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Capturing and preserving practice based research

Holly Ranger

Holly Ranger

Last updated on 27 April 2022

Holly Ranger is Research Data Management Officer in the Research & Knowledge Exchange Office at the University of Westminster


Practice Research Voices (PR Voices) is an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project led by the University of Westminster. The project is scoping the development of an Open Library of Practice Research for the dissemination and preservation of practice research, building on existing software and standards and guided by open research principles.

‘Practice research’ is ‘an umbrella term that describes all manners of research where practice is the significant method of research conveyed in a research output’ (Bulley and Sahin, 2021). Practice research outputs are typically multi-component portfolios or collections of non-text file formats which are disseminated and hosted in separate places such as personal websites, institutional repositories, archives, and commercial video-sharing platforms. These factors pose a significant challenge to the preservation and reuse of practice research and practice research data.

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Digital Preservation at BT Archives

BT Archives

Melanie Peart

Last updated on 5 April 2022

Melanie Peart is Archives Specialist at BT Heritage & Archives.


BT Archives was set up over 35 years ago to preserve the history of the then recently privatised company, British Telecom.  Now a global telecommunications company, BT has its origins in mid-19th century telephone and telegraph businesses.  Its history includes, amongst many other things, the iconic red telephone box (or more accurately telephone kiosk), undersea cable-laying and memorable advertising campaigns.  So there is a wide and important history which we in the archives team are very keen to preserve and make available.  This includes digital archives as well as physical records and we have been collecting digital material since the 1990s and digitising physical archives for almost as long.

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What’s up with using WhatsApp?

Jenny Mitcham

Jenny Mitcham

Last updated on 31 March 2022

Last week one of our monthly #DPClinic sessions focussed on the topic of preserving WhatsApp, an interesting subject that drew in a good crowd of people from the digital preservation community.

 

The session was triggered by a question from a DPC Member who was interested to find out how other organizations were tackling the challenge of WhatsApp preservation, in particular where it has been used for business functions and needs to be captured as a record. It was clear that this issue is a shared one and an emerging challenge for those working in digital preservation. There had previously been some discussion on Twitter on this topic with some really helpful replies to the question I posed.

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Using data to support digital preservation practices: An NFSA case study

Lauren Curless

Lauren Curless

Last updated on 15 March 2022

Lauren Curless is the Data Integrity, Analytics & Information Management Manager at National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


As an audio-visual archive, the NFSA has always been interested in storytelling. Australian culture is showcased in every item held in our collection, across a huge number of formats, in the stories of Australians from all walks of life. We’re in a unique position amongst cultural institutions, our collection is primed for digital preservation due to the nature of our content and existing curatorial, digitisation and access programmes. 

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Reflections Following an Online Training Conference: 2022 NEDCC Digital Directions

Mzodidi Tutuka

Mzodidi Tutuka

Last updated on 2 March 2022

Mzodidi Tutuka is Principal Library Assistant at University at Cape Town Library. He recently attended the NEDCC Digital Directions Conference 2022  with support from the DPC’s Career Development Fund, which is funded by DPC Supporters.


I am Mzodidi Tutuka from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. I work at the Digital Library Services (DLS) department which falls under the Information and Resources division within the UCT Libraries. Our department consists of 9 individuals dedicated to providing the best data/digital support for researchers and studentsThrough a successful grant application to the DPC, which we have been members of since 2020, I have been fortunate to be granted an opportunity to attend the NEDCC Digital Directions conference this year. Attending the conference has helped me put a perspective on the general scope of the work that my department does.

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Digital Directions: Insights from a Virtual Conference

Ruth Schieferstein

Ruth Schieferstein

Last updated on 25 February 2022

Ruth Schieferstein is a Digital Archive Officer at Historic Environment Scotland. She recently attended the NEDCC Digital Directions Conference 2022 with support from the DPC’s Career Development Fund, which is funded by DPC Supporters.


I had the great opportunity to attend the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) Digital Directions conference thanks to the generous DPC Career Development Fund. The conference was held virtually over three days and was packed full with interactive talks and collaborative breakout sessions. My motivation for attending the conference was to meet fellow digital preservation colleagues and to stay up-to-date with current best practices and standards.

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A Beginner's Guide to Brunnhilde: The Installation, Recent Update, Additional Dependencies, and Uses of the Brunnhilde Software

Niamh Murphy

Niamh Murphy

Last updated on 2 March 2022

Niamh Murphy is a student of the Master of Library and Information Studies programme at University College Dublin.


As prefaced last week, this week’s post concerning Brunnhilde will be about the core requirements for its installation, the most recent update, the additional dependencies, and uses of the software, with specific attention to macOS and Python 3. As previously discussed, there are a multitude of reasons in favour of the installation and use of this software, which can be found here.

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A Beginner's Guide to Brunnhilde: Reasons for Using the Brunnhilde Software

Niamh Murphy

Niamh Murphy

Last updated on 16 February 2022

Niamh Murphy is a student of the Master of Library and Information Studies programme at University College Dublin.


While learning about file format identification software, namely Siegfried, as part of a module called Digital Curation: Core Concepts on my master’s program at the University College Dublin, it was suggested that Brunnhilde also be installed. This was not a requirement of the module, but rather a recommendation to those interested, as Brunnhilde is complimentary to Siegfried and produces a number of useful outputs. With that, there was also a forewarning that it can be difficult to install and use at first. As I enjoyed experimenting with Siegfried, I decided to go ahead and install Brunnhilde, explore its uses and document the experience.

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A promising path for parsing?

Paul Wheatley

Paul Wheatley

Last updated on 15 February 2022

This blog post is in some ways a follow up to my 2018 post "A valediction for validation?". It was prompted by a tweet from Micky Lindlar that got me thinking about this stuff again...

"Controversial statement of the day: the longer I work in digital presevation, the more pointless i find file format validation." It was a tweet that ellicited a significant number of replies that agreed with Micky's sentiment, suggesting perhaps a growing disenchantment with validation and thus my corresponding and continued interest in an alternative.

...and shortly after that a fascinating and information-dense presentation from Tim Allison and colleagues for an OPF webinar. As well as a brilliant follow up conversation on twitter prompted by questions from Tyler Thorsted to Tim

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Digital Directions: A whistle stop into the NEDCC’s annual conference

Fabiana Barticioti

Fabiana Barticioti

Last updated on 11 February 2022

Fabi Barticioti is a Digital Asset Manager at LSE Library. She recently attended the NEDCC Digital Directions Conference 2022 with support from the DPC’s Career Development Fund, which is funded by DPC Supporters.


I recently received a Career Development Fund grant from the DPC to attend the NEDCC 2022 Digital Directions conference, which was delivered entirely virtually. My initial interest in attending this conference was to expand my professional network, as I believed many of the attendees would likely be from organisations in the US. I was right about that; apart from me (based in London), another (in Edinburgh), and a handful of others scattered around the globe, most were from organizations based in the US.

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