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Preservation and institutional repositories for the digital arts and humanities

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Preservation and institutional repositories for the digital arts and humanities

  1. 1. Dorothea Salo University of Wisconsin salo@wisc.edu
  2. 2. Institutional repositories for the digital arts and humanities Dorothea Salo University of Wisconsin salo@wisc.edu
  3. 3. Preservation for the digital arts and humanities Dorothea Salo University of Wisconsin salo@wisc.edu
  4. 4. Dorothea Salo University of Wisconsin salo@wisc.edu Preservation and institutional repositories for the digital arts and humanities
  5. 5. And I said... ... you’re giving me how much time for this?
  6. 6. Environment •As several of you are intimately aware, higher ed is trying to figure out What To Do About Data. •This spells opportunity... IF you can get a seat at the table, and IF you know what to ask for! • Humanists will not be the first people they think of, sadly. •Serious (insoluble?) problem: data diversity • Expect compromise “solutions.” •Do not let IT pros intimidate you. • They do not know everything they think they know.
  7. 7. PICK SOFTWARE LAST. Friendly word of advice: Photo: “Briana Calderon; future educator of america.” http://www.flickr.com/photos/46132085@N03/4703617843/ Arielle Calderon / CC-BY 2.0
  8. 8. IT’S WHAT THE SOFTWARE WON’T DO. It’s not what the software does that’ll kill you. Photo: “Briana Calderon; future educator of america.” http://www.flickr.com/photos/46132085@N03/4703617843/ Arielle Calderon / CC-BY 2.0
  9. 9. DON’T CHASE THE SHINY. Another friendly word of advice: Photo: “Sparkle Texture” http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbylanes/3214921616/ Abby Lane / CC-BY 2.0
  10. 10. it’s much less shiny. In five years... Photo: “Sparkle Texture” http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbylanes/3214921616/ Abby Lane / CC-BY 2.0
  11. 11. it’s not shiny at all. In ten years... Photo: “Sparkle Texture” http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbylanes/3214921616/ Abby Lane / CC-BY 2.0
  12. 12. In twenty years... it’s probably useless.
  13. 13. NOT A SOLUTION: your graduate students •You have a bright, tech-savvy grad student. •She builds an Awesome Tech Thing. •You have no idea how it works. •She graduates. You’re hosed. • Because she didn’t (know how to) build it sustainably... • Because you don’t have any documentation... • Because nobody made contingency plans for it... •I have seen this pattern over and over again. • It’s killed more digital culture and research materials than anything I can think of in academe.
  14. 14. Am I saying “don’t experiment?” •Nah, of course not. •I’m saying “know what an experiment means.” •I’m saying “don’t mistake an experiment for an archive.” •I’m saying “don’t experiment and then expect everybody else to pick up your pieces because you didn’t plan for metadata or preservation.”
  15. 15. That said? •You gotta do what you gotta do. •Some friendly advice: • Know where the exits are. (Can you export your data? In a reusable format?) • When you finish a project, USE that export. • Triply true if you’re relying on the cloud! •Your overriding goal, while a project is in progress: keep your eventual options open! •Long-term... is a totally other kettle of fish.
  16. 16. Your best strategy •The single best strategy for a digital humanist concerned about long-term preservation... •... is to figure out how to make it Somebody Else’s Problem. • Right now, this is hard. I do believe it will get easier. •It’s a lot easier to figure this out from the start than at the end. • Different Somebody Elses will have different things that they want. If you know that from the get-go, you’re much better off.
  17. 17. Institution-internal solutions
  18. 18. Institution-internal solutions •Rolling your own
  19. 19. Institution-internal solutions •Rolling your own • Please don’t, if you can possibly avoid it.
  20. 20. Institution-internal solutions •Rolling your own • Please don’t, if you can possibly avoid it. •Adopting open-source software
  21. 21. Institution-internal solutions •Rolling your own • Please don’t, if you can possibly avoid it. •Adopting open-source software • e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace...
  22. 22. Institution-internal solutions •Rolling your own • Please don’t, if you can possibly avoid it. •Adopting open-source software • e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace... • Better, but not foolproof. Upgrades? Security? Backups?
  23. 23. Institution-internal solutions •Rolling your own • Please don’t, if you can possibly avoid it. •Adopting open-source software • e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace... • Better, but not foolproof. Upgrades? Security? Backups? • Writing plugins/mods = rolling your own. Avoid if possible.
