Friday, January 12, 2007

Weekly readings - 12 January 2007

Digital Preservation News: January 2007. Library of Congress. January 2007.

The news of what is happening at the Library of Congress with digital preservation. It includes a number of items worth reading:

· The Birth of the Dot-Com Era. This closed archive will serve as a model of a trusted institutional repository.

· The ‘famous’ Cathy comic strip on digital preservation.

· The NDIIPP 2005 Annual Review which gives a good overview of what has been happening in this program.



LOCKSS - Floating electronic librarianship to a higher level. Stuart Weibel. Blog. January 09, 2007.

The LOCKSS model tries to make the Web behave more like library shelves. While this may not seem really exciting, it is “arguably among the most important missing links in making digital libraries solid enough to bear up as reliable stores of cultural assets.” Two questions about electronic library data are:

1. Who has custody?

2. Who gets access?

These questions must be decided and LOCKSS in part returns management of the collection back to the library rather than just renting data. It also addresses the problem of format migration by supporting HTTP content negotiation, which means giving the user the choice of different versions of a document that best fits their situation. Another prospect is using LOCKSS as a low-cost means of preserving unpublished or ephemeral materials, which fits with the role of libraries as managers of unique collections. LOCKSS is looking at blogs, institutional repositories, and other possibilities. The technology is carefully thought out, low in cost, high in impact, and which can use the collaboration that defines the library community.


Hitachi announces one terabyte hard drive. Press Release. Computer Technology Review. January 9, 2007.

Hitachi announced a one terabyte (TB) hard drive, the Deskstar 7K1000, will begin shipping to retail customers in the first quarter of 2007 at a suggested retail price of US$399. It uses the perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology.


New tape specification 50% faster with 800GB. Deni Connor. Computerworld. January 10, 2007.

The new LTO tape specification was just released. It can store up to 800GB in uncompressed mode. It includes encryption and allows for an interchange between HP and IBM equipment, and can also read LTO2 and LTO3 tapes. “The Library of Congress collections could fit on six LTO 4 cartridges.”


A companion to digital humanities. Schreibman, Susan (ed). Blackwell Publishing. January 9, 2007.

The electronic version of this resource. comprehensive description of the history, development and current status of the digital humanities and humanities computing.

Divided into four parts - history; principles; applications; and production, dissemination and archiving

It includes sections on “The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Libraries” by Howard Besser and “Preservation” by Abby Smith. Some quotes include:

· “in the digital realm, the ability to know about, locate and retrieve, and then verify (or reasonably assume) that a digital object is authentic, complete, and undistorted is as crucial to "fitness for use" or preservation as it is for analogue objects”

· The general approach to preserving analogue and digital information is exactly the same – to reduce risk of information loss to an acceptable level – but the strategies used to insure against loss are quite different.

· a digital object's file format and metadata schema greatly affect its persistence and how it will be made available in the future.

· those who create intellectual property in digital form need to be more informed about what is at risk if they ignore longevity issues at the time of creation.

· scholars should be attending to the information resources crucial to their fields by developing and adopting the document standards vital for their research and teaching, with the advice of preservationists and computer scientists where appropriate.

· As long as those cultural and intellectual resources are under the control of enterprises that do not know about and take up their preservation mandate, there is a serious risk of major losses for the future, analogous to the fate of films in the first 50 years of their existence.

· Scholars cannot leave it to later generations to collect materials created today. They must assume a more active role in the stewardship of research collections….

1 comment:

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