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Taming the Monster: Digital Preservation Planning and Implementation Tools
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Taming the Monster: Digital Preservation Planning and Implementation Tools


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Given at Council of UW Libraries "One System, One Library" conference, June 2011.

Given at Council of UW Libraries "One System, One Library" conference, June 2011.

Published in: Technology, Education
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  • 1. Taming the Monster Digital Preservation Planning and Implementation Tools Dorothea SaloPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” One System, One / CC-BY 2.0 2 June 2011
  • 2. Why is this so scary?Photo: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 3. Isn’t this just as scary?Photo: “News Paper Origami Dragon Monster” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 4. Yet we persevere.Photo: “News Paper Origami Dragon Monster” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 5. DIGITAL IS NO DIFFERENT.Photo: “559 - The Matrix - Seamless Texture” Hoesly / CC-BY 2.0
  • 6. Many of the same ideas apply... • Planning and policy • Risk assessment • Risk management • (knowing that we can’t save everything) • Materials quality matters! • Problem discovery and remediation • Crisis management • Chief problems: staff, $$$, organizational commitmentPhoto: “Where I Teach” Ehlers / CC-BY 2.0
  • 7. Planning and assessment toolsPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 8. Scene-setting • Rosenthal, David. “Requirements for Digital Preservation: a Bottom-Up Approach.” • 11rosenthal.html • If you’re new to this, or trying to find your feet, this is the best short introduction I know. • The list of threats is outstanding.Photo: “Bottoms Up! - Duck; San Anton Gardens, Malta” Haslam / CC-BY 2.0
  • 9. TRAC• “Trusted Repository Audit Checklist”• Despite the name, covers a LOT more than the technology! ! • Budget • Staffing • “designated communities”• CRL will audit you, if you like • (don’t, unless you’re really serious!)•
  • 10. DRAMBORA• Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment• A “self-test,” if you will. • DRAMBORA is equally good as a pre- or post-test.• Personally, I prefer DRAMBORA to TRAC, ! especially for those just starting out.• • (registration required for toolkit access)
  • 11. Coping with file formatsPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 12. The one acronym you need to know: FITS• “File Information Tool Set” • (you need to know this; otherwise it’s hard to Google)• Wrapper for several file-format detector software packages• Intended to be baked into other software• It’s early days yet! • (This means you can’t always trust what the tools tell you, especially when they’re telling you about errors.)
  • 13. What’s this file?• “The Programmer’s File and Data Resource”• Directory of file extensions• When in doubt: open in a browser or text editor and see what you get. • N.b.: Microsoft Word is NOT a text editor!
  • 14. Solving the geographic distribution problemPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 15. What problem, now? • The “all your eggs in one basket” problem. • If all your bits are on one server, and the server room is flooded, or your town is nuked—oops. • Not the same as backups! • Don’t get me wrong, backups are important! • Backups are SHORT-TERM, and usually LOCAL. Geographic distribution (plus associated auditing) is intended for the long term. • Don’t forget auditing!Photo: “Nido” Elías / CC-BY 2.0
  • 16. LOCKSS• Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe! • (There is also Portico, but Portico only works with e‑journal content.) • Open-source software that handles replication and (some) auditing.• “Private LOCKSS network” • A group of institutions agrees to build a LOCKSS network just for the stuff they’re interested in. • ASERL does this for ETDs. Many institutions (including UW-Madison) participate in a PLN for govdocs.
  • 17. “The cloud” • Typical cloud-based storage services make NO promises they won’t lose your stuff. • And for large quantities of data, bandwidth can become an issue. • And can they look at your stuff? Should they be able to? • Some early movers in this market fading • Iron Mountain had to kill their service. • DuraCloud • trying to finesse this issue by negotiating tougher SLAs with cloud-storage providersPhoto: “Sky View From Humboldt Park” Slog / CC-BY 2.0
