Monday, September 14, 2015

Digital Preservation the Hard Way: I may have deleted the Electronic Theses community

Digital Preservation the Hard Way. Hardy Pottinger. University of Missouri Library. Open Repositories 2015 Poster Session.June 9, 2015. [PDF]
Interesting poster at OR2015. Examines a situation of DSpace missing collections and what was done to restore them. Some interesting quotes from the poster and the abstract:

"This is not a story of how we used this tool set. This is a story of how we recovered from an accidental deletion of a significant number of items, collections, and communities--an entire campus's ETDs: 315 missing items, 878 missing bitstreams, 1.4GB of data, 7 missing communities, 11 missing collections--using a database snapshot and a tape backup. The SQL we developed to facilitate this restoration may be helpful, but it is our hope that in comparison, the effort required to implement a proper backup and preservation safeguard, such as DuraCloud and/or the Replication Task Suite, will rightly seem more appealing. In other words: here's how to do it the wrong way, but you'd really be better off doing things the right way.

“I may have deleted the Electronic Theses community. Is there any way to un-delete it?”
Seven missing communities, 11 missing collections, 315 missing items (containing 878 bitstreams). Only 1.4 GB of data. Born-digital data. This is a story of survival. Of that data, metadata, and everyone responsible for it.

“Disaster Recovery is not Digital Preservation.”
If you are a developer reading this, thinking about ways your institution could improve its backup strategy, I've got bad news for you. A backup strategy is not digital preservation.
     If you are the only person at your institution thinking of ways to improve your backup strategy, your first job, before you even start to change your backup strategy, is to find other people to work with you on digital preservation. Repository development is a difficult enough job, you do not need to also assume responsibility for ensuring the data you are storing is valid, usable and backed up.
     Digital preservation is a full time job. If you are not giving it your full attention, if you are just backing up your assetstore and database, you have already accepted the responsibility of digital preservation, you are just not doing the job.

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