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Ten IT skills you need to have to work with digital preservation and one skill to rule them all

Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson

Last updated on 2 May 2019

Like many of my digital preservation (DP) contemporaries I too read archaeology, as part of my history degree. My degree encompassed the Neolithic (We played with really sharp flint tools) to the ‘Dirty Harry’ movies (That made my day) If nothing else it taught me the circular nature of history. The past may be a different country but it’s one we seem to visit again and again.

It’s not (Necessarily) a failing of our profession that the same questions are asked again and again, it’s a reflection of change and evolution in things like IT, society and how we move the past into the future. Amidst this change, perhaps because of it, the context of the questions asked changes; ask the same question over twenty years and the answers will vary.

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The Bits Must Flow! An Introduction to New-ish DPC Member, Internet Archive

Maria Praetzellis

Maria Praetzellis

Last updated on 30 April 2019

Maria Praetzellis is Web Archiving Program Manager for the Internet Archive


Internet Archive Community Webs cohort members at Internet Archive Headquarters, San Francisco, CA

We are known for many things at the Internet Archive: a place to play long lost arcade games, listen to old 78 rpm records, or, most recently, finding that old MySpace track “accidently” deleted from the live web. Most people know us by the Wayback Machine, as we are the oldest and largest publicly available web archive.

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PASIG 2019, 12-14 Feb, El Colegio de México, Mexico City (part 2)

Rachel Tropea

Rachel Tropea

Last updated on 25 April 2019

Rachel Tropea is Senior Research Archivist at the University of Melbourne and and attended PASIG2019 with support from the DPC's Leadership Programme which is generously funded by DPC Supporters


This is the second of two blog posts about PASIG2019 held at El Colegio de México in Mexico City. In the previous post I looked at the history and organisation of Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group Meeting (PASIG), and in this post I summarise the content of select presentations.

There is a broadening scope of professionals and skill sets that are included under the umbrella of ‘digital preservation’ and this was reflected at PASIG, both in the presentations and in the list of attendees. The overriding theme of the conference was that people, values, politics, policies and resources are integral to and intertwined with the technical components of the infrastructure landscape. 

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The 'Capstone' email appraisal approach

Alexander Roberts

Alexander Roberts

Last updated on 2 April 2019

Alexander Roberts is Digital Humanities Manager/Research Data Manager at Swansea University and attended iPRES2018 with support from the DPC's Leadership Programme which is generously funded by DPC Supporters


boston museum small

 

Welcome to my second blog post relating to themes and projects which sparked my imagination as a result of attending iPres2018, the international digital preservation conference, last September in Boston, USA. As I mentioned in my previous blog post discussing Denmark’s national digital preservation legislation, I am looking backwards in reflecting on takeaways from iPres2018, whilst very much looking forward to what iPres2019 has to offer.

In this two-part post, I will briefly discuss the history that led to the creation of the 'Capstone' email appraisal approach, which I first learned about during a session entitled, 'Archiving Email: Strategies, Tools, Techniques. A tutorial by[:] Christopher John Prom, Patricia Patterson, Wendy Gogel, William Kilbride, Ricardo Ferrante, Glynn Edwards, and Camile Tyndall Watson' on day one of the conference. I will also discuss what the approach means from a practical point of view and what its potential application within a University environment might look like. In part two I will discuss some of the tools available to accomplish this type of preservation and touch on wider questions concerning corporate communications and recent changes in relation to the tools used in complex environments. 

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Building Connections Through Data Conversations At Lancaster University 

Joshua Sendall

Joshua Sendall

Last updated on 18 April 2019

Josh Sendall is Research Data Manager at Lancaster University Library (the Library)


When you’re enabling Research Data Management (RDM) best practice it’s easy to get caught up in the systems and services. To focus on processes - on planning, storing, transferring, archiving and sharing digital objects. And yet, behind every Data Management Plan, behind every dataset, there’s a person making a contribution to scholarship.

At Lancaster University every few months we convene 'Data Conversations.' These are two-hour events where current Research Data Management issues are discussed. We start with an informal free lunch for all attendees, followed by a mixture of short talks and panel discussions. Bringing our researcher community together in this relaxed and friendly environment continues to provide a dynamic and innovative platform. What's more, it's a chance to meet researchers from different disciplines and at different career stages — what's not to like! 

