Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, & Museums, a review

Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, & Museums. 2nd edition.  Edward M. Corrado, Heather Moulaison Sandy. Rowman & Littlefield. 2016.
     I don't usually include publisher reviews here, but I got to know Edward Corrado when he worked with the Rosetta system at Binghamton. I received an advance copy of this book and provided a review for it. This is a very thorough book on a very large topic and I thought the review worth including.

This very thorough and well researched book on digital preservation is for libraries, archives and museums of all sizes.  It covers a wide range of digital preservation topics which will prove useful for managers and technical staff alike.  The foreword to the book states that digital preservation is not a problem but an opportunity. The topics covered in this book help the reader understand how to implement these opportunities within their own organization. Digital preservation cannot be done in isolation from the rest of the organization; it needs to be an integral part of the whole. The authors demonstrate that with the proper resources and technical expertise, organizations can preserve "today's digital content long into the future". 

The table of contents of the book shows the range of topics covered:

Parts of the book:
I. Introduction to Digital Preservation,
II. Management Aspects,
III. Technology Aspects, and
IV. Content-Related Aspects.

Sections of the book
1. What is Digital Preservation? What it is not.
2. Getting Started with the Digital Preservation Triad: Management, Technology, Content
3. Management for Digital Preservation
4. The OAIS Reference Model
5. Organizing Digital Content
6. Consortia and Membership Organizations
7. Human Resources and Education
8. Sustainable Digital Preservation, financial factors
9. Digital Repository Software and Digital Preservation Systems
10. The Digital Preservation Repository and Trust
11.  Metadata for Digital Preservation
12. File Formats and Software for Digital Preservation
13. Emulation
14. Selecting Content
15. Preserving Research Data
16. Preserving Humanities Content
17. Digital Preservation of Selected Specialized Formats
Appendix A: Select Resources in Support of Digital Preservation

A few quotes and thoughts from the book that I thought especially useful:
  • three interrelated activities: management-related activities, technological activities, and content-centered activities.
  • technology cannot --- and should not --- be the sole concern of digital preservation. 
  • concerned with the life cycle of the digital object in a robust and all-inclusive way.
  • digital preservation is in many ways a management issue.  It requires interaction with the process and procedures of all parts of an organization.
  • Regardless of the role any particular staff member plays in digital preservation, one of the most important attributes required is passion for digital preservation.
  • Ultimately, digital preservation is an exercise in risk management.
  • Primarily, digital preservation is something that must be accepted on the basis of trust. can help build trust using self-assessments, certification, and audit tools
  • Digital preservation allows information professionals and those working in cultural heritage institutions to preserve, for the long-term, content that otherwise, if not cared for, would unquestionably be lost.
It helps to answer some basic questions:
  • How can I preserve the digital content available in my institution for the future?
  • What do I need to know to carry out this work?
  • How can I plan for the future in terms of the technology, human resources, and collections?
  • How do I know if I’m on the right track with my digital preservation efforts?

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