  24. 24. Institution-internal solutions •Rolling your own • Please don’t, if you can possibly avoid it. •Adopting open-source software • e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace... • Better, but not foolproof. Upgrades? Security? Backups? • Writing plugins/mods = rolling your own. Avoid if possible. •Adopting institutional infrastructure
  25. 25. Institution-internal solutions •Rolling your own • Please don’t, if you can possibly avoid it. •Adopting open-source software • e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace... • Better, but not foolproof. Upgrades? Security? Backups? • Writing plugins/mods = rolling your own. Avoid if possible. •Adopting institutional infrastructure • Make sure it’ll survive your departure from the institution!
  26. 26. Outside the institution
  27. 27. Outside the institution •Lists of data repositories
  28. 28. Outside the institution •Lists of data repositories • Databib: http://databib.org/
  29. 29. Outside the institution •Lists of data repositories • Databib: http://databib.org/ • re3data: http://re3data.org/
  30. 30. Outside the institution •Lists of data repositories • Databib: http://databib.org/ • re3data: http://re3data.org/ • N.b. you will find less here on the humanities than you would probably prefer. Long story.
  31. 31. Outside the institution •Lists of data repositories • Databib: http://databib.org/ • re3data: http://re3data.org/ • N.b. you will find less here on the humanities than you would probably prefer. Long story. •Figshare
  32. 32. Outside the institution •Lists of data repositories • Databib: http://databib.org/ • re3data: http://re3data.org/ • N.b. you will find less here on the humanities than you would probably prefer. Long story. •Figshare • ... and other web services springing up, e.g. omeka.net
  33. 33. You will be limited by... •Infrastructure your library/IT has already committed to • this is why you want to be in on ground-floor discussions! •Their willingness and ability to tweak, rewrite, or replace it with something suiting your needs •Your willingness and ability to evaluate, install, and maintain a software stack that suits you • ... perhaps indefinitely! •The availability of hosted solutions, and your ability to pay for them (perhaps indefinitely!)
  34. 34. You need to know what the options are like. •Your library and IT folks may well need guidance. At minimum, they need clearly- expressed requirements. •The requirements you give them need to go beyond end-user access, use, and UI. • Back end: getting material in as efficiently as possible, allowing for additions/changes/deletions • Preservation requirements • Data and metadata purity, clarity, preservability, reusability, mashuppability, migratability, standards
  35. 35. Institutional repositories
  36. 36. What’s an IR? •“‘[A]ttics’ (and often fairly empty ones), with random assortments of content of questionable importance” • Brown, Griffiths, Rascoff, “University publishing in a digital age.” Ithaka 2007. http://www.sr.ithaka.org/research- publications/university-publishing-digital-age •A basic digital preservation-and-access platform designed to allow faculty to deposit and describe single PDFs. •Quite commonly available in research libraries or through library consortia. • You probably have one available to you!
  37. 37. IR software •Open source • Fedora Commons: http://fedora-commons.info/ (you’ll need a layer on top of this) • DSpace: http://dspace.org/ • EPrints: http://eprints.org/ •Commercial • ContentDM: http://contentdm.com/ • DigiTool: http://www.exlibrisgroup.com/category/ DigiToolOverview •Hosted • ContentDM: http://contentdm.com/ • BePress: http://bepress.com/
  38. 38. Two minutes! •Find an IR available to you for depositing content.
  39. 39. You can typically expect... •To get in touch with someone in the library to get an account set up, and a space for you to deposit into • Have a collection name and description ready. • Default descriptors, if you have any, also a good idea. • Need access controls? To delegate deposit? Talk about this. •To be able to put materials in on your own, through web forms • To find the deposit process fiddly and annoying •To have material appear on the web right after deposit.
  40. 40. IRs work for... •Small(ish), discrete files that never change • So an Excel-using researcher is just fine with an IR. •Documentation for data held elsewhere •Some IRs can handle static website captures. •Files with uncomplicated IP lives • ... which complicates the “static website” question. •Access restriction may be possible, as may dark archiving; it depends on the IR platform. Expect it to be annoying to implement, though.
