Archive for the 'Digital Curation & Digital Preservation' Category

Leslie Carr on What to Do with Dead Repositories

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Open Access, Scholarly Communication on September 10th, 2007

In his "Decommissioning Repositories" posting, EPrints guru Leslie Carr grapples with the issue of what to do with repositories that have served their purpose and that no one wants to maintain.

Here's an excerpt:

But now the party's over, there is no more funding, and none of the partner institutions has offered to keep the repository going in perpetuity. Not even the hosting institution or the ex-manager wants to keep their repositories going. We know that even if we don't turn them off their hosting hardware will fail in a few of years. That sounds like very bad news because a repository is supposed to be forever! Was it irresponsible to create these repositories in the first place? Should it be forbidden to create a public repository whose life is guaranteed to be less than a decade? Or perhaps that should be factored into the original policy-making—"this repository and all its contents are guaranteed up to 31st December 2017 but not after." If that were machine readable then the community could have decided whether they want to mirror the collection, or selected bits of it.

Source: Carr, Leslie. "Decommissioning Repositories." RepositoryMan, 10 September 2007.

LIFE (Life Cycle Information for E-Literature) Project

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Scholarly Communication on September 7th, 2007

LIFE (Life Cycle Information for E-Literature) is a joint, JISC-funded project of the University College London Library Services and the British Library that is investigating life cycle issues involved in collecting and preserving digital materials.

Here's an excerpt from the home page:

The LIFE Project has developed a methodology to model the digital lifecycle and calculate the costs of preserving digital information for the next 5, 10 or 100 years. For the first time, organisations can apply this process and plan effectively for the preservation of their digital collections.

Currently the LIFE Project is in its second phase ("LIFE2"), an 18 month project running from March 2007 to August 2008.

Documentation from the first and second phases of the project is available.

The project has just established a weblog.

Perpetual Digital Access Policies Spreadsheet

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, E-Journals, Publishing, Scholarly Communication, Scholarly Journals on September 7th, 2007

Laura Edwards has made available a spreadsheet that summarizes the perpetual digital access policies of publishers. A wiki version should be up shortly.

AONS: Scanning Repositories for Obsolete Digital Formats

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Disciplinary Archives, Institutional Repositories, Open Access on September 3rd, 2007

The APSR AONS II project has released a beta version of the Automatic Obsolescence Notification System (AONS).

Here's an excerpt from the announcement on apsr_announcements:

Users can register with the service by providing a URL to a repository's format scan summary. The AONS service will display the summary and allow a repository manager to compare the formats of items in their repository with information from format registries such as PRONOM and Library of Congress. These registries flag any formats that are likely to become obsolete. Repository managers can then make curation decisions about any items at risk, such as upgrading their formats.

By downloading and installing an AONS locally, an institution can also take advantage of a pilot risk metrics implementation. . . .

The AONS software is the result of the AONS II project funded under APSR and developed by David Pearson, David Levy and Matthew Walker from the National Library of Australia (NLA) with an administrative user interface developed by David Berriman at ANU.

The software is able to be downloaded from Sourceforge at and a mailing list is also available for support and feedback. As this is a beta release we welcome feedback to the Sourceforge mailing list to inform our testing which will continue until mid-September.

Please try out the pilot service by sending an email to to register with the service, and tell us which institution you are from. . . .

Portico Studying E-Book Preservation

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, E-Books, Publishing, Scholarly Books, Scholarly Communication on August 16th, 2007

Portico is launching a e-Book preservation study, which will last the rest of the year.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

In response to several requests from publishers and libraries, Portico is conducting a study in order to assess how to extend its archival infrastructure and service to respond to the emerging need to preserve e-books. During the study we will analyze the structure and preservation needs of e-books and determine what adjustments to Portico's existing, operational and technological infrastructure and the economic model developed to support e-journal preservation might be required in order to respond to this new genre. Portico's e-journal archiving service was developed through a pilot project that drew heavily upon engagement with publisher and library pilot participants. We anticipate that a similar process will be essential in understanding how best to respond to the challenges of e-book preservation. . . .

The current participants in the E-Book Preservation study include:


  • American Math Society
  • Elsevier
  • Morgan Claypool
  • Taylor and Francis


  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cornell University Library
  • McGill University
  • Texas University Libraries
  • University College of London
  • Yale University Library

Official Release of the kopal Library for Retrieval and Ingest

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories on August 14th, 2007

The German National Library and SUB Göttingen have announced the official release of the kopal Library for Retrieval and Ingest on diglib.

Here's an excerpt from the message:

The kopal project (Co-operative Development of a Long-term Digital Information Archive) was dedicated to find a solution to providing not only bitstream preservation but long-term accessibility as well in the form of a cooperatively developed and operated long-term archive for digital data. The German National Library, the Goettingen State and University Library, the Gesellschaft fuer wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbH Goettingen, and IBM Germany have been working in close cooperation on a technological solution. The now released software tools mark the successful development of such an archiving solution.

