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Digital Data and Artistic Expression: Event Notes Now Available

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Sara Day Thomson attended a Digital Conversations Event at the British Library on 10 September 2014 on the topic of 'Digital Data and Artistic Expression'. The evening event series showcases innovative and topical subjects within the overarching field of digital information. This event featured a panel of scholars, artists, and practitioners who presented and discussed the conjunction of digital data and artistic expression within a wide variety of contexts. The next Digital Conversations Event - 'GLAMs Playing Nicely with the Games Industry: Using Cultural Heritage Collections to Inspire Videogame Creation' - will be held on Monday 8 December 2014. Sara has provided informal notes from 'Digital Data and Artistic Expression' which are available to DPC members interested in the topic. To access her notes, and to see the full list of conference and workshop reports see the Conference Notes and Meeting Reports section of the Members' Area (login Required).


Digital Preservation Handbook: survey results and outline contents published

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The DPC and Charles Beagrie Ltd are delighted to announce the release two important documents which will form the foundations of the new edition of the DPC Digital Preservation Handbook: the results of a major survey into audience needs, and the first full outline of content. 

'We are very keen to make sure that the new edition of the handbook fits with people's actual needs so we were very encouraged by the substantial response to the consultation document which we sent out before summer' explained Neil Beagrie who is editor of the new edition of the handbook. 'We estimate that the digital preservation community numbers around 1500 people in total: and there were 285 response to the survey.'

'It a very large sample of the community but it's also reassuringly diverse.  There's a strong representation from higher education and public sector agencies but there's also a sizeable group from industry, from charities as well as museums and community interest groups.  When asked if they would use the handbook, not a single respondent said no.'

'The survey has directly informed the contents of the new handbook', explained William Kilbride, Executive Director of the DPC.  'We started with an idea of the gaps and the many parts that had become outdated since the original handbook was published.  So we invited users to tell us what they wanted and how they wanted it - both in terms of content and presentation.  The project team has responded thoughtfully to these requests so I am confident that the resulting content outline is tailored to people's needs. Even so, we remain open to suggestions and comments'

'This will help ensure that the handbook remains relevant for many years to come.'


Vacancy at the Parliamentary Archives: Head of Preservation & Access

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Head of Preservation & Access
Location: London
Position Type: Permanent, Full time
Salary: £47,636 - £60,824 per annum
Closing Date: 17 October 2014

Would you like to lead preservation and access at the Parliamentary Archives in London?

This is a rare and exciting opportunity to lead the development and management of preservation and online access at a major national archive, with a particular emphasis on developing innovative digital services for users. The Preservation & Access team of 10 staff brings together responsibility for preservation of records in all forms, their cataloguing and digitisation, disaster planning, and the provision of online access to records, finding aids and other services. Key strategic priorities for the team include building an expanding range of innovative online services for users, the future development of our archives management system, embedding digital preservation as business-as-usual and expanding the range of digital records to be ingested, and continuing to develop our exemplary collection care service and digitisation programme.

You will be an experienced information management professional, with excellent leadership skills and proven experience of improving online access to archival information, underpinned by a high level of familiarity with major development trends in ICT, and the ability to innovate and act as an ‘intelligent client’ for the Archives. You will be familiar with the full range of activities in the Preservation & Access portfolio, with proven experience of managing teams or projects to support strategic aims in at least one area. You will have excellent communication, interpersonal and influencing skills, and experience of leading or participating in project or programme boards and developing successful business cases.

For more details see the vacancy notice, job description and application form at: http://www.parliament.uk/about/working/jobs/

For an informal chat, please contact Adrian Brown on +44 (0) 20 7219 3071 or at brownad [at] parliament.uk


Release of BitCurator 1.0: Free and Open-Source Software for Libraries, Archives and Museums

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The BitCurator project today announced the release of BitCurator 1.0, a free and open-source digital forensics software environment for libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) to acquire and process born-digital materials.  The BitCurator environment can be installed as a Linux environment; run as a virtual machine on top of other operating systems (Windows, Mac, Unix/Linux); or run as individual software tools, packages, support scripts and documentation.  The software release is the culmination of a three-year (2011-2014), collaborative effort between the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) at the University of Maryland. The project was made possible through two phases of funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

"This is an exciting milestone," says Christopher (Cal) Lee, principal investigator for the BitCurator project and associate professor at SILS. "Although there are already numerous collecting institutions across the globe that are using the BitCurator environment, release of version 1.0 is a further sign of the software’s maturity."

Matthew Kirschenbaum, co-principle investigator for the project and associate director at MITH, concurs. "There is now widespread recognition that digital forensics methods and tools have a significant role in the cultural heritage sector. With the release of BitCurator 1.0, collecting professionals now have convenient access to a range of open source digital forensics tools to assist in the processing of born-digital and hybrid collections."

Among its many functionalities, the BitCurator environment allows individuals to create forensic disk images, perform data triage tasks, analyze and report on file systems, identify personal and sensitive information (such as social security numbers or credit card information), and enables the capture and export of technical metadata.

With the completion of the BitCurator project, support for the BitCurator environment and associated user community is shifting to the BitCurator Consortium (BCC) [http://www.bitcurator.net/bitcurator-consortium/] an independent, community-led membership association that will serve as the host and center of administrative, user and community support for the software.

More information about the project is available at http://bitcurator.net. All of the BitCurator software, documentation and instructional materials can be freely downloaded from http://wiki.bitcurator.net.  Interested individuals can join the BitCurator users list and follow @bitcurator on Twitter.

Members can watch the 'Technology Bytes' webinar session with Porter Olsen of BitCurator from earlier this year by visiting the members area of the website (login required).


Current Trends and Future Directions for Digital Imaging in Libraries and Archives: registration now open

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Registration for the Wellcome Trust and Digital Preservation Coalition's (DPC) ‘Current Trends and Future Directions for Digital Imaging in Libraries and Archives’ event is now open. The conference will take place in the Wellcome Trust’s Gibb Building in London on 10th November, and is a free event.

The day-long event will address issues of validation, compression and preservation which have each become more important in image management as collections grow in size and complexity. 

“On one hand compression is seen as a necessary requirement to deal with the scale of the collection, but preservation advice generally discourages compression which is seen as a preservation risk,” explains Christy Henshaw of the Wellcome Trust. “Validation is essential for quality assurance in the development of large collections and is a necessary component in the development of a preservation plan: but adds another process in our workflows thus adding complexity and expense.”

So how to compress without risking loss? How to validate without adding complexity and expense? How to preserve with limited storage capacities?

Underlying these issues are developments related to JPEG2000 (JP2K), an open standard for the compression of images.  Because it can offer visually lossless compression JP2k can have a dramatic impact on access and distribution of images.

“This one-day workshop will bring together a range of specialist practitioners with experience of JP2K for digital libraries and digital archives, and will shed light on current and emerging practice and will enable a debate about future directions” says William Kilbride of the DPC.

Register for the 'Current Trends and Future Directions for Digital Imaging in Libraries and Archives' conference.

Places are strictly limited and should be booked in advance. If you book a place and can't attend, please let us know no later than 14 days before the event, otherwise we will charge you a non-attendance fee of £30.00, to cover the cost of your place.







The final countdown: polling for the 2014 Digital Preservation Awards closes next week.

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With just under a week until polling for the 2014 Digital Preservation Awards closes, DPC members are reminded invited to cast their vote and decide this year’s winners!

Voting closes at 5pm on Tuesday 30th September

The Awards are a prominent celebration of achievement for those who have made significant and innovative contributions to maintaining a digital legacy and this year new categories have enabled more recognition than ever before:

  • The OPF Award for Research and Innovation recognises excellence in practical research and innovation activities.
  • The NCDD Award for Teaching and Communications recognises excellence in outreach, training and advocacy.
  • The DPC Award for the Most Distinguished Student Work in Digital Preservation encourages and recognises student work in digital preservation.
  • The DPC Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy celebrates the practical application of preservation tools to protect at-risk digital objects.

“Each member has one vote in each category so we hope to encourage debate about which are the best nominations,” explains William Kilbride of the DPC.  “Voting is open to all the agencies and personal members which form the DPC family, but votes need to be cast online by 1700 on Tuesday 30th September.”

Votes should be cast by the board director or designated contact in each member organisation. Where DPC members have been shortlisted, they cannot vote for themselves - known conflicts of interest are stated in the voter’s pack and will be taken into consideration when deciding the winners.

The voters pack is online but you will need to login or register for the website before you can cast your vote.