  41. 41. IRs don’t work for •Really Big Data • including, sometimes, audio and video • This is less a reflection on IR software than of most IRs being horribly underprovisioned with storage and bandwidth. •Work in progress; files that may change or be updated •Complex digital objects (except static websites) •Digital objects that need interactivity • Even something as simple as video streaming. IRs can’t. •Anything that needs a DOI. (You’ll get a permanent identifier, but it won’t be a DOI.) •Datasets where the researcher wants to vet any potential reusers
  42. 42. Digital libraries
  43. 43. Digital-library software • Omeka, Greenstone (aging), ContentDM... • Again, chances are your library already has some kind of digital-collections software. • Go ask a librarian what it is, and whether you can add material to it! • Also ask if it’s attached to any kind of digitization or metadata-help service. It may not be, but you never know. • If not, there are hosted options • if you’re prepared to pay for them indefinitely. • Designed for image exhibitions • May extend to audio and video, but UI won’t be ideal. • May extend to page-scanned books, but may not. (Omeka is terrible at these.)
  44. 44. Be aware •The digital-preservation underpinnings of this class of software are weak to nonexistent. • It’s designed for exhibiting, not for archiving! • It may also entice you into poor sustainability decisions, such as using web-friendly but lossy JPG as your master image format. Or not making backups. •On the plus side, though, if it’s a library service, the library feels an institutional commitment to the materials in it. • That’s a lot of the preservation battle won, right there.
  45. 45. Emerging solutions •Often involve combining software to attack different parts of the problem • Preservation underlayers: Fedora Commons, microservices • Deposit and management UI: Hydra, Islandora • End-user UI: Hydra, Islandora, Omeka, plugins, mods, etc. •Are still pretty DIY at this point • If your library is doing active development, you’re one of the lucky ones. • The rest of you may have to wait. And lobby.
  46. 46. Archives platforms •Designed for coping with an undifferentiated mess of random digital stuff. • I know, right? Nobody has that problem... •Not usually designed to help other people use or interact with that stuff. • Also, designed for archivists’ ways of thinking. Archivists are humanists, but not all humanists are archivists. • Worth getting a software tour from an archivist! •Archivematica, ArchivesSpace (in beta), Duke Data Accessioner, CollectiveAccess, BitCurator
  47. 47. Data-management platforms •Usually designed for the sciences, not the humanities! • But that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t work for what you have in mind. • (“E-lab notebooks” will probably feel pretty foreign, though.) •Look at Dataverse Network, http://thedata.org/ •Gigantor lists of everything ever: • http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/external/tools-services/ archiving-and-preserving-information • http://dirt.projectbamboo.org/categories/publishing • http://foss4lib.org/packages • Less helpful than you might think; there’s rarely any decision apparatus alongside.
  48. 48. Dorothea’s cantankerous, crabby, cynical, crude, choleric, churlish, other-words-beginning-with-C take on digital humanists working with librarians and IT pros
  49. 49. Neil Gaiman on George R.R. Martin and his eager fans CENSORED CENSORED From: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html
  50. 50. Digital humanists: Librarians and IT professionals are not your bitch.CENSORED
  51. 51. Not entirely your fault! •$$$ is a consideration, unfortunately • The sciences have it. Unfortunately. •Your colleagues may have poisoned the well by being prima donnas, even though you’re not! •Different professional-advancement infrastructure •We may just. not. be. ready. • Or the infrastructure we rely on may not be.
  52. 52. DH and libraries should be friends •Involve the library from the outset. • Please do NOT ask us to pick up your messes at the end! • Expect us to have work for you to do, and quality expectations. • Yes, I know that’s how it used to work with analog materials and archivists. Digital is different. •Come to us in groups. • We serve all of campus. We cannot afford to move heaven and earth for any one person. Please don’t be a prima donna! • At minimum, have an idea how what you’re asking will concretely benefit other campus constituencies. •Offer quid pro quo. What’s in it for us? • (Library advocacy in high places is always a good trade.) •Be patient, please. • We don’t turn on a dime.
  53. 53. Will this always work? •Sadly, no. •A good many libraries are just not ready to take digital preservation and DH support seriously. • The presence of a “DH center” in the library is not always proof of serious intent. •Others have been burned before. •Still others are skeptics. •I can’t promise you’ll find help in the library, or with campus IT. I can promise you won’t if you don’t seriously approach them. • (Miriam Posner’s article is a must-read!)
  54. 54. Thanks! Questions?

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