Friday, October 02, 2009

Digital Preservation Matters - 01 October 2009

Media Preservation Survey: A Report. Mike Casey. Indiana University Bloomington. 1 October 2009. [132 p. pdf]

An excellent and very detailed report from Indiana University Bloomington concerning the 560,000 audio and video recordings and reels of film on the campus. The report looks at the characteristics and condition of only one of the many groups of materials and the preservation challenges. This was a ten-month study by a team of archivists. The next step is developing a campuswide preservation plan. These historical "jewels" will be lost if not preserved soon. A few preservation activities exist on campus but they are too small to be effective or are not sustainable. They have 51 different media formats. They have over 180,000 digital files in the collection. "These formats require active preservation services from the moment of creation if their content is to survive."

Redundancy is a key strategy is saving the materials, but only 11% have a copy. "One copy is no copy." Preservation of audio and video objects require transferring to digital. Storing AV materials at the correct temperature and relative humidity is the "single most important factor in slowing the physical degradation of audiovisual media." At the current rate it will take 120 years to digitize the AV holdings. There is a very useful chart of Selected High and Medium Risk Formats in their collection.

Among their recommendations:

  • Appoint a campuswide taskforce to advise on preservation
  • Create a centralized media preservation and digitization center for the entire campus
  • Develop special funding to digitization the materials quickly
  • Create an appropriate and centralized physical storage space for the materials
  • Provide archival appraisal and control across campus
  • Develop cataloging services to accelerate research opportunities and improve access
  • Completion of a digital preservation repository

Bagit: Transferring Content for Digital Preservation. Library of Congress. September 29, 2009.

Short video on YouTube about BagIt, a tool from The Library of Congress, California Digital Library and Stanford University. They have developed guidelines for creating, moving and verifying standardized digital containers, called "bags." BagIt requires a bag declaration, list of contents, and the actual content.

Archiving Is For E-discovery; Backup Is For Recovery. Mathew Lodge. The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. September 01, 2009.

There are challenges with court requests for the discovery of information from backup tapes. If backup tapes are used for information retrieval then they are accessible for e-discovery. But they were never designed for this. Many are doing archiving, but that has different meanings to people. "Active archiving is different: it's a way of centrally managing the storage, retention and hold of information while ensuring "live" (or active) access to any item." It means to move objects to a central repository and provide access to users.

Purple Cows and Fringy Propositions. Carol Minton Morris. D-Lib Magazine. September/October 2009.

Notes from the Fringe Festival. "At every stage of the Bodleian Library's development, Oxford changed practices and policies, and improved – first analog and later digital – technologies in response to changes in the world beyond the Library. Realization is still a catalyst for change." The most useful metaphor for the repository is the internet. Institutions like Oxford create institutional repositories as components of larger library service platforms, not stand-alone silos. Clifford Lynch said we may be better with incremental, structured assessments rather than open-ended preservation commitments. We should aim at preserving digital objects "for the next 20 years with subsequent assessments instead of aiming to preserve them forever." Repositories should look at collecting works from scholars at the end of their careers and create a legacy. Repositories will move beyond educational organizations, so we should look at being involved in that.

1 comment:

tc said...

I read with interest Mathew Lodge's article on archiving (Archiving Is For E-discovery; Backup Is For Recovery.) In this article he compares archiving to backup. The primary distinction he asserts is that archiving facilitates e-discovery (an area primarily related to legal records retention issues) while traditional backup techniques do not. While I don't quibble with that distinction, the goals of archiving in general, and e-discovery in particular are not the same as the goals of digital preservation. While digital preservation may facilitate e-discovery, it is more concerned with managing digital artifacts in a way that enables proper rendering and understanding of the artifact over time. While an archive is typically concerned with records retention rules, a preservation system finds such rules to be antithetical.