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A Hybrid Model for Web Archive Capture

Claire Newing

Claire Newing

Last updated on 22 November 2021

Claire Newing is Web Archivist at The National Archives in the UK


2021 is the year the UK Government Web Archive came of age. On 4 November we celebrated the 25th birthday of our oldest resource - this archived version of the Environment Agency website. Of course it shared its birthday with World Digital Preservation Day 2021 so a double excuse to celebrate.

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Digital Preservation and Climate Change: Provocation to and from COP26

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 22 November 2021

I was privileged to contribute to a panel on the fringes of the COP26 conference in Glasgow this morning convened by the UK National Archives with the title  'Archives Supporting Environmental Sustainability'  This short post is the text of my presentation which was the five minute provocation at the start of the session.

 

Ladies and gentlemen it’s a pleasure to be invited to speak to you this morning. I want to thank the organizers at the National Archives for their efforts in bringing us together for this timely – long overdue discussion.

I have 5 minutes so will attempt 5 themes in 5 minutes ...

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Leaning on community resources to build audiovisual transfer capacity at the Borthwick

Mark Simon Haydn

MSH

Last updated on 10 November 2021

Mark Simon Haydn is the Digital Preservation Archivist at the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York


In keeping with other reports from the field on the DPC blog, the last twelve months at the Borthwick have deeply involved increased supply and demand of digital collection material. In addition to daily reprographics work performed by the Institute’s searchroom team, there has been great progress with the delivery of grant projects: from significant Music Preserved digitisation supporting the British Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage scheme, performed by Nick Melia, to Chris Taylor’s extensive photography of ephemera recording the activities of regional music societies in the InterMusE project, collections have continued to reach users and inform research in spite of all the obvious obstacles to access, a temporary change in behaviour that suggests a new normal of remote access. Since stepping in as the temporary Digital Preservation Archivist in June, I’ve had chance to spend some time building up the capacity to appraise and transfer some of the Borthwick’s magnetic media holdings, audio and video recordings physically cared for by the Institute’s conservation staff but long inaccessible to researchers in the absence of adequate playback equipment.

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Embedding sustainability into systems and tools: a brief case study

Keith Pendergrass

Keith Pendergrass

Last updated on 10 November 2021

Keith Pendergrass is Digital Archivist at Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School.


This is a companion post to the Environmentally sustainable digital preservation - moving from theory to practice webinar.

Since the 2019 article and workshop protocol on environmentally sustainable digital preservation that I wrote with Walker Sampson, Tessa Walsh, and Laura Alagna, I have been using our framework to improve the sustainability of Baker Library’s digital archives program. I have written previously about our efforts to integrate sustainability into policies and workflows. For this post, I am going to look at a recent software development project as an example of how we can embed sustainability into our design and use of digital preservation systems and tools.

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Evolving File Format Identification, Migration, and Management for Preservation through Tool Development

Tom J. Smyth

Tom J. Smyth, Maxime Champagne

Last updated on 10 November 2021

Tom J. Smyth (Manager, Digital Preservation) and Maxime Champagne (Digital Preservation Repository Supervisor), Library and Archives Canada


Early this year, it became a priority for LAC’s Digital Preservation unit to reconsider the context of (and affect a major update to) our policy statement on the file formats we accept for transfer of digital library and archival documentary heritage.

In the course of examining the existing documents, a few issues arose for discussion among the preservation divisional staff:

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Breaking down barriers in e-only thesis submission: how digital preservation contributes to the conversation at the University of Glasgow

Leo Konstantelos

Leo Konstantelos

Last updated on 8 November 2021

Leo Konstantelos is Senior Assistant Archivist (Digital) in Archives & Special Collections at the University of Glasgow


The Digital Preservation Working Group (DPWG) at the University of Glasgow is a cross-University collaboration working to implement the University’s digital policy and strategy. Established in 2015, the group oversees the delivery of digital preservation services, with representation from the University Library, IT Services and the Data Protection & Freedom of Information Office.

We’ve been busy DP bees recently, assessing Archivematica as a production-level DP platform; reviewing and elaborating on our digital archiving workflow; testing said workflow with born-digital acquisitions at the University Archives; and working on setting up an archival forensics lab. Check our #WDPD2021 posts on Twitter @UofGlasgowASC to see what we’ve been up to!

