Kevin De Vorsey - Preservation isn't pretty (but you need it)

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Digital Preservation and Continuity Forum

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Kevin De Vorsey - Preservation isn't pretty (but you need it)

  1. 1. Preservation isn't pretty. (but you need it) Kevin L. De Vorsey November 24th, 2009
  2. 2. NLNZ includes: The National Library (a depository library) The Alexander Turnbull Library (a research library ) Material is collected regardless of format based on its value in documenting New Zealand’s heritage. The challenge: permanent access
  3. 3. What you are creating:
  4. 4. What we see: You watch movies, listen to audio, and read digitised books but we look at in terms of properties, not content.
  5. 5. The preservation view:
  6. 6. There are plenty of risks! Icebergs? Theft? Fire? Volcano? Chuds? Earthquakes?
  7. 7. Publishing Delivery Search tool Technical Analysts Permanent Repository Deposit NL & ATL Staff Preservation Manager Preservation Management Deposit UI Back-Office UI Staging Web Deposit INDIGO Web Curator Tool System Administrators But we can address some directly: Preservation Analysts NZ’s Publishers, Authors, & Artists Researchers, and the public
  8. 8. Another type of risk: obsolescence <ul><li>We define format obsolescence in relation to the Library’s ability to render files within the repository. </li></ul><ul><li>If we cannot view, render, or migrate formats then they are “at-risk”. </li></ul>‘ Risk is about the impending loss of the means of providing access ’ Pearson & Webb, ‘Defining File Format Obsolescence’, IJDC 1:3, 2008
  9. 9. How can we assess the risk of format obsolescence? The majority of work in this area has focused on format sustainability.
  10. 10. Sustainability Factors <ul><li>Open standards </li></ul><ul><li>Ubiquity </li></ul><ul><li>Stability </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata Support </li></ul><ul><li>Feature Set </li></ul><ul><li>Interoperability </li></ul><ul><li>Viability </li></ul>There is general agreement about what they include: <ul><li>Disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Self-documentation </li></ul><ul><li>External dependencies </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of patents </li></ul><ul><li>Technical protection </li></ul><ul><li>Openess </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Technical protection </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Robustness </li></ul><ul><li>Dependencies </li></ul>or or TNA LC KB
  11. 11. Looks good, what’s the problem? <ul><li>Glad you asked! The problem is that there is no empirical data to help institutions leverage this information. </li></ul><ul><li>Does ubiquity trump openness? </li></ul><ul><li>What if patent claims pop up unexpectedly </li></ul><ul><li>(think i4i's against Microsoft, it could hit Open Office as well) </li></ul><ul><li>Does everyone agree on rankings? </li></ul><ul><li>What to do? What to do? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Compounding the problem:
  13. 13. NLNZ definition of obsolescence <ul><li>We define format obsolescence in relation to the Library’s ability to render files within the repository. </li></ul><ul><li>If we cannot view, render, or migrate formats then they are “at-risk”. </li></ul>‘ Risk is about the impending loss of the means of providing access ’ Pearson & Webb, ‘Defining File Format Obsolescence’, IJDC 1:3, 2008
  14. 14. How can we measure it? <ul><li>In order to gauge risks we must know </li></ul><ul><li>exactly what is represented in our </li></ul><ul><li>repository. </li></ul><ul><li>What format do files purport to be encoded in? </li></ul><ul><li>How closely to this format do they conform ? </li></ul><ul><li>Of all of the properties that the format could support, which are actually present in each file? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Is there a role for sustainability?
  16. 16. Format sustainability
  17. 17. Thank You! Kevin L. De Vorsey [email_address]

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