iPres 2013 Best Paper Award goes to TIMBUS

Added on 9 September 2013

The paper entitled 'Digital Preservation of a Process and its Application to e-Science Experiments' and authored by TIMBUS Project Partners Stephan Strodl, Rudolf Mayer, Gonçalo Antunes, Daniel Draws, Andreas Rauber was awarded the Prize for Best Paper at the iPRES Conference on Wednesday 4th September.

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4C Project Wins Best Poster Award at iPRES 2013

Added on 9 September 2013

The 4C Project was awarded the Prize for Best Poster at the iPRES Conference on Wednesday 4th September. Project Co-ordinator Neil Grindley accepted the award on behalf of the project team.

Neil explained the overall feel of the poster as 'picking up on the idea of the Curation Costs Exchange, or the 'Curious Machine' as it has been nicknamed by the project team. It’s got cogs, it’s got workflow, and it’s got a chimney pumping out a roadmap at the end, ...plus its got an ingenious removable centre panel.' 

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New DPC Programme of Events 2013 - 2014 unveiled

Added on 3 September 2013

There is even more opportunity to keep up to date with the latest developments in Digital Preservation in 2013 – 2014 thanks to our bumper programme of DPC events and publications which has now been officially unveiled! Amongst our packed schedule, you will find member-only events on:

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Eleventh Annual General Meeting of DPC: Edinburgh 5th December

Added on 27 August 2013

The Digital Preservation Coalition will be holding its Eleventh Annual General Meeting in the Lord Clerk Register's Room at General Register House, Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YT, between 1530 and 1630. 

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Clarifying the Costs of Curation - Help Needed!

Added on 27 August 2013

DPC is taking part in the 4C Project (Collaboration to Clarify the Costs of Curation) which aims to create a better understanding of digital curation costs by collaborating with a range of users within the digital curation community.

One of the key deliverables from the project is a Curation Cost Exchange (CCEx), the exact specification for which will be developed on the basis of cost model analysis, consultation with users and analysis of the kind of costs DPC members incur in digital curation. Ultimately this information will be used to enable the CCEx to generate informed recommendations for any user/manager/vendor of digital data looking to make further investment into their activities in this field.

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Scholarships to attend 'How to Set Up and Run a Data Service' in November

Added on 7 August 2013

The Digital Preservation Coalition is pleased to offer three fully funded scholarships to attend the ‘How to Set Up and Run a Data Service: the Challenges of Social Science Data’ at the UK Data Archive, University of Essex, Colchester, 28th - 29th November 2013.

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Preserving CAD Briefing Day - Presentation Now Available

Added on 29 July 2013

Presentation from the DPC's most recent Briefing Day - Preserving CAD - at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in London are now available.  Presentations by Alex Ball (DCC/UKLON at the University of Bath) and Sophie Herail of Airbus were recorded and will be available as a webcast in due course. 

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‘Preserving CAD’ - New Tech Watch Report enables continuous access to design

Added on 26 July 2013

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is delighted to introduce the latest in its series of topical Technology Watch Reports, Preserving Computer-Aided Design (CAD). Written by Alex Ball, and published electronically, this report provides a comprehensive overview of the development of CAD technologies, the threat caused by its own innovative application and its vendors’ drive to add ever more features which can render valuable and strategically vital information unusable.

A specialist in digital curation at the Digital Curation Centre and UKOLN at the University of Bath, Alex writes ‘CAD is an area of constant innovation…, resulting in CAD systems that are ephemeral and largely incompatible with each other.’ The report examines the key standards, techniques and technologies developed in an attempt to slow the seemingly inevitable obsolescence associated with native CAD formats.

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Preserving Computer Aided Design (CAD)


Computer-aided design tools are widely used to assist engineers, architects, designers and cartographers to develop, represent, capture and transmit large and complex representations of the world – real and imagined. Diverse in application, a great deal of vital, valuable and irreplaceable information is stored in CAD models, from the designs of aircraft carriers and skyscrapers to records of archaeological excavations. It also means that CAD is an area of constant innovation and intense competition between vendors, resulting in CAD systems that are ephemeral and largely incompatible with each other. It is the disconnect between these two – the value of the models and the ephemeral nature of the systems – that makes CAD preservation at once important and challenging.

