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Digital initiatives in archival preservation

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presented at the International Conference on Challenges in Preserving and Managing Cultural Heritage Resources, held on 2005 October 19-21 at the Institute of Social Order, Ateneo de Manila …

presented at the International Conference on Challenges in Preserving and Managing Cultural Heritage Resources, held on 2005 October 19-21 at the Institute of Social Order, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines

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  • Introduction - First, I wish to express my appreciation to the organizers for inviting me to speak on a topic that is close to my heart, that is, “Digital initiatives in archival preservation.”
  • Transcript

    • 1. “ Digital intiatives in archival preservation” By Fe Angela M. Verzosa University Archivist, DLSU
    • 2. This presentation…
      • Discusses digital archives as an emerging platform for cooperative preservation efforts
      • Explores local digital initiatives here and through the Internet to view the different frameworks and models
      • Recommends digital technology as a means towards preservation of original archival materials
    • 3. Defining terms…
      • "Digital preservation" or "digital archiving" means taking steps to ensure the longevity of electronic documents.
      • documents are either "born digital" and stored on-line or products of conversion
      • - Alison Bullock
    • 4. Defining terms…
      • " digital archives ” are materials that have been converted to machine-readable format , usually for the sake of preservation or to make them more accessible to users.
      • Also refers to information originally created in electronic format, and preserved for its archival value.
    • 5. Digitization…
      • greatly enhances access (faster and easier)
      • allows remote access (via Internet/cd networking) by simultaneous users
      • generates publicity for institutions because it gives them the opportunity to showcase their rare or unique collections online
    • 6. More benefits…
      • if digitized materials serve as surrogates to the originals, it can enhance preservation efforts by reducing handling of original documents, and thereby helps to protect them from loss/mutilation, etc.
      • low cost distribution of huge data
      • Reduced long-term storage costs and reduced document storage space
    • 7. Digital Preservation…
      • has an inherent appeal
      • growing amounts of born digital and born-again digital material now require our attention
      • primary goal of digital archives is long-term preservation of information in a form that guarantees sustained access and dissemination in the future
    • 8. Digital Preservation…
      • longevity of electronic records
      • increasing obsolescence of computer hardware and software
      • storage problem for digital media , or its ‘shelf life’
      • problem of developing a continuing program to assure access to preserved information over time
    • 9. Digital Preservation issues
      • Getting the information into digital form
      • Keeping it in digital form
      • Standards to ensure a high quality result
      • Copyright/intellectual property implications
      • Maintaining the integrity of digitized information over time
    • 10.
      • difficulty and expense of
      • preserving digital information
      • digital preservation is largely experimental and replete with the risks associated with untested methods
      • digital preservation strategies are shaped by the needs and constraints of repositories with little consideration for the requirements of current and future users of digital scholarly resources. - Margaret Hedstrom
      more issues…
    • 11. More Issues…
      • Costs of maintaining digital data
      • What form to keep digital data in?
      • Technological obsolescence - migration or emulation?
      • Authenticity
      • Additional information we need to keep (metadata - description of a digital object or "data about data")
      • )
    • 12. More concerns….
      • establish as many websites and
      • encourage cooperation
      • the more participants involved,
      • the better to achieve efficiency
      • the need to integrate technology and content is evident
      • outside funding and the commitment of volunteers in digital initiatives are critical to success.
    • 13.
      • Digitization, however, must not be viewed as a substitute for other preservation activities.
      • Microfilming remains the preferred long-term preservation method in this age of technology.
      • Preserving the original materials increases the intrinsic value of the original as evidence
      More concerns….
    • 14. Internet: effective means of networking
      • value and focus is full text rather than catalog of bibliographic information
      • there is a more urgent need for content on the Internet
      • carefully explore content as the focus of cooperative projects
    • 15.
      • includes four private, liberal arts colleges and the Amherst campus of the state university.
      • web site provides access to digitized versions of archival records and manuscript collections relating to women's history -- particularly women's education at the Five Colleges.
      • among the collections are official college publications, letters, photographs, articles, oral histories, diaries, and more. 
      Five Colleges Consortium
    • 16.
      • encompasses 54 online collections
      • 38,000 items
      • accessible through the website
      • electronic finding aids on websites of each institution
      • records in their online catalogs
      Five Colleges Consortium
    • 17. C e d a r s curl exemplars in digital archives
      • began in April 1998 and ended in March 2002.
      • objective was to explore digital preservation issues - acquiring digital objects, their long-term retention, sufficient description, and eventual access.
      • included a number of "test sites" designed to test different aspects of digital archiving with various types of digital materials
      • test sites include 3 universities in UK (Birmingham, Exeter, and Univ. College London), the British Library, and Birmingham Central Library
      • Primary funding provided by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) through its eLib and Digital Preservation Focus programmes.
    • 18. Model digitization framework
      • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Charette Digital Project
      • Online access to Charette magazine
      • (vols. 1-54, 1920-1974),
      • Primary stages of activity
      • Clarify copyright
      • Identify and obtain all issues of Charette
      • Scanning to be done by Digital Library Initiatives
      • Utilize journal delivery and navigation functionality using the DIVA system (CMU’s library system)
      • Develop web interface
      • .
    • 19.
      • Managed by a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research