Digital Cultural Heritage Roadmap Project Conference: notes now available

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William Kilbride attended a conference organised by the Digital Cultural Heritage Roadmap Project in Rome in September 2014 on behalf of the DPC. Informal notes from the event which are available to DPC members interested in the topic along with the slides of William's invited presentation.  To access the notes, and to see the full list of conference and workshop reports see the Conference Notes and Meeting Reports section of the Members' Area (login Required).


Vacancy at The National Archives, Kew: Senior Developer

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Senior Developer
Salary: starting up to 55,000 GBP
Location: Kew, West London 
Post type: Full time till 31st May 2016
Closing Date: Thursday 25th September 2014 at midnight

Building on our award-winning experience in digital preservation, The National Archives has developed a new Digital Records Infrastructure (DRI) system to acquire, store and preserve our rapidly increasing digital collection. Operating at petabyte-scale, this system will ensure the long-term preservation of the UK government’s records. Records such as government websites, the records of significant public inquiries, the decisions and deliberation of senior officials, ministers and prime ministers and the nation’s digitised history from the 11th to the early 21st century are all to be preserved in the system.

As a senior developer, you will play a key role in the enhancement of this innovative and high-profile system, ensuring that it remains capable of handling the latest digital records as new record formats are presented to the archives for permanent preservation. The system comprises a series of batch-processing workflows constructed predominantly in Java, Scala, XSLT and XML Schema running in a Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment. You will influence the future design of the system and will be responsible for setting technical direction, mentoring staff, undertaking code review and also writing code yourself. You must be an expert in at least one or more programming languages, with a good level of knowledge of others; familiarity with Linux would also be an advantage.

You should be passionate about technology and information management, and your own skill development. Your creativity and experience will be essential to the organisation to inform and shape the design of new workflows that you will need to translate into efficient operational code. You will be motivated to find solutions to complex problems and will frequently look for opportunities to do things better. You will liaise with Heads of Department, technical staff throughout the Technology Directorate, and colleagues across The National Archives and beyond; the role will be varied and challenging. #

For more information see: http://ig24.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_nationalarchives01.asp?newms=hm and follow relevant links.


Defining a Roadmap for Economically Efficient Digital Curation

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The 4C project will give a workshop at this year’s iPRES in Melbourne with focus on the recently published draft 4C Roadmap.

The workshop will take place on Monday, October 6th, 9:00 – 13:00 at the Conference Centre of the State Library of Victoria, and is an opportunity for participants to learn more about the economics of digital curation and to critically assess the efficiency and sustainability of their own services and solutions. It is also an important opportunity for the project to connect with stakeholders and get input for a critical deliverable of the project. Please find more information here.

The workshop is free of charge, but capacity is limited so make sure you register here. Registration is open until September 30th.


Vacancies at RCAHMS: Two Digital Archives Officers

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Digital Archives Officers
Post type: Full time, Fixed Term Appointment until 31st March 2016
Pay Band C - £22,022 to £28,448
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Closing Date: 1st October 1200 (Local time)

RCAHMS is keen to recruit two Digital Archives Officers to work as part of the Collections Team within the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and Historic Scotland. The post holders will assist with day-to-day duties relating to the digital collections including archive ingest, processing accessions, cataloguing and liaison with depositors; assist with the preparations for and implementation of a proprietary digital preservation repository system; and work to deliver and improve access to the digital collections.

It is essential that the successful post holders have a degree in Information Management or another relevant discipline and/or relevant work experience, as well as experience of working with a range of digital resources and technologies and a good knowledge of applied digital curation.

Successful applicants will have access to a generous total reward package that includes:   

  • A competitive salary and defined benefit career average pension scheme
  • 25 days annual leave, plus 4.5 days privilege leave in addition to 7 bank holidays
  • flexible working arrangements
  • childcare vouchers
  • cycle to work voucher scheme
  • on-going development and training opportunities

RCAHMS is an equal opportunities employer which embraces diversity and which promotes equality of opportunity. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet our minimum selection criteria. RCAHMS are a certified gold healthy working lives and cycle friendly employer.Closing date for the return of completed applications is at 12.00 noon on 1st October 2014. An interview date will be decided once the applications have been received and sifted.

For more information see: http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/jobs/digital-archives-officers


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