Archive for the 'Digital Curation & Digital Preservation' Category

A Future for Our Digital Memory (2): Strategic Agenda 2010-2013 for Long-Term Access to Digital Resources

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on June 27th, 2010

The Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation has released A Future for Our Digital Memory (2): Strategic Agenda 2010-2013 for Long-Term Access to Digital Resources

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The document proposes a dual-axis approach: on the one hand collaboration within domains and information chains must be strengthened. This process is to be facilitated by so-called network leaders: the National Archives for public records, the KB, National Library of the Netherlands, for scholarly publications, Data Archiving and Networked Services for research data and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision for media. A fifth network leader for cultural heritage institutions such as museums, is yet to be announced. The NCDD itself is to facilitate cross-domain cooperation and knowledge exchanges.

See also A Future for Our Digital Memory (1): Permanent Access to Information in the Netherlands.

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    Presentations from Computer Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections Meeting

    Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on June 22nd, 2010

    The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities has released presentations from the Computer Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections meeting.

    Here's an excerpt from the meeting's background document:

    While such [computer forensics] activities may seem (happily) far removed from the concerns of the cultural heritage sector, the methods and tools developed by forensics experts represent a novel approach to key issues and challenges in the archives community. Libraries, special collections, and other repositories increasingly receive computer storage media (and sometimes entire computers) as part of their acquisition of "papers" from contemporary artists, writers, musicians, government officials, politicians, scholars, and other public figures. Cell phones, e-readers, and other data-rich devices will surely follow. The same forensics software that indexes a criminal suspect's hard drive allows the archivist to prepare a comprehensive manifest of the electronic files a donor has turned over for accession; the same hardware that allows the forensics specialist to create an algorithmically authenticated "image" of a file system allows the archivist to ensure the integrity of digital content once committed to an institutional repository; the same data recovery procedures that allow the specialist to discover, recover, and present as trial evidence an "erased" file may allow a scholar to reconstruct a lost or inadvertently deleted version of an electronic manuscript—and do so with enough confidence to stake reputation and career.

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      Presentations from the Changing Role Of Libraries in Support of Research Data Activities: A Public Symposium

      Posted in Data Curation, Open Data, and Research Data Management, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on June 8th, 2010

      The Board on Research Data and Information has released presentations from the Changing Role Of Libraries in Support of Research Data Activities: A Public Symposium.

      Presentations included:

      • Deanna Marcum, Library of Congress: The Role of Libraries in Digital Data Preservation and Access—The Library of Congress Experience
      • Betsy Humphreys, National Library of Medicine: More Data, More Use, Less Lead Time: Scientific Data Activities at the National Library of Medicine
      • Joyce Ray, Institute for Museum and Library Services: Libraries in the New Research Environment
      • Karla Strieb, Association of Research Libraries: Supporting E-Science: Progress at Research Institutions and Their Libraries
      • Christine Borgman, UC, Los Angeles: Why Data Matters to Librarians—and How to Educate the Next Generation

      Read more about it at "National Academies Sees Libraries as Leaders in Data Preservation."

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        The Idea of Order: Transforming Research Collections for 21st Century Scholarship

        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Libraries, Mass Digitizaton, Reports and White Papers on June 3rd, 2010

        The Council on Library and Information Resources has released The Idea of Order: Transforming Research Collections for 21st Century Scholarship.

        Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

        The Idea of Order explores the transition from an analog to a digital environment for knowledge access, preservation, and reconstitution, and the implications of this transition for managing research collections. The volume comprises three reports. The first, "Can a New Research Library be All-Digital?" by Lisa Spiro and Geneva Henry, explores the degree to which a new research library can eschew print. The second, "On the Cost of Keeping a Book," by Paul Courant and Matthew "Buzzy" Nielsen, argues that from the perspective of long-term storage, digital surrogates offer a considerable cost savings over print-based libraries. The final report, "Ghostlier Demarcations," examines how well large text databases being created by Google Books and other mass-digitization efforts meet the needs of scholars, and the larger implications of these projects for research, teaching, and publishing.

