Posted on behalf of Jane Humphreys of the BL.
iPRES 2008 Call for Papers
The British Library Conference Centre, St Pancras, London
29 & 30 September 2008
Submission of abstracts is invited to The Fifth International Conference for Preservation of Digital Objects (iPRES 2008), which will be hosted by The British Library at its Conference Centre, in St Pancras, London, on 29&30 September.
The theme of this years’ conference is: Joined up and Working: tools and methods for digital preservation. Papers are invited which present substantial new results, contribute to conceptual foundations of digital preservation or show novel applications of work. Empirical evidence demonstrating what works and what doesn’t is also welcome
Details about the Call for Papers and iPRES 2008 can be found on The British Library web-site at: http://www.bl.uk/ipres2008. Abstracts should be submitted in AAAI Style and restricted to two pages maximum including title, author but excluding references. Submissions should be made through the mailbox: http:firstname.lastname@example.org/ipres08 by 28 May 2008. Speakers will be notified of acceptance on 14 June.
iPRES is a series of international conferences which seek to address issues relating to digital preservation. The conference brings together experts and practitioners across the spectrum of digital preservation disciplines. Registration will open on 12 May 2008
Press release from the Digital Preservation Coalition
Good news the already popular PDF file format adopted by consumers and business alike is one of the most logical formats to preserve today’s electronic information for tomorrow.
According to the latest report released today by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC), Portable Document Format (PDF) is one of the best file formats to preserve electronic documents and ensure their survival for the future. This announcement will allow information officers to follow a standardised approach for preserving electronic documents.
Information management and long–term preservation are major issues facing consumers and businesses in the 21st Century. This report is one of a series where The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) aims to think about and address the challenges facing us.
This report reviews PDF and the newly introduced PDF/Archive (PDF/A) format as a potential solution to the problem of long–term digital preservation. It suggests adopting PDF/A for archiving electronic documents’ as the standard will help preservation and retrieval in the future. It concludes that it can only be done when combined with a comprehensive records management programme and formally established records procedures.
Betsy Fanning, author of the report and director of standards at AIIM, comments, “A standardised approach to preserving electronic documents would be a welcome development for organisations. Without this we could be walking blindly into a digital black hole.”
The National Archives works closely with the DPC with issues surrounding digital preservation and will continue to do so. Adrian Brown, head of digital preservation at The National Archives said: “This report highlights the challenges we all face in a digital age. Using PDF/A as a standard will help information officers ensure that key business data survives. But it should never be viewed as the Holy Grail. It is merely a tool in the armoury of a well thought out records management policy. “
The report is a call to action, organisations need to act now and look hard at their information policies and procedures to anticipate the demand for their content (documents and records) in the future. Everybody has different criteria, types and uses for documentation so you need to find one that works for your organisation.
If you would like to read the full report please go to the Digital Preservation Coalition website. This can be accessed here: http://www.dpconline.org/graphics/reports/index.html#twr0802
From Astrid Verheusen, National Library of the Netherlands
The Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, has published a report on possible alternative file formats for storing master images from mass digitisation projects. Uncompressed TIFFs, the KB’s preferred format so far, take up far too much storage capacity to be a viable storage strategy for the long term. The report is available from the KB website.
At the Koninklijke Bibliotheek mass digitisation projects are taking off. In the next four years millions of high resolution RGB master image files will be produced and will have to be (permanently) archived. However, if all projected 40 million images are to be stored as uncompressed TIFFs, the KB will need some 650 TB of storage capacity by 2011. This is quite a capacity challenge, and thus the need arose to develop a new strategy for storage of images.
The project considered whether it would be possible to distinguish between master image files which must be stored for all ‘eternity’ (because the originals decay rapidly and/or digitisation costs are so high that repeating the digitisation process is not a viable solution) and objects which are stored for access. The distinction would allow for a more pragmatic and economic storage policy, whereby projected usage would determine the storage strategy.
The draft of the report was reviewed by a group of selected specialists on digitisation, digital preservation and image science. Their feedback was in incorporated in the final version of the report which is available at: http://www.kb.nl/hrd/dd/dd_links_en_publicaties/links_en_publicaties_intro.html
Since the end of core funding for the UK’S Arts and Humanities Data Service, its constituent services have had do a bit more thinking about the costs of disseminating and preserving digital data.
