Friday, April 28, 2006

Weekly readings - 28 April 2006

The Digital Black Hole. Jonas Palm. National Archives of Sweden. April 27, 2006.

Without long-term planning, digitization projects can be like black holes. Information is only retrievable through technology which has a cost. The more information that is converted, the higher the maintenance costs. If funding fades, the files may soon be obsolete and would be lost. For large projects, the life cycle must be planned, which includes a financial commitment. The archive has asked the questions: once materials are digitized, is it cheaper to maintain the digital files over time, or rely for long-term storage on

images on microfilm produced from the digital files with the use of COM (Computer Output Microfilm). It was expensive to preserve digital files, and the cost is more than generally believed because it involves much more than most people realize. The idea that media storage capacity gets cheaper because it doubles each year is true in the short term, but not in the long term, since the costs of management will keep going up. The real cost of storage is management.; the labor cost accounts for 39% of the total storage cost. The cost of long term storage also depends on how much it is used and accessed. The cost of digitization is also high. Digitizing audiovisual information is very time consuming and it also creates huge amounts of digital information. It is also the only possibility to preserve materials for the future. A third of the cost goes to scanning. A Swedish study states that for AV: “Due to condition and technical circumstances transfer should be made within the next ten years.” It must be digitized in the near future as media deteriorate and equipment becomes obsolete. The archive is looking at the possibility of using COM for preservation. Whichever strategy is chosen it must include a long-term financial commitment.

Library Holds Strategy Session on "Preserving Creative America". Managing Information. 28 April 2006.

A Library of Congress strategy meeting with leading producers of commercial content has shown that the content creators are very interested in preserving their digital materials for archival and other purposes. “We are faced with the potential disappearance of our cultural heritage if we don’t act soon and act together to preserve digital materials.” Preserving content long-term depends on influencing content providers from the moment of creation. They are focused on potential partnerships between the Library and the private sector. This year the Library plans to issue a request to private industry for cooperative projects to catalyze preservation in the private sector. The Library will support the establishment of preservation activities that span content owners and distributors, as well as technology companies.

Preserving the Past. Anna Bengel. April 28, 2006.

The Women's Film Preservation Fund was founded to preserve early silent and color pictures, experimental and documentary films, and "orphans," films without a clear copyright holder, that are by or about women. “Preserving film is a relatively simple process, but not necessarily an easy one.” Preserving a film means making new negatives and prints from the existing film, which can then be duplicated without ever having to touch the original film. It is a costly process. There is a push to get preserved performances in videotape or digital format, which can be borrowed and accessed by companies or private institutions. “It's impossible to preserve everything; the volume is staggering and there is not enough time and money.

Seagate's huge hard drive performs well. Melissa Perenson. Computerworld. April 27, 2006.,10801,110934,00.html?source=NLT_DIS&nid=110934

Seagate has launched a 750GB drive, the largest hard drive to date. It excelled in capacity, price and performance. It can write a 3GB file in about 2 minutes. It is available now and is priced under $600.

HD-DVD & Blu-Ray: Dead Formats Walking. David Morgenstern. eWeek. April 20, 2006.,1759,1951445,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03129TX1K0000606

One of the problem with the optical formats is the lack of ability to recycle the discs. Because of the large number of discs that are discarded each year, some are calling for a recycling surcharge and stricter rules on disposal. This may even affect future adoption of similar media. The future trend may be more towards networks than optical discs.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Weekly Readings - 21 April 2006

MIC (Moving Image Collections). Jane D. Johnson. RLG DigiNews. Apr 15, 2006.

Moving Image Collections was created as a partnership between the Library of Congress and the Association of Moving Image Archivists and began as a preservation initiative, a collaborative effort to promote discovery, preservation, and educational use of moving image materials. It provides a union catalog, archive directory, and informational resources and support for collaborative preservation, access, digitization, exhibition, and metadata initiatives. It raises awareness about preservation issues and risks to our film, television, and video heritage by telling readers how to care for home collections, the role of archives, and the preservation process. It is not just a tool for archivists, but provides access for the public and educators which is the key to a sustainable preservation strategy. The directory can take users to the organization’s records in the Union Catalog, to the organization’s own catalog, or to its website. Central to the database is the metadata elements that provide descriptions of the items. There are mappings to MARC, Dublin Core, MPEG-7 and others, plus the ability to map other schema into the collection.

Six Lessons Learned: An (Early) ARTstor Retrospective. Max Marmor. RLG DigiNews. Apr 15, 2006.
ARTstor is a digital library of images for educational and scholarly use. Here are some of the lessons learned:
- the importance of building a campus-wide resource instead of discipline-specific collections;
- the importance of digital images in teaching and research;
- the ramifications of such a resource for “buy vs. build” decision
- the trade-offs of building “user-driven” collections
Users want to do things with digital images, to change them and assemble in different ways. They need tools in order to integrate the materials into teaching and research.