  • 18. Repository and digital-library platformsPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 19. Friendly wordof advice:PICKSOFTWARELAST. Photo: “Briana Calderon; future educator of america.” Arielle Calderon / CC-BY 2.0
  • 20. Another friendly word of advice: DON’T CHASE THE SHINY.Photo: “Sparkle Texture” Lane / CC-BY 2.0
  • 21. Digital-library software • Is almost always VERY BAD at digital preservation! • (most packages don’t even try!) • So if a file gets corrupted on the server, or whatever... no warnings, no restore, nothing. Also, provenance? Who needs provenance? Event tracking? What’s that? • I’m not saying don’t use it. I’m saying that it doesn’t solve this problem. • In fact, if you’re using this software, you need to solve this problem FOR IT.Photo: “National DIGITAL Library” Schexnayder / CC-BY 2.0
  • 22. Examples• ContentDM:• Omeka:• Greenstone:
  • 23. Institutional-repository software • Is SHOCKINGLY bad at digital preservation! • (Though sometimes better than most DL software.) • Examples • Hosted/commercial: Digital Commons (BePress), ContentDM, DigiTool • If you go hosted, you’d better ask about their digital- preservation practices! • Open-source: EPrints, DSpace, FedoraPhoto: “IMG_0668” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 24. A new approach: curation microservicesPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 25. Do we really needPhoto: “giant crystal blob” of DooM / CC-BY 2.0 THE BLOB?
  • 26. How about a jigsaw puzzle instead? • Break the digital-preservation problem down into parts. • Code up each part, making sure that it plays nicely with other parts. • lots of nice APIs! • which means other software can adopt/adapt microservices as well! • Put parts together as you need them.Photo: “Lapsana Apogonoides Puzzle” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 27. California Digital Library• Pioneering this approach• Has open-sourced code for microservices• Has added microservices together to build its “Merritt” storage/repository service
  • 28. Escaping the silos: Fedora CommonsPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 29. What is Fedora Commons?• Blueprints and foundation, not the whole house (analogy credit to Peter Gorman)• You build the house you want!• Or you build condominiums on the same foundation. • Need different user interfaces for different materials? • Need different structures and behaviors? • No problem! Fedora can handle that.• (have I run this analogy into the ground yet?)
  • 30. We had this... Diagram courtesy of Peter Gorman.
  • 31. We are building this. Diagram courtesy of Peter Gorman.
  • 32. E-records managementPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 33. Axioms• Records management is about policy and procedures. • If your policy doesn’t fit with their procedures, guess what wins? Choose battles wisely.• There is never enough storage space.• Nobody cares until there’s a crisis.• Software will not save you... but it might help! Photo: “The Never Ending Math Problem” d3 Dan / CC-BY 2.0
  • 34. Duke Data Accessioner• Accessioning tool for digital data • use case: J. Important Scholar dumps her hard drive on your desk, expects you to cope• File migrator, metadata manager, GUI, plugins (e.g. for file-format detection)• Bit rough, but in production use. • accessioner.html
  • 35. Archivematica• Soup-to-nuts records management and digital preservation tool. • Evaluation and accessioning all the way through preservation actions. (Oddly, they seem to be missing disposal... but they’re in alpha, so...)• Open source • Runs on a Linux server; RMs and archivists log in to GUI application remotely.• Normally I hate and fear silos, but this one is smartly built on microservices.
  • 36. Practical E-Records• Weblog by Chris Prom and protegés• Tool evaluations, conference-session writeups, essays on praxis• Best reading out there for the do-it- yourselfer• If you’re not reading it, why not?•
  • 37. Last thoughtsPhoto: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0
  • 38. If you can’t do everything... Image: “Confused” Kristian D. / CC-BY 2.0 that’s okay. Who can?
  • 39. DO SOMETHING.Photo: “Came hame háááá!”í R. Reyes / CC-BY 2.0
  • 40. The worst threat?INACTION. Photo: “Fatty’s role model” cloudzilla / CC-BY 2.0
  • 41. Thank you! This presentation is available under a Creative Commons 3.0 United States license.Photo: “Happy Easter, to my Peeps” / CC-BY 2.0