Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 30th is Personal Archiving Day!

LoC brings us "Personal Archiving Day". I think I'll take this opportunity to back up my laptop and check on that box of photos under my bed...

"Pass it On: Personal Archiving Day at the Library of Congress is a free public event taking place on Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will provide information about preserving personal and family photographs in both digital and non-digital form. No reservations are needed.

Library staff will be on hand to talk directly with individuals about how to manage and preserve their pictorial treasures. There will also be videos and printed information available.

The event will take place in Room 119 of the Jefferson Building, located at 1st Street S.E., between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street. For information about visiting the Library see http://www.loc.gov/visit/. For security reasons we ask attendees not bring collection materials to the event. No appraisals will be provided.

Personal Archiving Day at the Library of Congress celebrates Preservation Week (April 24-30). This joint initiative of the Library of Congress, the American Library Association, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and others, highlights libraries and other collecting institutions as excellent sources of preservation information.

“It is a great pleasure for us to be able to help families preserve their photograph collections,” said Laura Campbell, Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives. “Digital technology in particular provides new challenges and opportunities to keeping photographs accessible over time and across generations.”

Dr. Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services, says ”Many of the collections currently held by the Library of Congress came originally from personal collectors It is in the best interest of the Library to help families preserve memorabilia that help trace the history of our communities and nation.”

A 50-second video preview of the event is available at: http://digitalpreservation.gov/videos/digipresweek2011/index.html

To learn more about the event and to sign up for free digital preservation updates, please visit http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/. To learn more about preservation visit the Preservation Directorate Website."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography, Version 2

Just wanted to share an email I got from Charles W. Bailey, Jr. via the DigLib listserv. Charles has done wonderful work compiling information on digital preservation issues.


Version 2 of the Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography is now available from Digital Scholarship as an XHTML website with live links to many included works. This selective bibliography includes over 500 articles, books, and technical reports that are useful in understanding digital curation and preservation. All included works are in English. It is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.


Table of Contents


1 General Works about Digital Curation and Preservation
2 Digital Preservation Copyright Issues
3 Digital Preservation of Formats and Materials
3.1 General Works
3.2 Digital Data
3.3 Digital Media
3.4 E-journals
3.5 Other Digital Formats and Materials
3.6 World-Wide Web
4 Digital Preservation Metadata
5 Digital Preservation Models and Policies
6 Digital Preservation National and International Efforts
7 Digital Preservation Projects and Institutional
8 Digital Preservation Research
9 Digital Preservation Services
9.3 Portico
10 Digital Preservation Strategies
11 Digital Repository Digital Preservation Issues
Appendix A. Related Bibliographies
Appendix B. About the Author

The following recent Digital Scholarship publications may
also be of interest:

1. Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, Version 79


2. Electronic Theses and Dissertations Bibliography, Version


3. Institutional Repository Bibliography, Version 3


4. Transforming Scholarly Publishing through Open Access: A
Bibliography (a paperback, a PDF file, and an XHTML website)


See also: Reviews of Digital Scholarship Publications:


Translate (oversatta, oversette, prelozit, traducir,
traduire, tradurre, traduzir, or ubersetzen):


Monday, November 8, 2010

Why Digital Preservation is Important for Everyone

Check out this great video put out by the Library of Congress:

"Traditional information sources such as books, photos and sculptures can easily survive for years, decades or even centuries but digital items are fragile and require special care to keep them useable. Rapid technological changes also affect digital preservation. As new technologies appear, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content

This video explores the complex nature of the problem, how digital content – unlike content on traditional media -- depends on technology to make it available and requires active management to ensure its ongoing accessibility."

-- Videos - Digital Preservation (Library of Congress)

The Meaning of "Digital"

The meaning of the word "digital" can be a tricky one to nail down. It is often thrown around rather haphazardly, to the point where it's almost been abused. Things get especially confusing when people start talking about "electronic", rather than "digital".

I recently had such an experience. While speaking with some archivists, both the terms "electronic" and "digital" came up in relation to records the archive had to deal with. Several faces became clouded in confusion before one brave soul came out and asked, "what do you mean by electronic?"

For one camp of archivists, digital records were records which had been digitized. That is, they had started their lives off in the physical realm. Photograph collections, in particular, are coming to occupy this in-between space more and more. For these archivists, the term "electronic" referred specifically to records which had been born digital. My camp did not make this distinction, and hence the confusion.

But wait! There's more!

If we are specifically talking about audio-visual content, things become even murkier. In this context, digital refers to sound or images that are represented as numbers. Unfortunately, some people assume that all digital content is in files, and some even assume that digital means 'on the web'. Indeed, I have heard the verb "digitize" used to mean "making content suitable for use on the web" - that is, making web-quality proxies.

Under this meaning, millions of hours of audio-visual material would not be considered "digital". This is because those millions of hours of material sit on shelves on digital carriers, such as Digibeta, DV, Audio CD, DAT, and more.

So to clarify, when speaking/writing about digital records or digital objects or electronic materials I am referring to content which - at its most basic level - is represented by 0s or 1s. I don't care if it was born that way or not. I don't care if it's on a computer or on a minidisc. I love it all equally and I refuse to play favourites.

Friday, November 5, 2010

PREMIS for Digital Preservation

Behind every digital object, there is usually metadata with descriptive information about the object. But metadata for access and discovery is no longer enough. Now, digital library professionals are looking to the future with an eye towards preservation, not only needing to preserve the digital objects themselves but also the valuable metadata that goes along with it.

Enter PREMIS (Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies):
According to the publication Understanding PREMIS, preservation metadata "supports activities intended to ensure the long-term usability of a digital resource."

The motivation for PREMIS is based on the needs for implementing a digital preservation repository, which requires keeping important information about its digital objects to enable long-term management. As stated in Understanding PREMIS, "the primary uses of PREMIS are for repository design, repository evaluation and exchange of archived information packages among preservation repositories."
Note: I believe that the use and development of this preservation metadata standard should be a regular part of the digital library process.

The German Research Foundation Nationwide Services and National Licenses of Digital Content

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) is an important German research funding organization and the largest such organization in Europe. Through its Nationwide Library Service Programme it has been providing access to digital publications by through a programme of national licenses.

Since 2004, the DFG has acquired national licenses for digital publications as an additional component of providing nationwide access to scientific literature. License agreements with scholarly societies, commercial publishers and other information providers are valid for the whole area of Germany.

The purchase of national licenses for complete databases, back issues of journals, and e-books is funded by the German Research Foundation in order to improve the research infrastructure for all scientific disciplines with respect to digital collections of literary works and publications as well as to digital journal archives.

A licensing contract between the library and the publisher guarantees the access to the licensed material not only for patrons of the library but also for private users (via personal registration) or members of any German public funded university or research institution. The usage is unlimited and the number of simultaneous users unrestricted.

Pretty awesome! Although pricing had to take into account that with a nationwide license there would be no market anymore for the product of the publisher in Germany - eep!

Maybe you would like a career in... Information Architecture!

Information architect is just one of a number of careers emerging due to the popularization of online marketing, user engagement, website design and digital marketing campaigns. An information architect basically works with and manipulates information in similar ways to how architects play with space in creating buildings, cities and infrastructure - all while considering user needs of course!

This branch of the information field is HOT in government right now, let me tell you. So if you want a guaranteed job when you graduate from your Information degree, take at least one course that covers this topic.

Find out more at by reading the article at NEWS @ University of Toronto: http://bit.ly/aBnGx8