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Managing Digital Content Over Time: Identify and Select


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Presented by Sarah Grimm (Wisconsin Historical Society) and Emily Pfotenhauer (WiLS) for the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians (WAAL) conference, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, April 25, 2013. Content based on Modules 1 & 2 of the Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE) Baseline Digital Preservation Curriculum developed by the Library of Congress.

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Managing Digital Content Over Time: Identify and Select

  1. 1. Managing Digital ContentOver TimeSarah Grimm, WHSEmily Pfotenhauer, WiLSSlides and by WHRAB
  2. 2. Managing Digital ContentOver Time:Identifying ContentSupported by WHRAB
  3. 3. DPOE MissionThe mission of the Digital PreservationOutreach and Education (DPOE)program of the Library of Congressis to encourage individualsand organizations to activelypreserve their digital content, buildingon a collaborative network of instructors,contributors, and institutional partners.
  4. 4. Six Training Modules Identify - what digital content do you have? Select - what portion of that content will bepreserved? Store - how should your content be storedfor the long term? Protect - what steps are needed to protectyour digital content? Manage - what provisions are needed forlong-term management? Provide - how should your content be madeavailable over time?
  5. 5. What is Digital Content? Digital content is any content that ispublished or distributed in a digitalform, including text, data, soundrecordings , photographs and images,motion pictures, and software.◦ Digital materials created from analogsources◦ Born-digital content Digital materials you currently have orcreate – or expect to have – that youwant to preserve.
  6. 6. What’s the Problem? Increasing amounts of digital assetsare arriving on our doorstep The digital assets arrive in all formatsand on all formats Time sensitive - the longer we wait orthe longer our donors wait theincreased chance that something willbe unreadable
  7. 7. Digital Reality in 2013 Everyone is◦ creating digital content◦ distributing digital content◦ using digital content And we are responsible formanaging digital content now orexpecting to in the near future
  8. 8. What are the Challenges?Who takes the lead?What can I do?Where do I start?The impedimentsToo complex (I don’t understand...)Too daunting (I don’t have time...)Too technical, etc. (Computers scare me...)
  9. 9. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  10. 10. Digital PreservationDigital preservation combines policies,strategies and actions to ensureaccess to reformatted and born digitalcontent regardless of the challenges ofmedia failure and technological change.The goal of digital preservation is theaccurate rendering of authenticatedcontent over time.Working group on Defining Digital Preservation, ALA Annual Conference, 6/24/2007
  11. 11. Why Do We Identify Content? Not all digital content can or should bepreserved Preservation requires an explicitcommitment of resources Good preservation decisions are basedon an understanding of the possiblecontent to be preserved
  12. 12. First Steps• Identifying content is a first step to planningfor current and future preservation needs• Ask: what contentdo I have,will I have,might I have,must I have?An inventory is the best way to identify whatcontent you have now – and raise awarenessin your institution.
  13. 13. Does your institution havean inventory of yourdigital content?
  14. 14. If not, do you need permissionto begin an inventory project?
  15. 15. Inventory Considerations Inventory content more important than styleand format Inventory results should be:◦ Documented: an inventory shouldactually exist◦ Usable: use a simple format to sort, list,etc.◦ Available: accessible to others◦ Scalable: content will be added duringSelect◦ Current: update periodically
  16. 16. Inventory Tips Don’t let implementing the softwarebecome the focus. Use software you know and haveavailable Stick with a single format; dontchange once youve decided on it. Be consistent, comprehensive, andconcise
  17. 17. How Much Detail to Include Inventories can be general to detailed Determine appropriate level of detail for you Factors in determining level of detail:◦ Extent of content to be inventoried◦ Nature & location of content◦ Resources available to completeinventory◦ Timeframe & deadlines for completion
  18. 18. What Do You Have? Identify collections of digital materials. Provide a brief title and description Estimate growth over time ***
  19. 19. Who Manages It? Department – currently managing thecollection/digital content Staff – primary people responsible Creator (Internal or External) – whocreated the digital content
  20. 20. What does it consist of? Medium (6cds, 1 hard drive) Extent = Format + Amount(600 .pdfs, 30 .doc) File Size – (MB, GB, TB)
  21. 21. Date ConsiderationsInventories should note:• Date of inventory and updates to it• Dates associated with the content(18721901)• Date of files – created or modified (2009)• Date received – if relevant / possible (2010)
