Archiving Reproductive Health

Legacy Archiving Reproductive Health Logo1. Overview

Working with key stakeholders, including activist organisations like Abortion Rights Campaign, Together for Yes, Terminations for Medical Reasons, Coalition to Repeal the Eighth, and many others, Archiving Reproductive Health is gathering and preserving a selection of digital objects and research data, including social media, that tells part of the story of this historic campaign.

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Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin’s Personal Cinema: the digital and archival legacy

The deposit of the archive of the experimental film-maker Stephen Dwoskin at the University of Reading’s Special Collections in 2013 represented a major challenge and an opportunity for archivists and researchers that has had an impact institutionally and methodologically for the sector.

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Preserving and sharing the Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert photographic collection

The University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums has acquired, preserved, catalogued and shared online the photographic archive of the internationally significant Scottish photographer Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert (b.1969). This includes the preservation of 900,000 (20TB) images, fully integrated with an additional 100,000 physical collection items. The work marks a step change in the scale and ambition of our digital preservation capacity and commitment, demonstrating that libraries and museums at smaller research universities can take the lead in preserving and sharing our global digital heritage.

This work ensures the ongoing accessibility of an important visual document of Scottish and global cultures, peoples, and landscapes. Jeremy’s work has appeared in magazines such as Time, National Geographic, Italian Geo, Le Figaro, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and many others. Topics covered include reportage of Scotland, international reportage, the arts, politics, the environment, and sports.

Legacy JSH Greenpeace

ID 20011204_Whaling_9191 Greenpeace-Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert all rights reserved

The acquisition of the collection’s analogue material (1989-2005) in addition to the born-digital material (2003-present) allows us to document the major technological changes within Sutton-Hibbert’s varied career. In the context of the University’s wider photographic collection, started in 1844 and already comprising 1,000,000 analogue items, the Sutton-Hibbert collection tells part of a story of technological changes across the entire history of the photographic medium.

Legacy JSH ID JSH N41 021 13

ID JSH-N41_021_13 Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert all rights reserved

The project makes use of multiple best practice techniques and principles for working with donors, collections management and digital asset management. It also uses a combination of technologies and strategies for processing and preserving large scale digital-analogue hybrid collections and their metadata quickly and efficiently, allowing us to acquire, preserve and share the collection in a short time period.


ID JSN JAPAN TAO 4892 Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert all rights reserved

The collection will be of interest to a wide range of audiences across the globe. The project establishes our own commitment and capacity for preserving other large, significant hybrid heritage collections, which has previously only been within the reach of a relatively small number of institutions. The methods for acquiring, preserving, and sharing the collection are reusable and shareable -- we hope this can act as an example and template for what can be achieved by other libraries, archives, and museums.

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National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation

This National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) project implements long term preservation and advanced discovery and access for the NCTR’s digital archival records. The Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate the history and legacy of forceful assimilation of Indigenous children through Residential Schools (RS). It created the NCTR to preserve the accumulated records and to promote education, investigation, preservation, and commemoration of RS history. For future generations, access to the NCTR archives is a public good. This digital preservation and infrastructure project promotes reconciliation through acknowledgement. With Indigenous community approval, it provides researchers access to archival records to theorize oppression and disrupt the colonial relationships between academic researchers and Indigenous communities. It is a recognition that we are what we choose to remember; but we are also what we choose to forget.

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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) spent seven years acquiring the records and testimonies to document the history and legacy of the residential school system in Canada. Approximately 150,000 Indigenous children were forcefully sent to these schools over a period of approximately 100 years. In this investigative work, the TRC did not establish a preservation program. The (NCTR) was assigned the mandate to save and make available the TRC’s work. This required preserving a high volume of digital material (over four million documents and 7,000 recorded testimonies) in a great diversity of formats, arrangements, descriptive and technical metadata. The diversity of the records - in provenance, format, and content - is the project's greatest challenge. The NCTR began by winning a $6 million Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to acquire the necessary resources to implement the required IT infrastructure to support a digital preservation program. The preservation project has two elements. First, design and implement a digital workplan to systematically preserve all the digital documents (maps, photos, text) in its holdings. Second, design and implement a project to preserve the almost 7,000 digital AV recordings of Indigenous testimonies concerning the legacy of the residential school system. Both digital preservation components rely on an IT storage array which was also implemented as part of this project.

CITS NCTR 19b c000005 d0092 001

To preserve its digital documents, the NCTR teamed with Artefactual Systems to implement their Archivematica preservation system. The greatest preservation challenge for the NCTR in this component of the program was the diversity of file formats and metadata. The TRC consulted 140 church orders of various denominations and 45 provincial and federal government offices to complete its research mandate. The result was extreme diversity in digital formats and metadata. Using the Open Archival Information System model, the NCTR set up a workflow to create Archival Information Packages (AIP) with descriptive metadata meaningful to Indigenous communities as well as appropriate preservation IT metadata. The aggregated records of each religious order and each government office represented an individual AIP. Artefactual Systems teamed with the NCTR digital archives staff to set up a server array to support Archivematica’s suite of open source microservices designed to identify and reformat digital documents into preservation standard formats with appropriate metadata. Due to its unique value, the NCTR first completed preservation work on the religious records sets. The NCTR now holds 19.7 tbs of religious records as AIPs on a server set up exclusively for preservation. Work has begun on the government records. With infrastructure and workflow now established, the NCTR anticipates completion of these government records sets by October . When complete the NCTR will have reformatted and preserved as AIPs, on a preservation dedicated server, 242.95 tbs of historical documentation on the over 100 year operation of the RS system in Canada. 