The Archaeology Data Service has recently published a revised charging policy, which puts figures against the various tasks in undertakes on behalf of its user community – liasing with those with digital data, undertaking ingest procedures, creating dissemination mechanisms and undertaking long-term storage and migration of digital objects.
Sensibly, the service is now charging future depositors a one-off cost at the point of ingest; asking researchers who work on fixed term projects to pay annual costs for storage is just not feasible
As one would expect the costs raise with the complexity and the size of the digital data created. More staff time and more storage is required for a complex GIS-based deposit. The cost of disseminating a database can be up to £10,000 ($20,000), while storage is charged at £0.30 per megabyte.
Drawing on their figures here is a small, very hypothetical case study – a project wishing to deposit 2000 tiff images (6000MB in total) and disseminate 2000 derived jpeg images (500MB in total) would have to pay 6 days of staff time for management (around £2000), perhaps around £3000 for image costs and £1950 in storage costs (6,500 MB * £0.30).
This would make a total of £6,950.
If the entire project funding had been around £200,000k, the dissemination and preservation costs would only be 3.5% of the total funds. Not bad going at all.
Holland’s National Archives and National Library have announced the launch of an important tool which could save several old computer files from a digital grave.
The Koninklijke Bibliotheek – national library of the Netherlands – and the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands are proud to present the world’s first emulator designed for digital preservation: Dioscuri.
Dioscuri is capable of emulating an Intel 8086-based computer platform with support for VGA-graphics, screen, keyboard, and storage devices like a virtual floppy drive and hard drive. With these components Dioscuri successfully runs 16-bit operating systems like MS-DOS and applications such as WordPerfect 5.1, DrawPerfect 1.1 and Norton Commander. Furthermore, it is capable of running many nostalgic DOS-games and a simple Linux kernel. And when you finally open your long-forgotten WP5.1-files you can extract the text from the emulated environment into your current working environment using a simple clipboard-feature.
Hopefully, this work can be built upon. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a national Computer Museum (whether this is virtual or physical) where people could send orphaned files to be rescued?
Despite years of everyone emphasising the importance of open standards, the attractions of propietary standards like Flash are hard to resist for some projects
Two main reasons. 1. Most (but not all) people have Flash on their desktops. 2. Flash allows you to do funky things that would be impossible otherwise
YouTube is the most obvious example. Despite its poor quality, the YouTube platform has now established Flash as the way of delivering video.
In the cultural heritage business, two other recent projects have unveiled Flash based resources. One is the Rome Reborn reconstruction of classical Rome. The other is the 9.9 gigabtye image of Andrea Pozzo’s ceiling fresco from 17th-century Rome.
Impressive now, of course. But will these resources be around in five years’ time?
One dangerous assumption that is commonly heard these days is that any kind of institutional repository will be able undertake long-term preservation. Indeed many people are still of the belief that putting some on the Internet will ensure long-term preservation.
Thus it’s useful to have some clarity about precisely what a digital repository is and whether it can be trusted for long-term preservation.
Various international bodies have come together to produce a checklist of 10 bullet points to define such a repository.
1. The repository commits to continuing maintenance of digital objects for identified community/communities.
2. Demonstrates organizational fitness (including financial, staffing structure, and processes) to fulfill its commitment.
3. Acquires and maintains requisite contractual and legal rights and fulfills responsibilities.
4. Has an effective and efficient policy framework.
5. Acquires and ingests digital objects based upon stated criteria that correspond to its commitments and capabilities.
6. Maintains/ensures the integrity, authenticity and usability of digital objects it holds over time.
7. Creates and maintains requisite metadata about actions taken on digital objects during preservation as well as about the relevant production, access support, and usage process contexts before preservation.
8. Fulfills requisite dissemination requirements.
9. Has a strategic program for preservation planning and action.
10. Has technical infrastructure adequate to continuing maintenance and security of its digital objects.
Compare these to many of the ‘repositories’ currently in existence and you will see how many do not guarantee long-term preservation.