ZSR needs one. Our internal materials that are born digital are not being preserved in any systematic way. There also may, in the future, be a scholarly publication archive developed that would need preservation.
In the 'WebWise' Category...
Moderated by Joyce Ray, Assoc. Deputy Director for Library Services, IMLS
Steven Wheatley, VP, American Council of Learned Societies, spoke on the ACLS Report – Our Cultural Commonwealth, in which he said ‘most expressions of human creativity in the US will be born digital’.
Brett Bobley, Director, Digital Humanities Initiative, National Endowment for the Humanities described NEH grants and begged the audience to apply.
Roy Roisenzweig, Director, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University described numerous projects his center has been involved in.
Digitization for Access and Preservation Strategies at the Library of Congress
Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services, Library of Congress
Deanna Marcum addressed issues in digital preservation:
- Digital media lacks permanence
- Depends on computers for readability
- Multiple formats
Marcum suggested these strategic methods:
- Develop better digital media storage
- Refresh digita data
- Migrate to newer, improved formats
- Avoid digital archeology- don’t wait until digital media is broken or obsolete to repair. It requires on-going management of digital data from the point of creation.
Marcum described several Library of Congress initiatives in the area of digitization:
- NDIIP – National Digital Information Preservation Program – Develop a national strategy to collect, archive and preserve the burgeoning amounts of digital content, especially materials that are created only in digital formats, for current and future generations.
- National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 – A bill to establish the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, and for other purposes
- IRENE – The Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise Etc.
- Library of Congress officials are hoping that an experimental image workstation will speed the digitization and preservation of 78 RPM shellac and acetate records. Berkeley Lab physicists Carl Haber and Vitaliy Fadeyev developed the system, Image, Reconstruct, Erase, Noise, Etc. (IRENE) to help preservationists restore at-risk recordings and improve audio quality. IRENE will generate high-resolution digital maps of the grooved surface of recordings, allowing preservationists to remove debris and extraneous sounds that contribute to the deterioration of recordings.
- National Digital Newspaper Program – NDNP will create a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers from all the states and U.S. territories published between 1836 and 1922.
- Digitizing American Imprints – This project, “Digitizing American Imprints at the Library of Congress,” will include not only the scanning of volumes, but also the development of suitable page-turner display technology, capability to scan and display foldouts, and a pilot program to capture high-level metadata, such as table of contents, chapters/sections and index. Past digitization projects have shied away from brittle books because of the condition of the materials, but “Digitizing American Imprints” intends to serve as a demonstration project of best practices for the handling and scanning of such vulnerable works.
Ann Russell, NEDCC – urged national digital preservation stategy, regional centers of digital preservation expertise, and a state-wide approach to providing solutions.
Robin Dale, OCLC/RLG – spoke on auditing and certification of digital repositories. Her topic covered establishing Trusted Digital Repositories.
Sue Medina, Director, Network of Alabama Academic Libraries – spoke on their state-wide solution to preserving locally created digital collections. The Alabama Digital Preservation Network offers long term storage for any Alabama repository making digital collections. This is a very low-cost, low-end network which serves as a “dark archive” composed of 7 servers across Alabama.
Panel moderated by Gunther Waibel, OCLC
Kristen Laise, Heritage Preservation – Kristen discussed the Heritage Health Index
- Institutions must give priority to providing safe conditions for their collection
- Every institution must develop an emergency plan
- Members of each institutions’ staff must be assigned to care for their collections
The findings of the Heritage Health Index showed that 31% of institutions placed a priority on saving digital collections, 32% reported damage to collections due to obsolescence, and almost half reported a need for digital preservation.
Steve Puglia, NARA – discussed the preservation of digital materials. Steve said that sub-zero storage prolonged the life of materials (for instance, The Bettman Archive, is currently stored in this way. Digital images of this collection are used for access). He argued for the creation of “persistent digital objects” which has enough information embedded with the object to describe it for future use by machines. He also said that with the obsolescence of other forms, digital reformatting is rapidly becoming the only viable option. Steve says that microfilm will soon vanish.
Over lunch, I sat at a table with 10 others discussing Tools and Strategies for Digital Preservation, moderated by Helen Tibbo and Chris Erikson of UNC-CH SILS. My discussions were mainly with a colleague from BYU, comparing our digital projects.