To preserve the digital AV testimonies, the NCTR collaborated with the National Film Board (NFB) to create preservation master copies of each Sharing Circle and Sharing Panel. The TRC visited over 200 Indigenous communities to hold these hearings and record the testimony of RS Survivors and their relations. Unlike the copies of the religious and government records, these are original statements on the legacy of the RS system. Held with Indigenous ceremony, these Indigenous hearings are an internationally unique collection of records. The preservation challenge for this component of the project was working with a variety of commercial AV file formats created with commercial equipment of diverse quality. The TRC created 44,805 AV files of hearings that collected Indigenous testimonies. This amounted to 2591.99 hours of testimony or 106.78 tbs of digital recording. The variety of AV file formats included AVI, MOV, MTS, MXF, and MP4. Included in this amount is 85 tbs of B-roll, recordings not included in the final edit of the testimony but nevertheless important. The NFB workflow included transferring files to the NFB studios; classifying and verifying diverse original formats from the TRC; transcoding the files using NFB's in-house editing studios; creating an Interoperable Master Format (IMF), master copies using a JPEG 2000 codec with lossless compression. The formatting details for the master copies follow SMPTE (Society Motion Picture and Television Engineering) standards for long term AV digital storage: https://www.smpte.org/standards/overview. The NFB will also create MP4 low resolution access copies for the NCTR web site and higher resolution, “mezzanine” copies for media and research purposes. The AV files component of the preservation program is one third complete. With the workflow and resource architecture created, and all the various recording formats examined, this component of the preservation project is over one third complete, with AIPs now stored on the preservation server. The project is on track for completion by the end of 2022.

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Long-term preservation of Digital Health Records

Health records have always been considered a valuable asset for São João University Hospital Center (SJUHC) and we proudly preserve and maintain accessible patient records since our foundation in 1959.

The management of more than 15 kilometers of paper-based health records, 9.715 microfilms, as well as a considerable infrastructure composed of hardware and software to support the electronic records of a University Hospital with more than 1100 beds is a challenge that demands a well designed digital preservation strategy.

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Mahou-San Miguel: Preserving the Legacy of the Leading Spanish Brewery Company


Mahou San Miguel (1890) is the leading Spanish Beer Company, and with more than 130 years of history is one of the oldest private companies in Spain.

Mahou San Miguel, a hidden Historical Archive

The Mahou San Miguel Historical Archive has a very valuable collection of documents, including an important old photographic collection that reflects the evolution of Spanish society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, through portraits and genre scenes. The reason for this is that Almayso, a photographer and son of the founder of the Mahou brewery, discovered the art of photography very early on during one of his business trips to Europe. In 1870 he opened the first photographic studio in Madrid, becoming one of the precursors of photography in Spain. He combined this work with the management of the brewery. The curation and restoration of this photographic collection led the Historical Archive of the company to be nominated for the Spanish National Award for the Restoration and Curation of Cultural Assets.

CITS Mahou Almayso obra foto

The Archive's documentation holdings also include an extensive collection of historical advertising materials, the collection of old columns and taps with which the beers were served, and the collection of bottles, glassware and historical containers that have contained Mahou San Miguel beers, which include full 3D digitalizations of these objects.

CITS Mahou San Miguel botellas

Bringing the collections to life and preserving for the future

At the end of 2021, Mahou San Miguel began working with LIBNOVA on a digital preservation and dissemination project for the Historical Archive, allowing the company to safeguard its corporate historical legacy and raise its brand reputation, unifying its collection management tools in a single digital preservation solution.

CITS Mahou San Miguel grifos
With the implementation of this digital preservation solution, Mahou San Miguel protects and preserves its content immediately, at bit level, ensuring the integrity of the objects, characterizing formats and controlling their obsolescence. In addition, collections can be reorganized and enriched within the platform, minimizing the risk of loss and with full traceability of the changes made.

Thanks to automatic indexing, content can also be easily searched, located and shared, highlighting the value of the information stored.

The creation of a Virtual Museum accessible to the public has also been included in this digital preservation project. In this way, the value of the archive records is enhanced and all people interested in the history of the brewery will be able to access the collections of its Historical Archive.

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Kickstart Cymru: Enhancing digital preservation capacity in Wales

Kickstart Cymru includes several strands of work which have contributed to the overall aim of increasing digital preservation capacity in Wales.

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ARCHIVER - Archiving and Preservation for Research Environments

CC Archiver LogoThe work accomplished in ARCHIVER is a game-changer for the approach taken to long-term research data management both from a mindset and technological perspective, i.e. what data do researchers retain, how to keep intellectual control of it and what data stewards must do to ensure long-term value can be realised from it. The social importance and economic benefits of making scientific data open and reusable according to FAIR principles (Findable Accessible Interoperable Reusable) have already been demonstrated. However, there are still major gaps when it comes to the sustainability of long-term accessibility and usability of research data, for example as discussed in the FAIR Forever report from the Digital Preservation Coalition DPC).

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The effective preservation of archaeological virtual reconstructions

In use in archaeology there is a wide range of surveying techniques including 3D modelling, laser scanning, rectified photography, panoramic imaging, and photogrammetry. They can offer great accuracy fast, but they also produce large data files, which require expensive and sophisticated hardware and software in order to view and post-process them. Depending on the size of the archaeological site that needs to be surveyed, a large amount of data can be produced and data of different types, e.g. .obj (meshes), .jpg (photographs), .ptx (registered point clouds), .avi and .mov (film/flythrough). Archaeologists need to deposit this type of data in ‘trusted’ digital repositories where files are securely preserved, curated, and made permanently accessible.

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Enabling DNA as a digital preservation medium

Storing data on DNA is not a new concept. It was first demonstrated a few decades ago.

The dominant workflow today for storing and reading data on DNA is built from 6 steps:

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