      • also sponsors important Special Projects at the national level
      • One project was developed to present actual transcriptions of public domain records on the Internet
      • Another project is to make available to genealogists, useful, readable, high quality maps, where both archival maps and newly made maps based on scholarly research are accessible.
      • .
    • 20.
      • brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions
      • over 120,000 images; 50,000 pages of documents, letters, and oral histories; and 8,000 guides to collections are available
      • offers easy-to-use search and viewing tools
      • organizes images into thematic and institutional collections, such as historical topics, nature, places, and technology.
      California Digital Library, Oakland, CA
    • 21. Digital Projects
      • ALA Archives Digital Collections - includes photographs of past ALA conferences and images of library buildings around the country
      • Art Museum Image Consortium - contains over 100,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and watercolors, photographs, and more available only to those with library accounts..
      • Digital Cultural Heritage Community - Materials from East Central Illinois local area museums, archives and libraries
      • Global Cultural memory Project - Integrates materials from collaborating institutions, focusing on the past fifty years of cultural history in Champaign County, Ill.
    • 22. Digital Projects
      • Digital Gateway to Cultural Heritage Materials
      • 538,485 metadata records from 32 collections of images, text, sheet music, websites, museums and archives.
      • Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts , a collection of public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy.
      • 2820 scanned maps representing rare 18th and 19th century North and South American cartographic history from the David Rumsey map collection
      • 3127 images of coins and other artifacts
    • 23. McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
      • Digital Collections
      • Program (DCP)
      • digitally captures and provides electronic access to McGill University's unique rare and special collections via the World Wide Web
      • collections include rare books, maps, manuscripts, prints, photographs, sound recordings, and more.
      • has produced more than forty digital projects covering a wide array of subjects including, art, architecture, history and literature, engineering, medicine, maps, music, and urban design.
      • collections range from archival inventories to bibliographic databases which provide access to items in the collection; image databases, and full-text collections
    • 24. National Archives - Japan
      • Asian historical records are from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until end of WWII in 1945
      • download and print it out easily
      • 6.5 M images scanned
      • 2 M images every year will be added
      • documents were microfilmed/ converted into digital format
    • 25. National Archives - Japan
      • spearheaded by Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR)
      • provides image data of official documents of relationship between Japan and its Asian neighbors
      • offers "anyone, anytime, anywhere" access
      • free of charge
    • 26.
      • results in a single point of access to digitized archival materials
      • on evacuation and internment of thousands of Japanese Americans during WWII
      • Curatorial and digital collaboration was made possible through California Digital Library’s Online Archive of California
      • a big contribution to academic research.
      Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive
    • 27. … in the Philippines Select rare Filipiniana Holdings available in IIC libraries Develop search engine for management of the digitized information To share the digitized collection with other libraries Inter-Institutional Consortium 1998 – Preserving Selected Filipiniana in digital format
    • 28. De La Salle University
      • on-line journal “Sinupang Lasalyano”
      • 460 doctoral dissertations in 40 CDs
      • 2,224 master’s theses in 76 CDs
      • 473 born-digital masters theses
      • Born-again yearbook
      • (Green and White)
    • 29. National Archives (RMAO)
      • started digitization project in 1998
      • 13 million ++ historic documents
      • not accessible in the world wide web
      • How many more such digital projects are ongoing but are not accessible in the web?
    • 30. … at the RMAO Research Mgt. & Archives Office (RMAO) Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) catalogs of centuries old documents during Spanish colonial period
    • 31.
              • 1-Cumulative Index to
              • Philippine Periodicals
              • (1995-2000)
              • 2-Harry Whitfield Harnish Collection (1898-1907)
      • 3-Board of Regents Minutes of Meetings (1925-2006)
      • 4-Filipiniana, UP publications, researches, etc.
      • 5-UP theses and dissertations
      UP Diliman Libraries
    • 32. Philippine eLib Project
      • govt-sponsored collaborative project
      • Involving core collections from TNL, DOST, DA, and UP Library System
      • aims to make Philippine materials available in digital format (24M images)
      • to provide cooperative acquisition and sharing of expensive online databases
      • to house data center at TNL, with data recovery site at UP Diliman
      • uses open source/standard tools, which can be replicated
    • 33.
        • Digitization of library collection began April 2004
        • Aims to be primary research in the speedy delivery of justice
        • Serves the entire Judiciary
        • Available online:
      • SC Decisions and Resolutions
      • Rules of Court
      • Administrative Matters
      • Circulars and Orders
      • Manuals of Clerks of Courts
      • Memorabilia Section
      Supreme Court eLibrary
    • 34. Collaboration -
      • an attractive alternative for poorer nations
        • better endowed countries extend assistance by providing
          • required funds
          • needed technical expertise and training,
          • technology infrastructure or network mechanism
    • 35. Collaboration -
      • can initiate
        • Creating digital networks of institutional repositories, with rare heritage collections
        • matching institutions with common
          • interests,
          • needs, and
          • requirements.
    • 36.
      • Solution-
        • require permission to the digital contents
        • focus on works free from copyright
      Copyright Concerns -
      • one of the more serious barriers
    • 37. Conclusion
      • Now is the time…
      • to initiate
      • collaborative
      • programs for
      • the future
      • access to preserved digital and
      • born-again digital materials for the
      • sake of posterity.
    • 38.  
    • 39.  

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