Archive for the 'Digital Curation & Digital Preservation' Category

Library of Congress to Archive All Public Tweets Since March 2006

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Research Libraries, Social Media/Web 2.0 on April 14th, 2010

The Library of Congress has tweeted that it will to archive all public tweets made since March 2006.

Here's an excerpt from the blog announcement:

Have you ever sent out a "tweet" on the popular Twitter social media service? Congratulations: Your 140 characters or less will now be housed in the Library of Congress.

That’s right. Every public tweet, ever, since Twitter’s inception in March 2006, will be archived digitally at the Library of Congress. That’s a LOT of tweets, by the way: Twitter processes more than 50 million tweets every day, with the total numbering in the billions.

We thought it fitting to give the initial heads-up to the Twitter community itself via our own feed @librarycongress. (By the way, out of sheer coincidence, the announcement comes on the same day our own number of feed—followers has surpassed 50,000. I love serendipity!)

We will also be putting out a press release later with even more details and quotes. Expect to see an emphasis on the scholarly and research implications of the acquisition. I'm no Ph.D., but it boggles my mind to think what we might be able to learn about ourselves and the world around us from this wealth of data. And I'm certain we'll learn things that none of us now can even possibly conceive.

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    "Data Curation and Libraries: Short-Term Developments, Long-Term Prospects"

    Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on April 12th, 2010

    Anna Gold has self-archived "Data Curation and Libraries: Short-Term Developments, Long-Term Prospects" in DigitalCommons@CalPoly.

    Here's an excerpt:

    This paper was prepared as background for a talk given at AGU 2009 on "Data & Libraries." It summarizes the developments and events from late 2006 through early 2010 that are shaping library roles in scientific data curation while underscoring the range, complexity, and varying granularity of systems, actions, and efforts involved. The main conclusions are: (1) leaders of major research libraries have committed their institutions to support data curation. (2) The library profession has demonstrated significant conceptual progress in characterizing and understanding data curation both in theory and in practice. (3) There has been progress since 2006 in legitimizing library roles in data curation through formal education and certification programs as well as by integrating data curation into established library services and systems. Certain questions remain unresolved: how will data taxonomies or ontology, schemas or data models and their databases fit into data curation practices? Librarians, however, can draw on a growing body of experience and the support of a community of practice as they contribute to data curation, while researchers and those who fund research can turn with growing confidence to libraries and librarians for data curation support.

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      A Primer on Codecs for Moving Image and Sound Archives: 10 Recommendations for Codec Selection and Management

      Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Media on April 12th, 2010

      AudioVisual Preservation Solutions has released A Primer on Codecs for Moving Image and Sound Archives: 10 Recommendations for Codec Selection and Management.

      Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

      One area of great concern for the integrity and persistence of digital audio and video files is the selection of file formats and codecs… Though this is also an area where there is a great lack of certainty and clarity on the issue.

      This paper by Chris Lacinak lays out a clear explanation of what codecs are, how they are used, and what their selection and application means to archives. Also provided are 10 recommendations that will help you in the selection and management of codecs in an archival setting.

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        MementoFox Add-on for FireFox Released

        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on April 5th, 2010

        Herbert Van de Sompel. Michael L. Nelson, and Robert Sanderson have announced the release of the MementoFox Add-on.

        Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

        We are excited to share some news about the Memento (Time Travel for the Web) effort. Memento proposes to extend HTTP with datetime content negotiation as a means to better integrate the present and past Web. The Memento effort is partly funded by the Library of Congress.

        =>The MementoFox add-on for FireFox browsers has been released. It allows time travel on the Web in a manner compliant with the Memento framework.

        (*) The MementoFox add-on can be downloaded at

        (*) Suggested Web time travels that can be undertaken using the add-on are described at They involve navigations for both the document Web and the Linked Data cloud.

        => There is also a Memento plug-in available for the MediaWiki platform. The plug-in provides support for Memento-style navigation of a Wiki's history pages.

        (*) The MediaWiki plug-in can be downloaded at

        (*) If you run a MediaWiki platform, please install this plug-in and let us know the URI of your Wiki.

        See also: Memento project website.

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          Ensuring Perpetual Access: Establishing a Federated Strategy on Perpetual Access and Hosting of Electronic Resources for Germany

          Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on March 30th, 2010

          Charles Beagrie Ltd has released Ensuring Perpetual Access: Establishing a Federated Strategy on Perpetual Access and Hosting of Electronic Resources for Germany.

          Here's an excerpt:

          This study was conducted as basis for all further steps towards a national hosting strategy. It was financed jointly by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association and the Max Planck Society. The study is intended to be the starting point from which to arrive at concrete ideas and activities related to a coordinated national hosting strategy. The intensive, often controversial but always constructive and continuing discussion now expands out of the working group into the public area to be continued there in the same manner. Invited for further discussion are all stakeholders with responsibility in the German science system to establish and finance sustainable structures for perpetual access as well as long-term preservation for electronic resources.

