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Current State of Play in Digital Preservation Peter B. Hirtle Cornell University Library Society of American Archivists.

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Presentation on theme: "Current State of Play in Digital Preservation Peter B. Hirtle Cornell University Library Society of American Archivists."— Presentation transcript:

1 Current State of Play in Digital Preservation Peter B. Hirtle Cornell University Library Society of American Archivists

2 2 Outline Brief history Overview of some current US initiatives Summary of some consensus conclusions Questions for the future

3 Brief History of Digital Preservation Relatively new concept Theatre Crafts, 1992:

4 4 Digital Preservation as Reformatting 1990: Cornell begins digital preservation research on reformatting Original documents that are of concern for library preservation purposes are not normally encoded in a digital electronic medium. Stuart Lynn, Preservation and Access Technology. A Structured Glossary of Technical Terms, 8/1990

5 5 Preservations 2 nd Face: Electronic Information 1960s: Data centers appear : CPA/RLG Task Force on Archiving of Digital Information 1997: Born digital preservation identified

6 6 Digital Preservation Today Focus is on born digital –Reborn digital is a subset – In government… Broad public interest – In the popular press…

7 7 Strategies to assure long-term preservation of digital records constitute another particularly pressing issue for research…

8 8 Some Current US Initiatives National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) An initiative of the Library of Congress

9 9 NDIIPP Mission: 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. Funding: $150 million (half private, half Federal match)

10 10 NARAs Electronic Record Archive Vision : The Electronic Records Archives will authentically preserve and provide access to any kind of electronic record, free from dependency on any specific hardware or software, enabling NARA to carry out its mission into the future.

11 11 ERA at work Concerned with volume, authenticity, access Heavily focused on technology and infrastructure –Partnerships with SDSC, US Army Research Lab, NIST, NASA Special interest in developing hardware and software independent digital objects $38 million dollars in FY2003 budget

12 12 Other Initiatives National Science Foundation –Research agenda workshop –Specific projects, including international collaborations RLG and OCLC –Attributes of Trusted Digital Repositories –New work on preservation metadata

13 13 More initiatives Mellon Foundation E-Journal project University-based research projects Growth of institutional repositories Industry-based projects NISO Still Image standard

14 14 What have we learned? Technological approaches: –Combination of migration, emulation, and encapsulation –Need to select the proper method for the object Technology itself is not an answer

15 15 Organizational Requirements RLG/OCLC definition: Digital preservation refers to the series of managed activities necessary to ensure continued access to and preservation of digital materials.

16 16 Need to address issues of Organization –Economics –Authenticity –Permanence Answers are likely to evolve Digital preservation is continuous obligation

17 Diagram by Nancy Y. McGovern based upon the RLG-OCLC Attributes of a Trusted Repository

18 18 Collaboration Needed Scope of need means no one institution can do it all Multiple copies are the best way of preserving digital information –Stanfords LOCKSS project

19 19 Intellectual Property Issues Copyright and other IP laws challenge our ability to preserve Digital Rights Management (DRM) and license agreements further complicate Unclear what the legal and economic answers are

20 20 Issues awaiting answers What is usable and interpretable? –Do we keep content readable? –Maintain the look and feel? What do we select for long-term preservation? How long is the long term? What technologies can be employed? What standards should be followed? How will we pay for everything?

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