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Neil Grindley


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Ensuring that an organisation's digital assets are safe, secure and accessible for the long term should (in theory) be an interesting, responsible and useful role for anyone in an organisation to …

Ensuring that an organisation's digital assets are safe, secure and accessible for the long term should (in theory) be an interesting, responsible and useful role for anyone in an organisation to accept. The critical importance of digital assets, the ubiquity of digital methods and the need for people in all walks of life to have effective means to refer to persistent sources of data reinforce this notion. How is it then that long-term asset management, information lifecycle management, data curation, digital preservation (call it what you will) is often regarded as a peripheral specialist activity that it is diffcult to resource, complex to carry out, and delivers benefits that are, at best, simply an insurance policy rather than an activity that adds value to an organisation?

This presentation will examine the importance of defining clear roles for those involved with digital preservation and will consider the importance of associating this professional activity with strategic and tactical frameworks. It is likely that automated services will increasingly be required to deal with the collosal amount of digital information that will be produced and consumed over the next century and whilst the type and nature of these services are yet to be defined, we can be fairly certain of one endurng requirement, namely, that human judgement will always be needed to curate interesting and useful content for future generations.

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  • 1. A Poisoned Chalice? Accepting Responsibility for Sustainable Access The Digital Media Collection +100 Years – Digital Media Seminar, Bristol, 16/09/2009 Neil Grindley JISC Programme Manager Digital Preservation & Records Management [email_address]
  • 2. We’ll look quaint in100 years time! 10/13/09 | slide Hardware and software will look antiquated and rather cumbersome Methods of storing and accessing information will change in ways we are currently unable to imagine The demands of a swelling global population and dwindling or compromised natural resources will require new paradigms of power consumption Machines will not take over the world!
  • 3. Cold War Paranoia circa 1970 10/13/09 | slide
  • 4. Some things will always be significant 10/13/09 | slide
  • 5. Practical Basics for Digital Preservation Planning 10/13/09 | slide When : Document the targeted preservation timeframe and impact of loss. Who : Identify the key players involved with long-term preservation of the targeted content. What : Describe or characterize the collection and content. Where : Document the locations of all the copies of the content and metadata. How : Document how the key content management and preservation tasks will occur.
  • 6. Future Needs 10/13/09 | slide Err .. No, let’s not. Some storage is cheap but some storage is very expensive indeed.
  • 7. Using Data 1 10/13/09 | slide
  • 8. Using Data 2 10/13/09 | slide Geo-physical exploratory research relies on cross-referencing accurate historical geo-spatial reference data Archaeologists will want to access and use that exploratory data
  • 9. Using data 3 10/13/09 | slide Historical Materials OCR Technology Metadata Geological Ontology / Thesaurus
  • 10. Using Data 4 10/13/09 | slide
  • 11. Using Data 5 10/13/09 | slide
  • 12. Things can only get … bigger 10/13/09 | slide
  • 13. Preserving the Scientific, Scholarly, Cultural and Political Record 10/13/09 | slide
  • 14. Who is Responsible for Leading on Digital Preservation? 10/13/09 | slide Government & Public sector
  • 15. Publish Strategy & Commission Reports 10/13/09 | slide
  • 16. Publish Strategy & Commission Reports 10/13/09 | slide
  • 17. Publish Strategy & Commission Reports 10/13/09 | slide
  • 18. Parliamentary Briefing Paper 10/13/09 | slide “ There is no overarching national strategy on digital preservation” “ Records thought worthy of permanent preservation are dealt with under the 1958 Public Records Act, which doesn’t discriminate between paper and digital records” “ In a 2008 survey of local authority archives, only half had a digital preservation policy. Funding, poor relations with IT support and lack of skills were cited as major barriers” “ It is difficult to quantify costs and benefits of digital preservation, so funding can be hard to obtain and is often for short projects rather than ongoing solutions” September 2009
  • 19. Who else is taking digital preservation forwards? 10/13/09 | slide Government & Public sector Universities & Research Museums, Libraries & Archives Private Sector UK Universities
  • 20. OSI Curation and Preservation Working Group 10/13/09 | slide Appendix A Membership of the Working Group Neil Beagrie (chair) Richard Boulderstone (British Library) Lorraine Estelle (Joint Information Systems Committee) Jerry Giles (British Geological Survey) Helen Hockx-yu (Joint Information Systems Committee) Maggie Jones (Digital Preservation Coalition) Michael Jubb (Research Information Network) Chris Rusbridge (Digital Curation Centre) David Thomas (The National Archives) Mark Thorley (Natural Environment Research Council/Research Councils UK) Heather Weaver (Council for the Central Laboratories of the Research Councils) Co-opted Juan Bicarregui (chair e-infrastructure information and data creation WG) Virtual Membership We are grateful also to a wide panel of expert industry, government, and international reviewers of the draft report produced by the Working Group.
