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Name that item in…?

Kirsty Chatwin-Lee

Kirsty Chatwin-Lee

Last updated on 5 January 2018

Kirsty Lee is Digital Archivist for the Division of Library and University Collections at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


I’d like to start International Digital Preservation Day, by putting a conundrum out to the community. My colleague, Lorraine McLaughlin, here at the Centre for Research Collections in the University of Edinburgh, and myself are currently appraising a hybrid collection that documents the history of computing at Edinburgh University from the inception of the Edinburgh Regional Computing Centre (ERCC) in 1966, to its later incarnation the Edinburgh University Computing Service in the 1980s.

The ERCC was to have a considerable impact on computing services as we know them today. Following the Flowers Report in 1966 there was to be regional computing centres set up in London, Manchester and Edinburgh tasked with providing computing services for local university users, research council establishments and other universities.

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Keynote Address at 'RecordDNA: developing a research agenda for the future digital evidence base...', Westminster

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Nick Thomas-Symonds MP is co-Chair of the All-Party Group on Archives and History for UK Parliament.

This blog post is the text for a speech delivered by Nick Thomas-Symonds MP on 30 November 2017 at a RecordDNA event at Westminster.

 


As Co-Chair of the All Parliamentary Archives Group I am delighted to open this event, which is being held on International Digital Preservation Day. Delighted also to welcome such an impressive range of speakers. Let me start by thanking Elizabeth Lomas of UCL and Julie McLeod of Northumbria University, for organising and implementing such an impressive programme. Thanks also to all of you for coming. You are a critical part of this partnership.


Records matter. We all depend on them. Members of Parliament rely on them to inform debate, make better laws and hold the executive to account. Everyone will at some point need records, whether investigators into injustice, members of the public researching their family history or needing access to their health history, or scholars needing an evidence base for their research.

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How can Digital Preservation move beyond those in the know to those with the need

Jon Tilbury

Jon Tilbury

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Jon Tilbury is Chief Technology Officer for Preservica, based in the UK


Digital Preservation has come a long way since the early research projects. The earliest practitioners were academics and specialists who set this field in the right direction and contributed hugely to defining what Digital Preservation is, creating the language of SIPs and DIPs, ingest and dissemination and preservation planning that we all use today. This journey will be complete when information is preserved without the need to understand how and long-term retention and use is just another tick box in your day-to-day IT platform. How far are we away from creating this preserved future?

The early Digital Preservation research projects started in the late 1990s and reached their peak with large numbers of EC funded projects in the first 15 years of the millennium. I become involved in the early PRONOM days and enjoyed many trips around Europe on four different research projects as practitioners exchanged ideas and built prototypes that encapsulated these ideas. We used the OAIS reference model to create a common language that we all now use to describe our systems.

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And the answer is…

Roxana Maurer-Popistașu

Roxana Maurer-Popistașu

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Roxana Maurer-Popistașu is Digital Preservation Co-ordinator at the National Library of Luxembourg


National Library of Luxembourg’s Digital Preservation challenges

As a national heritage library, the National Library of Luxembourg (BnL) has as a mission to collect, catalogue, enrich, and preserve the national heritage, both in print and in digital form. Since 2002, the BnL has been digitizing documents to not only ensure the optimal preservation of the originals weakened by their age and / or frequent use, but also to promote the published cultural and intellectual heritage, facilitate access to it and support new research methods. The digitized collection includes historical newspapers, books, manuscripts, postcards, and posters from the Luxemburgensia fund (publications from Luxembourg – legal deposit – or issued abroad by Luxembourg residents or in connection with Luxembourg).

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Welcome to International Digital Preservation Day

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Although the sun has barely risen over the DPC offices, International Digital Preservation Day (#IDPD17) has been in full swing for at least the last 12 hours thanks to our colleagues in Asia and Australasia who have been doing a great job of celebrating on behalf of the whole community!

International Digital Preservation Day is fundamentally about this large but dispersed community around the world and the opportunities for access and re-use which are made possible when digital assets are preserved. Supported by digital preservation networks around the world – old friends and new - IDPD17 is open to participation from anyone and everyone interested in securing our digital legacy.

While we’ve been asleep a whole pile of blog posts have been published, and we can see through the twitter and instagram feeds that colleagues in New Zealand and Australia are clearing up after important and well-attended events.

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Web preservation demands access

Daniel Gomes

Daniel Gomes

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Daniel Gomes is Arquivo.pt Service Manager for the Foundation for Science and Technology in Portugal.


"Collect the web to preserve it?! I don't envy that job."

