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

New Humanist Archive — A Feat of Preservation

Tom Rodenby works for Exact Editions Every issue of the New Humanist and its predecessors dating back to 1885 is now available through the state-of-the-art digital edition developed in partnership with Exact Editions. We like to think that those historical issues have now moved into the ‘safe pile’. In their digital format, they will stride forth into the future to be read by new generations of readers and thinkers. 

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Against the clock: videotape digitisation and preservation now!

Stephen McConnachie is Head of Data and Digital Preservation and Charles Fairall is Clifford Shaw Head of Conservation, at the BFI  In the late 1950s magnetic videotape recording transformed the way television programmes were made, edited and broadcast. For a generation, the 2” Quadruplex format dominated the UK broadcast industry – the machinery was manufactured to military specifications and some 60 years on, it is still just possible to replay the...

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Preserving Knowledge – Are we keeping the right things?

Neil Jefferies is Research and Development Project Manager for the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries Research & Learning Services I feel that there is an increasing disconnect between the digital artifacts that we capture and the mechanisms used to create the knowledge that they embody. This contributes to some of the difficulties with preserving these born-digital materials in a way that effectively retains their meaning. The seed for this train of thought has been my...

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If they can’t agree on the plug, how can they ever agree on the metadata?

Miguel Ferreira is Executive director at KEEP SOLUTIONS based in Braga in Portugal “If they can’t agree on the plug, how can they ever agree on the metadata?”… This sentence has stuck with me for over 13 years now. It came about in the summer of 2005, when a DSpace user group meeting was about to take place in the beautiful city of Cambridge, in the UK. The meeting intended to give a voice to real-world users and to provide an opportunity for young developers such as myself to learn...

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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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I’ve never met-a-data I didn’t like (or why metadata can help us learn about digital preservation)

Kristen Schuster is Lecturer in Digital Curation for the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London I lecture in digital curation and exploring the relationship between curation and preservation is one of my favorite topics of discussion. I find these discussions so interesting because as a librarian I often find that, on the surface, I have a different understanding of preservation than my students. And, as a result, my examples based in museums and archives are...

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Everyone’s a winner?!

Kasandra O’Connell is Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive Last year I wrote a blog for World Digital Preservation Day contemplating the progress the Irish Film Institute (IFI) had made in the area of Digital Preservation; this year’s WDPD sees the IFI join the list of nominees for the DPC Digital Preservation awards in the Safeguarding the Digital Legacy category taking place in Amsterdam as part of the WDPD2018 celebrations. The project we are nominated for, The Loopline Conservation...

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Digital Preservation: More than the bits, it’s the organisation.

Kalpana Shankar is Head of the School of Information & Communication Studies at University College Dublin How do you keep a data archive open and relevant for fifty years or more? For the last four years, my colleague Professor Kristin Eschenfelder (School of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA), and I have been asking (and trying to answer) that question, along with many other questions, as part of a research project on the sustainability of data...

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Improving Digital Curation Teaching through International Collaboration: The Ibadan/Liverpool Curriculum Benchmarking Project

James Lowry is a lecturer in the Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies A three hour drive from Lagos is the expansive campus of the University of Ibadan, home to the oldest archival education programme in Nigeria. It was here in 2017 that the Ibadan/Liverpool Digital Curation Curriculum Review team finalised their benchmarking exercise, which had started earlier that year when Dr Abiola Abioye visited the Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies (LUCAS)....

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Spreading the Digital Preservation Word

Digital Preservation day offers our community a chance to shout from the rooftops that what we do is important for everyone.  This day has given me recourse to consider my role in rooftop shouting and to reflect on how successful I have been in spreading the message about digital preservation. My role at the University of Sussex is in both research data and digital preservation and I have a lot of opportunities to talk about digital preservation in both spheres.  So I list here...

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Normalising digital preservation

Elizabeth Oxborrow-Cowan is the Chair of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme UK As any government minister will tell you from bitter experience,  it is very hard to effect change and get things done.  It requires a balance of different factors to come together to overcome obstacles, convince people of the need for change and encourage them to act to enable that change.  Digital preservation is no different.  As Kenney and McGovern neatly described in their...

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Design, Deliver, Embed: Establishing Digital Transfer at the UK Parliamentary Archives

Chris Fryer is Senior Digital Archivist at the UK Parliamentary Archives The Parliamentary Archives organises UK Parliament's memory. We are a shared service, providing an archives and records management service to the administrations of the House of Commons and House of Lords. We hold records of unique national importance, often defining watershed moments in the history of the United Kingdom (for example the UNESCO Memory of the World recognised Bill of Rights from 1689). Core...

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Archiving Crossrail

Alistair Goodall is Head of IT for Crossrail Ltd and Transport for London Crossrail is an amazing project to be part of and, when the central section opens next year, visitors to London are going to see stunning new stations and travel on new 200 metre long trains capable of carrying up to 1,500 people. My team in IT has been responsible for most of the enterprise wide applications which are needed on a mega-project.  Some of these we have worked with the vendors over the last 10...

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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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Project Preview: “Weaving Digital Stewardship into the Organizational Fabric”

This post was written by: Shira Peltzman, Digital Archivist for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Julia Kim, Digital Assets Specialist, Library of Congress; Peggy Griesinger, Metadata Librarian, George Mason University Libraries; Vicky Steeves; Librarian for Research Data Management and Reproducibility, New York University; and Karl-Rainer Blumenthal, Web Archivist, Internet Archive. As digital preservation programs and stewardship...

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Bit by bit, byte by byte: web archaeology going strong in the Netherlands!

Tjarda de Haan is Guest Curator for E-culture at Amsterdam Museum in the Netherlands Since winning the Digital Preservation Award 2016 in the category The National Archives Award for Safeguarding the Digital Legacy in December 2016 our project accelerated! We have published the 'DIY Handbook for Web Archaeology' and the 'FREEZE! A manifesto for safeguarding and preserving born-digital heritage' and with this we have put web archaeology on the map in the Netherlands. Many initiatives...

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Let’s be honest … a “honey we need to talk” with digital preservation

Michelle Lindlar is Digital Preservation Team Leader at Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) in Germany It seems that most of us are well into the commitment stage of our relationship with digital preservation – it’s no longer a task tucked away in exclusive projects which only few institutions can participate in, but has growing acceptance as an institution’s core function. Or, to put it in the words of William Kilbride himself in reflecting on last year’s WDPD: “we have learned...

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Music Treasures

Background Within the Netherlands there are several archives with sheetmusic. There is not a national organization which covers those archives. Due to financial problems in 2013, all these archives were closed for public and their collections were no longer available. The largest collection is at the Stichting Omroep Muziek ((SOM) Dutch Broadcast Music), which has about 650,000 titles, classical music as well as popular music, salon music and, the unique part, the music which was specifically...

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Scotland, a leading Nation in Digital Preservation.

Fiona Hyslop is Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs within the Scottish Government On World Digital Preservation Day, I’d like to reflect on Scotland’s long tradition of preserving its documentary heritage and showcase how Scotland is helping to lead in the global challenge digital preservation. This tradition dates back to 1286 to the first reference of a Scottish Government official William of Dumfries who had the responsibility of looking after records. This...

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Keeping Blogs Alive

Kelly Merks works at the Expatriate Archive Centre in the Hague, Netherlands The Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC) is an independent non-profit foundation. We aim to collect and preserve expatriate life stories, regardless of a person’s country of origin or where they moved to. Our focus is primarily on unique personal writings. Though much of our collection is tangible — including photographs, letters, diaries and other documents — in recent years we have begun to collect born-digital...

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