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            Preservation and Curation in Institutional Repositories

            Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, DSpace, EPrints, Fedora, Institutional Repositories on March 29th, 2010

            The Digital Curation Centre has released Preservation and Curation in Institutional Repositories.

            Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

            The DCC has produced a report that provides a snapshot of the state of the art of preservation and curation in an institutional repository context in early 2010, noting areas of recent and current research and development. It should be of interest principally to institutional repository managers and others concerned with the strategic planning for these services. The report begins with a brief introduction to preservation and curation, followed in chapter 3 by a summary of the current provision for these activities in EPrints, DSpace and Fedora. Some repository models and architectures relevant to preservation and curation are presented in chapter 4 and chapter 5 respectively, while a selection of preservation planning tools of possible use in a repository context are described in chapter 6. Pertinent developments in metadata are reviewed in chapter 7, while tools for working with such metadata are presented in chapter 8. Technologies that assist in performing emulation, reverse engineering and migration are described in chapter 9. The issue of identifiers for repository materials is tackled in chapter 10. A selection of guidelines and tools for auditing curatorial aspects of institutional repositories is presented in chapter 11, and a selection of tools for calculating the costs and benefits of curation is presented in chapter 12. Finally, some conclusions are drawn in chapter 13.

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              Web Archiving

              Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on March 21st, 2010

              The Digital Curation Centre has released Web Archiving.

              Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

              The DCC has produced a report that provides a snapshot of the state of the art of Web archiving in early 2010, noting areas of contemporaneous research and development. It should be of interest to individuals and organisations concerned about the longevity of the Web resources to which they contribute or refer, and who wish to consider the issues and options in a broad context. The report begins by reviewing in more detail the motivations that lie behind Web archiving, both from an organisational and a research perspective. The most common challenges faced by Web archivists are discussed in section 3. The following two sections examine Web archiving at extremes of scale, with section 4 dealing with full-domain harvesting and the building of large-scale collections, and section 5 dealing with the ad hoc archiving of individual resources and small-scale collections. The challenges associated with particular types of difficult content are summarised in section 6, while methods for integrating archived material with the live Web are reviewed in section 7. Finally, some conclusions are drawn in section 8.

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                Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-term Access to Digital Information

                Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on March 2nd, 2010

                The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access has released Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-term Access to Digital Information.

                Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                While much has been written on the digital preservation issue as a technical challenge, the Blue Ribbon Task Force report focuses on the economic aspect; i.e. how stewards of valuable, digitally-based information can pay for preservation over the longer term. The report provides general principles and actions to support long-term economic sustainability; context-specific recommendations tailored to specific scenarios analyzed in the report; and an agenda for priority actions and next steps, organized according to the type of decision maker best suited to carry that action forward. Moreover, the report is intended to serve as a foundation for further study in this critical area. . . .

                Value, Incentives, and Roles & Responsibilities

                The report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force focuses on four distinct scenarios, each having ever-increasing amounts of preservation-worthy digital assets in which there is a public interest in long-term preservation: scholarly discourse, research data, commercially-owned cultural content (such as digital movies and music), and collectively-produced Web content (such as blogs).

                "Valuable digital information spans the spectrum from official e-documents to some YouTube videos. No one economic model will cost-effectively support them all, but all require cost-effective economic models," said Berman, who was director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, before joining Rensselaer last year.

                The report categorizes the economics of digital preservation into three "necessary conditions" closely aligned with the needs of stakeholders: recognizing the value of data and selecting materials for longer-term preservation; providing incentives for decision makers to preserve data directly or provide preservation services for others; and articulating the roles and responsibilities among those involved in the preservation process. The report further aligns those conditions with the basic economic principle of supply and demand, and warns that without well-articulated demand for access to preserved digital assets, there will be no supply of preservation services.

                "Addressing the issues of value, incentives, and roles and responsibilities helps us understand who benefits from long-term access to digital materials, who should be responsible for preservation, and who should pay for it," said Brian Lavoie, research scientist at OCLC and Task Force co-chair. "Neglecting to account for any of these conditions significantly reduces the prospects of achieving sustainable digital preservation activities over the long run."

                Task Force Recommendations The Blue Ribbon panel report cites several specific recommendations for decision makers and stakeholders to consider as they seek economically sustainable preservation practices for digital information. While the report covers these recommendations in detail, below is a summary listing key areas of priority for near-term action:

                Organizational Action

                • develop public-private partnerships, similar to ones formed by the Library of Congress
                • ensure that organizations have access to skilled personnel, from domain experts to legal and business specialists
                • create and sustain secure chains of stewardship between organizations over the long term
                • achieve economies of scale and scope wherever possible

                Technical Action

                • build capacity to support stewardship in all areas
                • lower the costs of preservation overall
                • determine the optimal level of technical curation needed to create a flexible strategy for all types of digital material

                Public Policy Action

                • modify copyright laws to enable digital preservation
                • create incentives and requirements for private entities to preserve on behalf of the public (financial incentives, handoff requirements)
                • sponsor public-private partnerships
                • clarify rights issues associated with Web-based materials

                Education and Public Outreach Action

                • promote education and training for 21st century digital preservation (domain-specific skills, curatorial best practices, core competencies in relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics knowledge)
                • raise awareness of the urgency to take timely preservation actions

                The report concluded that sustainable preservation strategies are not built all at once, nor are they static.

