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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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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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Preserving the past: the challenge of digital archiving within a Scottish Local Authority

Lorraine Murray is Archivist at Inverclyde Council in Scotland During my masters course where I studiedInformation Management, Digital Preservation and Archives at the Department of Information Studies (or as I knew it at the time; HATII!) at The University of Glasgow, I came to realise how useful it was to create and use digital content with the aim of making historical information and original source material more widely accessible. However, the successful curation, management...

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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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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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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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VeraPDF

The veraPDF consortium will deliver a definitive validator for PDF/A: an authoritative corpus of test files establishing the objective frame of reference for validation of all parts and conformance levels of PDF/A, an open¬source, and a purpose¬built validator and policy checker to implement the collecting policies of memory institutions. We expect a vibrant community will develop to sustain these efforts. The veraPDF consortium brings together a unique network of stakeholders with...

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Preserving Documents Forever: When is a PDF not a PDF?

Presentations An introduction to PDF, Sarah Higgins, Aberystwyth University Understanding PDF risks in preservation, Johan van der Knijff, National Library of the Netherlands PDF: Myths vs facts, Ange Albertini, Corkami Preserving PDF at the coalface, Tim Evans, Archaeology Data Service Introducing veraPDF, Carl Wilson, Open Preservation Foundation The Digital Preservation Coalition and the Open Preservation Foundation, with support from the European Commission and the...

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Digital Preservation with Portable Documents: a workshop to introduce and discuss the PDF/A version

Introduction The portable document format (PDF) is ubiquitous, easily-produced and is widely used in a diverse range of environments.  A variant of the standard – PDF/A in which ‘A’ stands for archive – was published in 2005.  This version of the standard, also published as ISO 19005, minimises the dependencies between the contents of a file and the system on which it is rendered.  This self-contained characteristic of PDF/A makes it particularly attractive for those...

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