Friday, February 05, 2016

Developing a Born-Digital Preservation Workflow

Developing a Born-Digital Preservation Workflow. Jack Kearney, Bill Donovan. April 8, 2014.
     Presentation that looks at developing a systematic approach to preserving digitally born collections. The example from Boston College are the Mary O’Hara papers. This was an opportunity for a collaborative project involving the Digital Libraries, Archives, and the Irish Music Center.
  • Important elements of the workflow:
  • Chain of Custody, 
  • Digital Forensics, 
  • Computed initial checksums, 
  • File/folder names, 
  • Local Archival Copies, Distributed Digital Preservation
“Digital forensics focuses on the use of hardware and software tools to collect, analyze, interpret, and present information from digital sources, and ensuring that the collected information has not been altered in the process.” The presentation has some specific steps and procedures in ways to not alter the information, including multiple copies, write blockers, and such. In working with external drives, they would build and output an inventory taken with this Unix command:
     :  find directory-name  -type f -exec ls -l {} ; >c:\data\MOH\inventory.txt

Local conventions regarding naming files and folders:
  • Use English alphabet and numbers 0 - 9
  • Avoid punctuation marks other than underscores or hyphens.
  • Do not use spaces.
  • Limit file/folder names to 31 characters, including the 3 digit extension . Prefer shorter names.
  • Decision: They may remediate folder and file names, but only for the working copies.
They also look for files that need actions taken:
  • Any files off-limits or expendable? System files,
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Unsupported Formats (Can normalize using Xena)
  • They also use a variety of tools, such as: FITS,  JHove 
Important to keep track of digital preservation actions:
  • File migrations
  • Obsolete file formats
  • Proprietary file formats
  • Metadata changes

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