OPF Award for Research and Innovation

The OPF Award for Research and Innovation celebrates significant technical or intellectual accomplishments which practically lower the barriers to effective digital preservation. It is presented to the project, initiative or person that, in the eyes of the judges, has produced a tool, framework, standard, service, or approach that has (or will have) the greatest impact in ensuring our digital memory is available tomorrow. 

bwFLA - Functional Long-term Archival and Access - University of Freiburg and Partners

In a world in which research and evelopment is producing almost entirely digital and mostly complex artefacts, new and efficient concepts for preservation and re-use are required.  Furthermore a significant amount of today's  cultural work is purely digital.  Therefore emulation technology appeals to a wide and diverse user-group since many of the born-digital objects cannot be preserved and re-used without a suitable runtime environment.  The bwFLA project has developed a distribute, scalable and cost-effective cloud-based emulation as a service preservation framework enabling convenient access to emulation technology for preservation of born-digital assets.  Citation and presentation can now be as easy as linking or embedding a YouTube video.

Jpylyzer, a JP2 validator and extractor - KB (National Library of the Netherlands) and Partners

Jpylyzer is a validator and feature extractor for JP2 images. JP2 is the still image format that is defined by Part 1 of the JPEG 2000 image compression standard. Jpylyzer tells you if a JP2 image really conforms to the format’s specifications (validation). It also reports the image’s technical characteristics (feature extraction). Originally developed to meet the needs of a large-scale TIFF to JP2 migration at the National Library of the Netherlands, jpylyzer has seen a high level of adoption, both by peer institutions as well as the (open source) developer community.

The SPRUCE Project - University of Leeds and partners

The SPRUCE Project was focused on supporting grass roots digital preservation activity, by connecting individuals responsible for managing digital data with domain experts, technical experts and a supportive community of peers. SPRUCE worked closely with and supported over 100 practitioners from over 90 libraries, archives, museums and commercial organisations from the UK, Europe and beyond. SPRUCE created the largest and most comprehensive registry of preservation software to help practitioners find the tools they need to preserve their digital assets. It also created an essential guide to writing preservation business cases, to help organisations make the case for funding this vital work.

NCDD Award for Teaching and Communication

The NCDD Award for Teaching and Communication celebrates significant efforts to empower workforces or engage policy makers with the skills and information they need to make digital preservation a practical reality.  It is presented to the project, initiative, team or person that, in the eyes of the judges, has produced training resources, a curriculum, or campaign that have (or will have) the greatest impact in ensuring our digital memory is available tomorrow, or undertaken empirical research that will evidently support the development of those skills.

Skilling the Information Professional, Aberystwyth University

Skilling the information professional to manage digital information is one of the central aims of Aberystwyth University Department of Information Studies’ (AUDIS) learning and teaching strategy for both master’s students and continuing professional development (CPD). Campus based courses were revamped for 2013-2014, to enable all master’s students to opt for digital information studies for the first time, while new courses in Digital Curation and Digital Information Services
were introduced. CPD training in digital information management was introduced through: Pathways to Information Leadership, a partnership venture with Emerald Group Publishingand Aslib (Association for Information Management);and relevant short- courses offered through the Department.

Practical Digital Preservation: a how-to guide for organizations of any size, Adrian Brown

Practical Digital Preservation is a pioneering book, providing a comprehensive guide to building and operating digital preservation solutions for organizations of any size. Aimed at the non-specialist and illustrated with international case studies, it leads the reader through every stage of the process. This is a critical issue for organizations of all types but has, hitherto, mostly been the preserve of national bodies - the practical guidance required to demystify this complex subject and empower smaller organizations to act has been lacking until now. Critical reception has been outstanding, and almost 1,000 copies have been sold within the first year.

Introduction to Digital Curation: An open online UCLeXtend Course, University College London

Introduction to Digital Curation is a freely available online course designed to provide an introduction to the emerging field of digital preservation and curation. Offered via the UCLeXtend platform, this innovative offering allows anyone with a curiosity about digital curation to explore the subject in the company of others and to learn about the resources and the community that sustain it. Individuals are invited into the fascinating world of digital preservation for a short time in the hope that, even should they decide not to stay, they will nonetheless leave with a better idea of its nature and importance.

DPC Award for the Most Distinguished Student Work in Digital Preservation

The DPC Award for the Most Distinguished Student Work in Digital Preservation celebrates impressive work by any student which lowers the barriers to digital preservation.  It is presented to the student that, in the eyes of the judges, has produced an essay, course work, project report, dissertation or thesis that has had (or will have) the greatest contribution in ensuring our digital memory is available tomorrow.

