Digital Preservation: 

Will your files stand the test of time? 

 

Cokie Anderson
Oklahoma State University
cokie@okstat...
.‘[_

Goal of Digital Preservation

P Ensure that the most valuable digital
objects remain readable,  accessible,  and
und...
I_‘ _
[-

Major Preservation Concerns

I File formats

* Storage Media

‘ Technology infrastructure

” Organization stabil...
If __
[-

Who’s responsible? 

5 File formats

5 Storage Media “F I _ ”
V Technologyinfrastructure  Cot 50 dlers
F Organiz...
Types of file formats

I Proprietary (closed specification)
7MS Word,  PowerPoint,  Excel,  Wordstar

I Proprietary (open ...
.I[_

The Big Question and the Bad News

F Will we be able to open and use this file in
the future? 

Proprietary (closed ...
T lji
[-

The Challenges

T Encryption

* Compression

‘ Platform dependence
5 Backward compatibility
” Bells & whistles

...
,

A I-

What can we do? 

 

F Ignore the problem? 

g: ;?E‘


“nun

F Take to the bottle? 

 

V Escape to the Caribbean...
.I[_

What is being done

F International registry of file formats
Digital Library Federation (US)
PRONOM (UK)
V Normaliza...
.I[_

. 

File format decisions

V Can you use a standard file format (ASCII, 
XML)?  If you can,  do so. 

F If you are u...
T IT’
[-

To-Do list for file formats

V Inventory all files and make a list of formats. 

V Migrate older materials to ne...
I . 

And now that you’re REALLY
depressed.  . . .

. ..Let’s talk about the vulnerability
of storage media! 

1 April 200...
- .  
And you thought file formats were
bad. ..

I Storage media is vulnerable to all sorts of
threats. ..
A Instability
O...
.. I[_

What to do? 

F Buy the very best you can afford.  This is
NOT the place to economize.  The more
expensive ones re...
Types of media

I Hard disks

7Convenient and high capacity,  but last 5 years
at best.  Expensive is better! 

I Tape
Til...
.

A IT

Media storage

P Storage environment critical! 

P Optimum environment 68° F,  40%
humidity.  Fluctuations are th...
.‘[_

Why things won’t improve

P Market forces encourage planned
obsolescence. 

P There is no “open access” option as in...
.

A IT

Planning ahead

P Overall digital preservation plan and the
funding to support it! 

P Scheduled migration

P Off...
F _
I-

If the worst happens. ..

P Disaster plan and precautions in place —
again,  think rare manuscripts

P Data recove...
Resources

I Cornell University “Digital Preservation

Management” workshop,  or the online tutorial: 
http: //www. librar...
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Digital Preservation

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Planning for preservation of digital objects and projects

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Digital Preservation

  1. 1. Digital Preservation: Will your files stand the test of time? Cokie Anderson Oklahoma State University cokie@okstate. edu I April 2(. |(. |5 1. l'. x1.iliu11:'_- I, :h: ;1:j. .~. ~m: '.i11ni1 . m1u. :l ('u: i1L
  2. 2. .‘[_ Goal of Digital Preservation P Ensure that the most valuable digital objects remain readable, accessible, and understandable. P Manage technological change so that objectives are met. —Richard Entlich Cornell University 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  3. 3. I_‘ _ [- Major Preservation Concerns I File formats * Storage Media ‘ Technology infrastructure ” Organization stability ” Financial sustainability ” Administration and accountability 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  4. 4. If __ [- Who’s responsible? 5 File formats 5 Storage Media “F I _ ” V Technologyinfrastructure Cot 50 dlers F Organization stability F Financial sustainability V Administration and accountability Administration 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  5. 5. Types of file formats I Proprietary (closed specification) 7MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Wordstar I Proprietary (open specification) . lPDF, TIFF (both owned by Adobe) I Standard 7 Certified by ISO or other international body lASC| l, XML, SGML 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  6. 6. .I[_ The Big Question and the Bad News F Will we be able to open and use this file in the future? Proprietary (closed spec) — Probably not Proprietary (open spec) — Maybe Standard — Probably F No absolute guarantees with any format 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  7. 7. T lji [- The Challenges T Encryption * Compression ‘ Platform dependence 5 Backward compatibility ” Bells & whistles ” Orphan formats 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  8. 8. , A I- What can we do? F Ignore the problem? g: ;?E‘ “nun F Take to the bottle? V Escape to the Caribbean? A (No, that only works in Grisham novels I 4 l 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  9. 9. .I[_ What is being done F International registry of file formats Digital Library Federation (US) PRONOM (UK) V Normalization Cut out bells & whistles, remove macros, etc. F Standards PDF/ A in the works 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  10. 10. .I[_ . File format decisions V Can you use a standard file format (ASCII, XML)? If you can, do so. F If you are using a proprietary format, is it open spec? If so, normalize file and keep an eye on the software company. F If you must use a closed spec proprietary format, don’t let important files fall more than 2 versions behind. 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  11. 11. T IT’ [- To-Do list for file formats V Inventory all files and make a list of formats. V Migrate older materials to newer versions (word processing files, spreadsheets, etc. ). V Try to limit the number of file formats you support. F Watch the technology market for news affecting file formats (M&A, new standards, product updates). 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  12. 12. I . And now that you’re REALLY depressed. . . . . ..Let’s talk about the vulnerability of storage media! 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  13. 13. - . And you thought file formats were bad. .. I Storage media is vulnerable to all sorts of threats. .. A Instability Obsolescence T Disasters (natural or man-made) T Improper storage environment ‘ Malfunction T Human error T Improper maintenance 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  14. 14. .. I[_ What to do? F Buy the very best you can afford. This is NOT the place to economize. The more expensive ones really are better. T Test the media regularly to make sure it is still working properly. T Don’t rely on just one copy of anything. Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy! 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  15. 15. Types of media I Hard disks 7Convenient and high capacity, but last 5 years at best. Expensive is better! I Tape Til High density, like DLT, are best. I Optical media (CD, DVD) T’! Gold CD best choice overall, but expect 5-10 year shelf life. Cheap CD/ DVD very bad idea. 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  16. 16. . A IT Media storage P Storage environment critical! P Optimum environment 68° F, 40% humidity. Fluctuations are the worst. P Avoid dust, magnetic fields, fumes (including smoke), food and drink. P Treat it as you would a rare manuscript. It really is just as fragile. 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  17. 17. .‘[_ Why things won’t improve P Market forces encourage planned obsolescence. P There is no “open access” option as in software. We are completely dependent on manufacturers. P Lack of standards for storage media. 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  18. 18. . A IT Planning ahead P Overall digital preservation plan and the funding to support it! P Scheduled migration P Offsite backup — LOCKSS-type plan P Disaster plan P Regular testing of media and backups 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  19. 19. F _ I- If the worst happens. .. P Disaster plan and precautions in place — again, think rare manuscripts P Data recovery P Digital archaeology P Outsourced services = Hugely expensive P Getting your data back = Priceless 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc
  20. 20. Resources I Cornell University “Digital Preservation Management” workshop, or the online tutorial: http: //www. library. corne| |.edu/ iris/ tutorial/ dpm/ index. html I PADI (National Library of Australia): http: //www. nla. gov. au/ padi/ I Digital Library Federation preservation guide: http: //www. digIib. org/ preserve. htm I NIST Guide to Archiving CD/ DVDs: http: //www. itl. nist. gov/ div895/carefordisc/ disccare. html 1 April 2005 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Cc

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