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Hyperreal Intangible Cultural Heritage: Digital Preservation of Dance

Anna Oates

Anna Oates

Last updated on 4 November 2019

Anna Oates is Scholarly Communication and Discovery Services Librarian at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in the USA, and former graduate student of the Illinois School of Information Sciences where these studies originated.


A Roundabout Introduction to Digital Preservation of Dance: Navigating the PDF/A Standard

Four months after its initial submission, my master's thesis [1] appeared on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign institutional repository. Since this successful ingest, I have been asked to write a brief summary so that those who might find value in the research would not have to traverse through the pages of a laborious discussion on PDF, specifically as manifested in PDF/A (Portable Document Format — Archival) as a recommended format for the long-term preservation of student theses and dissertations. True to the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) quiddity, my research explored the meta relationship of my student work — a thesis to be deposited in an institutional repository about theses that had been deposited in an institutional repository.

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It Takes a Village… to Manage Digital Assets

Helen Hockx-Yu

Helen Hockx-Yu

Last updated on 4 November 2019

Helen Hockx-Yu is Enterprise Data Architect at the University of Notre Dame in the USA


The University of Notre Dame (UND) is a private research university located in the United States. I joined UND in 2016 as a programme manager for digital asset management. Since 2009, various initiatives have taken place to address the challenge but they have largely been specific in their scope and not broadly adopted across the University as a whole. I was expected to build on the previous work, to refocus and come up with a new plan. My web archiving and digital preservation background were thought to be relevant and helpful - the executives who entrusted me with this important work were the University Librarian and the then Chief Information Officer.

My first challenge was to understand the definition and scope of digital asset management, as the term often relates to rich media such as digital videos, animation, graphics, photographs, audio files, logos and marketing collateral. Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems emerged in the 1990s in the private sector to support digital media creation, marketing, publishing and brand management, and their customer-base mainly consists of commercial organisations.

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Perspective in Digital Preservation

Biblioteca Nacional de México

Biblioteca Nacional de México

Last updated on 11 November 2019

Alberto Castro Thompson, Ana Yuri Ramírez Molina and Lisandro Pablo Olivares work in the Innovation and Digital Strategy Coordination (CIED) team at Biblioteca Nacional de México


Lisandro 1

The National Library of Mexico (BNM) is legally empowered by a Decree of Legal Deposit of national scope since 1812[i] and last modified in 1991, being in this reform where publications in electronic formats are included for the first time.

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Preserving Research Data: Finding Our Legs at Scholars Portal

Grant Hurley and Meghan Goodchild

Grant Hurley and Meghan Goodchild

Last updated on 4 November 2019

Grant Hurley is Digital Preservation Librarian, Scholars Portal and Meghan Goodchild is Research Data Management Systems Librarian, Scholars Portal/Queen’s University Library. They are based in Ontario, Canada


As a service provider, Scholars Portal is building a suite of services and infrastructure to support the research data management and preservation in Canada. But a key gap is the ability of our member institutions to make use of these services when there is a lack of policies, procedures, strategies and resources at the local level. This post outlines our work to support research data preservation workflows through an integration project between Dataverse and Archivematica. And it offers some observations on the challenges facing the uptake of these tools that means the preservation of research data continues to be at risk.

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Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation

Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation

Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation

Last updated on 24 October 2019

Jennifer Moore (Washington University in St. Louis), Adam Rountrey (University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology) and Hannah Scates Kettler (Iowa State University) are Primary Investigators for CS3DP (Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation)


 CS3DP 1

Rapid adoption of new technologies can sometimes result in the creation of vast quantities of poorly documented, at-risk data.  While the immediate advantages of a breakthrough technology such as low-cost 3D scanning or high-speed photogrammetry (creating 3D models from a series of photographs) can quickly lead to widespread use, preservation of the resulting data is often overlooked and only considered when the stacks of external drives in the closet are starting to fall over.  Indeed, several years ago, we found ourselves wondering if others were eyeing their rapidly accumulating 3D data with similar anxiety, and in 2017, we decided to conduct a survey targeted at those creating, using, and curating 3D data in various fields to find out. Most responses came from individuals at universities, libraries, and museums in the United States, and the majority of respondents were, as we suspected, not using documented best practices or standards for handling 3D data.  Those who were had largely developed their own standards in house. Of those not using standards/best practices, 69% said that they did not use them because they were unaware of such standards. However, the vast majority (85%) of all respondents said they would like to develop standards and best practices collaboratively as a community.  Survey comments, such as, “I am very excited to see that you are doing this survey and potentially pulling this community together,” from an expert at a leading museum captured the desire for progress in the area as well as the sense that successful standards development would require participation from diverse stakeholders.  These results led to the development of the Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation (CS3DP) program.

