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Isi5102 presentation

  1. 1. DIGITAL PRESERVATION The challenges of preserving access to digital material By Christine Newman ISI 5102 November 5 2012
  2. 2. What is Digital Preservation? Definitions “The processes of maintaining accessibility of digital objects over time… [and] is used to describe the processes involved in maintaining information and other kinds of heritage that exist in a digital form” Guidelines for the Preservation of Digital Heritage, UNESCO, 2003, 21). “Refers to the series of managed activities necessary to ensure continued access to digital materials for as long as necessary.” (Preservation Management of Digital Materials by Jones and Beagrie, 2001, 10).1
  3. 3. The goal of preserving digital information is to ensure continued access to that information as the technologies used for recording information change.2 Benefits of digitization: Digitization increases widespread use and access to materials that in analogue formats may be rare and distant or fragile. Digitization greatly improves access to documents when the digital files are made available and retrievable. The text of digitized documents will also be searchable when text indexing is created during the digitization process. For most purposes, it may be sufficient for researchers to consult a digital version of a document when available, therefore the analogue document will be handled less, so will survived longer, and if it should be lost, the digital version, at least, will still be available.3
  4. 4. Challenges Obsolescence of storage and access technologies Instability of storage media Managing the integrity of digital materials Image taken from: s/storage/ltdp/index.shtml
  5. 5. Obsolescence of Storage and Access Technologies Old bit streams never die – they just become unreadable (cited by Rothenberg, 1999 in Harvey, 2005, p. 35.) Digital material requires complex hardware and software in order to retrieve and interpret the information. The playback devices necessary to retrieve information from the media become obsolete or the software that translate digital information form machine to human- readable form is no longer available. In order to preserve access to the information that has been stored in digital records, we have to plan for its continued migration to the currently operable technology or else revert back to storage media that do not require some kind of technological equipment interface, however we than have the issues of preserving paper-format and lack of accessibility.4
  6. 6. Instability of Storage Media The source of the problem of preserving digital materials is that the information is inherently software-dependent. The bit- stream can represent any of a very wide range of content and formats – often text or data, but also images, audio and video. This data requires software to interpret it, to turn it into information. Without appropriate software, the digital file cannot be displayed appropriately on the screen.5
  7. 7. Managing the Integrity of Digital Materials The value of an individual record is derived from the sequence of records within which it is located and that it can be difficult to understand an individual record without understanding its historical, legal, procedural, and documentary context. Authenticity and integrity are considered to be core requirements that demand special attention if preserved digital objects are to be trusted.6
  8. 8. Potential Future ChallengesThe Internet has provided us with a new environment for information creation and exchange. Preserving webpages and online databases would be challenging especially where the information that users’ view is dynamically generated in response to particular queries or information provided. Government organization have already begun to address the preservation of their webpages and it is these aspects that will prove the most difficult to preserve and for future researchers to reconstruct.7
  9. 9. Recommendations Active preservation needs to start close to the time of creation if there is to be any certainty that digital information will be accessible in the future. Increase awareness of digital preservation and preservation techniques.
  10. 10. Conclusion The Future of Digital Preservation Although there is still considerable wariness and skepticism surrounding our ability to maintain and provide access to digital materials in the longer term, it is lessening. In 2004, the new Library and Archives of Canada Act changed the institution’s mandate to preserving the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, to facilitate cooperation in Canada among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge and to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada.8 … On a side note, Library and Archives Canada suffered large cuts in the recent budget. It would be
  11. 11. Q&As? References 1 Harvey, R. (2005). Preserving Digital Materials. Morlenbach, Germany: K.G. Saur Verlag GmbH, p. 13. 2 Lester, J. & Koehler, W. (2007). Fundamentals of Information Studies. Second Edition. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., p. 103. 3 Canadian Association of Research Librarians. Digitization. 2012 CARL – ABRC. Retrieved from 4 Lester, 2007, p. 104 and Harvey, 2005, p. 46-47. 5 Harvey, 2005, p. 48-49. 6 Harvey, 2005, p. 49-50. 7 Ross, Seamus. (2002). Digital Preservation: Strategy, intervention, and accident. In Giulio Blasi (Eds.), The Future of Memory. Bologna, Italy: Brepols Turnhout, p. 156. 8 Bak, G., & Armstrong, P. (2008). Points of convergence: Seamless long-term access to digital publications and archival records at library and archives Canada. Archival Science, 8(4), 156. doi: (Bak, 2008, 280).