                "The environment in which digital preservation takes place can be very dynamic," said OCLC's Brian Lavoie. "Priorities change, policies change, stakeholders change. A key element of a robust sustainability strategy is to anticipate the effect of these changes and take steps to minimize the risk that long-term preservation goals will be impacted by short-term disruptions in resources, incentives, and other economic factors. If we can do this, we will have gone a long way toward ensuring that society's valuable digital content does indeed survive."

                About the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access was launched in late 2007 by the National Science Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Library of Congress, the Joint Information Systems Committee of the United Kingdom, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the National Archives and Records Administration. The Task Force was commissioned to explore the economic sustainability challenge of digital preservation and access. An Interim report discussing the economic context for preservation, Sustaining the Digital Investment: Issues and Challenges of Economically Sustainable Digital Preservation, is available at the Task Force website. Please visit the website for more information about the Task Force and its upcoming symposium, called A National Conversation on the Economic Sustainability of Digital Information, to take place April 1, 2010 in Washington D.C. A similar symposium will be held in the United Kingdom on May 6, 2010, at the Wellcome Collection Conference Centre, in London. Space is limited so early registration is advised. More information is available online.

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                  A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation

                  Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on February 24th, 2010

                  The MetaArchive Cooperative has released A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation.

                  Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                  This volume is devoted to the broad topic of distributed digital preservation, a still-emerging field of practice for the cultural memory arena. Replication and distribution hold out the promise of indefinite preservation of materials without degradation, but establishing effective organizational and technical processes to enable this form of digital preservation is daunting. Institutions need practical examples of how this task can be accomplished in manageable, low-cost ways.

                  This guide is written with a broad audience in mind that includes librarians, archivists, scholars, curators, technologists, lawyers, and administrators. Readers may use this guide to gain both a philosophical and practical understanding of the emerging field of distributed digital preservation, including how to establish or join a network.

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                    International Internet Preservation Consortium Launches Web Archives Registry

                    Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on February 4th, 2010

                    The International Internet Preservation Consortium has launched a web archives registry.

                    Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                    The registry offers a single point of access to a comprehensive overview of member web archiving efforts and outputs. Twenty-one archives from around the world are currently included; updates will be added as additional archives are made accessible by IIPC members.

                    In addition to a detailed description of each web archive, the following information is included:

                    • Collecting institution
                    • Start date
                    • Archive interface language(s)
                    • Access methods (URL search, keyword search, full text search, thematic, etc.)
                    • Harvesting methods (National domain, event, thematic, etc.)
                    • Access restrictions

                    The registry was put in place by the IIPC Access Working Group, which focuses on initiatives, procedures and tools required to provide immediate and future to access archived web material. The registry will also provide a basis for IIPC to explore integrated access and search in the future.

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                      Harvard University Library OIS Releases File Information Tool Set Version 0.3.1

                      Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Metadata, Open Source Software on February 1st, 2010

                      Harvard University Library's Office for Information Systems has released File Information Tool Set version 0.3.1.

                      Here's an excerpt from the user guide:

                      The File Information Tool Set (FITS) identifies, validates and extracts technical metadata for a wide range of file formats. It acts as a wrapper, invoking and managing the output from several other open source tools. Output from these tools are converted into a common format, compared to one another and consolidated into a single XML output file. FITS is written in Java and is compatible with Java 1.5 or higher. The external tools currently used are:

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                        Library of Congress Launches Digital Preservation Podcast Series

                        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on February 1st, 2010

                        The Library of Congress has launched a digital preservation podcast series.

                        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                        The Library of Congress presents a new podcast series, featuring interviews with prominent digital preservation practitioners and thought leaders. These podcasts offer a chance to hear experts talk about their lessons learned and goals for future projects.

                        The debut podcasts are interviews with Patricia Cruse and Martin Halbert. Cruse is the director of the California Curation Center, formerly known as the California Digital Library's Digital Preservation Program. She talks about her professional achievements and personal interest in making government information widely available to the public. Halbert is the newly appointed dean of libraries at the University of North Texas and one of the co-founders of the MetaArchive Cooperative. In his podcast he talks about institutional collaboration and how pooling resources helped build large-scale online resources such as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.

                        The podcasts are available on the Library of Congress website and by subscription through iTunesU.

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                          Digital Scholarship

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