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Undateables – methods for determining date ranges for born-digital documents when file system dates go bad

Paul Young is Digital Preservation Specialist/Researcher at the National Archives UK What’s the problem? Determining reliable dates for digital records can be a source of frustration, especially when confronted with a large volume of digital files with dates that are obviously incorrect, such as why your Microsoft Word Document 1997 version dates from 1st January 1970. Dates are very important for The National Archives in particular as we look to transfer records from departments under...

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DPA2018 Winners Webinars: EPISODE 3 - Navigating the PDF/A Standard

The Digital Preservation Awards 2018 (DPA2018) Winners Webinar Series provides an opportunity to learn more about some of the latest and best digital preservation initiatives, recently celebrated by the Digital Preservation Awards on World Digital Preservation Day 2018 in Amsterdam. Each episode explores the winning entry for each category of the Digital Preservation Awards, providing an overview of each initiative, investigating how their work might be used within the community, and...

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PDFS: When a Standard isn’t Standard in your Collections

Leslie Johnston is Director of Digital Preservation at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington DC, USA In 2017 the DPC announced its “Bit List” of Digitally Endangered Species as a crowd-sourcing exercise to discover which digital materials our community thinks are most at risk, as well as those which are relatively safe thanks to digital preservation. The “Items of Concern” portion of the list included PDF, a format bearing some discussion...

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Launch of the New Digital Archiving Platform at the National Archives of France: Act I!

Violette Lévy and Béatrice Hérold work at the National Archives of France in Paris Confronted with the ever-growing surge of digital services used by government agencies, the aim of the ADAMANT Project (Administration of archives and their metadata at the National Archives over time) is to preserve the integrity of the resulting digital archives and to ensure they remain permanently reliable, intelligible and accessible, which is the basic mission of the National Archives. After two years...

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What, who, where, how? Persistent Identifiers at the National Library of Luxembourg

Roxana Popistasu is Digital Preservation Coordinator at Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg  “In digital preservation, identification of digital content is essential”, say A. Dappert and A. Farquhar in their iPRES 2017 article Permanence of the Scholarly Record: Persistent Identification and Digital Preservation – A Roadmap. The same idea appeared in the introduction of Robert E. Kahn’s keynote at iPRES 2016: https://twitter.com/RoxPoNinja/status/782850754059132929 At...

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Automation in digital preservation

Richard Lehane is an archives and recordkeeping consultant with Recordkeeping Innovation, Sydney, Australia. Next year he'll be joining the IAEA's Archives team in Vienna, Austria When I find spare moments, I work on siegfried, a file format identification tool like DROID and fido. I've been tinkering on it now for over five years. Automation has been critical for me to sustain the project; otherwise I just wouldn’t be able to attend to all the things that need doing, besides improving the...

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A valediction for validation?

This blog post is an expansion and update of a reply I made to the digipres listerv in response to a query from Bernadette Houghton. It's also part of a response I began making at the Apres iPRES unconference to colleagues who were concerned I wasn't being disruptive enough at this year's iPRES (bless you all). The spirit of this blog post is for them. This is what Bernadette asked: "I’m currently doing some research into file format validators (e.g. http://description.fcla.edu/) and during...

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The power of PIDs: Using persistent identifiers to link research outputs in the Netherlands

Dr. Ricarda Braukmann is Program Leader Social Sciences at DANS “404 Not Found” is very likely one of the most irritating error messages coming from your browser. While being annoying for any website, link rot is especially problematic for important digital resources such as scientific articles or datasets that are expected to be preserved and accessible over longer periods of time. Persistent identifiers (PIDs) have been developed to prevent this problem and to ensure that digital...

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Digital Preservation Milestones at the University of Sheffield

Chris Loftus is Digital Preservation Manager at the University of Sheffield Western Bank Library in the UK The first International Digital Preservation day allows us an opportunity to reflect on some of the milestones and significant events so far in the implementation of the University of Sheffield’s Digital Preservation programme. The Library became one of the early adopters of Rosetta, a Digital Preservation solution provided by ExLibris, in 2015. Following installation Rosetta...

