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Digital Preservation in Perspective:
                  How far have we come, and what's next?

                                           Jeff Rothenberg
                                            March 26, 2012




                                                                               Color photo by Jeff Rothenberg
Jeff Rothenberg       Future Perfect 3/26/2012               Rev: 2012-03-24
A brief history of digital preservation
          • Early statements of the problem
                  – Jay Bolter, Margaret Hedstrom, David Bearman
                  – Avra Michelson’s & my 1992 American Archivist paper
                  – My 1995 Scientific American article
                  – Into the Future film (CLIR, 1997; shown on PBS)
                  – Tora Bikson’s & my 1999 report for the Dutch National Archives

          • Gradual recognition of the problem
                  – By librarians, archivists, modern museum curators
                  – But without much technological depth of understanding in most cases
                  – OAIS Preservation Planning assumed migration, though admits problems

          • Some experiments & demonstrations
                  – U. Leeds & U. Mich: CEDARS & CAMiLEON projects; BBC Domesday Book
                  – Dutch National Archives Testbed: migration & UVC “data archiving”
                  – UCSD Supercomputing Center & NARA: formalisms (e-mail only)
                  – Guggenheim “ErlKing” renewal project
                  – Dutch Royal Library (KB): Dioscuri emulator & eDepot

          • Few serious attempts at implementation
                  – Most implementations essentially ignore long-term preservation

Jeff Rothenberg             Future Perfect 3/26/2012                  Rev: 2012-03-24     Chart 0
Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 1
Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 2
Color photo by Jeff Rothenberg
Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 3
Outline

                  • What should we mean by digital preservation?

                  • Levels of awareness of the problem

                  • Responses

                  • Distinctions across disciplines

                  • Remaining challenges




Jeff Rothenberg     Future Perfect 3/26/2012             Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 4
What should preservation mean?


     “The goal of digital preservation is the accurate rendering of authenticated
      content over time.”
                                                         —ALA “medium” definition




Jeff Rothenberg      Future Perfect 3/26/2012              Rev: 2012-03-24          Chart 5
Preserve originals as well as “vernacular renditions”

                          The Canterbury Tales
                  Original                                 Vernacular Rendition
Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote              When in April the sweet showers fall
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote         That pierce March’s drought to the root and all



And specially from every shires ende                  And specially from every shire’s end
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,               Of England they to Canterbury went,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke                  The holy blessed martyr there to seek
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke.      Who helped them when they lay so ill and weak


• Used by scholars for serious research               • Used by non-scholars for casual research
• Used to generate & evaluate vernacular renditions   • May be used by scholars for research as well
• Accessed by non-scholars for aesthetic purposes     • Not thought of as a preservation copy
     (with help, e.g., see below)                     • Not used as a source for later vernacular
                                                           renditions




Jeff Rothenberg         Future Perfect 3/26/2012                      Rev: 2012-03-24               Chart 6
A particular “view” of information may be crucial
                         Example: Space Shuttle O-ring damage vs. temperature
                                         Prior to Challenger


                 3   1
Levels of
                 2                                                                       1
 O-ring
damage           1         1    1       1                                2
                 0                              1          3   1    1    2      1   1    1        2       1     1    1    1
                     53    57   58     63      66      67      68   69   70   72    73   75      76      78     79   80   81

                                                               Temperature °F




   Jeff Rothenberg              Future Perfect 3/26/2012                                      Rev: 2012-03-24                  Chart 7
Revealing View of Space Shuttle O-ring Data

                  Extrapolation of damage curve to the 31o F
                  temperature forecast for Challenger’s
                  launch on January 28, 1986.



