore take the liberty to assume the following: It is common knowledge, that there needs to be copies of data in bit preservation, and that these copies of data are equally worthy (not backup copies of an original), and that the copies of data (replicas) are regularly checked and fixed for errors.

Zierau 1

Figure text: Bit preservation with coordinated independent replica units in different organisations, expressed in OAIS terms and images from digitalbevaring.dk

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Digital Music Production MK I.

Thomas Bårdsen

Thomas Bårdsen

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Thomas Bårdsen is Audio Production Manager at the National Library of Norway


I guess the first digital thing that entered my house growing up, was music. A shiny disc of digital information, read out via laser technology. So futuristic, at the time I think it even changed my hairstyles in a more “pointy” direction.  Those discs were just an end product of a whole new direction in music production. The whole music production chain aimed digital. The discs were graded and stamped as if they were jewelry. DDD meaning digital technology were used from start to finish. Music productions have in some ways been born digital for over 35 years. It has also left some strange digital collections behind. In the very early eighties, going digital was a risky and costly piece of business.  The previous analog era in music technology, had at least tried to be compatible. The new approach from the industry was that of proprietary systems. Legendary record producer Richard Burgess called the approach of the early digital audio formats a winner takes all play, were larger companies hoped on maximizing profits by squeezing out all competition.

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2017: A Watershed Year for Digital Preservation?

Ross Harvey

Ross Harvey

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Ross Harvey is Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.


Preparing a new edition of Preserving Digital Materials with Jaye Weatherburn (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) has provided the opportunity to reflect on a large body of material about digital preservation. What I have observed suggests strongly that in the future, 2017 will be considered as a watershed year for digital preservation.

Sometimes the progress of digital preservation seems to resemble a tortoise inching along. Solid foundations are in place, and the need for action is better understood, but these only brush the surface of the many, varied, and evolving challenges. Four challenges seem particularly resistant to change: managing digital preservation, especially its lack of integration into mainstream practice; funding digital preservation – there’s never enough; peopling digital preservation, there being a lack of skilled people; and making digital preservation fit—lack of scalability of digital preservation activities.

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The Future of Television Archives

Richard Wright

Richard Wright

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Richard Wright runs Preservation Guide, a consultancy on audiovisual preservation. Before retiring, Richard worked as a Technology Manager at BBC Information & Archives from 1994. 


Not everyone knows that there even are television archives. Europe is fortunate in having a tradition of public service broadcasters. They are publicly supported in various ways (licence fee, limited advertising, direct government funding) but all have a remit to provide high-quality information and entertainment. Broadcasting can be seen as ephemera, but yesterday's ephemera becomes today's heritage. Of particular interest in a time of fake and false news is the role of public service broadcasters in providing quality factual material: news and current affairs.

Public service broadcasters, particularly in Europe, have also led the way in maintaining archives of their productions. While drama and entertainment programmes are kept for repeats and for sale to other countries, factual content is heavily recycled to add depth and interest to current programmes. In the BBC, about 30 to 40 percent of 'the news' is actually archive material. Other uses include biographies; retrospectives on people, places and political situations; cultural history; and a wide range of factual content that needs archive footage for context and historical memory. Up to 2010, about 20% of the BBC television archive was accessed each year, and 95% of that use was internal: back into the BBC for adding depth to new programmes. The other 5% was commercial use. Broadcast archives had little or no public access. In the UK, public access to BBC Archives was via copies of tapes sent from the BBC to the British Film Institute.

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

Michelle Lindlar

Michelle Lindlar

Last updated on 29 November 2017

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 words of encouragement from future-you-who-has-been-in-the-job-for-a-while would be good.

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Stop, collaborate and listen! NSLA’s here with a successful vision

NSLA

NSLA

Last updated on 29 November 2017

National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) is a leading library sector collaboration of the National, State and Territory libraries of Australia and New Zealand. 


How Australasian libraries are working together on digital preservation

How often do you leave a conference, or a meeting, with the best intentions of “collaborating more”, only to see those intentions evaporate quicker than rain on bitumen on a hot summer’s day, as soon as you return to your desk and look at your email inbox? We don’t make these statements flippantly; most of us share a sincere commitment to work together, recognising that for us to move forward and progress our work, we need help from others. Sadly though, what happens next is that reality takes over. Business-as-usual kills the best intentions.

Despite this, the national libraries of Australia and New Zealand and state and territory libraries of Australia have found a model of collaboration that has proven to be extremely rewarding. National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) brings these ten libraries together under a shared vision of connecting library professionals to information, and to each other. The libraries have many differences – they range significantly in size; they have differing mandates, and differing priorities – and yet, NSLA is a success story.

One of the significant NSLA success stories is the Digital Preservation working group. Formed in 2012, the group brings together representatives from each of the ten member libraries to identify best practice for preserving digital content – practices that are best served by a collaborative approach.  

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Keep the knowledge

Panos Constantopoulos

Panos Constantopoulos

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Panos Constantopoulos is Professor in the Department of Informatics at Athens University of Economics and Business & Digital Curation Unit in Greece


An answer to the question “what should be preserved?” would typically include digital content of various forms and related metadata.  But what stands for content and where is the limit between content and metadata? The changing notion of ‘document’ and the evolution and spread of computationally supported business and research processes, entail a greater need for keeping process and contextual knowledge.

Digital content traditionally includes material that is the product or record of some activity and comes in several forms - text, graphics, images, audio, video, data sets. Recent years have witnessed a shift in content granularity and structure. This is related with the ability to manage both the identification of entities that possess independent information value and the associations of those entities. Reference to self-contained parts of documents is an old practice (chapters, sections, tables, images, columns, etc.). Yet it is in the universe of the Web and linked data that this practice becomes fully operational and on a large scale: here the parts are independently identified through their URIs following some naming scheme and the conceptual bond that makes them parts of a whole is explicitly represented in the form of appropriate relations between them. The parts can then be reused in different ways. In this perspective, it is useful to maintain the knowledge of the successive uses as well as of the contexts of use.

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The first International Digital Preservation Day (#IDPD17) is finally here!

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Glasgow, 30th November 2017

Dear colleagues and friends around the world,

Welcome one, welcome all! The first International Digital Preservation Day (#IDPD17) is finally here!

This day is for everyone who works in digital preservation. It’s about their work.  It’s about the opportunities created by the digital materials they safeguard and make accessible. It’s about the hard work and ingenuity, often unrecognised, that makes a secure digital legacy possible. And it’s about fostering links across this growing but highly dispersed community. Supported by digital preservation networks around the world – old friends and new - IDPD17 is open to participation from anyone and everyone interested in securing our digital legacy.

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5 ways to share your International Digital Preservation Day

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 29 November 2017

There are two months until our very first International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD17), and already there’s a fantastic buzz about it. People have been tweeting and emailing me since we first announced it, asking for ideas for things they could do to join in the celebrations, the fun, the party!

My favourite suggestion yet has been someone contemplating dressing up as a floppy disk at work for the day – please don’t let me stop you.

What’s great is, even aside from the dressing up, there are LOADS of ways to get involved. Whether you’re a tweeter, facebooker, instagrammer, blogger, vlogger, filmmaker extraordinaire…or you just like a good old-fashioned face to face chat with a bunch of likeminded folk, you can do any or all of those things.

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