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What exactly did I get up to last year?

Jenny Mitcham

Jenny Mitcham

Last updated on 12 January 2018

Another year flies by very quickly. Happy 2018!

Always a useful time to sit back and think about what was achieved last year.

So I started off the year with an ambitious list of things that I wanted to achieve (note to self - *never* do that again!)

As usual I had a mixture of successes and setbacks. All of this helps contribute to both my own understanding about how to work effectively in digital preservation and hopefully the shared understanding of the wider community.

Though I might not have ticked off everything on the list, looking back at the year there was certainly some useful things to come out of it. 

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APTrust and the Draft Declaration of Shared Values

Chip German

Chip German

Last updated on 11 January 2018

Chip German is program director of the Academic Preservation Trust, and he is senior director for content stewardship and scholarly communication at the University of Virginia Library.


Hello to the DPC community from the Academic Preservation Trust.  As some of you know, we’re a consortium of US-based university libraries at research-intensive institutions working together to do digital preservation of the academic and cultural record at scale.

I won’t bore you with background that you can see at our website (http://aptrust.org), including our recent assessment of where we need to focus after three years of operating a non-profit, collaborative, cloud-based repository (you can find this year’s directions at http://tinyurl.com/ybmuczgq). Instead, I think this may be a useful starting point:  we’re experiencing healthy, rapid growth in deposits of content (from 22.6 terabytes last April to 54.3 terabytes on January 9), and that is still nowhere near enough.  We are also both an ingest and a replicating node of the Digital Preservation Network (DPN), which is showing its own impressive growth in deposits, but nowhere near enough.

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Bit by bit: Processing Born Digital Accessions at National Records of Scotland

Jenny Hunt

Jenny Hunt

Last updated on 5 January 2018

Jenny Hunt is the Digital Archivist for the National Records of Scotland Digital Records Unit.


Like many other institutions worldwide National Records of Scotland (NRS) is grappling with digital preservation and finding a solution which will allow the Keeper of the Records of Scotland to carry on his duty to preserve the records of Scotland into the future in a digital age. Our Digital Preservation Programme is currently working on a new digital infrastructure on which to build its repository – so how are we preserving archival digital material in the meantime?

NRS first received archival born digital records in 1998. Since then we have amassed almost 1.07 million digital files in over 130 accessions. We began a formal process of quarantining accessions in the late 2000s, copying each transfer on to a standalone pc with virus-checking software which was updated weekly and scanning it once a week for a period of four weeks. A duplicate of the accession was then produced and sent to off-site storage.

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Another Recap of Aye Preserve

Gemma Batson

Gemma Batson

Last updated on 11 December 2017

Gemma Batson is a Program Manager for Web Archiving at the Internet Archive. This post recaps her experience at 'Aye Preserve - Digital Preservation in the West of Scotland' on 30 November 2017 at the University of Glasgow.

It was a beautiful St. Andrew’s Day morning as we all made our way to the University of Glasgow for the Aye Preserve event, run by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC). As nervous students prepared for graduation on the main campus, our digital preservation colleagues descended on the campus library to begin discussions about our industry, how to get started, and the projects at the forefront of digital preservation in West Scotland.

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Recap of Aye Preserve

Hania Smerecka

Hania Smerecka

Last updated on 6 December 2017

Hania Smerecka is an archivist at Lloyds Banking Group. This post recaps her experience at 'Aye Preserve - Digital Preservation in the West of Scotland' on 30 November 2017 at the University of Glasgow.

On Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the Aye Preserve event held at the University of Glasgow. The event was perfectly timed to coincide with the International Day of Digital Preservation, and featured presentations from a number of speakers followed by the launch of the Digital Preservation Coalition BitList, a list of the world’s endangered digital species.

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Here comes the sun: IDPD17+1

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 1 December 2017

The sun has set now on International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD17) around the world, so, at the very last tick of the clocks on the most westerly reaches of the setting sun, we’d like to conclude by offering our thanks to colleagues in all time zones.