                                                   Dots indicate temperature and O-ring damage for 24
                                                   successful launches prior to Challenger. Curve shows
                                                   that increasing damage is related to cooler temperature.
   3                                                                                                           3



   2                                                                                                           2



   1                                                                                                           1



   0                                                                                                           0
          30o       35o   40o        45o          50o     55o    60o     65o   70o        75o     80o   85o

                                                        Temperature oF



Jeff Rothenberg             Future Perfect 3/26/2012                            Rev: 2012-03-24               Chart 8
Furthermore, many digital artifacts are inherently digital

    • Inherently digital artifacts are those whose perceptibility, meaning, or
       usability arise from and rely on their being encoded in digital form

    • They cannot be meaningfully represented as page images
            – Doing so loses essential aspects of their contents and/or behavior


    • Examples include dynamic, active or interactive artifacts
            – Multimedia (e.g., web pages, CD-ROM publications, Ph.D. dissertations)
            – Dynamically generated (e.g., JavaScript, cgi, ASP or PHP web pages, Servelets)
            – Active presentation (e.g., animation, simulation, virtual reality)
            – Interactive (e.g., applets, interactive virtual reality, games)
            – Digital artwork




Jeff Rothenberg            Future Perfect 3/26/2012                     Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 9
What you see is not what you get

                  V2.24 ERwin
                   if
                     %JoinPKPK(oldrows,newrows,” <> “,” or “)
                   then
                     select count(*) into numrows
                       from %Child
                       where
                         %JoinFKPK(%Child,oldrows,” = “,” and”);
                     if (numrows > 0)
                     then
                       signal parent_updrstrct_err
                     end if;
                   end if;
                   if
                     %JoinPKPK(oldrows,newrows,” <> “,” or “)
                   then
                     update %Child
                       set
                         %JoinFKPK(%Child,newrows,” = “,”,”)
                       where
                         %JoinFKPK(%Child,oldrows,” = “,” and”);



Jeff Rothenberg    Future Perfect 3/26/2012             Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 10
Render unto seer...




Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012               Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 11
In fact, every digital artifact is a program

                  • A program
                     – Is a sequence of commands in some formal language
                     – That is intended to be interpreted
                     – By an interpreter that understands that language


                  • An interpreter
                     – Is an active process
                     – That knows how to perform commands
                     – Specified in a given formal language


                  • Interpretation ultimately involves hardware
                     – ASCII codes are rendered by a printer or display
                     – More complex entities are interpreted by software (applications)
                     – But all software is ultimately interpreted by hardware




Jeff Rothenberg            Future Perfect 3/26/2012                  Rev: 2012-03-24      Chart 12
Digital information promises to last better than analog

        • Digital objects do not decay, fade, tear, crumble, dissolve, etc.
                  – Their media may, but not the bits themselves



        • A bitstream lasts forever
                  – Producing exactly the same behavior, without loss (at least in principle)
                  – So long as it can be interpreted correctly



        • But interpreting a bitstream correctly requires software
                  – And software must be run on hardware (a computer)
                  – A computer is (ultimately) an analog device, that does decay
                  – And both hardware and software become obsolete, long before they decay




Jeff Rothenberg               Future Perfect 3/26/2012                  Rev: 2012-03-24         Chart 13
So the best we can say is...


  “Digital objects last forever — or five years, whichever comes first”




Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012         Rev: 2012-03-24    Chart 14
So the best we can say is...


  “Digital objects last forever — or five years, whichever comes first”



                                        min (   ∞ ,5)




Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012              Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 15
Outline

                  • What should we mean by digital preservation?

                  • Levels of awareness of the problem

                  • Responses

                  • Distinctions across disciplines

                  • Remaining challenges




Jeff Rothenberg     Future Perfect 3/26/2012             Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 16
Levels of awareness of the problem
                   (by disciplines/institutions/individuals)


                            • Innocence

                            • Awakening

                            • Analysis

                            • Looking under the streetlamp

                            • Experimentation/Demonstration

                            • Where are we now?




Jeff Rothenberg     Future Perfect 3/26/2012           Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 17
Innocence

                  • Why should digital artifacts be any different?
                     – Preservation is preservation, isn’t it?



                  • Except for media obsolescence
                     – Isn’t this just analogous to medieval monks copying manuscripts?



                  • Digital artifacts don’t decay or change
                     – Isn’t this a dream come true for preservationists?




Jeff Rothenberg           Future Perfect 3/26/2012                 Rev: 2012-03-24        Chart 18
Awakening


                  • Digital poses unique problems
                     – Media obsolescence
                     – Description (unique and complex attributes)
                     – Cataloging (ephemeral reference, links)
                     – Metadata (unique requirements)
                     – Format/encoding (interpretation, conversion, corruption)
                     – Future rendering (in the face of obsolete software and hardware)


                  • Digital preservation must be proactive
                     – Over relatively short timeframes (5 years?)
                     – Otherwise artifacts are likely to be irretrievably lost




Jeff Rothenberg        Future Perfect 3/26/2012                    Rev: 2012-03-24    Chart 19
Analysis

                  • Digital artifacts
                      – What are their essential characteristics for preservation?

