Friday, October 21, 2005

Preservation Readings 21 October 2005

Urgent Action Needed to Preserve Scholarly Electronic Journals. Donald J. Waters. Association of Research Libraries. October 15, 2005

Digital preservation is a major challenge facing higher education. Yet organizations have been slow to invest in the infrastructure to maintain electronic journals and files over the long-term. The industry is shifting to electronic resources and print resources are being scaled back or canceled. Because licensed journals are being used, there is no local copy that is being retained. Four actions are essential:

1. Preservation of electronic journals is a kind of insurance, and not just access

2. Qualified preservation archives should provide a well-defined minimal set of services.

3. Libraries must invest in a qualified archiving solution.

4. Libraries must demand archival deposit by publishers as a condition of licensing electronic journals

The publishers archiving methods must be described publicly.

Gates cheers on computer museum. BBC News. 17 October 2005.

Bill Gates has pledged $15 million to the Computer history museum in California. The museum displays the history of computing as well as the impact. The museum currently houses a collection of more than 4,000 artifacts, 10,000 images, 4,000 linear feet of catalogued documentation and many gigabytes of software. "It's our responsibility to collect the artefacts and stories today that will explain this incredible change to future generations."

Caring for your collections: Cylinder, Disc and Tape Care in a Nutshell. Library of Congress. 7 October 2005.

This is part of the Library of Congress preservation web site. It contains very good information on topics such as handling, storage, packaging, equipment, and supply sources. This is more for analog materials. It does have some information on tapes and cassettes. The second site gives information on the principles and specifications for preservation digital reformatting. Some of the principles include:

· Retain an analog version of digitally-reformatted items until you are confident that the life-cycle management of digital data will ensure access for as long as, or longer than, the analog version.

· Minimize handling of originals in the digital reformatting work to assure the best digital capture of an undamaged original, as well as the longevity of the original item

· Ensure that the digital master file will allow a broad range of future use

· Capture the highest quality digital image technically possible and economically feasible for large-scale production, while optimizing the potential for longevity

· Archive a digital master file that is free of, or minimizes, artifacts introduced by the reformatting process, whenever possible

· Employ standards and best practices for structural, administrative, and descriptive metadata that will optimize interoperability

· Document digital master file contents with MD5 checksums (or a similar tool) and use them to ensure the data integrity of master files through back-up and migration

Video Format Identification Guide. Website. 2005.

This is a useful site to help archivists, librarians, curators and conservators identify the videotapes in their collections. The site has formats broken down by time period: 1956-1970; 1970-1985: 1985 to present. Each format type has an image and brief information about it, as well as an obsolescence designation: Extinct; Critically endangered; Endangered; Threatened; Vulnerable; or Lower risk. The site also contains an explanation of video terms.

Digital Preservation Topics in Google Groups. October 2005.

An interesting discussion of many topics dealing with audio preservation. Includes information on software for recording records and cassettes, to equipment, to format and media challenges for preserving CDs and other digital files.

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