  22. 22. Content LocationLocations of content are important :• List primary locations (Network drivelocation, Storage device, Bob’s shelf• List locations of all backups/copies (CDsin the storage room, weekly backuptapes)Remember to change locations as contentmoves
  23. 23. Analyze the ResultsWhen the inventory is complete, askyourselves what digital content◦ do we have that we didn’t know about?◦ should we be keeping that we aren’tnow?◦ will we create or likely acquire in thefuture?◦ are we required to keep?◦ do we need to review?
  24. 24. Goals Identify potential digital content youmay need to preserve Treat the inventory as a managementtool that grows as your preservationprogram grows Use it as a planning tool – e.g., toprepare staff, training, annual growth Use as a basis for acquiringcontent, defining submissionagreements, plans
  25. 25. Managing Digital ContentOver Time:Selecting Content toPreserveSupported by WHRAB
  26. 26. Six Training Modules Identify - what digital content do you have? Select - what portion of that contentwill be preserved? Store - how should your content be storedfor the long term? Protect - what steps are needed to protectyour digital content? Manage - what provisions are needed forlong-term management? Provide - how should your content be madeavailable over time?
  27. 27. Why select content topreserve?Log jam on the St. Croix River, 1886Wisconsin Historical Society WHi-2364
  28. 28. ● Cost: storage may be cheap,management is not…especially overtime● Discovery and disseminationservices: scale, scope, performance,sustainability● Quality of content may be variable● Matching mission to contentWhy select content topreserve?
  29. 29. Basic Steps Review your potential digitalcontent (go back to inventory) Define - then apply - selectioncriteria Document (and preserve)selection decisions Implement your decisions(Store, Protect, Manage, andProvide modules)Picking fruitWisconsin Historical Society WHi-67733
  30. 30. What criteria should be used toselect digital content for preservation?Postal workers sorting mail, 1955Wisconsin Historical Society WHi-36392
  31. 31. Selection Criteria Mission: Scope of Collections, CollectingPolicies Records retention manuals/policies (internalor externally mandated) Legal & ethical requirements (professionalbodies; your stakeholders; future users) Uniqueness (only source or preservedelsewhere? Avoid duplication) Value (historical, evidential, can’treproduce?)
  32. 32. Practical ConsiderationsStop if or when the answer is NO● Content– Does the content have long-term value?– Does it fit your scope and mission?● Technical– Is it feasible for you to preserve thecontent?● Access– Is it possible to make the contentavailable?– Are you the only holder of this content?
  33. 33. Setting PrioritiesAsk yourself which digital content is● most significant to your organization?● most extensive?● most requested/used?● easiest?● oldest?● newest?● mandated?● at risk?
  34. 34. Include Creators in theProcess● Communication is key, particularly whencontent comes from external creators● Keep content creators in the conversation● Arrange a convenient time for them totalk about your preservation plans● Identify list of materials to review withthem● Document the results and send them acopy
  35. 35. Selection DocumentationSupplement your inventory with moredetailed information about the materialyou plan to preserve over the long term. Use◦ What’s the lifespan of the content?◦ Will its value/use change over time?◦ Retention period
  36. 36. Access and rights Access◦ How will the public access the content?◦ Is access restricted? How? For howlong? Rights◦ Who owns the rights to preserve anddisseminate?
  37. 37. Prioritizing Data criticality◦ Is it only in digital form? Do we hold theonly copy? Business/mission criticality◦ If we lose it, what’s the damage to ourreputation? How will it impact ourfunction or services?
  38. 38. Goals/Outcomes• Expanded inventory of content topreserve…and what you can delete (gray areasidentified)• Agreements with content creators e.g.submission agreements, retentionschedules• Well-defined and documented selectioncriteria, policies and procedures• Better understanding of content forfuture planning and growthGreater knowledge = greater control!
  39. 39. Identify and Select in Practice“You’ve Got to Walk Before You CanRun: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on PhysicalMedia”Ricky Erway, OCLC Research
  40. 40. Four Essential Principles Do no harm Don’t do anything that prevents futureaction and use Take action Document what you do
  41. 41. A Typical ScenarioDigital materials on physical media(CDs, flash drives, floppy disks, etc.)have been stored along with othercollection materials without having beencopied, preserved, or made accessible.
  42. 42. Inventory1. Survey your holdings2. Count and describe digital media withincollection3. Remove media from collection (retainorder with photographs or separatorsheets)4. Assign inventory numbers5. Calculate amount of data6. Re-house physical media in suitablestorage
  43. 43. SelectPrioritize for further treatment (e.g.migration, online access) based on: Significance and use of overallcollection Danger of loss of content(degradation) Replication in analog form Value of digital vs. analog format Quantity of digital content
  44. 44. Questions?Sarah Grimm (WHS)sarah.grimm@wisconsinhistory.orgEmily Pfotenhauer (WiLS)