                  • Authenticity
                      – What does this mean for digital artifacts?

                  • Rendering
                      – How can we guarantee proper (or any) rendering in the future?

                  • Preservation
                      – What does (should) this mean for digital artifacts in various disciplines?

                  • Costs
                      – What are the up-front and long-term costs of digital preservation?
                      – How should these costs be paid and by whom?




Jeff Rothenberg               Future Perfect 3/26/2012                  Rev: 2012-03-24        Chart 20
Looking under the streetlamp

            • Metadata
                  – Dublin Core, etc.
                  – Depends on the nature of digital artifacts & technical preservation schemes



            • Reference models
                  – OAIS
                  – Premature in the absence of viable technical preservation schemes



            • Institutional process models
                  – Premature in the absence of defined, viable technical preservation schemes
                  – May tend to lock in approaches that are not viable




Jeff Rothenberg            Future Perfect 3/26/2012                 Rev: 2012-03-24        Chart 21
The Open Archival Information System Reference Model
                             (OAIS)




Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 22
Experimentation/Demonstration

                  • BBC Domesday Book / CAMiLEON Project
                     – Early warning of the need for timely, extreme action
                     – Demonstrated the potential of hardware emulation

                  • Dutch Archives Testbed
                     – “Discovered” that migration is very hard (duh!)

                  • Other emulation examples
                     – Apple’s M68000 emulator for PowerPC
                     – U. Warwick’s EDSAC emulator
                     – Emory U’s MARBL collection
                     – Guggenheim: Renewing the ErlKing
                     – KB’s Dioscuri Emulator

                  • PLANETS, KEEP
                     – Continuing to explore technically viable approaches




Jeff Rothenberg       Future Perfect 3/26/2012                 Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 23
The BBC Domesday / CAMiLEON Project




                  Emulated at the University of Leeds, U.K. (2002)


Jeff Rothenberg           Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 24
EDSAC: the first electronic digital computer




Jeff Rothenberg        Future Perfect 3/26/2012    Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 25
Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 26
Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 27
Renewing the ErlKing
                  • An interactive mixed-media video experience
                     – By Roberta Friedman and Grahame Weinbren
                     – That overlays text and graphics on video content
                     – And branches in response to user touchscreen input




                  • Highly innovative when created in 1982
                     – Pushed the limits of affordable computers and video display
                     – Included a custom-built “authoring” environment
                     – Widely exhibited in major museums and other venues
Jeff Rothenberg           Future Perfect 3/26/2012                Rev: 2012-03-24    Chart 28
The ErlKing in the Guggenheim’s “Seeing Double” Show
                        (March 18, 2004)




Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 29
KB’s Dioscuri Emulator
                  Running my 1982 Calendar/1 Program




Jeff Rothenberg     Future Perfect 3/26/2012   Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 30
Where are we now?

                  • Somewhere between 4 and 5
                     – Looking under the streetlamp
                     – Experimentation/Demonstration



                  • Few end-to-end implementations
                     – Except for page-image artifacts (e.g., LOCKSS, Portico)
                     – And KB eDepot




Jeff Rothenberg       Future Perfect 3/26/2012                Rev: 2012-03-24    Chart 31
Outline

                  • What should we mean by digital preservation?

                  • Levels of awareness of the problem

                  • Responses

                  • Distinctions across disciplines

                  • Remaining challenges




Jeff Rothenberg     Future Perfect 3/26/2012             Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 32
Responses

                  • Denial
                      – What problem?


                  • Wishful thinking
                      – Deus ex machina


                  • Misguided efforts (IMHO)
                      – Digital garden paths


                  • Facing reality
                      – What will it take?


                  • Where are we now?