In discussion with Priscilla Kaplan, she told me that we were a step ahead of most other states because we have NCEcho. Using their standards puts ZSR in a good position to produce quality digital projects. In Florida, where Kaplan is, they’ve hired Kathy Wisser, from NCEcho, to come down and help them out as a consultant! Priscilla Kaplan described the idea of “best practices” as a flower thats’ in the process of blooming. I guess we have to wait a little longer for the fruit!
During the break, we were able to see demos of projects. Due to the number of people, space and time – I only really saw one completely. This was dPlan – a project of the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) which is well known for its preservation classes, tutorials and work in the field of preservation. dPlan is a free, online disaster plan template. It’s a wonderful tool which I plan on pointing out to my NCPC colleagues.
Stewardship in the Digital Age
Managing Museum and Library Collections for Preservation and Use
The first day of the conference proper began with welcome messages from Dr. Anne-Imelda Radice, Director of IMLS; Jay Jordan, President and CEO of OCLC; and Dr, Ken Hamma, Executive Director, Digital Policy, J. Paul Getty Trust.
This was followed by the Keynote Presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Broun, Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Dr. Broun talked about the huge remodeling efforts at SAAM, as well as their new conservation lab which is open to the public. Much of the time, Dr. Broun spent discussing how they are changing the way they view exhibitions at the museum. In the past, these were top-down curator-driven affairs, most often focused on one artist. SAAM is now trying to look at what visitors want and trying to involve their customers:
- SAAM wants a contribution of their customers knowledge (tagging?)
- Old participation skills will be used in new ways
- Conventional notions of trust are changing
- Make everything findable
- Publish everything
- Build capacity
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is obviously struggling to forge a niche in the new interactive world we live in. The art museum of the past-which used passive viewing of pre-selected works-is changing to reflect today’s interactive world, and trying to involv its users in the process.
Sharing Images and Data: Making Access to Collection Easier and Better
Moderated by Ken Hamma, Executive Director, Digital Policy, J. Paul Getty Trust
This session was focused on art museums and cultural collections, and their attempts at digital preservation. The presenters were:
- Barbara Thompson, Witt Librarian, Courtland Art Institute, London discussed her efforts in digital preservation of art using a database for tracking.
- Murtha Baca, Head, Getty Vocabulary Program, Getty Research Institute, presented on “Sharable Metadata for Non-bibliographic Materials”. Baca argued for what she called “cross-cultural” use of standards-that is, using more than one metadata schemes together in one record (MARC and CCO). Baca said that an emerging trend was to use metadata that was both sharable and purposeful. Harvestable metadata, using the OAI/PMH protocol is also an emerging trend.
- Erin Coburn, Manager of Collections Information at the J. Paul Getty Museum, discussed data standards and early attempts to create data standards for art- AMICO. Erin was pushing the Getty’s new product, co-developed with OCLC called CDWA lite-an XML schema to describe works of art using the OAI (Open Archives Initiative) harvesting protocol. (CDWA = Categories for the Description of Works of Art).
- Gunther Waibel, Program Officer, OCLC Programs and Research Division, presented on OAI Imlementations using two tools:
- Sarah Shreeves, Coordinator for the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship (IDEALS), presented on OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. Shreeves stated that a problem that exists is a user has to access each collection individually. The OAI Protocol for metadata harvesting provides an integrated access to metadata many items in a collection. Shreeves has an article on sharable metadata:
- Shreeves, S.L., Jenn Riley, and Liz Milewicz (2006). “Moving Towards Sharable Metadata.” First Monday 11 (8).
Valerie Glenn discussed Web Harvesting- the automated capture of web materials. As part of her project, Cyber Cemetery , she attempts to capture materials in danger of disappearing- basically defunct government web sites. Glenn uses a web harvesting tool called “Heritrix” . A site that defines the issues in web harvesting is Web-at-Risk wiki.
Mary Ide, Director of WGBH-Boston Public Television Archives, discussed the difficulties of preserving both analog and digital film and video for Public Television in a digital format.
Richard Rinehart, Digital Media Director, UC Berkeley Art Museum, discussed their attempt to preserve art that is ephemeral-or temporary- digitally to keep it alive.. They have created a description of digital art that will be usable across various platforms. This project, called “Archivng the Avant Garde” attempts to preserve digital art.