Library of Congress, British Library to Support Common Archiving Standard for Electronic Journals. Guy Lamolinara. April 19, 2006.

The Library of Congress and the British Library have agreed to support the migration of electronic content to the NLM DTD standard. The libraries hope that their support of this standard will help ensure long-term access to electronic journals. The standards for digital materials are still evolving. By supporting this, they hope it will lead to an internationally recognized standard.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Weekly Reading Notes 14 April 2006

Corporate Alzheimer's: Coping With Forgotten File Formats. John K. Waters. April 4, 2006.
What if the file formats of our text documents, spreadsheets, charts and presentations were not supported by future versions of the programs used to create them today, or by other future products? Could the inability to read file formats cause a kind of corporate Alzheimer’s that threatens our ability to recall contracts, insurance policies, financial records, payroll data and other critical documents? In some ways, this is happening today. Some documents that are only 10 years old are inaccessible now. If the baseline file format continues to evolve as it has done, formats may be unusable in 10 or 11 years. We need a standard for documents that need to be kept indefinitely, and two are being discussed: OpenDocument Format for Office Applications (ODF), which was developed by the OASIS standards consortium, and Microsoft's Office Open XML. Both are based on XML. Microsoft has promised that their version will be compatible with their older document formats, that they would give it away, and that it would be controlled by an international standards body.

Sony reveals more details of Blu-ray Disc PC. Martyn Williams. IDG News Service. 13 April 2006.
Sony has released some details about its first desktop PC to include a Blu-ray Disc drive. It will include reader/writer Blu-ray Disc drives that support single-layer 25G-byte discs or double-layer 50G-byte discs. They plan to make them available in "early summer" in the U.S.

Library of Congress preserves Motown recordings. Alison Bethel. The Detroit News. April 12, 2006.
Library of Congress selected 50 sound recordings for preservation because of their cultural, historical or esthetic significance. The National Recording Registry was established by the Library of Congress as part of the 2000 National Recording Preservation Act to preserve the most significant recordings and to highlight the need to preserve the country's sound recording legacy before it deteriorates.

Microsoft to Make Virtual Server Free. Peter Galli. April 3, 2006.,1759,1945069,00.asp
Microsoft has announced that it will make its Virtual Server product available on the internet for free. They also plan to incorporate this into the server operating system.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Weekly Readings - 7 April 2006

Institutional Repositories: An Opportunity for CIO Campus Impact. Marilu Goodyear and Richard Fyffe. EDUCAUSE Review. March/April 2006.

“The importance of the research enterprise calls for paying significant attention to the stewardship and preservation of the institution’s digital assets, particularly those that are unique to the campus.” Often, current systems do not provide short-term access, nor long-term access, well. The collections are mostly uncurated collections of important and trivial information, current and superseded work, hosted on platforms with no checks for data integrity, minimal metadata for provenance, little encoding for version or access control, and no support for format migration. In reality, they have none of the structures and functions provide assurance of ongoing accessibility and usability for digital files. Repositories can be more than tools for sharing information, they can be tools for preservation. Currently there is no repository that can do all the digital preservation functions. They mostly provide a way to select, describe, and depository materials in a central location. This can encourage understanding and discussion of the conditions that make digital preservation possible. Involving the IT organization can provide a number of benefits:
It can serve faculty in all disciplines
It can demonstrate the value of research contributions to the institution
The CIO can stay ahead of issues of academic research and digital preservation
Maintaining digital assets should be a matter of concern to the CIO

Surveying the E-Journal Preservation Landscape. Anne R. Kenney. March 23, 2006.

"Digital preservation represents one of the grand challenges facing higher education." Preserving electronic publications has become a critical matter as e-publication increases and user communities depend more on electronic publications. A number of initiatives acknowledge preservation responsibility for e-journal archiving.

A faster, denser hard drive debuts. Jon L. Jacobi . Computerworld. March 31, 2006.,4902,110111,00.html?nlid=ST

The first hard drives to use the perpendicular storage technology show that the drives hold more, but are faster. They are projecting that 2TB disks will be available before long. The cost will be about the same per gigabyte and existing disks.

Sony's Universal Media Disc facing last rites. Thomas K. Arnold. Computerworld. March 30, 2006.,4902,110083,00.html?nlid=ST

After only one year, Sony's Universal Media Disc is being phased out. Disappointing sales and lack of support have caused retailers to discontinue selling the disc. One executive compared this failure to blu-ray.

Holographic disk hits 300GB mark. Chris Mellor. Computerworld. March 28, 2006.,4902,109994,00.html
InPase Technology Inc. has announced that it has created a holographic disc which can store more data than any other disc. It plans to release the 300GB later this year. A holographic disc stores data inside the disc, not just on the surface. It is also faster for retrieving data.