Preservation Action

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De-DuplicationDecryptionEmulationFile Format MigrationFile RecoveryQuality Assurance

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Preservation Lifecycle


Taming the Pre-Ingest Processing Monster

Sheila Morrissey is Senior Researcher at Portico, based in New York We hear again and again that, first, one of the biggest threats to ensuring long-term access to our digital heritage is the cost of preservation, and, second, that one of the critical cost drivers is the set of activities associated with selection, acquisition, and other pre-ingest processing (such as quality assurance of acquired artifacts).  As the amount of content in preservation archives grows at geometric...

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Teaching a Young Dog Old Tricks: Emulation Research at the National Library of Scotland

Sara Day Thomson is Research Officer at the DPC |  Graham Purnell is Digital Preservation Assistant at the National Library of Scotland 1: Getting Our Feet Wet in Emulation World Digital Preservation Day celebrates all the inspiring work being done in digital preservation around the world. It celebrates innovative tools and techniques, effective advocacy and awareness-raising, and collaboration among fellow practitioners. This summer, I got to experience all of those things at the...

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Estamos perdiendo la credibilidad

Hernán Cabrera Pichuante es Jefe de Proyectos Técnicos del Proyecto de Modernización de Archivos Nacionales de Chile (National Archives of Chile) [English version follows] Estamos llenos de información almacenada y muchos de mis conocidos en el área de TI insisten en que la copia no solo es segura, sino que, prácticamente eterna. Es frecuente ver como las políticas de respaldo de los activos tecnológicos llenan bodegas con cintas magnéticas creadas en modernos sistemas automáticos de...

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If you can’t start big, start small

Millard Schisler is Adjunct Faculty for the Online Master’s in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He lives and works with Digital Preservation in Brazil I have always liked the image of the three-dimensional sculpture figures created by artist Stephen Hansen as a way to illustrate the “trickle-down economics” of the Reagan era – it is pretty much self-explanatory as to the “distribution” of wealth.  This image also comes to my mind when I think of the international and...

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Digital preservation & digital asset management in the real world no mere matter of magic

Lee-Anne Raymond is Senior Coordinator, MV Images (DAMS) at Museums Victoria in Melbourne, Australia When Mary Poppins measures herself using her magical tape measure it reads, “Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.” (Mary Poppins, P. L. Travers, 1934) In the real world realm of Digital Preservation we can strive but will struggle to approximate such perfection without the assistance of the right software and engineering principles, as an intervening Poppins, in order...

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You put WHAT in the repository??? State Library of Queensland’s project to audit the repository for obsolete physical carriers

Serena Coates is Digital Preservation Coordinator at State Library of Queensland in Australia At State Library of Queensland (like at many other institutions around the world) when we started acquiring digital content on floppy discs, CDs, and DVDs, we didn’t know what to do with them.  So, what was the wisdom of the day?  “Put it in a box, and store it in the repository until there is a time when we work out what to do with it.”  For State Library, that time...

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Enhancing Services to Preserve New Forms of Scholarship

Karen Hanson is Senior Research Developer for Portico The last decade or so has seen the emergence of a new kind of scholarly work - the enhanced digital monograph. While still recognizable as monographs, these resources include a variety of dynamic features that cannot be replicated in print format. These works represent a leap forward for scholarship, but their formats, use of dynamic features, and composite nature present complex preservation challenges.  To help address these...

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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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Where is the real risk?

Carl Grant is Associate Dean/Chief Technology Officer at University of Oklahoma Libraries It’s always one of my goals in my role, to watch emerging technologies and to try and identify those that, per the model Geoffrey Moore established, will “cross the chasm” ( ) and have an impact in research and pedagogy.  This is always a risky move.  You can be totally wrong, spend a fair amount of money and have little to show at the...

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Networked Approach to Preserving Software

Jessica Meyerson is Research Program Officer for Educopia Institute in Austin, Texas, United States One of key characteristic of information infrastructure outlined by Star & Ruhleder (1996) is that is ‘becomes visible on breakdown.’[1] While software does in fact breakdown, requiring patches or upgrades, as digital materials move from active use to the reuse context of cultural memory organizations, software breakdown can be understood as the inability to support meaningful...

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A day at the digital archives of the National Archives of Denmark

Anders Bo Neilsen is the Senior Adviser on Digital Preservation at the Danish National Archives Thursday was yet another busy and versatile day here at the section of Digital Preservation of the Danish National Archives. As usual there were the daily audit reports and the results of the quality assurance of the ingested SIPs which once again were spit out (pun intended) by our QA system. The producers of the SIPs were notified and given a new deadline for resubmitting SIPs which we can...

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{jcomments on}  Andrea Goethals works at the National Library of New Zealand Recently I unexpectedly found myself with extra time on my hands, as I was preparing to take a new position halfway around the world. Like most of you, I’m assuming, I normally don’t get the time to go back and reread some of my favorite digital preservation papers, discover new favorites I missed previously, or to follow the sourced papers to see where it takes me. Because my interests lie in what it...

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Reflections on PASIG 2017, Oxford

Read Matt Zawadski's account of sessions on Emulation and Software Preservation at PASIG 2017. Matt, who works at the University of Sheffield, attended PASIG with support from the DPC's Leadership Programme which is generously funded by our Commericial Supporters. The PASIG conference arrived at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford with delegates from over 30 different countries attending. The first day consisted of a bootcamp, designed to get delegates ‘on the same page’...

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Halcyon On and On: Emulating to Preserve

Emulation has steadily grown in acceptance as a key tool in ensuring access to digital data. It's strength lies in recreating some of the original context in which digital data was first created and accessed and its ideal for addressing complex interactive content. But it's also seen as a complicated, technical and often confusing approach. So what is emulation? How does it work? How can you put it into practice? And where will this technology take us in the future? The Digital Preservation...

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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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DPA 2014: Conservation and Re-enactment of Digital Art Ready-Made, University of Freiburg and Rhizome

The preservation of, and especially the presentation of, complex, non-linear digital objects such as digital art or ancient computer environments has traditionally been a domain reserved for experts. Digital culture, however, is a broader phenomenon. In the instance of digital art, it could and should be easily accessible — however, this is often restricted by too much emphasis on traditional aura and exclusivity. Echoing the impact of digital technologies in many areas of culture, digital art...

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DPA 2014: Emulation v Format Conversion by Victoria Sloyan, University College London

Abstract from Victoria Sloyan's dissertation: "Providing access to born-digital archives is one area in the wider subject of digital preservation that remains underdeveloped in archival literature and discussion. This needs rectifying as there is little point preserving digital archives if they cannot then be meaningfully accessed by users. There are currently two predominant methods for providing access to born-digital archives: emulation and format conversion. Emulation provides access to...

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DPA 2014: bwFLA - Functional Long-term Archival and Access - University of Freiburg and Partners

Today's research as well as significant parts of cultural activity are conducted using electronic equipment, most notable computer systems and to some extent mobile electronic gadgets. Even more importantly, many born-digital assets are inextricably linked with their creation environment, which means that they require a specific runtime environment to be rendered and to restore their original utility, look-and-feel and performance. These runtime environments, however, are...

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Virtualisation and Preservation: How cloud computing changes how we think about digital preservation

*Apologies for the poor sound quality in this recording - we are working on a new AV setup that will improve this for future sessions* Cloud-based approaches to storage and computing are having a profound impact on how individuals and agencies interact with computing resources. Desktop software and hard disk storage which tie users to a particular location and a fixed platform are rapidly being replaced by online services in which everything is available everywhere: computing power and data...

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