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On Being a Good Ancestor

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 5 November 2021

I had the happy task of opening World Digital Preservation Day about 40 hours ago: but I get the fuzzy end of the lollipop too. Today I have to encourage you back to work. Those Excel spreadsheets aren’t going to screw up the date columns on their own. Oh hang on…

The original idea for World Digital Preservation Day was very simple: to help our far-flung community connect, and to raise awareness about our work. In 2021 we added a theme – we didn’t have themes in the early years – about Breaking Down Barriers to Digital Preservation.  Linguists will spot a verb in there, and it’s in the active voice too. So, at least thematically, 2021 has been the most ambitious World Digital Preservation Day yet, with action at its core. There’s a renewed urgency and confidence represented by this theme, growing partly from the many connections and case studies (not to mention cakes and crafts) which have come before.

Urgency and confidence are needed. This last year might be remembered as the year of the great deletion; as the year of obfuscation, misinformation and denial. As technology has become more and more critical to our lives so it has become the means and theatre of division, exploitation and harm.  The fragility of digital media has given cover to those who would hide their actions, and misdirection to the gullible who think data loss is inevitable, perhaps even reasonable.

As Richard Ovenden has argued, it’s time to Undelete the Government. My only qualification: not just the UK and not just the government. If I can mix my metaphors, we started World Digital Preservation Day with the idea of breaking down barriers, but perhaps we need to end it by taking to the barricades.

Data loss may seem like a small issue considering the many challenges ahead but rest unassured: corruption, maladministration, disaffection, and incompetence are the inevitable consequences of an entirely avoidable digital dark age.

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Enabling reconciliation in Canada: the value of digital preservation

Kelly Stewart

Kelly Stewart

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Kelly Stewart is Chief Archivist at Artefactual Systems Inc


There are many ways to describe the value of digital preservation, but for me it’s fundamentally about enabling memory in the modern world.  Whether we want to  hold those in power to account for  the actions they have taken or use those records in new, previously unimagined or impossible ways as science, culture, and technology evolve, access to reliable and trustworthy digital records is a cornerstone to our collective memory. 

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Breaking Down Barriers: Collaboration at the University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources

Elizabeth-Anne Johnson

Elizabeth-Anne Johnson

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Eilzabeth-Anne Johnson is Electronic Records Archivist at University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources


At the University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources (LCR), we're in the process of developing our digital preservation program. As part of this undertaking, we've been breaking down the barriers of the ways we communicate with each other and with our colleagues, patrons, and donors outside the institution. Acquiring, cataloguing, migrating, and sharing our digital material all comes with challenges. Learning how best to communicate with colleagues in different departments and with different areas of expertise has been crucial for our projects. While digital preservation can seem like the domain of only archives and libraries, LCR operates eight University of Calgary libraries on campus and across the city. Included in LCR are two art galleries: the Nickle Galleries and the Founders' Gallery at The Military Museums, as well as Archives and Special Collections, the University of Calgary Copyright Office, Research Data Centre and the University of Calgary Press. All these units create born-digital material.

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Fixity When Nothing is “Fixed” - Reflections on Upstream Engagement and Digital Preservation

Angela Beking

Angela Beking

Last updated on 3 November 2021

Angela Beking is Data Policy and Research Analyst/Analyste des politiques et de la recherche en les données at Privy Council Office/Bureau du Conseil privé (Canada).


We often speak of the critical importance of upstream engagement in digital preservation work. If we wait until the end of the records lifecycle to begin speaking with Producers about the opportunities provided by digital preservation, we are often too late. That box of unreadable floppy disks. Those files in a format that is not recognizable, let alone readable. That information that was stored on a social media platform, thinking it would be around forever (looking at you, Google +).  All of these examples speak to the need for active and engaged digital preservation practice.

But how do we actually “do” upstream engagement? What value can we deliver to Producers, and what can we learn in return? I suggest that there are lessons to be learned in breaking down barriers through upstream engagement that will encourage – or even require – our discipline to reflect on its core assumptions.  

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