Thursday, September 20, 2012

Swatting the Long Tail of Digital Media:A Call for Collaboration.

Swatting the Long Tail of Digital Media:A Call for Collaboration. Ricky Erway. OCLC Research.
September 2012. 
 Archiving born digital content stored on a wide range of physical media types requires specialized
knowledge, expertise, and equipment to read and preserve the content on physical media, ranging from punched cards to flash drives. In general, transferring content from a particular physical medium requires a compatible computer that can read the data in the format that is stored on the medium, but also other hardware and software components, such as cables and drivers. A community-based approach could establish software and workstations for antiquated technology (SWAT ) sites where a few institutions acquire and maintain the technology and expertise to read data and transfer content from particular types of obsolete media. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Getting the whole picture: Finding a common language between digital preservation and conservation

Getting the whole picture: Finding a common language between digital preservation andconservation. Douglas Elford, et al. 7th AICCM Book, Photographs, and Paper Symposium. August 29-31, 2012. [PDF]
  • In spite of the intangible and at times ephemeral nature of digital collections, the fundamental purpose driving both digital preservation and conservation are conceptually quite similar.
  • collection policies that suit digital content in the networked environment are, for the most part, yet to be put into practice.
  • While some new approaches to collecting digital materials in a proactive manner (including more frequently and via semi-automated mechanisms) are required, it is imperative that the field of digital preservation also borrows from long-established collection and conservation processes and practices that have been refined over decades by preservation professionals
  • Acquiring, managing, preserving and providing access to digital culture is a challenge that is faced by all cultural and heritage organisations worldwide  digital preservation is driven by the ongoing long-term access of a digitised item or born-digital collection, whereas preservation strategies for tangible collections are determined by the immediate needs of the item to ensure its stability and longevity, though digital preservation practices could learn and borrow from conservation processes.
  • Websites are also inherently time sensitive and ephemeral in nature
  • Authenticity of collection items is an influential factor in conservation work. Determining the authenticity of digital objects is equally as important. Considerable effort should be undertaken to ensure that the integrity and authenticity of an item are maintained. 
  • Preservation strategies should enhance rather than compromise access to collections. This is also applicable in the digital realm. Before access to digital content can be provided to users, active management and ongoing preservation of digital content is necessary.
  • A successful digital preservation policy would also address the preservation needs of digital items created by an institution itself, such as photographs from digitisation programs.
  • National Library of Australia uses the Prometheus workflow system, and have developed Mediapedia, an online knowledge-base resource for identifying physical and digital carriers and their associated dependencies.
  • Active digital preservation is yet to become mainstream practice in many cultural organisations


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Demystifying Born Digital.

Demystifying Born Digital. Jackie Dooley, Ricky Erway. OCLC Research Library Partnership. 23 August 2012. 

This is a report on a project that enhances the effective management of born-digital materials as they intersect with special collections and archives practices in research libraries. The goal of this activity is to discuss the skills and expertise of archivists and librarians in the born-digital context, show the relevance of those skills, provide a basic roadmap to implement management of born-digital archival materials, and encourage research libraries launch a born-digital management program that can be scaled up over time. The management of born-digital materials in academic and research libraries remains in its infancy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The National Museum of Australia releases update to digital preservation and digitisation policy

August 27, 2012.

The National Museum of Australia has released an update to their digital preservation and digitisation policy. The latest version features several detailed sections that together serve as a thorough example of a policy for both analogue and digital objects identified for preservation and/or digitisation. Among the defined objects are audio recordings, moving image materials, multimedia, and interactive formats.

The latest version of the National Museum of Australia’s digital preservation and digitisation policy can be found here. Additional policies can be found on their website.  

Friday, September 07, 2012

Data Management Plans

Data Management Plans. Website. MIT. 2012.
Many grants and programs are requiring a data management plan. This site gives some great advice on how to create a plan and to manage your data. "A data management plan will help you to properly manage your data for own use, not only to meet a funder requirement or enable data sharing in the future." The plan  components may include:
  • Description and purpose of the project
  • Description of the data and how it will be collected
  • Standards to be applied, especially the file formats and the metadata
  • Plans for the short term data management and the long term data archiving
  • Data access policies
  • Responsibilities of, and people involved in, the data management
The site also contains checklists and other tools for data management.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

You've Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media.

You've Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical MediaRicky Erway.  LC Research. August 2012. [PDF]

This is a set of initial steps those who already have or are currently acquiring such born-digital materials, but have not yet begun to manage them.

Four essential principles:
• Do no harm (to the physical media or the content).
• Don’t do anything that unnecessarily precludes future action and use.
• Don’t let the first two principles be obstacles to action.
• Document what you do.

Survey and Inventory Materials in Your Current Holdings
1.       Locate existing holdings.
2.       Count and describe all identified media
3.       Prioritize collections for further treatment

Technical steps for handling readable media. Includes several basic steps to preserve the digital media and to avoid accidentally writing to the media.