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Sara Day Thomson, 'Personal Digital Archiving: Storing, Organising and Protecting Your Digital Content for the Future'

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Slides from a lecture entitled: 'Personal Digital Archiving: Storing, Organising and Protecting Your Digital Content for the Future', by Sara Day Thomson of the Digital Preservation Coalition. This event was held on 26th September 2019, 6pm, at the Royal Irish Academy. This was the inaugural lecture in a new collaborative series between the Digital Repository of Ireland and the National Archives, Ireland

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Sara Day Thomson, 'Personal Digital Archiving: Storing, Organising and Protecting Your Digital Content for the Future'

  1. 1. tw: @sdaythomsonsara day thomson dpconline.org Personal Digital Archiving Storing, Organising and Protecting Your Digital Content for the Future
  2. 2. Digital Preservation Coalition • Membership Organisation • 90+ Members Worldwide • 6 Supporters • Events, Training, Research, Consultancy, Guidance, Publications, Awards, and more! … exists to secure our digital legacy
  3. 3. What is Personal Digital Archiving? Digital Preservation? Digital Curation?
  4. 4. Personal Digital Archiving Look after records or other items of importance in order to preserve a meaningful representation of an event, or place, or person
  5. 5. Community Archiving
  6. 6. Personal Digital Archiving 1s and 0s that need technology to interpret and render them, technologies – hardware and software – that are vulnerable to obsolescence
  7. 7. Personal Digital Archiving “‘Personal digital archives’ is a formal term for the ‘digital stuff’ we create and save every day.” From the DPC Technology Watch Report Personal Digital Archiving by Gabriela Redwine
  8. 8. Your Digital Stuff • Financial spreadsheets • Bank statements • Tax records • Professional CV or Portfolio • Emails • Whatsapp messages • Family photos • Photos on Instagram or Facebook • Wedding video • Digitized (scanned) analogue photos • …
  9. 9. What to keep? A Personal Illustration Part 1
  10. 10. Cont’d…
  11. 11. What to keep? A Personal Illustration Part 2
  12. 12. Cont’d… “The meaning of digital files can change over time. The text message that initially seems inconsequential may take on vital significance if it ends up being the last communication from a loved one.” From the DPC Technology Watch Report Personal Digital Archiving by Gabriela Redwine
  13. 13. Threats! • Obsolescence • Hardware • Storage Media • Software • File Formats • Service Providers • Human Error • Degradation and Bit Rot • Natural Disaster
  14. 14. Basic Steps • Find all your stuff on different devices and platforms • Move it to one place • Review and select what to keep, delete duplicates and unimportant stuff • Organise it with folders and file names • Store multiple copies in multiple places • Repeat
  15. 15. Some Guiding Principles • Make an inventory of what you have and where • Archiving is not just keeping, it’s also deleting • Printing is not the solution • ‘Archiving’ an email means ‘hiding’ – it’s not the same thing • You really do have to do all those pesky updates. It’s a security issue. • Act now!
  16. 16. Outline of Topics • File Naming & Folder Structure • Describing Things • File Formats • Digital Images & Video • Email & Calendars • Web & Social Media Content • Back-up & Storage • Copyright & Personal Data • Further Resources
  17. 17. File Naming & Folder Structure • Use unique and descriptive file names (but keep it short) • Avoid the use of spaces and special characters • Dashes & Underscores instead • Use the ISO standard format for dates: YYYYMMDD • Don’t change the file extension through re- naming • Use a consistent method for showing versions, such as: 20190926_ProfessionalCV_v1
  18. 18. Cont’d… Tip: some devices automatically assign a file name, such as cameras. Take the time to change the file name or individual photos may become impossible to find!
  19. 19. Cont’d… • Create folders for meaningful categories • Type: photos, videos, documents, etc • Function: finances, family holidays, etc • Create logical folder names • Would someone else be able to find what they’re looking for? • Consider organising by year 20190926_PersonalDigitalArchiving_Dublin 20191004_DigitalPreservationForAll_London 20200214_LoveInTheTimeOfArchives_Verona
  20. 20. Describe Your Stuff Metadata: information about information • Date of creation • Creator • Description identifying people, places, or location Some of this information will be automatically embedded in files.
  21. 21. Cont’d… • Add tags (“embedded metadata”) • Properties (Windows) • Get Info (Mac) • Photo-editing applications usually also allow for adding embedded information Photos can’t be searched like text (yet), so to find images they must be described with textual metadata.
  22. 22. Cont’d…
  23. 23. File Formats • Open: more software programmes will be able to open • Non-proprietary: lower risk of format owner going out of business or ending support • Lower risk of getting trapped in cycle of purchasing updated software • Uncompressed: bigger files, more information (e.g. TIFF) • Compressed: smaller files, less information (e.g. JP2)
  24. 24. Cont’d… Some Recommended Files Formats from Jenny O’Neill, Data Manager at UCD Library
  25. 25. … or to a more stable format Cont’d… Update files to newer file types
  26. 26. Digital Images & Video Where are your photos & videos? • Laptop • Family desktop • Mobile phone • Social media platform • Photo sharing platform • Memory cards • CDs?! • Old digital camera?!?! • Work computer?!?!?!
  27. 27. Digital Images & Video Digital images and video take up a lot of space and require careful planning for storing and backing up with extra copies.
  28. 28. Email & Calendars Email • Make use of labelling and sorting • Delete unimportant emails • Download and save important attachments • Outlook and similar mail services allow export • Gmail and platforms a bit trickier…
  29. 29. Download Gmail message as .EML file Step 1: Open relevant email message and show more options by clicking three dots beside reply and select ‘Show Original’
  30. 30. Step 2: Download Original
  31. 31. Step 3: Save EML file to desired location
  32. 32. Cont’d… Calendars • Use a consistent approach to creating events and meetings • Make use of colour-coding • Outlook allows export • Google Calendar also supports export
  33. 33. Export Google Calendar
  34. 34. Web & Social Media Content • Websites • Blogs Tip: Take photos and videos with your phone camera and share to social media rather than relying on capturing and saving them in the platform itself. Download photos and videos on platforms to local storage. • Social Media Platforms • Sharing Platforms Your Web Content
  35. 35. Cont’d… Some approaches to capturing web content • Webrecorder.io • HTTrack • Download data from platform
  36. 36. Webrecorder.io by Rhizome
  37. 37. HTTrack Website Copier
  38. 38. Platform ‘Self-Archiving’ Download your social media • Service for account holder – Behind log-in • Differs from platform to platform • Some external tools, not built into the platform, also exist for downloading social media
  39. 39. Google (Takeout): Download Your Data Twitter (Settings – Account – Your Twitter Data): Download your Twitter Data Facebook (Settings – Your Facebook Information): Download Your Information InstaPort (free download): Download Your Data Whatsapp: Back-up to Google Drive
  40. 40. Back-up & Storage Storage • Hard disk drives • Desktop • Laptop • Tablet • Mobile phone Removal Storage • External Hard drives • Flash drives • CDs • DVDs • Floppy Disks Cloud Storage • Dropbox • Microsoft One Drive • Google Drive • Amazon Drive
  41. 41. Cont’d… Storage • Hard disk drives • Desktop • Laptop • Tablet • Mobile phone Removal Storage • External Hard drives • Flash drives • CDs • DVDs • Floppy Disks Cloud Storage • Dropbox • Microsoft One Drive • Google Drive • Amazon Drive
  42. 42. Long-term Archival Storage
  43. 43. Refresh Storage Media
  44. 44. Level-up Your Archiving Geek Fixity Checking: use a tool to create unique checksums for your files and check them over time Check out: ‘Fixity’ tool by AVP
  45. 45. Recap • Keep 2+ copies of all your files • Keep a copy in a different location (e.g. cloud) • Don’t use the same storage media for each copy • Use password protection For example: 1 copy on laptop 1 copy on external hard drive 1 copy on Dropbox
  46. 46. Copyright & Personal Data Copyright & IPR • Creator vs. Owner (social media *cough*) • Thoughtful re-use • Use Creative Commons!
  47. 47. Cont’d… GDPR & Personal Data Personal Data? • Any identifying information about you • Much easier to combine data in digital form to match or find individuals Who must comply? • EU Organisations • Any service, even outside the EU, that holds personal data of EU citizens Where to raise issues? • Complaints to Data Protection Commission
  48. 48. Further Resources DPC Technology Watch Report Personal Digital Archiving by Gabriela Redwine http://dx.doi.org/10.720 7/twr15-01
  49. 49. http://libguides.ucd.ie/ld.php?content_id=32467254
  50. 50. https://dpconline.org/knowledge-base/dp-topical-notes
  51. 51. ‘Personal Digital Archiving Strategies’ by Kari Smith and Jessica Venlet from MIT Libraries, https://wayback.archive- it.org/7963/20190802202912/https:/libraries.mit.edu/digit al- archives/files/2015/10/2015_pda_handoutdissemination- v3.pdf ‘Personal Archiving’, Digital Preservation blog at the US Library of Congress http://digitalpreservation.gov/personalarchiving/ ‘Save Your Social Media’ by Sara Day Thomson (2019), DPC Blog, https://www.dpconline.org/blog/save-your-social- media ‘Personal Archives Accessible in Digital Media (PARADIGM) Project’ carried out by the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester, http://www.paradigm.ac.uk/
  52. 52. Thank You! Digital Repository of Ireland and National Archives! And a giant thank you to Jenny O’Neill for generously sharing her personal digital archiving presentation materials!
  53. 53. ?
  54. 54. This presentation is available under the CC license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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