Monday, November 21, 2016

The Digital Preservation Gap(s)

The Digital Preservation Gap(s). somaya langley. Digital Preservation at Oxford and Cambridge. 18 November 2016.
     This is a broader comment on the field of digital preservation and the various gaps in the digital preservation field. Some of these are:
  • Silo-ing of different areas of practice and knowledge (developers, archivists etc.)
  • Lack of understanding of front-line staff working with born-digital materials 
  • Archivists, curators and librarians wanting a ‘magic wand’ to deal with ‘all things digital’
  • Tools that are limited or currently do not exist
  • Lack of knowledge to run the few available tools
  • Lack of knowledge of how to approach problem-solving
At iPres "the discussion still began with the notion that digital preservation commences at the point where files are in a stable state, such as in a digital preservation system (or digital asset management system). Appraisal and undertaking data transfers wasn’t considered at all, yet it is essential to capture metadata (including technical metadata) at this very early point. (Metadata captured at this early point may turn into preservation metadata in the long run.)" First-hand experiences of acquiring born-digital collections provide greater understanding of what it takes to do this type of work and will help in developing policies.

It is important to understand common real-world use cases and experiences in acquiring born-digital collections. "Archivists have an incredible sense of how to manage the relationship with a donor who is handing over their life’s work, ensuring the donor entrusts the organisation with the ongoing care of their materials" but preservationists that are traditionally trained archivists, curators and librarians often lack technical skill sets.  On the other hand, technologists lack experience with liaising with donors first-hand. Both groups would benefit from the others. Sharing approaches to problem-solving is definitely important.  The term ‘digital stewardship’ may be more helpful in acquiring and managing born-digital materials. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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