Monday, October 26, 2009

Digital Preservation Matters - 23 October 2009

Sidekick Data Restoration Has Started, Microsoft Says. Barry Levine. NewsFactor. October 20, 2009.

Danger, a Microsoft subsidiary using ‘cloud computing’, experienced a system problem that erased all the users' contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists, and photos for those using the Sidekick smart-phone. Much of the data may be eventually recovered, but effective data backup and protection measures were not being followed. It shows the importance of using reliable vendors and have data backups. [This is the first major loss of ‘cloud – data’ that I know of.]


Millennial disc guarantees data preservation. Logan Bradford. Daily Universe. September 15, 2009.

Barry Lunt, a BYU information technologies professor, will launch a product with the company, Millenniata, that produces a disc just like a CD or DVD that will last up to 1,000 years. He learned, through his seven years working for IBM in computer data, that data on CDs and DVDs would decay and be lost over just a few years because of optical discs’ ephemeral qualities, such as when they are exposed to sunlight and humidity. [We have been testing these discs and writers.]


Wellcome Library to use JPEG2000 image format. Library blog. September 18, 2009

The Wellcome library in London has been using TIFF images as their archival storage format. But, anticipating adding over 30 million images, they wanted to find a way to efficiently store the digital content but still maintain high levels of quality and open standards required for long-term preservation. To do this they have chosen to use the JPEG2000 format in its digitization program. But the difficulty is that the JPEG2000 format has multiple versions. They wanted to know which version is best for long-term storage and access, so they commissioned a study by Kings College: JPEG 2000 as a Preservation and Access Format for the Wellcome Trust Digital Library. Robert Buckley, Simon Tanner.

Based on the study will adopt a "visually lossless" lossy compression to gain at least 75% storage savings in comparison to a TIFF version. “The recommended compression parameters will produce an image with no visible difference in image quality, but the compression is irreversible - i.e. the original bit stream will not be possible to reconstruct. As the Library will be digitising physical items that can (if necessary) be re-digitised, it was considered an acceptable compromise.” Some materials may be candidates for JPEG2000 lossless compression. They are also recommending that “JPEG 2000 be used with multiple resolution levels.”


The Swedish Research Council requires free access to research results. Press release. October 8, 2009.

Researchers granted funds by the Research Council should publish their scientific research in publications that are available according to Open Access guidelines within a maximum period of six months. "We consider that publication of research which has been paid for out of public funds should be made freely accessible to all." The Open-Access rules apply so far only to scientifically assessed texts in journals and conference reports, and not to monographs and chapters of books.


Sound archive of the British Library goes online, free of charge. Mark Brown. The Guardian News. 3 September 2009.

The British Library has made its archive of world and traditional music freely available on the internet. The Archival Sound Recordings archive contains about 28,000 recordings, estimated at 2,000 hours of sound. These recordings are from around the world and the oldest are from wax cylinders made in 1898. The Library wants to change the perception that “things are given to libraries and then are never seen again – we want these recordings to be accessible."


Keeping Research Data Safe2: Data Survey added to project website. Neil Beagrie. Blog. 26 Sep 2009.

Information about the project and link to the website. The project is to identify long-lived datasets for the purpose of cost analysis will be ending soon. It refers to the previous project. In the activity model it mentions it will look at the development of an archive’s selection policy, also staff training and development. One area of concern was of OAIS terminology potentially being a barrier to understanding for some user groups.

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