Jeff Rothenberg      Future Perfect 3/26/2012               Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 33
Denial

                  • Just save bits
                     – And hope for the best (let our grandchildren worry about it)


                  • Expect commercial sector solutions
                     – Microsoft, IBM, etc. will save us


                  • Popular formats will live forever or auto-migrate
                     – (What the ancient Egyptians thought)


                  • Convergent formats like HTML and XML solve everything
                     – But these are really just “scaffold” formats embedding others




Jeff Rothenberg             Future Perfect 3/26/2012                 Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 34
Preservation approaches

           • Save and run obsolete hardware and software
                  – In “computer museums”
                  – To read documents by running the original programs that created them


           • Rely on universal, formal description of logical formats
                  – To allow interpreting those formats in the future
                  – Thereby correctly rendering saved digital artifacts


           • Rely on standards and migration
                  – Expect new programs to read old documents in enduring standard forms
                  – Convert documents from old standards to new ones as standards evolve


           • Rely on emulation of obsolete hardware to run saved software
                  – Requires no migration or conversion (aside from media)
                  – Saves originals in original form




Jeff Rothenberg             Future Perfect 3/26/2012                    Rev: 2012-03-24    Chart 35
Wishful thinking

                    • Metadata is all we need
                            – Describe formats, behavior, etc.


                    • Format migration
                            – The game of “telephone”


                    • Formal encoding (UCSD/NARA-ERA)
                            – Maybe someday


                    • Rely on future cryptography
                            – Counterexample: Hieroglyphics


                    • Digitize to preserve
                            – e.g., Shoah




Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012                       Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 36
Misguided efforts (IMHO)

                  • Focus on short-term preservation
                     – Urgent enough to preclude long-term focus (e.g., JSTOR?)



                  • Reject emulation without understanding it
                     – Seems like smoke and mirrors



                  • LC, NARA-ERA
                     – Full speed ahead and damn the technical realities




Jeff Rothenberg       Future Perfect 3/26/2012                Rev: 2012-03-24     Chart 37
Facing reality

                  • Technological issues
                     – For “inherently digital” artifacts (which will become more prevalent)


                  • Defining/preserving “digital originals”
                     – Retaining original rendering & behavior
                     – Enabling repeated “vernacular extraction” of surrogates


                  • Comparative cost analyses
                     – Informed by technological understanding
                     – Looking at overall lifecycle costs

                  • Realistic process models
                     – Based on technologically viable approaches


                  • Facing long-term issues (KB/IBM-NL eDepot)
                     – Loss of metadata
                     – Partial loss or corruption of archival information package indexes




Jeff Rothenberg              Future Perfect 3/26/2012                    Rev: 2012-03-24       Chart 38
Current implementation efforts
                  • NARA’s ERA project
                     – Ill-conceived: assumed a solution would magically appear


                  • LC still seems somewhat aimless
                     – Lost half their NDIIP funding after 2006 (some since restored)



                  • Most so-called “archiving” efforts ignore preservation
                     – LOCKSS, Portico (journal archiving) offer no real preservation
                     – Internet Archive seems based on wishful thinking


                  • BL proceeding rationally
                     – Pursuing a broadly-based, intelligent strategy



                  • KB may still be in the lead
                     – eDepot designed to address long-term preservation
                     – Using a two-pronged migration/emulation approach
                     – Planets & KEEP projects continuing to explore longer-term issues
Jeff Rothenberg             Future Perfect 3/26/2012                    Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 39
Where are we now?

                          • Still at 1?
                                   – Denial


                          • Somewhere between 2 and 4?
                                   – Misguided efforts
                                   – Facing reality




Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012               Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 40
Outline

                  • What should we mean by digital preservation?

                  • Levels of awareness of the problem

                  • Responses

                  • Distinctions across disciplines

                  • Remaining challenges




Jeff Rothenberg     Future Perfect 3/26/2012             Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 41
Distinctions across contexts

                  • Disciplines: Libraries, Archives, Museums
                     – Archives: preserve “record” value
                     – Libraries: preserve[/contextualize] content/rendering
                     – Museums: preserve/recreate/contextualize experience


                  • Institutions: National, Commercial, NGO
                     – Commercial: film industry, petrochemical, pharma
                           (core vs. ancillary assets)
                     – Shoah Fndn (Spielberg): http://dornsife.usc.edu/vhi/preservation


                  • Individuals
                     – Mostly not yet begun




Jeff Rothenberg          Future Perfect 3/26/2012                 Rev: 2012-03-24         Chart 42
Outline

                  • What should we mean by digital preservation?

