RCAHMS digital archive


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Presentation given by Sharon McMeekin, Digital Archivist at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The presentation was given at the 'Managing Archaeology Data' event on Monday 7th March 2011at the University of Glasgow.

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RCAHMS digital archive

  1. 1. Developing a Digital Archive at RCAHMS Sharon McMeekin Digital Archivist, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
  2. 2. Digital Archives and RCAHMS <ul><li>Brief introduction to RCAHMS’ Collections </li></ul><ul><li>Developing a Digital Archive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First iteration of development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivations for change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s next? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other relevant projects at RCAHMS </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>RCAHMS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifies, surveys and analyses the historic and built environment of Scotland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserves, cares for and adds to the information and items in the national collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes understanding, education and enjoyment through interpretation of the information it collects and the items it looks after </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Archive collections roughly split into: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outputs of RCAHMS’ own survey work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Archives from external depositors </li></ul></ul>RCAHMS
  4. 4. Buildings Survey
  5. 5. Archaeological Survey
  6. 6. Thematic Survey
  7. 7. Aerial Survey
  8. 8. Architects’ Drawings
  9. 9. Archaeological Archives
  10. 10. Photographic Collections
  11. 11. RCAHMS’ Database
  12. 12. Development of the First Digital Archive <ul><li>First received digital data in 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>Report produced in partnership with ADS </li></ul><ul><li>Contract to develop systems in 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Limited standards and tools available </li></ul><ul><li>Systems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Area in database to record metadata </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dedicated storage area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Batch processing for digital images </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No preservation or dissemination systems </li></ul>
  13. 13. Motivations for a Redevelopment <ul><li>Exponential growth of digital deposits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Systems no longer fit for purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>c. 500,000 digital objects in the archive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emergence of new standards and tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not meeting minimum standards for curation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A more strategic approach to management and development required </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited resources could be better utilised </li></ul></ul><ul><li>New and more complex data types </li></ul>
  14. 14. New Survey Methods, New File Types
  15. 15. GPS Survey: Mingulay
  16. 16. Digital Archive: Archaeology © Headland Archaeology Ltd
  17. 17. Digital Archive: Architecture © RMJM
  18. 18. Digital Archive: Laser Scanning © Historic Scotland
  19. 19. Developing a Plan of Action <ul><li>Questions considered: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What was our ultimate goal? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How could we secure buy-in from stakeholders? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to identify useful standards and tools? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needed to breakdown the problem into more easily manageable issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information gathering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish digital curation as a core organisational objective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Open a dialogue with depositors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gap analysis using OAIS </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. OAIS <ul><li>Open Archival Information System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ISO 14721:2003 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Developed by Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems </li></ul><ul><li>Sets out high level requirements for digital repositories </li></ul>
  21. 21. An OAIS Must: <ul><li>Negotiate for and accept information </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain sufficient control for preservation purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Determine the Designated Consumer Community </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure information is independently understandable </li></ul><ul><li>Make the information available </li></ul><ul><li>Follow established preservation policies and procedures </li></ul>
  22. 22. Comparison to OAIS
  23. 23. OAIS Functional Model
  24. 24. Gap Analysis: Ingest and Dissemination
  25. 25. Where We Are Now <ul><li>Trying to learn as much as possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Workshops and training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visits/discussions with peers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TDR Programme established </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Included as an aim in ‘Future RCAHMS’ document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Archive Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tentative discussions with depositors </li></ul><ul><li>Initial gap analysis completed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Indentified stress points </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A modular approach to development would be required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ingest systems and procedures a priority </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. What Next for RCAHMS? <ul><li>Investigate opportunities to develop systems in partnership with RCAHMW </li></ul><ul><li>Carry-out a full data audit </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrade network and storage systems </li></ul><ul><li>Work on laser scanning data with HS and other partners </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate developments from other RCAHMS projects </li></ul>
  27. 27. Collections Enhancement <ul><li>Redevelopment of cataloguing and collections management systems </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing ISAD(G) </li></ul><ul><li>Direct access to catalogue records </li></ul><ul><li>More contextual information for users </li></ul><ul><li>Dissemination of additional digital object types through Canmore </li></ul>
  28. 28. SURE <ul><li>Specialist User Recording Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Allows trusted users to add data directly into RCAHMS database </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot project carried out with NTS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Didn’t have a Trust-wide sites and monuments record </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same interface as RCAHMS staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can enter information on sites, events, people and bibliographic references </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Access likely to be expanded in future </li></ul>
  29. 29. SRP <ul><li>Scotland’s Rural Past </li></ul><ul><li>Working with volunteer groups to research, record and interpret historic rural settlements and landscapes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups produced digital images, drawings and reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uploaded via SRP website to RCAHMS database and digital archive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To be continued and expanded as part of new projects </li></ul>
  30. 30. The End <ul><li>Website: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.rcahms.gov.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Canmore: </li></ul><ul><li>http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/ </li></ul><ul><li>General Enquiries: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Depositing Archives: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>