That is a direct quote from my first "real-world" meeting.

I was 23 years old, I had just graduated from the University and that was my first job. We were in the year 2000.

One year later, we had developed a running prototype to perform selective collection of online publications. It was the first effort to preserve the Portuguese web, resulting from a collaboration between the National Library of Portugal and the University of Lisbon.

Even in those early-days of the Web, it became clear that acquiring and storing information from the Web before it quickly vanished was a challenge. But a rather simple one, in comparison to ensuring the accessibility of the stored web data across time.  

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Preservation as a present

Barbara Sierman

Barbara Sierman

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Barbara Sierman is Chair of the Board of Directors for the Open Preservation Foundation (OPF) and Digital Preservation Manager in the Research Department of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands).


20 Years of preservation have brought us valuable insights, useful tools and a large quantity of digital material that is now taking care of.

For the general public, used to their tablets and phones where everything is stored for them somewhere in the cloud and new updates are almost always compatible with older versions, the issue of preservation is invisible. This is very convenient for them, but not for us trying to get political attention and sustainable funding for our invisible activities.

Most people however value their digital stuff. This “digital capital” should be in our story to convince funders when asking for budgets to preserve the digital materials.  Preservation should not be a problem but a commodity. Something that helps you to take care of your stuff in a way you were not aware of. Like water that comes out of the tap: reliable, clean and always available (at least in part of the world). Only a few will know about the organisation behind this clean water. Although often taken for granted, in fact the running water is a present, resulting from a wide range of carefully planned actions.  Similarly the preservation community could mirror this water model.

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Dear IFI Irish Film Archive of five years ago

Kasandra O’Connell

Kasandra O’Connell

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Kasandra O’Connell is Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive in Dublin, Ireland


Dear IFI Irish Film Archive of five years ago,

I know you are filled with trepidation at the sudden need for the IFI Irish Film Archive to preserve Ireland’s digital moving image heritage alongside your analogue collections. The switch to digital formats within the film and broadcasting sector in Ireland has been sudden, encouraged by a government sponsored scheme enabling cinemas to change from analogue to digital exhibition.  This has left you with no option but to take in digital material as part of your preservation agreements with the two main funders of moving image production in Ireland, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Irish Film Board. Starting from scratch is scary. No one on your small team has an IT background, you haven’t the necessary equipment and infrastructure to deal with digital deliveries and the thought of making preservation format decisions or developing digital polices is so alien at the moment that it induces a cold sweat. I’m here to give you some reassurance. Five years from now the IFI Irish Film Archive will have made more progress in this area than you could have possibly imagined. While there is a still a lot to do and there are many challenges ahead, the team have accomplished a huge amount in a short time and the archive as you now know it is unrecognisable.

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Preserving digital cultural heritage: Better together!

Barbara Signori

Barbara Signori

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Barbara Signori is Head of e-Helvetica at the Swiss National Library, Bern.


The Swiss National Library has a mandate to collect, catalogue, store and disseminate the cultural heritage created in Switzerland and abroad by and about the Swiss. This sounds like a clear enough mission, but dig deeper and this mandate raises all sorts of tough questions especially in a digital world.

First of all, what is digital cultural heritage? Obviously it goes far beyond e-books and e-journals, it includes Swiss websites, newsletters of Swiss societies, and so on. But what about all the digital data that is created by Swiss people every minutes of every day? The selfies, blogs, tweets, social media, personal digital archives. I’m sure that not everything can or should be considered cultural heritage. But who decides what is and what isn’t?

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Frisch’s speech in Hamburg and what it tells us about radio archiving

Brecht DeClercq

Brecht DeClercq

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Brecht Declercq is Secretary-General of FIAT/IFTA, Digitisation Manager at VIAA


Hamburg, Germany, almost day on day 40 years ago. Swiss writer Max Frisch, at age 66, went to great lengths to travel from his hometown Berlin to Hamburg. He has accepted to give a speech at the SPD party congress in Hamburg. Frisch has had a good relationship with prominent German Social Democrats such as Willy Brandt and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt for years and the speech may be regarded as a friends service. The party congress is known as "the day the Chancellor asked the poets for advice" - Günther Grass is also present - and takes place in the midst of what the Germans call the German Autumn: a period of far left attacks and kidnappings, from Germans, against Germans. The speech of Max Frisch is a benchmark, even a crisis. To the German Social Democrats Frisch will point out their social democratic responsibility, also as a government party, and also in times when the street's call for severe repression against the very young RAF terrorists sounds particularly loud.

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