                  • Levels of awareness of the problem

                  • Responses

                  • Distinctions across disciplines

                  • Remaining challenges




Jeff Rothenberg     Future Perfect 3/26/2012             Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 43
Remaining challenges

                  • Integrate true long-term perspective
                     – Render “inherently digital” artifacts
                     – Recognize the executability of all digital artifacts
                     – Preserve digital originals and facilitate “vernacular renditions”

                  • Engage the Computer Science (ICT) field
                     – Conference sessions, working groups, etc.

                  • Perform serious cost and process analyses
                     – Based on viable technological approaches

                  • Try some small-scale “end-to-end” demonstrations
                     – Long-term focus
                     – Inherently digital artifacts
                     – Preserve digital originals and produce “vernacular renditions”
                     – Develop and test realistic process models
                     – Instrument, measure, and evaluate:
                          - Authenticity, quality, accessibility, usability, cost
                          - Effort, scalability, reproducibility (of process)


Jeff Rothenberg            Future Perfect 3/26/2012                             Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 44
Expected cost & effectiveness comparisons




                                                    archaeology



                                                                  formalizatio



                                                                                 standards




                                                                                                                           emulation
                                                                                                               migration
           H,M,L: High, Med, Low




                                                                                                 viewers
            +,- : Frequent, Rare


    Cost:
       Per-approach (x 1)
          Create EVM or formalism                     0           H/-             0               0             0          H/-
       Per-platform (x 10)
          Create H/W emulators                        0            0              0              0              0          H/-
          Port to new platforms                       0           L/-            M/-            H/-            M/-         M/-
       Per-format (x 1000)
          Reverse-engineer                            0           H/-            H/-           H/+             H/+          0
          Obtain necessary S/W                        0            0              0            M/+             M/-         L/+
       Per-artifact (x 100,000,000)
          Process at Ingest                          0             H              H             0               0           L
          Convert over time                          0            M/-            H/-           H/+             H/+          0
          Access                                     H            M               L             L               L           L

    Effectiveness:
         On each artifact                             L            M             M               M             M            H
         % of formats handled                         L            L             L               M             L            H
Jeff Rothenberg          Future Perfect 3/26/2012                                            Rev: 2012-03-24                      Chart 45
References for Jeff Rothenberg


                  http://www.JeffRothenberg.org

                           jeff@JeffRothenberg.org




Jeff Rothenberg   Future Perfect 3/26/2012       Rev: 2012-03-24   Chart 46

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Digital Preservation in Perspective: How far have we come, and what's next

