Keeping Memories Alive
Preserving Your Family’s Digital Legacy
Winchester Historical Society
April 10, 2014
Helen K. Baile...
Digital is forever!
Photo Credit: jurvetson via Compfight cc
2
Everyday Loss
Photo Credit: Jacob Whittaker via Compfight cc
3
Disasters
Photo Credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Compfight cc
4
Security and Privacy
Photo Credit: Clint Chilcott via Compfight cc
5
Business Failure
Photo Credit: cote via Compfight cc
6
Obsolescence
Photo Credit: x-ray delta one via
Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via
Compfight cc
Computer, circa 198...
Bit Rot
• Find a picture, or make one of 1’s and 0’s turning into junk
Photo Credit: Jacob Whittaker via Compfight cc
8
Photo Credit: Sarabbit via Compfight cc 9
Information Overload
Photo Credit: Intersection Consulting via Compfight cc
10
Life Cycle Model
Photo Credit: Digital Curation Center cc
11
Life Cycle Model (modified)
Create
Gather
Select
Process
Organize
Store
Maintain
Review
12
Digital items of concern:
VideosPhotographs Documents
13
Creating
14
Creating
File format decisions:
• Open is better than closed
• Uncompressed is better than compressed
• Long-lived is bett...
Creating
Media Type Format Open vs.
Closed
Compressed
vs.
Uncompressed
Been Around
Since…
Popularity
Image JPEG
TIFF
Open
...
Creating
vs.
Photo Credit: Steve Ward Nature Photography via Compfight cc
17
Gathering
Photo Credit: SydneyWalker via Compfight cc
18
Gathering
Photo Credit: Alpstedt via Compfight cc
19
Gathering
Photo Credit: grilled cheese via Compfight cc
20
Selecting
?
Photo Credit: flatworldsedge via Compfight cc
21
Selecting
Files to keep:
• Unique, irreplaceable files
• Files that constitute a personal record
• Files you will want to ...
Selecting
Photo Credit: spadger via Compfight cc
23
Processing
• Reformat?
Photo Credit: old_skool_paul via Compfight cc
24
Processing
• Encrypt?
25
Organizing
File naming:
• Keep it short
• Be descriptive, but not too descriptive
• Left to right – unique to general info...
Organizing
• Directory Structure:
• Easy to understand
• Representative of content
• Think about 10-years-from-now you, no...
Organizing
• Tagging / embedding information (metadata):
• Adds meaning beyond file names
• Adds to search capability, esp...
Organizing
• Common tags:
• Dates
• Subjects
• Location (GPS)
• Purpose
• Version
29
Organizing
• A few tagging tools (these all embed metadata):
• Adobe Bridge
• Apple iPhoto
• Windows Photo Gallery
30
Storing
Photo Credit: Forrestal_PL via Compfight cc
31
Storing
Photo Credit: perpetualplum via Compfight cc
12
3
32
Storing
• Factors for choosing storage options include:
• Cost and time
• Quantity (size and number of files)
• Expertise ...
Storing
• Hard disk drives
(spinning disk)
• Inexpensive per
amount of storage
• Requires manual
copying/maintenance
• Gre...
Storing
• Solid State Drives
(flash memory):
• More expensive per
amount of storage
• Easier to transport
• Variable sizes...
Storing
Photo Credit: bobbigmac via Compfight cc
36
Storing
• Cloud storage:
• Cost varies by service provider
• Often automatic backup/updating
process, which reduces manual...
Maintaining
• Retrieve and spot check
• Use, use, use!
• Refresh external storage media roughly every 5 years
38
Reviewing
Photo Credit: This Is Me Smiling via Compfight cc
39
Preserved!
Photo Credit: Lisa Ouellette via Compfight cc
40
Thank you! Questions?
• hbailey@mit.edu
• http://bitsandpages.wordpress.com/
41
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Keeping Memories Alive: Preserving Your Family's Digital Legacy

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Slides from my talk at the Winchester (MA) Historical Society on April 10, 2014. The presentation covered practical tips for preserving personal digital photos and documents.

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Keeping Memories Alive: Preserving Your Family's Digital Legacy

