Friday, March 28, 2008

Digital Preservation Matters - 28 March 2008

Standards and Requirements for Digital Continuity in UK Government. Digital Continuity Project. UK National Archives. 14 March 2008. [PDF]

This is a draft of standards developed by the National Archives to help assess commercially available digital preservation solutions. This is their description and checklist of what a digital preservation system should do. The principle standards for digital continuity are defined in the OAIS model and the Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification Checklist. There is more information on their Digital Continuity project that is worth reading, as well as a brochure. It is estimated that 10 per cent of the Canadian Government’s electronic records are already unreadable. Some of their areas of work are:


A Possible Way Forward For Developing Cornell’s OAIS Infrastructure. Adam Smith. Blog. March 25, 2008.

A programmer looks at their long-term digital preservation project. In trying to create a system at Cornell, they originally used an object oriented approach. They encountered scaling issues that included both processing speed and memory usage. Addresses topics such as:

  • preserving “virtual” objects which serve to represent virtual relationships to other objects.
  • two broad sets of tasks in preservation processing before ingest, are
    1. normalizing the data
    2. gathering information to make a METS XML file
  • look at a functional paradigm instead of a object-oriented (OOP) paradigm
  • specifying collection specific tasks should be as declarative or configuration oriented as possible.


FACET: The Field Audio Collection Evaluation Tool. Mike Casey. Indiana University. 21 March 2008.

The Field Audio Collection Evaluation Tool (FACET) is an open-source tool to rank audio field collections based on preservation condition, including the level of deterioration they exhibit and the degree of risk they carry; to assess the characteristics, preservation problems, and deterioration of various tape formats. It includes the software, manual, format information, and worksheets.


On the Road With Fedora and Atos Origin in Paris. Carol Minton Morris. Fedora HatCheck Newsletter. March 12, 2008.

The Bibliotheque Nationale de France has contracted with an information technology services company to create a Fedora-based repository system. The library has chosen to use the OAIS model for the repository and the Fedora architecture.


Kofax® Wins $2.1 Million Contract with National Archives and Records Administration. Press Release. Business Wire. March 19, 2008.

Kofax will provide NARA’s Federal Records Centers with an enterprise level solution for capturing and processing documents. This is part of an initiative to “create and provide electronic records for preservation and use by the government and citizens”.


Web Curator Tool Project: 1.3.0 Released. Sourceforge. March 3, 2008.

The Web Curator is a tool to manage the web harvesting process. It was designed by the National Library of New Zealand the British Library. The tool supports the selection, harvesting and quality assessment of online information, either entire web sites or a portion. The workflow helps with the various tasks involved in the process, permissions, description, scope, and deposit. The latest version is now available for download.


Evaluating File Formats for Long Term Preservation. Judith Rog, Caroline van Wijk. National Library of the Netherlands. February 2008. [PDF]

Most documents deposited in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek have been in the PDF format. Because other formats need to be handled, the library has developed a quantifiable file format risk assessment method which can define strategies for specific file formats. At the time of the object’s creation, the file format can influence the long-term access. The method they developed has seven weighted criteria for file formats: Openness, Adoption, Complexity, Technical Protection Mechanism, Self-documentation, Robustness, Dependencies. They give recommendations but do not restrict deposits to specific file formats. One partner does not consider PDF/A suitable for archiving. Web archiving with different format types presents the biggest challenge.


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