Transcript of "Digital History Class Presentation"
What is an Archive?
• An archives is a place where people go to find
information. But rather than gathering information
from books as you would in a library, people who
do research in archives often gather firsthand
facts, data, and evidence from
letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, audio
and video recordings, and other primary sources.
What is not a Digital Archive
A specific storage system whether a tier of storage, a cloud-based
storage repository, or a specialized storage device.
A service that provides extensions to an organization's storage for the
purposes of offloading (as in tiering) whether onsite, off-site, or at endof-life as storage expansion
Any device or practice vendors or IT calls "archiving", "database
archive", or "archival storage" - from a "digital archive systems"
perspective, these are not "Level 1" systems or services by
Required Attributes for a
"Level 1" Digital Archive
A digital archive systems has three essential components: the digital
records being retained, the organization that administers those
records, and the infrastructure that supports the retention, protection,
and accessibility of those records over their designated retention
The infrastructure that supports a digital archive needs to have these
preservation-specific functions (the "service-catalog") at minimum:
• Digital Auditing (using digital signatures) and verification on a periodic basis to
assure record authenticity, digital integrity, and data protection
• Physical and logical Migration capabilities
• Infrastructure supporting Access to records, including Search/Discovery and
• Minimal data loss and means to audit, detect, and repair damage, corruption,
or loss over extended periods of time.
Kinds of Digital Archives
• Dark Archive
• (n.) In reference to data storage, an archive that
cannot be accessed by any users. Access to the
data is either limited to a set few individuals or
completely restricted to all. The purpose of a dark
archive is to function as a repository for information
that can be used as a failsafe during disaster
Kinds of Archives contd.
• light archive
• (n.) In reference to data storage, an archive that can
be accessed by many authorized users. Access to
the data is open to all the members of the
"community" that have a need for the data.
• Digital Image Archives
CCSU’s Digital Archive
Cornell’s Witchcraft Library
• Library of Congress National jukebox
• Internet Archive
• Carnegie Mellon Statslib
• UCLA’s Animation Archive (Part of larger film
• Internet Archive
• Night of the Living Dead
• Cornell’s process
• Tuft’s Incredibly long document
What Can’t be Digitized
• The first story finds coauthor Paul
Duguid in an ancient
archive, hacking and wheezing
from the dust and longing for
digitized documents. In walks a
medical historian who, to Duguid's
utter astonishment and
disgust, starts sticking letters under
his nose and inhaling deeply. It
turns out that when cholera struck
in the 1700s, a town's outgoing
mail was disinfected with vinegar to
prevent spreading the disease. By
sniffing for faint traces of vinegar
and noting the date and source of
the letters, the researcher was able
to chart the progress of cholera
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