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  1. 1. The Preservation of Digital Materials29 October 2009Information Technology<br />
  2. 2. A set of activities aimed towards ensuring access to digital materials over time<br />“Digitization for preservation” vs. “digital preservation”<br />Digitization for preservation results in digital materials<br />Digital preservation is taking digital materials and ensuring their long-term safety and access<br />What is Digital Preservation?<br />
  3. 3. Authenticity<br />Renderability<br />Viability<br />Fixity<br />Understandability<br />Identity<br />Availability<br />Preservation Goals<br />
  4. 4. The library doing the preserving must have some control over the item being preserved<br />Ways to get copies of published material<br />Deposit agreements<br />Licenses to the archival copy<br />Contracts with publishers<br />Availability<br />
  5. 5. Digital objects should carry descriptive metadata within them<br />Understandability<br />Preserved material must be independently understandable to its user community<br />Fixity<br />Digital objects must be protected from unauthorized changes<br /> Identity<br />
  6. 6. “the quality that an object is what it purports to be”<br />The source and content of an article should be verified<br />There should be policies and procedures to ensure data integrity <br />The chain of custody and all authorized changes should be documented<br />Digital provenance: the event history pertaining to a digital object<br />Authenticity<br />
  7. 7. Viability is the quality of being readable from media<br />Threats to viability are media damage and deterioration <br />Another threat to viability is media becoming obsolete<br />Files should be copied periodically<br />Viability<br />
  8. 8. Renderability is ensuring that a digital file is usable<br />Renderability<br />
  9. 9. Technology Preservation<br />Computer museum approach<br />If a format depends on a particular software and/or hardware, then keep a few working examples of that software and/or hardware<br />Emulation<br />the use of hardware and/or software that allow computer instructions written for one platform to be run on another platform<br />Preservation Practices and Strategies<br />
  10. 10. Providing an intermediate layer between the emulator and the current platform, isolating the emulator from these technology changes<br />Universal Virtual Computer<br />Files of a given format are translated to a simpler Logical Data View by a “decoder” program written to run on the Universal Virtual Computer<br />Universal Virtual Machine<br />
  11. 11. Can open a file written by an earlier version of the program and save it in the current format<br />Format Normalization<br />some formats are more “preservable than others, so some preservation systems “normalize” all incoming documents<br /> Format Migration<br />
  12. 12. Technology preservation<br />Emulation<br />Format migration<br />Format normalization<br />Preservation strategies for potentially obsolete file types<br />
  13. 13. Consider the following in creating new digital objects:<br /><ul><li>Is the format open and non-proprietary?
  14. 14. How well documented is the format?
  15. 15. Does it allow imbedded metadata?
  16. 16. How widely adopted is the format and how understandable is it?</li></li></ul><li>The Commission on Preservation and Access1996 Seminal Report<br />
  17. 17. Summary by the Commission on Preservation and Access<br /><ul><li>Issues of cultural fragility in the digital age
  18. 18. Obsolescence of certain media
  19. 19. Integrity and authenticity
  20. 20. Archival roles
  21. 21. Recommendations </li></li></ul><li>Pathfinder for the Data Structures of the OAIS model<br /><br />
  22. 22. Information package-Preservation description information<br />
  23. 23. “Digital formats are at the heart of digital preservation activities”<br />Knowledge of formats is necessary to ensure long term access to digital records<br />Support for Digital Formats<br /><br />
  24. 24. “Properties of objects that must be preserved over time through preservation treatments such as migrations or emulations in order to ensure the continued usability and meaning of the objects.”<br />What are the essential characteristics of the record? What must be saved so we can still make sense of it?<br />Categorized as:<br />Content: What the document contains<br />Context: metadata for the record<br />Appearance: layout of the record<br />Structure: metadata linking the record to a larger whole<br />Behavior: Other connections<br />Significant Properties<br />
  25. 25. Representation Information: more complex than appearance suggests. We are concerned not only with file format (.pdf, .docx, etc ) but with compression, profile, and bitstream encoding<br />Environment Information: the context in which the record is embedded. <br />Some Important Registries:<br /> PRONOM (UK)<br /> Format Descriptions Database (Library of Congress)<br /> The Representation Information Registry Repository (Digital Curation Centre)<br />*GDFR: The Global Digital Format Registry seeks to unify all three*<br />Formats and Issues<br />
  26. 26. DROID (Digital Record Object Identification)<br />JHOVE (JSTOR/Harvard Object Validation Environment)<br />Metadata Extraction Tool<br />Xena (XML Electronic Normalising (SP?) for Activities)<br />Open-Source Software<br />
  27. 27. International Digital Preservation Efforts<br />NDIIPP<br />DPC<br />Nestor<br />E-Depot<br />NLA<br />Develop standards and strategies<br />Present awards to competitive grant programs<br />Ensure availability of scholarly and education resources<br />Create Repository Software Applications<br />Raise awareness<br />Forums<br />Studies<br />Workshops & Conferences<br />Technology Watches<br />
  28. 28. Obstacles to Preservation<br />Issues to consider…<br />Blog Updates<br />New Media Art<br />Websites requiring ID access<br />How deeply to preserve links<br />Preserving the original look and feel of the material<br />
  29. 29. Positives<br />Material for historians and biographers<br />Preserved by culture heritage institutions<br />Raise awareness of preservation initiatives<br />Preservation made personal<br />Negatives<br />Rate of accumulation<br />Scattered forms of media<br />Benign neglect<br />Lack of system understanding<br />Desktop metaphor not suited for long-term access<br />Also…<br />Privacy issues?<br />Preserving…You!<br />