The Open-Source-Software koLibRI is a framework to integrate a long term preservation system as the IBM Digital Information Archiving System (DIAS) into the infrastructure of any institution. In particular, koLibRi organizes the creation and the import of Archival Information Packages into DIAS, and offers functions to retrieve and to govern them. Preservation methods like data customization and migration of data are part of the tasks of long term preservation. koLibRi Version 1.0 provides modules that manage future migration procedures. koLibRI Version 1.0 provides a completely functional and stable condition. Nevertheless, in the context of connecting new partners to the existing long term preservation system, the software will be constantly adjusted to the needs of different partners.

A documentation has been published with the conclusive release that describes the installation and the adjustment of a functional koLibRi-system and the basic internal layout to make individual development possible. The described release is offered for free download. . . .

100 Year Archive Requirements Survey

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Media on August 14th, 2007

The Storage Networking Industry Association has released the 100 Year Archive Requirements Survey. Access requires registration.

Here's an excerpt from the "Survey Highlights":

  • 80% of respondents declared they have information they must keep over 50 years and 68% of respondents said they must keep it over 100 years. . . .
  • Long-term generally means greater than 10 to 15 years—the period beyond which multiple migrations take place and information is at risk. . .
  • Database information (structured data) was considered to be most at risk of loss. . .
  • Over 40% of respondents are keeping e-Mail records over 10 years. . . .
  • Physical migration is a big problem. Only 30% declared they were doing it correctly at 3-5 year intervals. . . .
  • 60% of respondents say they are ‘highly dissatisfied’ that they will be able to read their retained information in 50 years. . .
  • Help is needed—current practices are too manual, too prone to error, too costly and lack adequate coordination across the organization. . . .

Preserving the Digital Heritage: Principles and Policies

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation on August 8th, 2007

The Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO and the European Commission on Preservation and Access have published Preserving the Digital Heritage: Principles and Policies.

Here's an excerpt from the "Preface":

In November 2005, the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO, in collaboration with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands) and UNESCO’s Information Society Division, organized a conference entitled Preserving the Digital Heritage (The Hague, The Netherlands, 4-5 November 2005). It focused on two important issues: the selection of material to be preserved, and the division of tasks and responsibilities between institutions. This publication contains the four speeches given by the keynote speakers, preceded by a synthesis report of the conference.

Metadata Extraction Tool Version 3.2

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Metadata, Open Source Software on July 17th, 2007

The National Library of New Zealand has released version 3.2 of its open-source Metadata Extraction Tool.

Written in Java and XML, the Metadata Extraction Tool has a Windows interface, and it runs under UNIX in command line mode. Batch processing is supported.

Here’s an excerpt from the project home page:

The Tool builds on the Library’s work on digital preservation, and its logical preservation metadata schema. It is designed to:

  • automatically extracts preservation-related metadata from digital files
  • output that metadata in a standard format (XML) for use in preservation activities. . . .

The Metadata Extract Tool includes a number of ‘adapters’ that extract metadata from specific file types. Extractors are currently provided for:

  • Images: BMP, GIF, JPEG and TIFF.
  • Office documents: MS Word (version 2, 6), Word Perfect, Open Office (version 1), MS Works, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, and PDF.
  • Audio and Video: WAV and MP3.
  • Markup languages: HTML and XML.

If a file type is unknown the tool applies a generic adapter, which extracts data that the host system ‘knows’ about any given file (such as size, filename, and date created).

Australian Framework and Action Plan for Digital Heritage Collections

Posted in Copyright, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Digitization, Scholarly Communication on July 12th, 2007

The Collections Council of Australia Ltd. has released Australian Framework and Action Plan for Digital Heritage Collections, Version 0.C3 for comment.

Here's an excerpt from the document:

This is the Collections Council of Australia's plan to prepare an Australian framework for digital heritage collections. It brings together information shared by people working in archives, galleries, libraries and museums at a Summit on Digital Collections held in 2006. It proposes an Action Plan to address issues shared by the Australian collections sector in relation to current and future management of digital heritage collections.

Curation of Scientific Data: Challenges for Institutions and Their Repositories Podcast

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Institutional Repositories, Scholarly Communication on July 3rd, 2007

A podcast of Chris Rusbridge’s "Curation of Scientific Data: Challenges for Institutions and their Repositories" presentation at The Adaptable Repository conference is now available. Rusbridge is Director of the Digital Curation Centre in the UK.

The PowerPoint for the presentation is also available.

Report of the Sustainability Guidelines for Australian Repositories Project (SUGAR)

Posted in Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Digital Repositories, Scholarly Communication on June 25th, 2007

The Australian Partnership for Sustainable Repositories (APSR) has released Report of the Sustainability Guidelines for Australian Repositories Project (SUGAR).

Here’s an excerpt from the report:

The Sustainability Guidelines for Australian Repositories service (SUGAR)was intended to support people working in tertiary education institutions whose activities do not focus on digital preservation. The target community creates and digitises content for a range of purposes to support learning, teaching and research. While some have access to technical and administrative support many others may not be aware of what they need to know. The typical SUGAR user may have little interest in discussions surrounding metadata, interoperability or digital preservation, and may simply want to know the essential steps involved in achieving the task at hand.

A key challenge for SUGAR was to provide a suitable level and amount of information to meet the immediate focus of the user and their level of expertise while introducing and encouraging consideration of issues of digital sustainability. SUGAR was also intended to stand alone as an online service unsupported by a helpdesk.

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