Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Digital Preservation Matters - 03 April 2009

Nevada Statewide Digital Initiative. Website. Updated 3 April 2009.

The purpose of the Nevada Statewide Digital Initiative is to: “Increase access to the collections held by Nevada's cultural heritage institutions through digital access to materials by residents of Nevada and scholars and researchers interested in Nevada's culture and history.” The series of activities to build statewide collaboration include:

  1. creating a collection policy;
  2. creating a website that links existing projects;
  3. adopting statewide best practice and standards;
  4. creating local partnerships that would build up to statewide partnerships;
  5. developing a digital pilot project curate and manage their digital materials.

Millenniata continues to make progress with its patent-pending Millennial Disc and Millennial Writer. Press Release. February 2, 2009.

This press release has information about a new optical disc that has been developed. It is designed to be a permanent archiving product that has no degradable components and “safely stores data for 1,000 years”. The technology makes a permanent change to the disc. It is referred to as Write Once Read Forever™ and can be read in a standard DVD drive. [check back for test results.]

Systemwide organization of information resources: a multiscalar environment. Lorcan Dempsey. Higher Education in a global economy: the implications for technology and JISC. 23 March 2009. [pdf presentation]

Interesting presentation that looks at libraries and their environment. Compares core components of companies and libraries. Examines a grid of Uniqueness and Stewardship, from Freely accessible web resources in the low-low quadrant to Special collections in the high-high quadrant, and shows where preservation appears. Moving from the institution to the multiscalar level.

Digital Project Staff Survey of JPEG 2000 Implementation in Libraries. David Lowe, Michael J. Bennett. University of Connecticut. March 20, 2009. [xls]

Preliminary findings of a survey about JPEG 2000, and to understand the community perception of it. JPEG 2000 is the product of efforts for an open standard. The concerns about implementing JPEG 2000 include: limited software tools, lack of functionality, and uncertainty of need. Some survey results of interest:

  • 59.5% said they use the format,
  • 19.7% use for new archival collections,
  • 16. 3% use for converting tiff collections
  • 53.5% use for online access

Other questions discuss the tools used and include comments about them.

Rocks Don't Need to Be Backed Up. Henry Newman. Enterprise Storage Forum. March 27, 2009.

General article about the need for digital preservation. “The first thing we need is a standardized framework for file metadata, backup and archival information.” “The integrity of modern data is not guaranteed except at high cost.” “We have no real framework to change and transcribe formats.”

[This is more about transferring information between computer systems rather than archival metadata. It shows the lack of interaction between digital preservation worlds. Some of the comments about the article are interesting.]

Goodbye, Encarta. A cautionary tale for newspapers? John Yemma. The Christian Science Monitor. March 31, 2009.

An article about how Wikipedia replaced the Encarta digital encyclopedia and what that points to. What Encarta did not do was to embrace the power of the internet, which includes almost instant updating. The “lesson is that general knowledge … can’t withstand an effort that was developed specifically for the Internet and that harnesses gifted amateurs.” There is power in open-source knowledge. Organizations can take their values with them, but it can’t take the old model, nor the old work habits. “The Web is its own universe with its own rules.”

INSIGHT into issues of Permanent Access to the Records of Science in Europe. PARSE.Insight. March 27, 2009. [pdf]

This document is to give an overview and details of technical and non-technical components which would be needed for science data infrastructures. The infrastructure components are aimed at bridging the gaps between areas of functionality, developed for particular projects, separated by either discipline or time. These components should play a unifying role in science data. They are developed within a European wide infrastructure, but there should also be advantages if these components are used more widely. The group has defined four main roles: funding, research, publishing, and storage/preservation.

Science Data Infrastructure: those things, technical, organization and financial which are usable across communities to help in the preservation, re-use and open access of digital holdings.

Preservation: meant in the OAIS sense of maintaining the usability and understandability of a digital object.

Representation Information: the OAIS term for everything that is needed in order to understand a digital object.

The report discusses some major threats. Those who responded marked these as “Important” or “Very Important”:

  1. Users unable to understand or use the data e.g. the semantics, format, etc
  2. Not able to maintain hardware, software or environment to make the information inaccessible
  3. No chain of evidence causing uncertain provenance or authenticity
  4. Access and use restrictions may not be respected in the future
  5. Inability to identify the data location
  6. The current data custodian may cease to exist
  7. Those responsible to look after the digital holdings may let us down

Any of the components must be able to be handed to another organization, and the Persistent Identifiers must transfer and resolve correctly. In general it is not possible to state that an object is authentic, other than providing evidence, such as technical details, to show the provenance of the object, or a social decision of trust.

No comments: