Resourcing for the future Cassie Findlay Project Manager, Digital Archives
Resourcing for the future • Not just about the $. • ‘Digital preservation’ can mean a lot more than keeping stuff in a readable form; is about establishing an environment in which your digital information can be useable and reliable – for as long as you need it. Also known as recordkeeping. • Little things can have a big impact. • When you do need additional resources, use a range of tactics. • There’s heaps of free stuff around!
Know your information • Understand what systems are generating digital information that needs to be kept and relied upon down the track • Not just in EDRMSs! • Understand retention requirements • Be aware of formats and technological dependencies
Design your systems so they can support yourbusiness information • Define the records! Single document? Grouping of data? Whole database? • State Records, Standard on digital recordkeeping (2009) sets out minimum functionality and metadata requirements • ICA Guidelines and Functional Requirements for Electronic Records Management Systems / for Records in Business Systems • State Records, Strategies for documenting government business: The DIRKS manual (2003)
Limit the number of file formats you use - use openformats where possible • It is estimated in the business environment that 4500 types of record formats exist today. Try to only use a few of them! • Use non proprietary/open formats and templates to add more structure to your unstructured documents and facilitate easier migration • Examples of open formats: PDF (A), Open Document Format, JPEG, FLAC
Dispose of digital information when it is appropriateto do so • Keeping digital information indefinitely is expensive and potentially very complex. Digital storage, despite the popular myth, is becoming an increasingly significant cost. In 2008 Diane Bryant, the CIO of Intel predicted that her company would double its storage costs by 2012 and said this was unsustainable. • Organisations can save money and mitigate risk by destroying information when it is appropriate to do so. You need to know how long information should be kept to meet business and legal requirements before you dispose of it. • You also need to know which digital records are permanent!
Metadata is better data! • Digital information needs to be described well so that it can be found, used and managed. • Put in place strategies that will enable systems and staff to easily or automatically apply necessary descriptions (also known as metadata) to business information. I Metadata
Manage migration • Without migration, access to digital information would be lost. Migration, however, is a high risk process. • It changes data and therefore threatens the integrity and even the existence of important business information. • Migration projects must therefore be designed to mitigate risks associated with migration and to protect the authenticity, integrity and accessibility of information.
Educating staff on good practice • Little things can help – you needn’t spend lots of money on external courses • Single sheet flyers; occasional briefings; competitions (for chocolate!) • At State Records, the month of June was ‘DAM!’ (Digital Awareness Month)
Securing resources for more substantial projects • Earlier this year State Records secured $3.6M in funding over 3 years for the Digital State Archives project • Our team to deliver: ? Physical infrastructure and hardware ? Requirements gathering, process design, testing ? Modular approach to ensure flexibility • It took us 7 years so am not saying we’re the experts • However, some of our strategies were: ? Gathering a network of supportive influential people ? Linking into politically popular ideas such as shared service delivery ? Perseverance!
Free stuff! • OpenPlanets Foundation wiki: http://www.openplanetsfoundation.org • PRONOM file format registry: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk • Archivematica: micro –services designed digital preservation system http://archivematica.org/ • Chris Prom’s Practical e-records: software and tools for archivists http://e-records.chrisprom.com/
Thank you • http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/ • http://futureproof.records.nsw.gov.au/ • http://twitter.com/futureproofnsw