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          JISC Project Report: Digitisation Programme: Preservation Study, April 2009

          Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Reports and White Papers on June 3rd, 2010

          JISC, the Digital Preservation Coalition, Portico, and the University of London Computer Centre have released JISC Project Report: Digitisation Programme: Preservation Study, April 2009.

          Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

          The digital universe grew by 62% in 2009, but those adding to these resources need to think long term if they want to make best use of their public funding. Clearly stated preservation policies are essential in guaranteeing that researchers in the future will be able to access and use a digital resource, according to a new report funded by JISC. But the responsibility needs to be shared between funders, who must articulate the need for data curation, and universities, who need to implement a preservation policy for each digital collection. . . .

          Alastair Dunning, programme manager at JISC, said: "Although our initial goal was to examine our own projects, the recommendations and outcomes are relevant to funders and projects in many different sectors."

          Dr William Kilbride, Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition, said: "JISC challenged us to work in fine detail and in broad strokes at the same time. We immersed ourselves in the detail of sixteen different projects with a brief to support these projects and use that experience for a strategic and lasting contribution based on hard empirical evidence."

          The results of this work published today contain recommendations for institutions, funders and those assessing funding projects and programmes. The authors anticipate that the template used to survey the projects could also form a useful blueprint for funders and assessors in the future.

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            Digital Preservation: Data-PASS Project Gets Matching IMLS Support for $1.6 Million Project

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

            The Data-PASS Project has been given "one-to-one matching funds for the $1.6 million dollar project" by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

            Here's an excerpt from the press release:

            The Institute of Museum and Library Services has generously supported members of the Data-PASS Alliance through an award to develop a policy-based archival replication system for libraries, archives and museums. . . .

            The archival community has largely recognized that a geographically – and organizationally – distributed approach is necessary to minimize long-term risks to digital materials. The new system will provide a way to ensure that replicated collections are both institutionally and geographically distributed and to allow for the development of increasingly measurable and auditable trusted repository requirements. This result will be to enable any library, museum or archive to audit its content across an existing LOCKSS network and will allow groups of collaborating institutions to automatically and verifiably replicate each others' content.

            The Data-PASS partnership was established as part of a previously funded Library of Congress NDIIPP program and the replication system builds upon a prototype developed through that project. Data-PASS network model

            Tools and training to facilitate the creation of archival replication policies and the auditing and management of a replication network will be released this year. We will also release extensions to the Dataverse Network System that enable curators of dataverse virtual archives to easily participate in these replication networks. These tools will be distributed as open source, and as self-contained packages for non-technical users.

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              Digital Preservation: Open Planets Foundation Established

              Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on May 31st, 2010

              The four-year Planets (Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services) project is ending. To build on its work, the Open Planets Foundation has been established.

              The initial members are:

              • Austrian Institute of Technology
              • The British Library
              • Det Kongelige Bibliotek (The Royal Library of Denmark)
              • Koninklijke Bibliotheek (The National Library of the Netherlands)
              • Microsoft Research Limited
              • Nationaal Archief (The Dutch National Archives)
              • Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (The Austrian National Library)
              • Statsbiblioteket (The State & University Library, Denmark)
              • Tessella plc

              Read more about it at "Welcome to the Open Planets Foundation."

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                Planets Project Deposits "Digital Genome" Time Capsule in Swiss Fort Knox

                Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on May 27th, 2010

                The Planets project has deposited a "Digital Genome" time capsule in the Swiss Fort Knox.

                Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                Over the last decade the digital age has seen an explosion in the rate of data creation. Estimates from 2009 suggest that over 100 GB of data has already been created for every single individual on the planet ranging from holiday snaps to health records—that's over 1 trillion CDs worth of data, equivalent to 24 tons of books per person!

                Yet research by the European Commission co-funded Planets project, co-ordinated by the British Library, highlights deep concerns regarding the preservation of these digital assets. Findings suggest that as hardware and software are superseded by more up-to-date technology, and older formats become increasingly inaccessible, the EU alone is losing over 3 billion euros worth of digital information every year.

                Looking to ensure the preservation of our digital heritage, on 18 May 2010 the Planets project will deposit a time capsule containing a record of the "Digital Genome" inside Swiss Fort Knox—a high security digital storage facility hidden deep in the Swiss Alps—preserving the information and the tools to reconstruct highly valuable data long after the lifeline of supporting technology has disappeared.

