Overview of content related to 'preservation' http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/176/all?article-type=&term=&organisation=&project=&author=dave%20thompson&issue= RSS feed with Ariadne content related to specified tag en Trust Me, I'm an Archivist http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue65/hilton-et-al <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue65/hilton-et-al#author1">Christopher Hilton</a>, <a href="/issue65/hilton-et-al#author2">Dave Thompson</a> and <a href="/issue65/hilton-et-al#author3">Natalie Walters</a> describe some of the issues of engaging with donors when it comes to transferring born-digital material to the Library.</p> </div> </div> </div> <!--v2: to reflect final author edits : 2010-11-18-21-54 rew --><!--v2: to reflect final author edits : 2010-11-18-21-54 rew --><p>Born-digital archival material represents the single most important challenge to the archival profession for a generation or more. It requires us to rethink issues and assumptions around acquisition, preservation, cataloguing and reader access. Not least is the problem of getting donors to transfer their born-digital material to us. We have encountered four common scenarios that seem to act as blocks to the transfer of such material. We also need to change the way we engage with donors. This is a challenge that we cannot duck unless we wish to condemn our collection to increasing irrelevance.</p> <h2 id="The_Problem">The Problem?</h2> <p>Managing born-digital material is difficult. We all have trouble finding, storing and managing the data we create. Yet we have an attachment to this transient and ephemeral stuff that we find hard to relinquish. We seem to have a stronger emotional attachment to digital material than we did with paper. Thus, donors who have happily donated paper archival materials to the Library struggle with the challenges of donating born-digital material, challenges that are not always technical.</p> <h2 id="The_Current_State_of_Play">The Current State of Play</h2> <p>Two previous articles in <em>Ariadne</em> [<a href="#1">1</a>][<a href="#2">2</a>] have reported on the Wellcome Library's engagement with born-digital material: for readers who have not seen these it is appropriate to begin by recapitulating the themes established there.</p> <p>The Wellcome Library is a collecting institution and the majority of its archival holdings are acquired from outside bodies or individuals by purchase, deposit or gift. The Library has no mandate to require an organisation or individual to lodge their records in the Library, and little influence over their use of particular formats or technologies. Conversely the Library is not required to take in any given material. The archivists have the freedom to decide what material to accept or if a particular format is too problematic to acquire when set against the material's informational value.</p> <p>The Library's work with digital material is based on two central principles:</p> <ol> <li>That sound archival practice is wholly appropriate to working with born-digital materials.</li> <li>That if the Library does not acquire born-digital archival material then its future relevance as a research Library is compromised.<br /> </li></ol><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue65/hilton-et-al" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue65 feature article christopher hilton dave thompson natalie walters wellcome library archives blog born digital cataloguing data digital archive digital curation preservation provenance research software standards Fri, 29 Oct 2010 23:00:00 +0000 editor 1586 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk A Pragmatic Approach to Preferred File Formats for Acquisition http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue63/thompson <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue63/thompson#author1">Dave Thompson</a> sets out the pragmatic approach to preferred file formats for long-term preservation used at the Wellcome Library.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>This article sets out the Wellcome Library's decision not explicitly to specify preferred file formats for long-term preservation. It discusses a pragmatic approach in which technical appraisal of the material is used to assess the Library's likelihood of preserving one format over another. The Library takes as its starting point work done by the Florida Digital Archive in setting a level of 'confidence' in its preferred formats. The Library's approach provides for nine principles to consider as part of appraisal. These principles balance economically sustainable preservation and intellectual 'value' with the practicalities of working with specific, and especially proprietary, file formats. Scenarios are used to show the application of principles (see <a href="#annex">Annex</a> below).</p> <p>This article will take a technical perspective when assessing material for acquisition by the Library. In reality technical factors are only part of the assessment of material for inclusion in the Library's collections. Other factors such as intellectual content, significance of the material, significance of the donor/creator and any relationship to material already in the Library also play a part. On this basis, the article considers 'original' formats accepted for long-term preservation, and does not consider formats appropriate for dissemination.</p> <p>This reflects the Library's overall approach to working with born digital archival material. Born digital material is treated similarly to other, analogue archival materials. The Library expects archivists to apply their professional skills regardless of the format of any material, to make choices and decisions about material based on a range of factors and not to see the technical issues surrounding born digital archival material as in any way limiting.