  1. 1. Keeping Memories Alive Preserving Your Family’s Digital Legacy Winchester Historical Society April 10, 2014 Helen K. Bailey Fellow for Digital Curation and Preservation MIT Libraries
  2. 2. Digital is forever! Photo Credit: jurvetson via Compfight cc 2
  3. 3. Everyday Loss Photo Credit: Jacob Whittaker via Compfight cc 3
  4. 4. Disasters Photo Credit: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Compfight cc 4
  5. 5. Security and Privacy Photo Credit: Clint Chilcott via Compfight cc 5
  6. 6. Business Failure Photo Credit: cote via Compfight cc 6
  7. 7. Obsolescence Photo Credit: x-ray delta one via Compfight cc Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc Computer, circa 1980 Computer, circa 2010 7
  8. 8. Bit Rot • Find a picture, or make one of 1’s and 0’s turning into junk Photo Credit: Jacob Whittaker via Compfight cc 8
  9. 9. Photo Credit: Sarabbit via Compfight cc 9
  10. 10. Information Overload Photo Credit: Intersection Consulting via Compfight cc 10
  11. 11. Life Cycle Model Photo Credit: Digital Curation Center cc 11
  12. 12. Life Cycle Model (modified) Create Gather Select Process Organize Store Maintain Review 12
  13. 13. Digital items of concern: VideosPhotographs Documents 13
  14. 14. Creating 14
  15. 15. Creating File format decisions: • Open is better than closed • Uncompressed is better than compressed • Long-lived is better than new-and-untested • Common is better than unfamiliar 15
  16. 16. Creating Media Type Format Open vs. Closed Compressed vs. Uncompressed Been Around Since… Popularity Image JPEG TIFF Open Proprietary Compressed Uncompressed 1992 1986 Very common Common Audio MP3 WAVE Open Proprietary* Compressed Depends** 1993 1991 Very common Common Video MP4 AVI Open Proprietary* Compressed Depends** 2001 1992 Very common Common Word Processing DOC ODF Closed Open Uncompressed Uncompressed 1983 2005 Very common Less common eBook ePub AZW (Kindle) Open Proprietary* Compressed Compressed 2007 2007 Common Common * Proprietary doesn’t necessarily mean closed, but it does mean it’s owned by a private company. ** Audio and video formats are usually wrappers that can contain either compressed or uncompressed encodings of the content. 16
  17. 17. Creating vs. Photo Credit: Steve Ward Nature Photography via Compfight cc 17
  18. 18. Gathering Photo Credit: SydneyWalker via Compfight cc 18
  19. 19. Gathering Photo Credit: Alpstedt via Compfight cc 19
  20. 20. Gathering Photo Credit: grilled cheese via Compfight cc 20
  21. 21. Selecting ? Photo Credit: flatworldsedge via Compfight cc 21
  22. 22. Selecting Files to keep: • Unique, irreplaceable files • Files that constitute a personal record • Files you will want to refer back to or use again • Files you created and own 22
  23. 23. Selecting Photo Credit: spadger via Compfight cc 23
  24. 24. Processing • Reformat? Photo Credit: old_skool_paul via Compfight cc 24
  25. 25. Processing • Encrypt? 25
  26. 26. Organizing File naming: • Keep it short • Be descriptive, but not too descriptive • Left to right – unique to general info • Avoid spaces and special characters “DSCN_0001.JPG” vs. “photo 2012 apple picking in Vermont with cousin Steve YAY!!!.jpg” vs. “001_2012_Vermont_trip.jpg” 26
  27. 27. Organizing • Directory Structure: • Easy to understand • Representative of content • Think about 10-years-from-now you, not current-you 27
  28. 28. Organizing • Tagging / embedding information (metadata): • Adds meaning beyond file names • Adds to search capability, especially for non-textual items (photos, video) • May be more important to add metadata to certain formats (photographs) 28
  29. 29. Organizing • Common tags: • Dates • Subjects • Location (GPS) • Purpose • Version 29
  30. 30. Organizing • A few tagging tools (these all embed metadata): • Adobe Bridge • Apple iPhoto • Windows Photo Gallery 30
  31. 31. Storing Photo Credit: Forrestal_PL via Compfight cc 31
  32. 32. Storing Photo Credit: perpetualplum via Compfight cc 12 3 32
  33. 33. Storing • Factors for choosing storage options include: • Cost and time • Quantity (size and number of files) • Expertise (skills required to manage) • Ready access vs. “archive” 33
  34. 34. Storing • Hard disk drives (spinning disk) • Inexpensive per amount of storage • Requires manual copying/maintenance • Great for both files and complete system backup • Less reliable than flash storage Photo Credit: Peter Huys via Compfight cc 34
  35. 35. Storing • Solid State Drives (flash memory): • More expensive per amount of storage • Easier to transport • Variable sizes and housing • More reliable than spinning disk Photo Credit: Nicholas Erwin via Compfight cc 35
  36. 36. Storing Photo Credit: bobbigmac via Compfight cc 36
  37. 37. Storing • Cloud storage: • Cost varies by service provider • Often automatic backup/updating process, which reduces manual time • Less privacy; read terms of service! • Dependence on a third party (what happens to your content if they go out of business?) Photo Credit: AJC1 via Flickr cc 37
  38. 38. Maintaining • Retrieve and spot check • Use, use, use! • Refresh external storage media roughly every 5 years 38
  39. 39. Reviewing Photo Credit: This Is Me Smiling via Compfight cc 39
  40. 40. Preserved! Photo Credit: Lisa Ouellette via Compfight cc 40
  41. 41. Thank you! Questions? • hbailey@mit.edu • http://bitsandpages.wordpress.com/ 41

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