                Inside the Digital Time Capsule:

                • Five major at risk formats—JPEGs, JAVA source code, .Mov files, websites using HTML, and PDF documents
                • Versions of these files stored in archival standard formats—JPEG2000, PDFA, TIFF and MPEG4—to prolong lifespan for as long as possible
                • 2500 additional pieces of data—mapping the genetic code necessary to describe how to access these file formats in future
                • Translations of the required code into multiple languages to improve chances of being able to interpret in the future
                • Copies of all information stored on a complete range of storage media—from CD, DVD, USB, Blu-Ray, Floppy Disc, and Solid State Hard Drives to audio tape, microfilm and even paper print outs . . .

                Since 2007 the volume of data produced globally has risen from 281 exabytes to over 700 exabytes—much of this is now considered to be at risk from the repeated discontinuation of storage formats and supporting software. Current studies suggest that common storage formats such as CDs and DVDs have an average life expectancy of less than 20 years, yet the proprietary file formats to access content often last as little as five to seven years and desktop hardware even less. Backing up this data is a start, but without the information and tools to access and read historical digital material it is clear huge gaps will open up in our digital heritage.

                To meet this threat, in 2006 the European Commission established the Planets project—Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services—bringing together a coalition of European libraries, archives, research organisations, and technology institutions including the Austrian National Library, the University of Technology of Vienna, and the British Library to develop the software solutions to guarantee long-term access. Marking the end of the first phase of the project the deposit of the Planets "Digital Genome" in Swiss Fort Knox will help to highlight the fragility of modern data and help to protect our digital heritage from a whole range of human, environmental and technological risks.

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                  University of Virginia Library Gets $870,000 Grant for Born-Digital Materials Preservation Study

                  Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Grants on May 25th, 2010

                  The University of Virginia Library has been awarded a $870,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to study how born-digital materials can be best preserved.

                  Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                  "Born-digital" materials include the works of contemporary writers and architects, as well as archives of current political figures and organizations. These materials are quickly becoming significant collections that require careful, planned stewardship to ensure their preservation and availability to scholars now and in the future, said Martha Sites, an associate University librarian and a principal investigator for the grant.

                  Programmers and archivists from U. Va. are working with counterparts at Stanford and Yale universities, as well as from England's University of Hull, to create a model for digital collection management that can be easily shared among research libraries and other institutions charged with preserving rare materials. . . .

                  The universities plan to use 13 "born-digital" collections as their test base for the project. Examples from the U.Va. Library include "papers" that are actually correspondence, drafts and other materials in digital form from former Virginia Sen. John Warner and from author and critic Alan Cheuse, who is also a book reviewer for National Public Radio, creative writing professor at George Mason University and a former U.Va. English professor. The results will make these collections accessible to researchers for the first time.

                  The grant also provides for four digital archivists and a programmer who will explore and test how to process, preserve and deliver different digital collections across multiple institutions. The common approaches devised to archive born-digital "papers" will not only be designed to be used by different institutions, but they will also be demonstrated and proven in practice by the four partner universities. The work will include the creation of Web-based tools and services to let librarians, archivists and eventually users themselves describe, link, preserve and deliver digital information.

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                    Digital Information Management Podcasts/Videos from DigIn

                    Posted in Copyright, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Libraries, Information Schools on May 20th, 2010

                    The University of Arizona Digital Information Management (DigIn) certificate program has released a series of podcasts and videos about information management topics.

                    Here's the press release:

                    The University of Arizona Digital Information Management (DigIn) certificate program recently hosted a series of talks by members of the program's national advisory panel. The resulting podcasts offer an in-depth discussion of critical themes we explore regularly in the DigIn courses as we help information professionals meet the challenges we face in the digital environment today.

                    All podcasts are available at:


                    Friday, April 23, 2010
                    University of Arizona Main Library

                    "Career Paths for Information Professionals: Looking Ahead to 2020"

                    A panel discussion with members of the national advisory panel for the Digital Information Management (DigIn) graduate certificate program. This discussion examines the evolving role of the information professions today, and focuses on the skills and knowledge professionals need to build effective careers in a fast-changing environment.