  • 1. Digital Preservation in Perspective: How far have we come, and what's next? Jeff Rothenberg March 26, 2012 Color photo by Jeff Rothenberg Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24
  • 2. A brief history of digital preservation • Early statements of the problem – Jay Bolter, Margaret Hedstrom, David Bearman – Avra Michelson’s & my 1992 American Archivist paper – My 1995 Scientific American article – Into the Future film (CLIR, 1997; shown on PBS) – Tora Bikson’s & my 1999 report for the Dutch National Archives • Gradual recognition of the problem – By librarians, archivists, modern museum curators – But without much technological depth of understanding in most cases – OAIS Preservation Planning assumed migration, though admits problems • Some experiments & demonstrations – U. Leeds & U. Mich: CEDARS & CAMiLEON projects; BBC Domesday Book – Dutch National Archives Testbed: migration & UVC “data archiving” – UCSD Supercomputing Center & NARA: formalisms (e-mail only) – Guggenheim “ErlKing” renewal project – Dutch Royal Library (KB): Dioscuri emulator & eDepot • Few serious attempts at implementation – Most implementations essentially ignore long-term preservation Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 0
  • 3. Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 1
  • 4. Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 2
  • 5. Color photo by Jeff Rothenberg Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 3
  • 6. Outline • What should we mean by digital preservation? • Levels of awareness of the problem • Responses • Distinctions across disciplines • Remaining challenges Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 4
  • 7. What should preservation mean? “The goal of digital preservation is the accurate rendering of authenticated content over time.” —ALA “medium” definition Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 5
  • 8. Preserve originals as well as “vernacular renditions” The Canterbury Tales Original Vernacular Rendition Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote When in April the sweet showers fall The droghte of March hath perced to the roote That pierce March’s drought to the root and all And specially from every shires ende And specially from every shire’s end Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende, Of England they to Canterbury went, The hooly blisful martir for to seke The holy blessed martyr there to seek That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seeke. Who helped them when they lay so ill and weak • Used by scholars for serious research • Used by non-scholars for casual research • Used to generate & evaluate vernacular renditions • May be used by scholars for research as well • Accessed by non-scholars for aesthetic purposes • Not thought of as a preservation copy (with help, e.g., see below) • Not used as a source for later vernacular renditions Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 6
  • 9. A particular “view” of information may be crucial Example: Space Shuttle O-ring damage vs. temperature Prior to Challenger 3 1 Levels of 2 1 O-ring damage 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 3 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 53 57 58 63 66 67 68 69 70 72 73 75 76 78 79 80 81 Temperature °F Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 7
  • 10. Revealing View of Space Shuttle O-ring Data Extrapolation of damage curve to the 31o F temperature forecast for Challenger’s launch on January 28, 1986. Dots indicate temperature and O-ring damage for 24 successful launches prior to Challenger. Curve shows that increasing damage is related to cooler temperature. 3 3 2 2 1 1 0 0 30o 35o 40o 45o 50o 55o 60o 65o 70o 75o 80o 85o Temperature oF Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 8
  • 11. Furthermore, many digital artifacts are inherently digital • Inherently digital artifacts are those whose perceptibility, meaning, or usability arise from and rely on their being encoded in digital form • They cannot be meaningfully represented as page images – Doing so loses essential aspects of their contents and/or behavior • Examples include dynamic, active or interactive artifacts – Multimedia (e.g., web pages, CD-ROM publications, Ph.D. dissertations) – Dynamically generated (e.g., JavaScript, cgi, ASP or PHP web pages, Servelets) – Active presentation (e.g., animation, simulation, virtual reality) – Interactive (e.g., applets, interactive virtual reality, games) – Digital artwork Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 9
  • 12. What you see is not what you get V2.24 ERwin if %JoinPKPK(oldrows,newrows,” <> “,” or “) then select count(*) into numrows from %Child where %JoinFKPK(%Child,oldrows,” = “,” and”); if (numrows > 0) then signal parent_updrstrct_err end if; end if; if %JoinPKPK(oldrows,newrows,” <> “,” or “) then update %Child set %JoinFKPK(%Child,newrows,” = “,”,”) where %JoinFKPK(%Child,oldrows,” = “,” and”); Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 10
  • 13. Render unto seer... Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 11
  • 14. In fact, every digital artifact is a program • A program – Is a sequence of commands in some formal language – That is intended to be interpreted – By an interpreter that understands that language • An interpreter – Is an active process – That knows how to perform commands – Specified in a given formal language • Interpretation ultimately involves hardware – ASCII codes are rendered by a printer or display – More complex entities are interpreted by software (applications) – But all software is ultimately interpreted by hardware Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 12
