Implementing digital preservation strategy: collection profiling at the British Library
Implementing Digital Preservation Strategy: Collection Profiling at the British Library
Michael Day, Akiko Kimura, Maureen Pennock The British Library
Ann MacDonald University of Kent, Canterbury
Digital Libraries 2014, London, 8-12 September 2014
•The British Library context
•Identifying high-level collection types
•Developing a framework for collection profiling
The British Library context (1)
•The British Library is increasingly a digital library
–The result of digitisation activities and partnerships that have been operating over many years, covering many different content streams, e.g. books, newspapers, maps, sound content, manuscripts and archives
–The collection of ‘born-digital’ content, initially through negotiation or voluntary deposit, e.g. geographical data, personal archives
–Since April 2013, facilitated through the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013, e.g. for collection of e-journals, eBooks and Web content (domain harvesting)
The British Library context (2)
–Investment in the means to acquire, store and manage large amounts of digital content, the Digital Library System (DLS)
–British Library Content Strategy, 2013-2015
–British Library Digital Preservation Strategy, 2013-2016
•Digital Preservation Team
–Established in 2005, now part of Collection Management
–Enabling the implementation of appropriate and timely preservation practices across the Library
The British Library context (3)
•Documenting preservation requirements, includes:
–What content do we have and what is important about it? (collection profiling)
–Assessments of file formats, preservation tools, workflows, etc. to inform preservation planning
•Aims of collection profiling:
–Documenting key knowledge about the Library’s top-tier digital collections
–Considering preservation requirements / preservation intent for these collections
–A tool for liaising with curators and collection specialists
Identifying high-level collection types (2)
•Taxonomy of high-level collections:
–No standard list of content types
–Various lists are available on the Library website and catalogue, but they are inconsistent
–Needed a pragmatic starting point for collection profiling:
•Developed a new taxonomy based on the Library’s existing digital asset register
•Attempted to identify logical groupings, e.g. ignoring distinctions between digitised and ‘born-digital’ content, where possible
•It is not perfect (subject to revision)
Identifying high-level collection types (3)
Digitised printed books
Manuscripts / Archives
Personal digital archives
Digitised Music Collections
Digital mapping supplied by Ordnance Survey (GIS)
Identifying high-level collection types (4)
Voluntary deposit e-Journals
Open UK Web Archive
Legal Deposit UK Web Archive
Sound / multimedia
Archive sound recordings
Sound Archive (field recordings)
Digitised sound / video
Collection profile framework (1)
–MIT Libraries - Digital Content Reviews (DCR) for Life Cycle Management
–Purdue University Libraries - Data Curation Profiles
–National Library of Australia - Preservation Intent Statements
Collection profile framework (2)
Content Type (from high-level list).
Curators / collection owners.
Legal Deposit status.
Number of digital objects (approximate).
An introduction to the content type, providing background on the collection/s covered by the profile.
Identifying the main current acquisition routes for collection content.
Summary of points agreed by curators / content owners, identifying the main characteristics of collections that will need to be preserved.
Identifying the main formats currently being acquired (where collections are complex, this does not need to be exhaustive).
Highlighting any specific current challenges.
Information about the completed collection profile itself, e.g. identifying creators, dates, and status / version number.
Current draft profiles
•Draft profiles worked on so far:
–e-Journals (including Legal Deposit content)
–eBooks (including Legal Deposit content)
–Web content (including Legal Deposit content)
–Archives and manuscripts
–The complexity of collections - many are modular aggregations of many other kinds of content, e.g. text, images, video, sound, games, software, data, etc.
–Rapidly changing user-expectations - it is difficult to specify preservation intent (and it will change over time)
•Collection profiling and preservation planning
–Integrating collection profiling with other digital preservation activities
–Collection profiling is just a starting point (profiles will need to be reviewed on a regular basis)