Monday, March 14, 2016

Digital Preservation - Knowing where to start

Digital Preservation - Knowing where to start. Nik Stanbridge.  Cloud Computing Intelligence.
23 February 2016.
     Memory institutions face increasing demands on their collections, such as the need to manage costs better, provide access, or degradation of objects, which then require digital preservation. Some organizations already have a strategy and are digitally preserving their assets. Many though are only just starting to think about digital preservation and need to know where to start and how to implement digital preservation.

Digital preservation is the process of managing and storing digital files and associated metadata in a way that they will be accessible and usable in the future. The processes apply both objects that were originally created in digital form and to those that have been digitized. If you have a need to maintain digital objects then the first step is to define a strategy; understand what needs to be preserved and how. This includes information about the digital object. "It’s important to remember that digital preservation is as much about preserving the meaning and context of the asset as it is about preserving the asset itself."
  • File format preservation is the process of maximising the accessibility of the file through its repeated migration to any number of more stable or current file formats. 
  • Data archiving is the process of storing all of the resulting digital assets for the long term, using active archiving principles and processes.  
  • A preservation strategy will also need to cover the people and processes you are going to use, the quality of the digital assets to preserve and the IT infrastructure and associated support.
Most strategies will need a phased approach that addresses the digital preservation factors that are important to the institution. Establishing a digital preservation strategy is the very first step. Consider carefully also how the digital objects will be stored long term.

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