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Plans are my reality

{jcomments on} Yvonne Tunnat is Preservation Manager at the ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics I was fresh from university when I started my job as a preservation manager in October 2011 at the ZBW. Having taken a module named “Digital Preservation” during my studies of library and information science and after a 9-week-internship at the Digital Preservation Department of the university of Utah, I obviously was the best they could find for the job, although I knew next...

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Fifteen years with digital preservation

{jcomments on} Zhenxin Wu is Professor of the Information System Department and Deputy Director of the Digital Preservation Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences at the National Science Library in Beijing, China   与长期保存共同成长的十五年        ...

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Lossy Accelerant: Surfeit and Fragment in Digital Collections Archives

Jefferson Bailey is Director of Web Archiving Programs for The Internet Archive in the USA Archival collections have always been incomplete. Being homogenous, selective groups of records preserved through time, they support attestation and evidentiary consideration only through their longitudinal availability. Multiple appraisal, selection, and processing strategies have developed over the history of the archival endeavor to address the ways in which the archival collection is, by...

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The More You Know...

Leslie Johnston is Director of Digital Preservation for the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC, USA One of the greatest challenge for any archive is the multiplicity of file formats. For the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), with several decades of history accessioning and managing electronic records, this is compounded. We received our first transfer of electronic records in 1970! How do you plan a preservation strategy...

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Bit Preservation is NOT a Question of Technology!

{jcomments on} Eld Zierau is Digital Preservation Specialist PhD at the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark  And yes, it does involve technology, but technology is just a tool, in the same way as a word processing editor is a tool for a writer. Today, there is a growing awareness of the need for bit preservation, but there are still a lot of talk about backup, hardware longevity, bit preservation as a technology solution etc. I will here focus on the technology...

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Keep the knowledge

{jcomments on} Panos Constantopoulos is Professor in the Department of Informatics at Athens University of Economics and Business & Digital Curation Unit in Greece An answer to the question “what should be preserved?” would typically include digital content of various forms and related metadata.  But what stands for content and where is the limit between content and metadata? The changing notion of ‘document’ and the evolution and spread of computationally supported business...

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If I had a time machine: Letter to past-DP-newbie-me

{jcomments on} Michelle Lindlar is Digital Preservation Team Leader at Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) in Germany. Dear past self, You left your IT job a couple of months ago to work in digital preservation. It seemed like a really exciting and good fit given your background and interests. I think you’re still trying to work out the culture shock of working in a public service environment and trying to figure out what digipres is ‘zactly. I thought a few pointers and...

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The Data Vanishes

It’s time to come clean: I no longer know what data is. I am looking pretty hard but I just can’t see it any more. It’s a troubling realisation for someone who has spent twenty years or so trying to preserve the stuff. But the most unsettling part is this: I don’t think it’s me who is lost. Don’t get me wrong, this is not some delayed attack of post-modern angst. I am just trying to get to the end of the day. Is it possible that, just as it was reaching a crescendo of profile, polemic and...

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Highlights from the E-ARK Conference

{jcomments on} Over the last three years, the partners of the E-ARK Project have worked together to develop and test specifications and tools for the creation and management of information packages for preservation. Around this work they have also been busily undertaking complementary research and resource creation, resulting in a wide variety of new and improved practical solutions for those undertaking digital preservation activities. On a crisp, cold day at the beginning of December...

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PDF/Eh? redux: putting veraPDF into practice. Or how I rediscovered my inner geek

{jcomments on} Ancient history: how we got here Way back in 2013 the DPC collaborated with the OPF on a project called SPRUCE. Following on from the success of another little project called AQUA, and with some very handy funding from the Jisc, we ran a bunch of mashup events and got hands on with all sorts of digital preservation challenges. The management of PDF files, and particularly risk assessment, was a recurring theme. In response, the SPRUCE project held a hackathon in Leeds where...

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DPA 2014: Carcanet Press Email Archive, University of Manchester

The Email Explosion: safeguarding the literary correspondence of the twenty-first century The University of Manchester Library holds outstanding eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary correspondence collections, relating to Samuel Johnson, Elizabeth Gaskell and others. These are a testament to the golden age of letter-writing. The Carcanet Press Email Preservation Project has ensured that some of the fruits of email’s golden age are similarly safeguarded for future generations. The...

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