</p> <h2 id="Why_Worry_about_Formats">Why Worry about Formats?</h2> <p>Institutions looking to preserve born digital material permanently, the Wellcome Library included, may have little control over the formats in which material is transferred or deposited. The ideal intervention point from a preservation perspective is at the point digital material is first created. However this may be unrealistic. Many working within organisations have no choice in the applications they use, cost of applications may be an issue, or there may simply be a limited number of applications available on which to perform specialist tasks. Material donated after an individual retires or dies can prove especially problematic. It may be obsolete, in obscure formats, on obsolete media and without any metadata describing its context, creation or rendering environment.</p> <p>Computer applications 'save' their data in formats, each application typically having its own file format. The Web site filext [<a href="#1">1</a>] lists some 25,000 file extensions in its database.</p> <p>The long-term preservation of any format depends on the type of format, issues of obsolescence, and availability of hardware and/or software, resources, experience and expertise. Any archive looking to preserve born digital archival material needs to have the means and confidence to move material across the 'gap' that exists between material 'in the wild' and holding it securely in an archive.</p> <p>This presents a number of problems: first, in the proliferation of file formats; second, in the use of proprietary file formats, and third, in formats becoming obsolete, either by being incompatible with later versions of the applications that created them, or by those applications no longer existing. This assumes that proprietary formats are more problematic to preserve as their structure and composition are not known, which hinders preservation intervention by imposing the necessity for specialist expertise. Moreover, as new software is created, so new file formats proliferate, and consequently exacerbate the problem.</p> <p></p><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue63/thompson" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue63 feature article dave thompson microsoft mpeg wellcome library aggregation archives born digital cd-rom collection development data database digital archive digital preservation dissemination drm file format framework internet explorer jpeg jpeg 2000 metadata microsoft office open source openoffice preservation provenance real audio repositories software standards tiff usb video xml Thu, 29 Apr 2010 23:00:00 +0000 editor 1547 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk Further Experiences in Collecting Born Digital Archives at the Wellcome Library http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue53/hilton-thompson <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue53/hilton-thompson#author1">Chris Hilton</a> and <a href="/issue53/hilton-thompson#author2">Dave Thompson</a> continue discussing plans for the engagement with born digital archival material at the Wellcome Library.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue53/hilton-thompson" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue53 feature article chris hilton dave thompson wellcome library wellcome trust archives born digital data digital archive digital curation digitisation fedora commons framework infrastructure metadata preservation provenance repositories software Tue, 30 Oct 2007 00:00:00 +0000 editor 1351 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk Collecting Born Digital Archives at the Wellcome Library http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue50/hilton-thompson <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue50/hilton-thompson#author1">Chris Hilton</a> and <a href="/issue50/hilton-thompson#author2">Dave Thompson</a> discuss plans for work with born digital archival material at the Wellcome Library.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue50/hilton-thompson" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue50 feature article chris hilton dave thompson dcc digital preservation coalition microsoft mla premis university of oxford wellcome library archives born digital cataloguing cd-rom collection development copyright data digital archive digital curation digital preservation dissemination dublin core edrms fedora commons framework html infrastructure interoperability jpeg metadata mets ms word preservation preservation metadata provenance repositories research standards Tue, 30 Jan 2007 00:00:00 +0000 editor 1291 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk Email Curation: Practical Approaches for Long-term Preservation http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue48/curating-email-rpt <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue48/curating-email-rpt#author1">Dave Thompson</a> reports on a two-day conference on Email Curation organised by the Digital Curation Centre.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue48/curating-email-rpt" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue48 event report dave thompson bbc british library dcc loughborough university university of edinburgh university of oxford w3c wellcome library archives curation data digital curation foia framework infrastructure intellectual property metadata preservation privacy research social networks visualisation xml Sat, 29 Jul 2006 23:00:00 +0000 editor 1257 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk