Blog

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

Cabinet Papers: Policy as a Measure of Commitment

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 13 December 2016

Digital preservation policies indicate whether an organization is committed to long-term access. Grant giving organizations should request copies of applicant’s digital preservation policies when funding data creation.

In this case note we examine the relationship between policy and practice in digital preservation. The National Archives has digitised a significant volume of the UK's Cabinet Papers, using techniques and practices that they have developed over many years. It has considerable expertise in digital preservation. However the measure of their commitment to long term preservation is not so much their undoubted expertise so much as their carefully considered policy framework for the long term management of digital resources. Funders often ask to see policy documents in assessing grant applications: for digitisation grants, or other grants likely to create prolific amounts of new and valuable digital content, it is reasonable to assess their digital preservation policies.

Read More

Freeze Frame: Preservation Partnerships

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 13 December 2016

Partnership is a critical success factor for long term access to data from small or short-lived projects. This depends on a thoughtful dialogue between the project team and their preservation partner. Thorough documentation will be required.

In this case note we examine the relationship between the relatively short lived Freeze Frame project at the Scott Polar Research Institute and the institutional repository which offered to provide long term preservation services to ensure ongoing access at the end of the project. This study shows that small organisations don't necessarily need to establish a sophisticated preservation infrastructure when they embark on digitisation and that partnerships need need to be managed but can bring unexpected benefits to both parties.

Read More

iPRES 2016 Blog - Digital Art Preservation

Sharon McMeekin

Sharon McMeekin

Last updated on 12 October 2018

Following on from Sabine Himmelsbach’s excellent introduction to digital art conservation at the key note, the theme was continued with the morning’s first session.

Towards a Risk Model for Emulation-based Preservation Strategies: A Case Study from the Software-based Art Domain

The first session was presented by Klaus Rechert from the University of Freiburg in Germany.

The British Library has worked with Freiburg and the Emulation as a Service product, so it was interesting to have the opportunity to hear more about the workings and developments of emulation from their point of view. After a brief history of emulation, Klaus confirmed that despite great progress, emulation and virtualisation aren't quite there yet.

Of the major issues to resolve, the scalability is now mostly solved but sustainability and the long-term plans are not yet in place.

He went on to discuss a case study of software-based artworks with the goal of the project to highlight preservation risks of the emulation strategy. The computer system is the part that changes and that is where the emulation comes in.

External dependencies include artefact description & configuration, software environment & configuration and hardware environment. The key preservation risk is when the hardware or equivalent becomes obsolete which it where the emulation strategy is focussed. Acquisition and preparation is an analysis of what is available. You need to determine the environment and factors. If you don't have the environment, build one!

It also important to identify dependencies and whilst the dependent software may not change, the licensing does!

What the setup looks like!

Read More

iPRES 2016 Blog - Panel: Software Sustainability and Preservation

Paul Young

Paul Young

Last updated on 11 September 2018

PaulYoung1

Paul Young has been Digital Archivist at the National Archives for just over a year, dealing with the ingest of Born-Digital records and undertaking file format research for PRONOM.

Paul attended iPRES 2016 with support from the DPC's Leadership Programme. This blog is part of a series produced by scholarship recipients who attended iPRES 2016.

Panel Discussion: Software Sustainability and Preservation: Implications for the Long-Term Access to Digital Heritage

Read More

Fear of the executables: who is going to preserve software in the UK?

Paul Wheatley

Paul Wheatley

Last updated on 30 January 2017

I was reminded this week about the issue of software preservation from a couple of different quarters. First by a slightly random twitter conversation about reading lists, and secondly by the latest blog post from David Rosenthal. The former took me back to one of the first pieces of digital preservation literature I ever read. It was originally recommended to me by former colleague, friend and mentor, David Holdsworth. It helped me to really understand, for the first time, what the challenges of preserving digital stuff were all about. It's a short piece in the Computer Conservation Society bulletin called "The Problems of Software Conservation" by Doron Swade. It delves into what it means to preserve something interactive, where the function is (largely) more important than the physical form. Looking back, what strikes me about this writing is the date of publication. 1993. Despite many advances in digital preservation, so much so that someone touting the existence of a digital dark age provokes a backlash, we still haven't nailed the software preservation problem 22 years later.

