Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Digital Preservation with Film

Your ultimate digital insurance. Piql Website. 2015.
     The Piql Preservation Services, from a company based in Norway, are a turnkey solution that  includes all  the equipment and processes needed for writing, storing and retrieving files. The  piqlWriter is used to record the digital files and related metadata onto 35mm photosensitive film. The process uses error correction; checksums are applied to verify the integrity of the data. Forward Error Correction is used for controlling errors, making it possible to fully retrieve even damaged or corrupted data. This is made available from a €20 million Pan-European research project.

Both digital and visual storage of data is possible. The film is protected in a labelled piqlBox, which is tested together with film to ensure your data lasts for at least 500 years under ISO storage conditions. This can be integrated into an existing digital preservation system or digital asset management system for search and access. When a file is requested, the correct piqlBox is fetched from storage and placed on piqlReader. The film is read and decoded and then the information is made available.

Magnetic storage medium are short-lived and best used for back-ups. Security and privacy issues make cloud storage for archival content. Archival principles estimate that of the world's digital data, approximately 5% of it  requires long-term preservation. Non-permanent storage requires the content to be migrated frequently. However, the high cost of migration is expected to exceed the pace of the digital data growth.

ISO Storage conditions
The intended lifetime of the preservation medium, the packaging and their materials is 500 years, when stored under ISO 18911 storage conditions.  ISO 18911:2010(en)  states that "the important elements affecting preservation of processed film are humidity, temperature and air pollutants, as well as the hazards of fire, water, light, fungal growth, insects, microbiological attack, contact with certain chemicals in solid, liquid or gaseous form, and physical damage. Direct contact with other generic types of film can be detrimental to either film."

Also "extended-term storage conditions can extend the useful life of a majority of freshly processed films to 500 years. However, extended-term storage conditions will prolong the life of all films, independent of age, type or processing conditions. The storage protection provided by each level will differ in degree, as will the cost of providing and maintaining the storage facility.

 "It is recognized that many facilities will not be able to obtain the low humidity and low temperature levels specified in this International Standard because of energy considerations, climate conditions or building construction. Such deviation from the specified conditions will reduce the degree of protection offered, and in such cases maintaining a humidity and temperature as low as possible will still provide some benefits. This International Standard is not designed to provide protection against natural or man-made catastrophes, with the exception of fire and associated hazards, which are sufficiently common to warrant inclusion of protection measures."

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