We have been astonished, delighted and massively energized by the numbers that participated, by the number of blogs, tweets, emails, messages on every media platform imaginable. There has been a significant effort of disk-imaging, file-migrating, and archive-describing. I never knew that ‘digital preservation cake’ was a thing but there’s been an awful lot of it in show; I didn’t know that a working ‘day’ could last for 39 hours; and I could scarcely have imagined the word ‘cryo-flux-a-thon’.  There has been enthusiasm and generosity, insight and commitment, and a wonderful sense of celebration at the gathering of our dynamic, diverse and dispersed community.

I think it is safe to say that our first International Digital Preservation Day has been a success. 

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Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group in Mexico City, 2019

Natalie M. Baur

Natalie M. Baur

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Natalie Baur is Preservation Librarian at Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, El Colegio de México in Mexico City.


 The Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas at the Colegio de México in Mexico City is thrilled to announce that we will be the hosts for the next Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group meeting! This exciting conference will be held at the Colegio de México’s installations from February 12-14, 2019, so save the date now! You will not want to miss this unique opportunity to talk digital preservation with colleagues from around the world. PASIG 2019 will be unique in that this is the very first time that the meeting will be held in a Latin American country. Mexico City is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that will afford lots of excellent discussion on digital preservation advances locally in Mexico and throughout the Caribbean and Latin American region. We plan to have many attendees from across the region present at the meeting and this new infusion of perspectives and experiences will undoubtedly reinvigorate discussions happening in the international digital preservation community.

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Creating a Linked Data version of PREMIS

Evelyn McLellan

Evelyn McLellan

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Evelyn McLellan is President of Artefactual Systems and member of the PREMIS Editorial Committee.


It has been a busy couple of years for the PREMIS Editorial Committee. Since June 2015, when we released version 3.0 of the PREMIS Data Dictionary, we have been revising and releasing supporting documentation such as revised Guidelines for using PREMIS with METS and Understanding PREMIS, and updating and enhancing the preservation vocabularies, particularly the eventType vocabulary.

Perhaps the biggest undertaking, however, has been the preparation of a new OWL ontology by a working group that includes some members of the Editorial Committee plus external Linked Data experts and preservation practitioners. This is a work in progress and we are hoping to release a draft soon for a period of public review and feedback.

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Losing the Battle to Archive the Web

David S. H. Rosenthal

David S. H. Rosenthal

Last updated on 7 December 2017

David S. H. Rosenthal is a retired Chief Scientist for the LOCKSS Program at Stanford Libraries. 


Nearly one-third of a trillion Web pages at the Internet Archive is impressive, but in 2014 I reviewed the research into how much of the Web was then being collected and concluded:

Somewhat less than half ... Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why this simplistic assessment is wildly optimistic.

Costa et al ran surveys in 2010 and 2014 and concluded in 2016:

during the last years there was a significant growth in initiatives and countries hosting these initiatives, volume of data and number of contents preserved. While this indicates that the web archiving community is dedicating a growing effort on preserving digital information, other results presented throughout the paper raise concerns such as the small amount of archived data in comparison with the amount of data that is being published online.
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Digitization Is Not Digital Preservation

Peter Zhou

Peter Zhou

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Peter Zhou is Director and Assistant University Librarian at University of California, Berkeley


Over the past decade, I have spoken frequently at conferences on both sides of the Pacific, on digital information management and digital preservation, and I have just as frequently encountered academic leaders, librarians, and information specialists working under the misconception that digitization somehow equals digital preservation.

To many, converting print or analog content to a digital format and transferring the converted content to a disk, server, or other storage devices is an exercise in digital preservation. I usually point out that digital conversion makes content digital, but it cannot and will not guarantee that the digitized content can or will be preserved for an unspecified period to come, since the new format may become old, obsolete, or unusable in a matter of a few years—and then there are the problems of format reconciliation, checksum, error correction, data storage, and data migration, all of which are critical components of a robust digital preservation operation, whereas by simply storing the digital content and doing nothing else, one will miss all those vital steps.

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