                    Peter Botticelli
                    Director, DigIn program

                    Charles Bailey, Jr.
                    Publisher, Digital Scholarship

                    Richard Pearce-Moses
                    Past President, Society of American Archivists
                    Deputy Director for Technology and Information Resources,
                    Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

                    Christine Szuter
                    Professor of Practice and Director
                    Scholarly Publishing certificate program,
                    Arizona State University

                    Pete Watters
                    Technology Officer
                    Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

                    Friday, April 23, 2010 James E. Rogers College of Law

                    Roberta I. Shaffer Law Librarian of Congress

                    "Digitization and the Future of Law Libraries"

                    Legal Information is increasingly born digital and presents challenges of authenticity and preservation that are critical because of the role of legal authorities in establishing the "rule of law." This presentation by Roberta I. Shaffer, the Law Librarian of Congress, will discuss unique challenges that face law makers, law practitioners, and information professionals who are the stewards of our legal legacy. Ms. Shaffer will also discuss developments at the Library of Congress that are designed to address some of the concerns.

                    Friday, April 23, 2010 University of Arizona Main Library

                    Richard Pearce-Moses
                    Past President, Society of American Archivists
                    Director of Digital Government Information,
                    Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

                    "Curating the Digital Past: Lessons from the PeDALS Project"

                    As the volume and complexity of digital information continues to grow, archivists and librarians have begun to develop the tools needed to preserve society’s legacy of digital records. This presentation by Richard Pearce-Moses will discuss the PeDALS project, a nationally-recognized digital preservation initiative funded by the Library of Congress, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) as part of its Preserving State Government Information initiative. This initiative focuses on capturing, preserving, and providing access to a rich variety of state and local government digital information.

                    DigIn is part of the University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science. Major funding for the program comes from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which has also provided scholarship funding.

                    Additional details on the program, including course descriptions, admissions requirements and application forms may be found on the program website:


                    Applicants may also contact the DigIn staff at:


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                      Survey of Digital Preservation Practices in Canada: Final Report

                      Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on May 17th, 2010

                      Library and Archives Canada has released Survey of Digital Preservation Practices in Canada: Final Report.

                      Here's an excerpt:

                      In 2008, Library and Archives Canada commissioned a survey on digital preservation practices in Canada in order to gain a clearer understanding of the current state. The intent was to determine existing practices and resources for digital preservation as well as to identify gaps and challenges. This report presents the results of this survey. . . .

                      The survey was divided into six sections: (1) Introduction, (2) Information about the repository, (3) General policies and practices, (4) Preservation practices, (5) Preservation resources, and (6) Challenges. Respondents who rated their organization's preservation capacity as very low were re-routed to an abridged version of the questionnaire.

                      The survey received 61 full responses from a variety of types of organizations: libraries, archives government departments/agencies, museums, research institutes, across a number of sectors: academic, governments and not-for profit. Although invitations were sent to several organizations in private industry, no responses were received from this sector.

                      Respondents' repository collections ranged from discrete collections of digitized monographs, images, or audio files, to data repositories, to broader scope, multiple format collections. The repository collections were also wide ranging in terms of size with the smallest collection having 70 objects and the largest collection containing over 8 million objects. 95% of respondents indicated that the content in the repositories was predominantly Canadian. That is, the content was produced in Canada or was about Canada.

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                        Keeping Research Data Safe 2

                        Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on May 17th, 2010

                        JISC has released Keeping Research Data Safe 2.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        The first Keeping Research Data Safe study funded by JISC made a major contribution to understanding of long-term preservation costs for research data by developing a cost model and identifying cost variables for preserving research data in UK universities (Beagrie et al, 2008). The Keeping Research Data Safe 2 (KRDS2) project has built on this work and delivered the following:

                        • A survey of cost information for digital preservation, collating and making available 13 survey responses for different cost datasets;
                        • The KRDS activity model has been reviewed and its presentation and usability enhanced;
                        • Cost information for four organisations (the Archaeology Data Service; National Digital Archive of Datasets; UK Data Archive; and University of Oxford) has been analysed in depth and presented in case studies;
                        • A benefits framework has been produced and illustrated with two benefit case studies from the National Crystallography Service at Southampton University and the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex.
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