Issues

Browse the Knowledge Base by a cross section of legal, organisational and technical issues such as File Format Obsolescence, Procurement or Metadata.

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Articles

Towards a Philosophy of Digital Preservation

Stacey Erdman is Digital Archivist at Beloit College, Wisconsin USA Are archivists born or made? I suppose we’ll never know the answer to that question definitively, but I feel pretty confident that if there’s an archivist “gene” I’ve surely got it. I’ve been actively building a personal archive since I was old enough to understand what memories are. Of course, coming of age during the rise of the personal computer presented me with challenges in this arena. I still own my first...

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DAM and LAM - towards convergence

Helen Hockx-Yu is Program Manager, Digital Product Access and Dissemination in the Office of Information Technologies for University of Notre Dame, Indiana USA INTRODUCTION Digital media are frequently produced and widely used at the University of Notre Dame (UND) to support education and research, and to document campus activities and athletic competitions. UND’s media products range from photographs and simple sound or video capture to sophisticated footage appropriate for...

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Inform and Form – The Role of Education in Digital Preservation

Millard Schisler is Researcher at Digital Culture Center / CEBRAP in São Paulo, Brazil It is wonderful to celebrate International Digital Preservation Day and recognize how much has been accomplished during the past decades, while also realizing how much we still need to work on, evidenced by the people, businesses and institutions struggling with how to deal with their ever-growing digital assets. As I think about our role in transforming this landscape, I go back to the...

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It’s difficult to solve a problem if you don’t know what’s wrong

Shira Peltzman is Digital Archivist for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library Special Collections Buried in the recently published findings from the 2017 NDSA Staffing Survey is evidence of a growing discontent among practitioners with regard to their organization’s approach to digital preservation. The survey asks respondents whether or not they agreed with the following statement: “The way our digital preservation function is currently organized (staffing levels,...

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We need to talk about copyright

{jcomments on} Susan Reilly is Director of Digital Library, Licencing & Copyright at Qatar National Library, Doha With a European Parliament vote on copyright reform looming it’s worth taking a look at the relationship between digital preservation and copyright  law and why we need copyright reform at international level to help ensure the preservation of the digital cultural and scientific record. You don’t need to be a lawyer to figure out that one of the biggest challenges...

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Educating Digital Stewards

Rhiannon Bettivia is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Information Sciences (iSchool) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign I frame this post as a set of considerations for developing training and teaching modules for students and trainees endeavouring to enter the field of digital preservation. I teach such a module 2-3 times a year, and my university offers it 4 times a year with the help of adjunct instructors. It is often full to waitlist room only, meaning we...

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The Threat of the Double Extinction

Cees Hof is Project Acquisition Manager at Data Archiving and Networked Services(DANS) in the Netherlands  A first glimpse at the DPC ‘Save the Bits’ announcement on the compilation of a list of Digitally Endangered Species confused me when it passed my screen. Further scanning the text only increased this feeling as I encountered more ‘species’ related references, but it soon turned out I was misled by my own biologically biased search image. It was especially the ‘IUCN Red List of...

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PERSIST: A Global Dialogue on Digital Preservation

{jcomments on} Robert Buckley works for the National Archives of the UAE in Abu Dhabi PERSIST: A Global Dialogue on Digital Preservation To those unfamiliar with PERSIST, it is a project within the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, whose International Advisory Committee is currently chaired by Dr. Abdulla Alraisi, Director General of the National Archives of the UAE. The Memory of the World (MoW) Programme was created in 1992 to facilitate preservation of the world’s...

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How can Digital Preservation move beyond those in the know to those with the need

Jon Tilbury is Chief Technology Officer for Preservica, based in the UK Digital Preservation has come a long way since the early research projects. The earliest practitioners were academics and specialists who set this field in the right direction and contributed hugely to defining what Digital Preservation is, creating the language of SIPs and DIPs, ingest and dissemination and preservation planning that we all use today. This journey will be complete when information is...

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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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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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What we’ve done well, and some things we still need to figure out

David Minor is Director of the Research Data Curation Program at the University of San Diego Library and formerly the Chronopolis Program Manager I’ve worked in the Digital Preservation field for about a dozen years, and have had the good fortune to see a number of generations pass. I’d like to offer some thoughts on what we’ve done well, and some things we still need to figure out. What we’ve done well: Technology. In many ways, we’ve “solved” many of the digital preservation...

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Losing the Battle to Archive the Web

David S. H. Rosenthal is a retired Chief Scientist for the LOCKSS Program at Stanford Libraries.  Nearly one-third of a trillion Web pages at the Internet Archive is impressive, but in 2014 I reviewed the research into how much of the Web was then being collected and concluded: Somewhat less than half... Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why this simplistic assessment is wildly optimistic. Costa et al ran surveys in 2010 and 2014 and concluded in 2016: during the...

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Keynote Address at 'RecordDNA: developing a research agenda for the future digital evidence base...', Westminster

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP is co-Chair of the All-Party Group on Archives and History for UK Parliament. This blog post is the text for a speech delivered by Nick Thomas-Symonds MP on 30 November 2017 at a RecordDNA event at Westminster.   As Co-Chair of the All Parliamentary Archives Group I am delighted to open this event, which is being held on International Digital Preservation Day. Delighted also to welcome such an impressive range of speakers. Let me start by thanking...

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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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2017: A Watershed Year for Digital Preservation?

{jcomments on} Ross Harvey is Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Preparing a new edition of Preserving Digital Materials with Jaye Weatherburn (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) has provided the opportunity to reflect on a large body of material about digital preservation. What I have observed suggests strongly that in the future, 2017 will be considered as a watershed year for digital preservation. Sometimes the progress of digital preservation seems to resemble a...

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Crossroads

{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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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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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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Registration now open for ‘Significance & Authenticity: A Briefing’ in London, 15 December 2017

The Digital Preservation Coalition and Tate are delighted to open registration for 'Significance & Authenticity: A Briefing', to be held at Tate Britain in London on Friday 15th December. Members and non-members are invited to this day of presentations and practical workshops to learn from digital preservation practitioners from different backgrounds about how they apply significance and authenticity to their digital content.  Defining significance and how to guarantee authenticity...

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