Emulation v Format Conversion by Victoria Sloyan, University College London

This dissertation investigates why emulation has not been more widely adopted and how appropriate it is an access strategy.
There is first an examination of the theoretical arguments in support of emulation and against format conversion to demonstrate that emulation makes the most suitable strategy when considered purely from a theoretical perspective. This is followed by analysis of the evidenced gathered from four archival institutions who have adopted an access strategy for digital archives. Three institutions have rejected emulation, whilst one has adopted it. Their primary and additional reasons shall be assessed and 2 conclusions are drawn. The findings show that emulation is a suitable access strategy for certain types of records, but there are significant weaknesses. Moreover, it is concluded that emulation does not integrate well with high-level access procedures and policy, thus it is not being adopted by archival institutions.

Game Preservation in the UK by Alasdair Bachell, University of Glasgow

This is a Master's dissertation by Alasdair Bachell that investigates current attitudes towards preservation in the UK video games industry by looking at current records keeping practices and the views of developers. The results show that there is an interest, and possibly a desire to preserve games, but the issues of piracy and cost prevent the industry from doing so themselves and from allowing others to take on the responsibility for them. The recommendation made by this study is not simply to collaborate with the industry, but to do so by advocating the commercial benefits to the industry.

Voices from a Disused Quarry by Kerry Evans, Ann MacDonald and Sarah Vaughan, University of Aberystwyth and partners

Voices from a Disused Quarry created digital oral histories, to celebrate the ground-breaking Centre for Alternative Technology’s 40th anniversary (2014). As part of their studies, MSc Archive Administration students from Aberystwyth University’s Department of Information Studies (AUDIS) prepared the oral histories for long-term preservation by the National Library of Wales (NLW) and for discovery through the People’s Collection Wales. Working directly across these organisations, students undertook the preparatory activities required to assure long-term access to the memoirs of those who undertook pioneering work on sustainable technologies. Activities included data modelling, identification, organisation, cataloguing, copyright verification and recommendations for future care.

DPC Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy

The DPC Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy has been introduced in 2014 to celebrate the practical application of preservation tools to protect at-risk digital objects (completed in the period 1st August 2012 to 31st July 2014). It draws attention to concrete efforts to ensure important elements of our generation’s digital memory remains available to future generations. It need not involve particularly innovative work, but must illustrate a clear understanding of the risks that digital objects face and the reasons for ensuring they are properly managed.  It should be an exemplar case study in why preservation matters and it must be capable of being described in terms that are readily understood.

Conservation and Re-enactment of Digital Art Ready-Made, University of Freiburg and Rhizome

This project focused on a digital artwork by renowned artist Cory Arcangel (a 'readymade' piece comprising of a 1993 computer bought in a thrift store in 2005). In order to preserve it and make it accessible, it was published on the open web as a fully usable and explorable system via Emulation as a Service (bwFLA).  The emulation created a new form of presentation for the artwork, providing access to a wide audience of over 1000 people - the firs time in years that the work could be seen and analyzed, an an important cultural application of the bwFLA platform.  This work demonstrates how to present a highly complex digital oject in its full dimensionality to an (almost) unlimited audience while simultaneously protecting IPR as the object or parts of it cannot be copied or altered.

Carcanet Press Email Preservation Project, The University of Manchester Library

The Carcanet Press Email Preservation Project has safeguarded a vital chapter of the UK’s literary history. The archive of premier poetry publishers, Carcanet Press, is one of the outstanding collections of the University of Manchester Library. At its heart is a huge body of correspondence with international literary figures, now largely conducted digitally. We recognized the urgent need to rescue and preserve these fruits of email’s golden age. Using this extensive email archive and basing our work on recognized standards, we have both developed our own digital preservation capacity and contributed to international efforts to preserve digital heritage.

Inspiring Ireland, Digital Repository of Ireland

Inspiring Ireland is an ambitious project to share high-quality images of Ireland’s treasured cultural objects in a single website, built on DRI’s trusted digital repository infrastructure. The project is a collaboration between the DRI, the Irish government, and eight of Ireland’s National Cultural Institutions, and is significant because it is the first time that objects from all of these institutions have been brought together (while also being properly preserved) into a single curated exhibition for public access. 

The Cloud and the COW: establishing a framework for digital preservation in Wales, ARCW Digital Preservation Consortium

The COW (Community of the Willing) is a framework established by the Archives and Records Council Wales to ensure the preservation of Wales's digital heritage.  It is based upon the recognition that different partners have differing resource bases (human, material and financial) and provides an innovative approach to overcoming these barriers to make digital preservation 'doable'.  Outputs from this framework have been a practical response to need.  These have included the provision of documentation and training, and a cloud development of Archivematica.  All of these activities have contributed to the evolving Welsh national strategic approach to digital preservation.

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