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DOCUMENT THIS. And this. And this, too.

Amy Rudersdorf

Amy Rudersdorf

Last updated on 25 October 2019

Amy Rudersdorf is a Senior Consultant with AVP in the USA


As a consultant with AVP, I work with many different types of organizations to help them assess and optimize their digital preservation programs. I have the opportunity to really dig into the inner workings of these digital preservation environments. I've found that it is very common for institutions to have very little documentation relating to their digital preservation programs. Sure, you know what you're doing, but there are so many other reasons to create documentation!

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Stewardship with a network logic

Brian Lavoie

Brian Lavoie

Last updated on 24 October 2019

Brian Lavoie is Research Scientist for OCLC in the USA


An important class of at-risk digital materials is the myriad forms of output generated over the research lifecycle – think of data sets, computer code, online discussions, e-lab notebooks, and so on. Growing recognition of the value of these materials to the scholarly record has led to many efforts to collect and preserve them over the long term. But mitigating risks associated with preserving digital research outputs means setting up stewardship arrangements that are well-adapted to the evolving nature of today’s scholarly record. For that, we need stewardship with a network logic, or conscious coordination.

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What if online services had a time dimension?

Euan Cochrane

Euan Cochrane

Last updated on 5 November 2019

Euan Cochrane is Digital Preservation Manager at Yale University Library


Online web services are used by billions of people every day. They impact our lives and society in a myriad of ways. The way they present data to us and the ways they manipulate and transform the data we store in them have the potential to change behaviour and our understanding of the world. And this is all being done at a scale unimaginable in previous history.  These services have changed greatly over time. Many of those changes are not publicly documented or even known to the general public. I’ve outlined a few of those we do know of below:

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Preserving and Integrating Community Knowledge of Computing Systems

Ethan Gates

Ethan Gates

Last updated on 24 October 2019

Ethan Gates is Software Preservation Analyst, Digital Preservation Services at Yale University Library in the USA


The efforts of the EaaSI (Emulation-as-a-Service Infrastructure) project and the Software Preservation Network to preserve the software and computing environments around digital objects have revealed that a parallel effort needs to be made to preserve the expertise and knowledge necessary to use and interact with such environments. Scanning software manuals and printed guidebooks, photographing boxes and physical media, archiving the web sites of developers, enthusiasts and community forums - all of these are necessary activities, largely happening on an ad hoc basis in the digital preservation community if at all. Dedicated, collaborative initiatives on this front are essential to make sure future users are able to interact with authentic digital objects in context.

One of the student workers we employ in the EaaSI program once came to me with a troubleshooting problem. This is not unusual - our diligent student team is tasked with cataloging and attempting to install a vast range of legacy software applications, and between quirks in the applications, quirks in the necessary operating systems, quirks in the emulators running them and quirks in Yale’s beta installation of the EaaSI platform, any number of questions can come up. The student was having trouble with an application running in MacOS 7.5: the menu bar at the top of the screen seemed to be glitching, constantly closing before they could access the settings and preference menus that are often our best source of information about a given piece of software (language configuration, file format capabilities, etc.)

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Inspiring Confidence: Securing ARCW Security

Sally McInnes

Sally McInnes

Last updated on 4 November 2019

Sally McInnes is Chair of the ARCW Digital Preservation Group and Head of Unique Collections and Collections Care at the National Library of Wales


It has been two years since the Archives and Records Council launched its National Digital Preservation Policy on International Digital Preservation Day, 2017.  Since then, ARCW has made considerable progress in supporting the policy, the aims of which are to:

  • To ensure digital resources of enduring value are selected for preservation and remain authentic and accessible in the future.
  • To provide a framework for the development of digital preservation strategies that can be adapted for use by organisations throughout Wales, irrespective of their size and capacity.
  • To raise awareness of the importance of effective Digital Preservation among archive institutions and practitioners, managers, information technology staff and stakeholders / decision makers.
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