Ellie Burnage

Ellie Burnage

Last updated on 31 October 2023

Ellie Burnage works for Exact Editions based in the UK

“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it!” Halford E. Luccock 🎼

November has crept around again, and with it World Digital Preservation Day 2023 on Thursday 2nd November. Organised by the Digital Preservation Coalition, this annual celebration invites all data creators, archivists and curators to celebrate the benefits and opportunities enabled by the hard work of digital preservation community. 

The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Digital Preservation: A Concerted Effort’ — and a particular project Exact Editions took on during the last year encapsulates the collaborative work that digitising a magazine archive entails. Haymarket documented over 120 years of automotive history when they extended the archive of Autocar, the world’s oldest car publication, back to the first issue ever published in 1895. 

There were three key players involved in both bringing this magnificent archive to life and spreading awareness of this feat in digital preservation. 

The Publisher

First of all, the publisher made the decision to fully complete the archive on the platform. In the case of Autocar, the publisher provided scanned PDF copies of issues dating back to 1895, so the files were passed straight to the Exact Editions production team.

In other instances, the publisher may only have print copies of archived issues. In these cases, Exact Editions works with a third-party company to organise destructive and non-destructive scanning, depending on the publisher’s requirements, in order to obtain the PDFs.

The Exact Editions Production Team

The job of the production team was to transform the PDFs provided by the publishers into fully-searchable, sleek digital issues and add them to the existing archive on the platform. Digital editions on the Exact Editions platform benefit from intuitive navigational features such as linked contents pages and issues stacked by decade, as well as cross-platform access across iOS and Android devices.

As the extension was so large (around 7,000 issues), the production team worked on them in batches to break up the content into small chunks. A project timeline was put together in agreement with the publisher to release a decade at a time working back from the year 2010, adding an extra decade to the archive every three weeks. In total, the time took doing quality control checks on a sample of each decade and releasing each decade to subscribers took around 6 months to complete.

The Exact Editions Marketing Team

After all the issues provided by the publisher had been processed and uploaded, the marketing team then coordinated a launch of the extended digital archive and generated press coverage across the automotive, publishing and library industries.

The launch also included a timeline with links to significant articles throughout the archive that pinpointed specific points in automotive history, encouraging users to interact with this newly digitised and fully-searchable resource.

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So there you have it; how Exact Editions have been making ‘a concerted effort’ to support digital preservation this year alongside Haymarket’s Autocar. This preservation will also lead to longer-term access for all, and Exact Editions works tirelessly to ensure that libraries and users will have continuing access to this valued digital archive that grows with each week that passes.

Find out more about World Digital Preservation Day 2023 here.

Questions about Exact Editions? You can contact us by emailing info@exacteditions.com.

You can find out more about the Autocar launch here and also read Exact Editions’ blog post from World Digital Preservation Day 2022 here.

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