The Digital Preservation Coalition first addressed this topic in July 2010, inviting expert practitioners to share their concerns and aspirations for long term management of CAD systems at an invitation Briefing Day called ‘Designed to Last’. Since then we have commissioned Alex Ball of DCC – one of the keynote speakers - to provide a Technology Watch Report that distils and updates latest thinking on the topic. The Technology Watch Report Preserving Computer-Aided Design (CAD) was published at this workshop.

This DPC briefing day launched that report, allowing participants the opportunity to reflect on new and emerging challenges. Leaders in the field foregrounded their own work and their practical concerns about preservation. Recent case studies were presented and speakers considered emerging and future trends.

Participants at this workshop:

  • had an advanced introduction to issues of preserving CAD
  • were updated on the latest developments in standards for preservation of CAD
  • Heard case studies that put the standards into practice and the issues that have resulted
  • had an opportunity to discuss their own concerns with developers behind the standards and practitioners already working with them
  • Examined the place and value of CAD collections within wider digital collections management
  • were encouraged to contribute to the development of standards and tools
  • Met others preserving or considering the preservation of CAD within their own preservation architectures

Who should come?

This meeting was of interest to:

  • Records managers and information officers in organisation in sectors where CAD is used
  • Regulators in sectors where CAD is widely used such as engineering, aviation
  • Risk managers, executives and chief information officers seeking to minimise information risk or maximise information potential
  • Collections managers, librarians, curators and archivists in all institutions
  • Tools developers and policy makers in digital preservation
  • Innovators and researchers in information technology, especially with vector graphics and documentation
  • Vendors and providers of services for preservation, records management and forensics
  • Innovators, vendors and commentators on digital preservation and cognate fields
  • Analysts seeking to develop tools and approaches for longer term information management

Programme for the Day - 26th July, Christopher Hilton Room, IMechE, One Birdcage Walk, London

10.00 - Registration and Coffee
10.30 - Welcome and introductions - William Kilbride, DPC
10.35 - Preserving CAD: An Overview - Alex Ball, UKOLN / DCC (University of Bath)
11.15 - LOTAR and the position of the European aerospace industry (ASD SSG) – Sophie Herail, Airbus
11.45 - Preseving a Hybrid Archive: the King's Cross Desgin Archive - Kurt Helfrich, RIBA
12.15 - Preserving CAD: A Case Study - Hans Ulrich Heidbrink, InConTec
12.15 - Q+A (chaired by William Kilbride)

12.30 - Lunch

13.30 - Preserving CAD: emerging trends in 3d modelling - Stuart Jeffrey, Glasgow School of Art
14.00 - Preserving CAD: emerging trends in architecture - Ruggero Lancia, University of Glasgow
14.30 - Preserving CAD: emerging trends in Engineering - Sean Barker, BAE Systems

15.00 - Tea and Coffee

15.30 - Roundtable
16.30 - Thanks and Close

Recorded Sessions

Preserving CAD: An Overview - Alex Ball, UKOLN / DCC (University of Bath)
LOTAR and the position of the European aerospace industry (ASD SSG) – Sophie Herail, Airbus

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Preserving with PDF/A - consultation opens for 2nd edition of popular DPC Technology Watch Report

Added on 24 July 2013

The DPC is commissioning a second edition of its popular Technology Watch Report Series 'Preserving the Data Explosion: Using PDF' by Betsy Fanning. 

The report was first released in 2008 provided a guide and discusison of the use of the PDF/A standard, newly released at the time.  The report has been popular but the technologies associated with PDF/A have changed considerably since then and two new versions of the standard have been published since, most recently in 2012.  The report will conclude with recommended actions for the digital preservation community, and a clear indication of the agencies or individuals that are required to take up these actions. Recommendations will include: why use PDF and/or PDF/A?; benefits, limitations and risks (e.g. to development and application); implementation and use of PDF/A; policies, best practices, and guidelines.

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