Read More

Social Media for Good: the Series

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 27 January 2017

UK_Data_Service_logoThis year, DPC's Research and Practice team has been working on two studies commissioned by the UK Data Service as part of their Big Data Network Support. Both Preserving Social Media and Preserving Transactional Data will address the issues facing long-term access to this big, fast-moving data and will be published as Technology Watch reports. As part of Preserving Social Media, this series of posts examines some of the points of tension in the efforts of research and collecting institutions to preserve this valuable record of life in the 21st century.

sdaythomson_shetland_small

I'm Sara Day Thomson, Project Officer for the DPC, specialising in the pursuit of new ideas in digital preservation. 

If you want to get involved, follow me on Twitter @sdaythomson and the DPC account @DPC_chatter to get the scoop on upcoming DPC events and activities!

Read More

Social Media for Good: the Series, Episode 2

Sara Day Thomson

Sara Day Thomson

Last updated on 27 January 2017

UK_Data_Service_logoThis year, DPC's Research and Practice team has been working on two studies commissioned by the UK Data Service as part of their Big Data Network Support. Both Preserving Social Media and Preserving Transactional Data will address the issues facing long-term access to this big, fast-moving data and will be published as Technology Watch reports. As part of Preserving Social Media, this series of posts examines some of the points of tension in the efforts of research and collecting institutions to preserve this valuable record of life in the 21st century. 

Read More

Cloudy Culture: Preserving digital culture in the cloud

Lee Hibberd

Lee Hibberd

Last updated on 27 January 2017

Cloudy_culture

By now you’ll have heard of The Cloud. The big amorphous space out there that is the answer to anything digital. You want more storage? You need the cloud. You want a back-up copy of all of your treasured photos? You need the cloud. You want to undertake large scale high performance number crunching? You guessed it…you need the cloud. So it’s no surprise that the cloud is featuring more and more in the cultural heritage sector too. Tate Gallery, the Parliamentary Archives and the Bodleian Library have all dipped their toes, or their heads, into cloud technology. The National Library of Scotland has also been thinking about the role of the cloud, which is essentially a service that stores and manages digital information, as part of its continuing mission to preserve the nation’s digital culture. Is the cloud the answer to all our digital problems and if it is surely there’s a price tag attached to it. To find out the National Library of Scotland is about to embark on a journey of discovery with the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, National Galleries of Scotland and the Digital Preservation Coalition. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t heard of these organisations, just be assured that we are all interested in preserving digital culture for current and future generations. Our journey starts at a project called EUDAT…

Read More

Conference Report: Curating Research: e-Merging New Roles and Responsibilities in the European Landscape

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 30 September 2016

17 April 2009, The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Netherlands

1. Summary of issues relevant for DPC members 

  • Training is popular but what sort of training will be most effective: what will drive down costs and support our work best?
  • Considerations of scale: what is the right size solution to our digital preservation challenges? Do we want lots of small DP facilities or a small number of large ones?
  • How do we collaborate without undermining institutions?
  • There would appear to be a lot of policy development which is an important change from a decade ago: but how do we assess the value of these emerging policies and how do we know if they are being applied?
  • There is still a policy gap. There are some high level aspirations in the UNESCO Charter and some very detailed guides, but a gap in between. What would be our
  • golden rules for creating digital data?
Read More

Report on IS & T Archiving 2005 Conference, Washington, 26 - 29 April 2005

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 30 September 2016

By Hugh Campbell, PRONI

1. I attended the Imaging Science & Technology (IS&T) Archiving 2005 conference at the Washington Hilton. This is my report on the conference.

2. Washington is quite a long way away – home to hotel was about 20 hours with hotel to home about 18 hours. This needs to be borne in mind when planning travel to such a conference and return to work - the body needs time to recover.

3. The conference itself started on Tuesday, 26 April with a number of tutorials. I attended the Long-Term Archiving of Digital Images tutorial – see attached summary. The conference proper ran from Wednesday 27 April – Friday 29 April, kicking off at 0830 each morning (and finishing at 1700 on Wednesday and Thursday and 1500 on Friday). Wednesday featured a 40-minute keynote address and 15 20-minute sessions; Thursday featured a 40-minute keynote address, 10 20-minute sessions and approximately 20 90second poster previews followed by the opportunity to visit the poster presentations. Friday featured a 40-minute keynote address and 10 20-minute sessions. I felt that there were too many sessions, cramming too much into a short space of time.

Read More

Scroll to top