  • 15. Digital information promises to last better than analog • Digital objects do not decay, fade, tear, crumble, dissolve, etc. – Their media may, but not the bits themselves • A bitstream lasts forever – Producing exactly the same behavior, without loss (at least in principle) – So long as it can be interpreted correctly • But interpreting a bitstream correctly requires software – And software must be run on hardware (a computer) – A computer is (ultimately) an analog device, that does decay – And both hardware and software become obsolete, long before they decay Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 13
  • 16. So the best we can say is... “Digital objects last forever — or five years, whichever comes first” Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 14
  • 17. So the best we can say is... “Digital objects last forever — or five years, whichever comes first” min ( ∞ ,5) Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 15
  • 18. Outline • What should we mean by digital preservation? • Levels of awareness of the problem • Responses • Distinctions across disciplines • Remaining challenges Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 16
  • 19. Levels of awareness of the problem (by disciplines/institutions/individuals) • Innocence • Awakening • Analysis • Looking under the streetlamp • Experimentation/Demonstration • Where are we now? Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 17
  • 20. Innocence • Why should digital artifacts be any different? – Preservation is preservation, isn’t it? • Except for media obsolescence – Isn’t this just analogous to medieval monks copying manuscripts? • Digital artifacts don’t decay or change – Isn’t this a dream come true for preservationists? Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 18
  • 21. Awakening • Digital poses unique problems – Media obsolescence – Description (unique and complex attributes) – Cataloging (ephemeral reference, links) – Metadata (unique requirements) – Format/encoding (interpretation, conversion, corruption) – Future rendering (in the face of obsolete software and hardware) • Digital preservation must be proactive – Over relatively short timeframes (5 years?) – Otherwise artifacts are likely to be irretrievably lost Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 19
  • 22. Analysis • Digital artifacts – What are their essential characteristics for preservation? • Authenticity – What does this mean for digital artifacts? • Rendering – How can we guarantee proper (or any) rendering in the future? • Preservation – What does (should) this mean for digital artifacts in various disciplines? • Costs – What are the up-front and long-term costs of digital preservation? – How should these costs be paid and by whom? Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 20
  • 23. Looking under the streetlamp • Metadata – Dublin Core, etc. – Depends on the nature of digital artifacts & technical preservation schemes • Reference models – OAIS – Premature in the absence of viable technical preservation schemes • Institutional process models – Premature in the absence of defined, viable technical preservation schemes – May tend to lock in approaches that are not viable Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 21
  • 24. The Open Archival Information System Reference Model (OAIS) Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 22
  • 25. Experimentation/Demonstration • BBC Domesday Book / CAMiLEON Project – Early warning of the need for timely, extreme action – Demonstrated the potential of hardware emulation • Dutch Archives Testbed – “Discovered” that migration is very hard (duh!) • Other emulation examples – Apple’s M68000 emulator for PowerPC – U. Warwick’s EDSAC emulator – Emory U’s MARBL collection – Guggenheim: Renewing the ErlKing – KB’s Dioscuri Emulator • PLANETS, KEEP – Continuing to explore technically viable approaches Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 23
  • 26. The BBC Domesday / CAMiLEON Project Emulated at the University of Leeds, U.K. (2002) Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 24
  • 27. EDSAC: the first electronic digital computer Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 25
  • 28. Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 26
  • 29. Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 27
  • 30. Renewing the ErlKing • An interactive mixed-media video experience – By Roberta Friedman and Grahame Weinbren – That overlays text and graphics on video content – And branches in response to user touchscreen input • Highly innovative when created in 1982 – Pushed the limits of affordable computers and video display – Included a custom-built “authoring” environment – Widely exhibited in major museums and other venues Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 28
  • 31. The ErlKing in the Guggenheim’s “Seeing Double” Show (March 18, 2004) Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 29
  • 32. KB’s Dioscuri Emulator Running my 1982 Calendar/1 Program Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 30
  • 33. Where are we now? • Somewhere between 4 and 5 – Looking under the streetlamp – Experimentation/Demonstration • Few end-to-end implementations – Except for page-image artifacts (e.g., LOCKSS, Portico) – And KB eDepot Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 31
  • 34. Outline • What should we mean by digital preservation? • Levels of awareness of the problem • Responses • Distinctions across disciplines • Remaining challenges Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 32
  • 35. Responses • Denial – What problem? • Wishful thinking – Deus ex machina • Misguided efforts (IMHO) – Digital garden paths • Facing reality – What will it take? • Where are we now? Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 33