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EU Publications Office archiving and long-term preservation team celebrate 1st birthday

Els Breedstraet

Els Breedstraet

Last updated on 16 April 2019

Els Breedstraet is teamleader for archives and long-term preservation at the Publications Office of the European Union


Dear diary

16th of April – Today, the archives and long-term preservation team at the Publications Office of the EU (OP) celebrates its first birthday. Exactly a year ago, OP was reorganised and for the first time the four services linked to archiving were grouped together into one team. I got entrusted the exiting, but also very challenging, task of heading the team. Some of my colleagues are working already a long time in the field, others are completely new to the trade.

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Digital Preservation to Support Large-Scale Digital Repatriation Initiative of Qatar National Library

Arif Shaon

Arif Shaon

Last updated on 9 April 2019

Dr. Arif Shaon is Senior Digital Curation Specialist at Qatar National Library


Qatar National Library

On 16 April 2018, we were officially inaugurated as the Qatar National Library by His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, and became one of the youngest national libraries in the world. Despite being a young library, we have taken confident steps towards supporting Qatar’s transition from a reliance on natural resources to a diverse, sustainable knowledge-based economy. Our initiative for digitally repatriating the nation’s cultural heritage, which began long before our grand opening in April, especially in the form of the Qatar Digital Library (QDL)[1], is a significant contribution to the Library’s progress.

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Archiving Final Draft: A potential digital gold mine of film and TV scripts

Emily Walker

Emily Walker

Last updated on 11 April 2019

Emily Walker is a CHASE-funded Doctoral Researcher at the University of East Anglia currently specialising in television comedy. Her thesis is investigating the representation of religion in four British religious sitcoms – All in Good Faith, The Vicar of Dibley, Father Ted, and Rev – to establish ‘religious sitcoms’ as a sitcom sub-genre. She is also undertaking a placement as Curatorial Assistant for the British Archive for Contemporary Writing’s TV Comedy Collection (University of East Anglia).


Archiving Final Draft: A potential digital gold mine of film and TV scripts

But can we access the creative process behind them?

Within the screenwriting industry, Final Draft is universally acknowledged as the industry standard scriptwriting software to use if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. The Final Draft website proudly boasts that companies from the BBC to Netflix to Walt Disney use the software for their productions, and includes quotes from users such as Guillermo Del Toro, JJ Abrams, and Sofia Coppola praising the ease of use and technical ability. Del Toro even humorously suggests that Final Draft has been such a ‘wise, patient and loyal writing partner’ that he would happily elope with the software.

The package – which currently costs around £200 – can write Film, TV, or theatre scripts, can be customised to suit any company scriptwriting format, allows for cross-computer collaboration, works on almost any device, and has regular updates introducing new interactive features like a beat board and alternative dialogue (which I’ll return to later). Overall, the Final Draft software is used in over 95% of film and television productions.

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Comparative analysis of uncompressed AVI and FFV1 video

Graham Purnell

Graham Purnell

Last updated on 3 May 2019

Graham Purnell is a former photographer, web content and social media professional who began working as a Digital Preservation Assistant with the National Library of Scotland in early January 2019


The purpose of these tests: to use FFMPEG to transcode an uncompressed AVI file to FFV1, with identical ‘pixel-for-pixel’ output to the original source video, and to verify the results.

I’ve read a lot of information on the internet about the benefits of using FFV1/MKV as an archive video format/wrapper, but little empirical evidence about why it is suitable. It doesn’t help that, in the minds of many people, the word ‘compression’ is synonymous with ‘lossy’ (“if file sizes are smaller, surely some data must be missing.”) Archivists and digital preservation practitioners avoid much of the technical video information when writing, and video specialists address the subject in terms beyond the scope of many archivists. Thankfully, I have some previous video production experience and I hope I can help make some sense of it all.

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Variation in national digital preservation policies

Alexander Roberts

Alexander Roberts

Last updated on 2 April 2019

Alexander Roberts is Digital Humanities Manager/Research Data Manager at Swansea University and attended iPRES2018 with support from the DPC's Leadership Programme which is generously funded by DPC Supporters


Denmark and the Danish Archives Act 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2007

With preparations for iPres2019 in Amsterdam firmly underway and the deadline for submitting contributions having just passed, I have begun reflecting on some of the themes that resonated with me from last year’s amazing meeting at iPres2018. This was my first taste of the iPres experience, and it didn’t disappoint! My particular interests lie in computer science, IT areas including a focus on the performing arts (I’m a keen musician and composer). I found all of these areas well represented with keen and informed speakers elucidating on the finer points of applying arcane techniques and wizardly approaches to solving all sorts of digital preservation conundrums.

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