Archive for the 'Digital Curation & Digital Preservation' Category
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Digital Lives project is investigating personal digital collections.
Here's an excerpt from the About Digital Lives page:
Digital Lives is a major research project focusing on personal digital collections and their relationship with research repositories. It brings together expert curators and practitioners in digital preservation, digital manuscripts, literary collections, web-archiving, history of science, and oral history from within the British Library (one of the world’s leading research libraries) with researchers in the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies at University College London, and The Centre for Information Technology and Law at the University of Bristol.
The Project's proposal provides detailed information about it's research methods.
The Digital Library Federation has established a forum for those who want to collaborate or get further information about the NSF's Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners (DataNet) grant program. Participation in the forum is open, but registration is required.
Podcasts about the Long-Term Use of Research Data
The Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories has released MP3 and PDF files from its Long-lived Collections: The Future of Australia's Research Data Presentations symposium.
Here are selected MP3 files:
National Science Foundation's Office of Cyberinfrastructure has announced the availability of grants to U.S. academic institutions under its Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners (DataNet) program.
Here's an excerpt from the solicitation:
Science and engineering research and education are increasingly digital and increasingly data-intensive. Digital data are not only the output of research but provide input to new hypotheses, enabling new scientific insights and driving innovation. Therein lies one of the major challenges of this scientific generation: how to develop the new methods, management structures and technologies to manage the diversity, size, and complexity of current and future data sets and data streams. This solicitation addresses that challenge by creating a set of exemplar national and global data research infrastructure organizations (dubbed DataNet Partners) that provide unique opportunities to communities of researchers to advance science and/or engineering research and learning.
The new types of organizations envisioned in this solicitation will integrate library and archival sciences, cyberinfrastructure, computer and information sciences, and domain science expertise to:
- provide reliable digital preservation, access, integration, and analysis capabilities for science and/or engineering data over a decades-long timeline;
- continuously anticipate and adapt to changes in technologies and in user needs and expectations;
- engage at the frontiers of computer and information science and cyberinfrastructure with research and development to drive the leading edge forward; and
- serve as component elements of an interoperable data preservation and access network.
By demonstrating feasibility, identifying best practices, establishing viable models for long term technical and economic sustainability, and incorporating frontier research, these exemplar organizations can serve as the basis for rational investment in digital preservation and access by diverse sectors of society at the local, regional, national, and international levels, paving the way for a robust and resilient national and global digital data framework.
These organizations will provide:
- a vision and rationale that meet critical data needs, create important new opportunities and capabilities for discovery, innovation, and learning, improve the way science and engineering research and education are conducted, and guide the organization in achieving long-term sustainability;
- an organizational structure that provides for a comprehensive range of expertise and cyberinfrastructure capabilities, ensures active participation and effective use by a wide diversity of individuals, organizations, and sectors, serves as a capable partner in an interoperable network of digital preservation and access organizations, and ensures effective management and leadership; and
- activities to provide for the full data management life cycle, facilitate research as resource and object, engage in computer science and information science research critical to DataNet functions, develop new tools and capabilities for learning that integrate research and education at all levels, provide for active community input and participation in all phases and all aspects of Partner activities, and include a vigorous and comprehensive assessment and evaluation program.
Potential applicants should note that this program is not intended to support narrowly-defined, discipline-specific repositories. . . .
Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 5 — Two to three awards are anticipated in each of two review cycles (one review cycle for fiscal year FY2008 awards and one for FY2009) for a total of five awards, contingent on the quality of proposals received and pending the availability of funds. Each award is limited to a total of up to $20,000,000 (direct plus indirect costs) for up to 5 years. The initial term of each award is expected to be 5 years with the potential at NSF's sole discretion for one terminal renewal for another 5 years, subject to performance and the availability of funds. Such performance is to include serving the needs of the relevant science and engineering research and education communities and catalyzing new opportunities for progress. If a second five-year award is made, NSF funding is expected to decrease in each successive year of the award as the Partner transitions to a sustainable economic model with other sources of support. The actual amount of the annual decrease in NSF support will be established through the cooperative agreement. Note that the maximum period NSF will support a DataNet Partner is 10 years.
Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000,000 — Up to $100,000,000 over a five year period is expected to be available contingent on the quality of proposals received and pending the availability of funds.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
An innovative tool to analyse and identify computer file formats has won the 2007 Digital Preservation Award. DROID, developed by The National Archives in London, can examine any mystery file and identify its format. The tool works by gathering clues from the internal 'signatures' hidden inside every computer file, as well as more familiar elements such as the filename extension (.jpg, for example), to generate a highly accurate 'guess' about the software that will be needed to read the file.
Identifying file formats is a thorny issue for archivists. . . . But with rapidly changing technology and an unpredictable hardware base, preserving files is only half of the challenge. There is no guarantee that today's files will be readable or even recognisable using the software of the future.
Now, by using DROID and its big brother, the unique file format database known as PRONOM, experts at the National Archives are well on their way to cracking the problem. Once DROID has labelled a mystery file, PRONOM's extensive catalogue of software tools can advise curators on how best to preserve the file in a readable format. The database includes crucial information on software and hardware lifecycles, helping to avoid the obsolescence problem. And it will alert users if the program needed to read a file is no longer supported by manufacturers.
The Digital Preservation Coalition and the National Library of Australia’s PADI program have published the the 16th issue of What’s New in Digital Preservation.
Here’s an excerpt from the padi-forum announcement:
Issue 16 features news from a range of organisations and initiatives, including the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), Digital Curation Centre (DCC), JISC (UK), The National Archives (UK), DigitalPreservationEurope, nestor, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands), the US National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), and the PLANETS and CASPAR projects.
The Koninklijke Bibliotheek and the Nationaal Archief have released Dioscuri 0.2.0, an open-source Java-based emulator for an Intel 8086-based computer. Dioscuri can run 16-bit operating systems, such as MS DOS, and applications, such as WordPerfect 5.1.
The National Archives of Australia has released Xena 4.0, which is open source digital preservation software.
Here's a brief description of its capabilities from the project homepage:
Xena software aids digital preservation by performing two important tasks:
- Detecting the file formats of digital objects
- Converting digital objects into open formats for preservation
Fran Berman, director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and Brian Lavoie, a research scientist at OCLC, have been named co-chairs of a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, which is being funded by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and JISC will also be involved in the task force.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
Berman and co-chair Brian Lavoie . . . will convene an international group of prominent leaders to develop actionable recommendations on economic sustainability of digital information for the science and engineering, cultural heritage, academic, public, and private sectors. The Task Force is expected to meet over the next two years and gather testimony from a broad set of thought leaders in preparation for the Task Force’s Final Report. . . .
The Task Force will bring together a group of national and international leaders who will focus attention on this critical grand challenge of the Information Age. Task Force members will represent a cross-section of fields and disciplines including information and computer sciences, economics, entertainment, library and archival sciences, government, and business. Over the next two years, the Task Force will convene a broad set of international experts from the academic, public and private sectors who will participate in quarterly panels and discussions. . . .
In its final report, the Task Force is charged with developing a comprehensive analysis of current issues, and actionable recommendations for the future to catalyze the development of sustainable resource strategies for the reliable preservation of digital information. During its tenure, the Task Force also will produce a series of articles about the challenges and opportunities of digital information preservation, for both the scholarly community and the public.
CLIR seeks comments on Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization by Oya Rieger. The deadline is 10/5/07.
The Institute for Public Policy Research has released MP3 files of the presentations at its "Preservation, Access and Inclusion: Balancing Opportunities in a Digital Age" seminar.