  • 36. Denial • Just save bits – And hope for the best (let our grandchildren worry about it) • Expect commercial sector solutions – Microsoft, IBM, etc. will save us • Popular formats will live forever or auto-migrate – (What the ancient Egyptians thought) • Convergent formats like HTML and XML solve everything – But these are really just “scaffold” formats embedding others Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 34
  • 37. Preservation approaches • Save and run obsolete hardware and software – In “computer museums” – To read documents by running the original programs that created them • Rely on universal, formal description of logical formats – To allow interpreting those formats in the future – Thereby correctly rendering saved digital artifacts • Rely on standards and migration – Expect new programs to read old documents in enduring standard forms – Convert documents from old standards to new ones as standards evolve • Rely on emulation of obsolete hardware to run saved software – Requires no migration or conversion (aside from media) – Saves originals in original form Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 35
  • 38. Wishful thinking • Metadata is all we need – Describe formats, behavior, etc. • Format migration – The game of “telephone” • Formal encoding (UCSD/NARA-ERA) – Maybe someday • Rely on future cryptography – Counterexample: Hieroglyphics • Digitize to preserve – e.g., Shoah Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 36
  • 39. Misguided efforts (IMHO) • Focus on short-term preservation – Urgent enough to preclude long-term focus (e.g., JSTOR?) • Reject emulation without understanding it – Seems like smoke and mirrors • LC, NARA-ERA – Full speed ahead and damn the technical realities Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 37
  • 40. Facing reality • Technological issues – For “inherently digital” artifacts (which will become more prevalent) • Defining/preserving “digital originals” – Retaining original rendering & behavior – Enabling repeated “vernacular extraction” of surrogates • Comparative cost analyses – Informed by technological understanding – Looking at overall lifecycle costs • Realistic process models – Based on technologically viable approaches • Facing long-term issues (KB/IBM-NL eDepot) – Loss of metadata – Partial loss or corruption of archival information package indexes Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 38
  • 41. Current implementation efforts • NARA’s ERA project – Ill-conceived: assumed a solution would magically appear • LC still seems somewhat aimless – Lost half their NDIIP funding after 2006 (some since restored) • Most so-called “archiving” efforts ignore preservation – LOCKSS, Portico (journal archiving) offer no real preservation – Internet Archive seems based on wishful thinking • BL proceeding rationally – Pursuing a broadly-based, intelligent strategy • KB may still be in the lead – eDepot designed to address long-term preservation – Using a two-pronged migration/emulation approach – Planets & KEEP projects continuing to explore longer-term issues Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 39
  • 42. Where are we now? • Still at 1? – Denial • Somewhere between 2 and 4? – Misguided efforts – Facing reality Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 40
  • 43. Outline • What should we mean by digital preservation? • Levels of awareness of the problem • Responses • Distinctions across disciplines • Remaining challenges Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 41
  • 44. Distinctions across contexts • Disciplines: Libraries, Archives, Museums – Archives: preserve “record” value – Libraries: preserve[/contextualize] content/rendering – Museums: preserve/recreate/contextualize experience • Institutions: National, Commercial, NGO – Commercial: film industry, petrochemical, pharma (core vs. ancillary assets) – Shoah Fndn (Spielberg): http://dornsife.usc.edu/vhi/preservation • Individuals – Mostly not yet begun Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 42
  • 45. Outline • What should we mean by digital preservation? • Levels of awareness of the problem • Responses • Distinctions across disciplines • Remaining challenges Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 43
  • 46. Remaining challenges • Integrate true long-term perspective – Render “inherently digital” artifacts – Recognize the executability of all digital artifacts – Preserve digital originals and facilitate “vernacular renditions” • Engage the Computer Science (ICT) field – Conference sessions, working groups, etc. • Perform serious cost and process analyses – Based on viable technological approaches • Try some small-scale “end-to-end” demonstrations – Long-term focus – Inherently digital artifacts – Preserve digital originals and produce “vernacular renditions” – Develop and test realistic process models – Instrument, measure, and evaluate: - Authenticity, quality, accessibility, usability, cost - Effort, scalability, reproducibility (of process) Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 44
  • 47. Expected cost & effectiveness comparisons archaeology formalizatio standards emulation migration H,M,L: High, Med, Low viewers +,- : Frequent, Rare Cost: Per-approach (x 1) Create EVM or formalism 0 H/- 0 0 0 H/- Per-platform (x 10) Create H/W emulators 0 0 0 0 0 H/- Port to new platforms 0 L/- M/- H/- M/- M/- Per-format (x 1000) Reverse-engineer 0 H/- H/- H/+ H/+ 0 Obtain necessary S/W 0 0 0 M/+ M/- L/+ Per-artifact (x 100,000,000) Process at Ingest 0 H H 0 0 L Convert over time 0 M/- H/- H/+ H/+ 0 Access H M L L L L Effectiveness: On each artifact L M M M M H % of formats handled L L L M L H Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 45
  • 48. References for Jeff Rothenberg http://www.JeffRothenberg.org jeff@JeffRothenberg.org Jeff Rothenberg Future Perfect 3/26/2012 Rev: 2012-03-24 Chart 46