  • 21. How do you get a job in Preservation? 10/13/09 | slide
  • 22. Digital Preservation Training 10/13/09 | slide
    • ECDL 2009, Sep. 27 –Oct. 2, Corfu, Greece
    • Planets training, Sep. 21-23, Sofia, Bulgaria
    • Planets training, June 22-24, Copenhagen, DK
    • JCDL 2009, June 15-19 , Austin/TX
    • IST Africa 2009, May 6-8, Uganda
    • DigCCurr 2009, April 1-3, Chapel Hill, USA
    • wePreserve Training, March 23-27, Barcelona
    • Nestor Spring School 2009, March 16-20, Stauffen, DE
    • CeBIT 2009, Mar. 3-7, Hannover, Germany
    • DPC repository day, Dec. 12, London
    • ICADL 2008, Dec. 2-5, Bali, Indonesia
    • RCDL 2008, Oct. 7-11, Dubna, Russia
    • ECDL 2008, Sep. 14-19, Aarhus, Denmark
    • DELOS Summer School 2008, June 8-11,Pisa, Italy
    • Sun PASIG 2008, May 27-29, San Francisco, USA
    University Post-Graduate Courses University of Dundee – Records Management and Preservation University of Glasgow – Information Management and Preservation University of Leicester – Digital Heritage King’s College London – Digital Asset Management Lulea University of Technology – MSc in Digital Curation Modules in many information management courses …
  • 23. Career and Professional Development 10/13/09 | slide
    • Closing the Digital Curation Gap
    • Objectives
    • Establish and support a network of digital curation practitioners, researchers, and educators through face-to-face meetings, web-based communication, and various other ICT tools
    • Establish a baseline of digital curation practice/knowledge in small to medium-sized organisations in the US and UK
    • Develop a framework for ongoing development of instructional content and the roles various organizations (JISC, DCC, colleges and universities; professional organizations) might take on
    • Produce selected instructional and awareness tools for the target communities as funding allows
    • Plan for future collaborative projects based on what we learn from this initial endeavor
  • 24. What does Preservation Cover? 10/13/09 | slide
  • 25. Some Examples of Preservation Projects 10/13/09 | slide CAIRO Complex Archive Ingest for Repository Objects InSPECT Investigating the Significant Properties of Electronic Content Over Time DExT Data Exchange Tools and Conversion Utilities LIFE2 Life Cycle Information for e-Literature SHERPA DP2 Securing a Hybrid Environment for Preservation and Access / Digital Preservation AIDA Assessing Institutional Digital Assets SOAPI Service-Oriented Architecture for Preservation and Ingest of Digital Objects PASRO Preserving and Accessing Software Research Outputs PRESERV2 Preservation e-Print Services REMAP Records Management & Preservation
  • 26. Digital Preservation Life Cycle Model 10/13/09 | slide
  • 27. Digital Preservation is complicated 10/13/09 | slide Acknowledgement: Andreas Rauber
  • 28. Understanding the Benefits of Preservation 10/13/09 | slide Activity Objective Vision Benefit Impact Activity = You do something Objective = You aim to achieve something Vision = You aim to change something Benefit = You’ve helped somebody Impact = You’ve made a difference Project Sponsor
  • 29. Building Credibility 10/13/09 | slide = Clarity Has clear and helpful Information policies Capacity Can cope with the amount and type of data it has to manage Control Understands how to use available technologies effectively Coherence Information policies and actions in line with organisational objectives Credibility
  • 30. Why is it a poisoned chalice? 10/13/09 | slide If we get it wrong, the consequences may be very serious Medical, Aerospace, Pharmaceutical, Financial, Legal, Cultural …
  • 31. 3 Legged Stool 10/13/09 | slide
  • 32. Some Predictions 10/13/09 | slide The individual preservation/records management specialist will increasingly become integrated within the administrative function of the organization (not technical, not financial, not research) The technical and managerial functions will further devolve. As applications become more mature, there will be good useable tools to make preservation easy and reliable. As we go into the future, we will appropriate more terms from the cultural heritage sector . We will define digital conservation, digital restoration and digital archaeology as sub-disciplines of information management Our technical solutions will remain impressive, anxiety about terabytes will seem quaint.
  • 33. 10/13/09 | slide · 1 Bit = Binary Digit · 8 Bits = 1 Byte · 1024 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte  · 1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte  · 1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte  · 1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte  · 1024 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte  · 1024 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte · 1024 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte  · 1024 Zettabytes = 1 Yottabyte  · 1024 Yottabytes = 1 Brontobyte · 1024 Brontobytes = 1 Geopbyte