Friday, September 05, 2008

Digital Preservation Matters - 05 September 2008

Preserving Government Web Sites at the End-of-Term. Library of Congress Newsletter. September 3, 2008.

When political offices change, the websites often change dramatically in the transition. "Digital government information is considered at-risk.” The Internet Archive will undertake a comprehensive crawl of the .gov domain. The Library of Congress has been preserving congressional Web sites each month since December 2003 and will focus on developing of this collection for the project. Others will focus on in-depth crawls of specific government agencies or will help selecting or prioritizing web sites to be included in the collection, as well as identifying the frequency and depth of the act of collecting.

Poor E-Mail Archive Habits Plague Businesses. Leo King. PCWorld. August 31, 2008.

Employees are failing to properly archive e-mails, according to research, because they are often too busy or too unsure of their IT skills. Most employees received no guidance on the requirements and methods for archiving e-mail; one third said their company has no e-mail policy. Also, a third of employees said they had lost important electronic documents and never recovered them. More than half said e-mail archiving is too time-consuming, and thirty percent find it "complicated" or "unreliable." This suggests that the organizations either do not archive emails or that they do not communicate the methods to their employees.

"Digital Preservation" term considered harmful? Chris Rusbridge. Digital Curation Blog. 29 July 2008.

The term ‘digital preservation’ may not be a useful term with decision makers. “The digital preservation community has become very good at talking to itself and convincing ‘paid-up’ members of the value of preserving digital information, but the language used and the way that the discourse is constructed is unlikely to make much impact on either decision-makers or the creators of the digital information (academics, administrators, etc.).” Part of the problem is that digital preservation describes a process, and not an outcome. We value the outcomes not necessarily the processes we use to get the outcomes, and the terminology we use should reflect that, which is more persuasive. Digital preservation has been over-sold as difficult, complex and expensive over the long term, while the term itself contains no notion of its own value. Phrases like "long term accessibility" or "usability over time" are better than the process-oriented phrase "digital preservation".

European Archive. Website. September 2008.

The European Archive is a digital library of cultural artifacts in digital form. They provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public. The site contains web archives, videos, and plans to add audio recordings. The Living Web Archives project will carry Web archiving beyond the current approach, characterized by static snapshots, to one that fully accounts for the dynamics and interrelations of Web content.

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