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Personal Digital Archiving

  1. + Personal Digital Archiving Michael Paulmeno Head of Discovery Services
  2. or… how to manage your digital life!
  3. + Why Are We Here?  We all have digital files  We want to be able to access our stuff in 5 -10 years  Yet we all have so much stuff
  4. + Analog issues Nothing lasts forever.
  5. User:Jiří Janíček (, „Plesnive knihy - megaplisen“,
  6. + Digital issues More fragile than we think
  8. + How Digital Files Go Bad Stored on fragile media Bitloss Physical damage Outdated file formats
  9. + What You Can Do Digital preservation Electronic materials need to be cared for; no benign neglect
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  11. Word of the day… Organize
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  13. + Where are your documents? Locate all of your photos, manuscripts, notes Camera, computers, memory cards, flash drives, web sites (Dropbox, etc) What other kinds of things are important to save? E-mails, research data, portfolio
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  15. + Which are important to save? Pick the most important Which things have long term value? Do not keep everything Space and time are limited
  16. + Metadata? What’s that? Label your files Descriptive file names are best Tag photos with names, places, or other meaningful information Use meaningful folder structures
  17. + What kind of files do you have? Lossy vs. lossless images Archival files Access copies Open vs proprietary format txt files vs. Word documents
  18. + Common File Types  JPEG – Compressed format, lossy but smaller  PDF – Stores all text, fonts, graphics, etc need to display a file  TXT – File made up mostly of plain text  MP3 – Compressed, lossy format for audio files  MP4 – Common multimedia file format for videos
  19. + Other File Types PST – Data file for Microsoft Outlook PAGES – File created by Apple Pages JPEG 2000 – Lossless, good archival format TIFF – uncompressed & lossless but large
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  21. + Get Things Organized Create a meaningful directory structure for your files Group like things together How will you want to find things in the future? Record the structure and a description of the items in writing
  22. + Keep Things Organized Start now and be diligent in the future Gradually deal with your backlog Make a commitment to yourself
  23. + Choose A Storage Medium External hard drives Other computers Cloud storage services (Amazon S3, Azure Storage, etc) → requires third party software
  24. + What is NOT a Backup Dropbox Google Drive One Drive CDs Shared drive
  25. + Automated Cloud Backup Package deal – storage and a program to use Allows for easy off-site backup Usually set-and-forget Many options to choose from
  26. Identify Select Store Protect Manage Provide
  27. + Protecting Your Data LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) Where is everything stored?  3-2-1 rule  Keep track of backup copies
  28. + Protecting Your Data (Cont’d) At what intervals are backups made? How are files organized? Incremental backup or complete? Store the inventory list with your important papers in a secure place
  29. + Automated Cloud Backup Test the system Look at the details when signing up Do you have access to the original files? What about encryption?
  30. + The Bottom Line Get organized Have a plan Multiple strategies Test to see if you can restore
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  32. + Periodically check things out Spot check at least once a year to make sure the files are still readable Create copies onto new media at least every five years
  33. + Other considerations Software versioning is problematic Think about how you may use the information in the future Can you use someone else’s infrastructure and expertise?
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  35. + Sharing your files Create access copy, preserve original CD/flash drive fine as a transport medium Email not so great… Can share large files via cloud service
  36. + Rights and Management • Consider copyright issues • May be a concern with manuscripts and e-mail
  37. + Moving from analog to digital Consider scanning old files for access and preservation Create directory structure before you embark on project A little planning goes a long way
  38. + Scanning your analog images Use appropriate resolution Save as TIFF for an archival image JPEG 2000 also acceptable as master
  39. + After you scan Master files and derivative images  Do not do adjustments on your archival files  Work on a copy. Always. Use precision controls when possible
  40. + Consider a Commercial Service Saves time Ensures professional quality Do research and compare services
  41. + In summary… Make conscious choices Don’t keep things you don’t need A little organization goes a long way Think through process from beginning to end Start now!
  42. + Resources • Library of Congress Personal Archiving; ving/ • File Info Extension Database - • US Copyright Office - • Cornell Legal Information Institute (Intellectual Property section) -
  43. Questions and Discussion

Editor's Notes

  1. Digital images should be viewed on a computer monitor set to 24 bits (millions of colors) or greater, and calibrated to a gamma of 2.2.