Here comes the sun: IDPD17+1

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 1 December 2017

The sun has set now on International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD17) around the world, so, at the very last tick of the clocks on the most westerly reaches of the setting sun, we’d like to conclude by offering our thanks to colleagues in all time zones.

We have been astonished, delighted and massively energized by the numbers that participated, by the number of blogs, tweets, emails, messages on every media platform imaginable. There has been a significant effort of disk-imaging, file-migrating, and archive-describing. I never knew that ‘digital preservation cake’ was a thing but there’s been an awful lot of it in show; I didn’t know that a working ‘day’ could last for 39 hours; and I could scarcely have imagined the word ‘cryo-flux-a-thon’.  There has been enthusiasm and generosity, insight and commitment, and a wonderful sense of celebration at the gathering of our dynamic, diverse and dispersed community.

I think it is safe to say that our first International Digital Preservation Day has been a success. 

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Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group in Mexico City, 2019

Natalie M. Baur

Natalie M. Baur

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Natalie Baur is Preservation Librarian at Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, El Colegio de México in Mexico City.


 The Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas at the Colegio de México in Mexico City is thrilled to announce that we will be the hosts for the next Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group meeting! This exciting conference will be held at the Colegio de México’s installations from February 12-14, 2019, so save the date now! You will not want to miss this unique opportunity to talk digital preservation with colleagues from around the world. PASIG 2019 will be unique in that this is the very first time that the meeting will be held in a Latin American country. Mexico City is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city that will afford lots of excellent discussion on digital preservation advances locally in Mexico and throughout the Caribbean and Latin American region. We plan to have many attendees from across the region present at the meeting and this new infusion of perspectives and experiences will undoubtedly reinvigorate discussions happening in the international digital preservation community.

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Creating a Linked Data version of PREMIS

Evelyn McLellan

Evelyn McLellan

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Evelyn McLellan is President of Artefactual Systems and member of the PREMIS Editorial Committee.


It has been a busy couple of years for the PREMIS Editorial Committee. Since June 2015, when we released version 3.0 of the PREMIS Data Dictionary, we have been revising and releasing supporting documentation such as revised Guidelines for using PREMIS with METS and Understanding PREMIS, and updating and enhancing the preservation vocabularies, particularly the eventType vocabulary.

Perhaps the biggest undertaking, however, has been the preparation of a new OWL ontology by a working group that includes some members of the Editorial Committee plus external Linked Data experts and preservation practitioners. This is a work in progress and we are hoping to release a draft soon for a period of public review and feedback.

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Losing the Battle to Archive the Web

David S. H. Rosenthal

David S. H. Rosenthal

Last updated on 7 December 2017

David S. H. Rosenthal is a retired Chief Scientist for the LOCKSS Program at Stanford Libraries. 


Nearly one-third of a trillion Web pages at the Internet Archive is impressive, but in 2014 I reviewed the research into how much of the Web was then being collected and concluded:

Somewhat less than half ... Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why this simplistic assessment is wildly optimistic.

Costa et al ran surveys in 2010 and 2014 and concluded in 2016:

during the last years there was a significant growth in initiatives and countries hosting these initiatives, volume of data and number of contents preserved. While this indicates that the web archiving community is dedicating a growing effort on preserving digital information, other results presented throughout the paper raise concerns such as the small amount of archived data in comparison with the amount of data that is being published online.
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Digitization Is Not Digital Preservation

Peter Zhou

Peter Zhou

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Peter Zhou is Director and Assistant University Librarian at University of California, Berkeley


Over the past decade, I have spoken frequently at conferences on both sides of the Pacific, on digital information management and digital preservation, and I have just as frequently encountered academic leaders, librarians, and information specialists working under the misconception that digitization somehow equals digital preservation.

To many, converting print or analog content to a digital format and transferring the converted content to a disk, server, or other storage devices is an exercise in digital preservation. I usually point out that digital conversion makes content digital, but it cannot and will not guarantee that the digitized content can or will be preserved for an unspecified period to come, since the new format may become old, obsolete, or unusable in a matter of a few years—and then there are the problems of format reconciliation, checksum, error correction, data storage, and data migration, all of which are critical components of a robust digital preservation operation, whereas by simply storing the digital content and doing nothing else, one will miss all those vital steps.

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Digital Preservation 2007-2017

Art Pasquinelli

Art Pasquinelli

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Art Pasquinelli is LOCKSS Partnerships Manager at Stanford University Libraries in Palo Alto, California USA


Pasquinelli 2

I wanted to take the opportunity of the International Digital Preservation Day to do a retrospective on how we have evolved with regards to Preservation and permanent access over the last decade. So, I looked at two agenda snapshots; one from one of the earliest Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group's (PASIG) meetings in May 2008 and the other the latest meeting in Oxford in September 2017. The initial meeting can be seen at http://www.preservationandarchivingsig.org/index.html and the latest one can be viewed at https://pasig.figshare.com/pasigoxford. After looking at the content of the two Preservation meetings I came away with a very positive impression. Here are a few reasons why I feel so upbeat. 

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It’s difficult to solve a problem if you don’t know what’s wrong

Shira Peltzman

Shira Peltzman

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Shira Peltzman is Digital Archivist for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library Special Collections


Buried in the recently published findings from the 2017 NDSA Staffing Survey is evidence of a growing discontent among practitioners with regard to their organization’s approach to digital preservation. The survey asks respondents whether or not they agreed with the following statement: “The way our digital preservation function is currently organized (staffing levels, expertise, where they are placed within the larger organization) works well.” Of the 133 people who took the survey, 61 of them, or roughly 46%, either disagreed or strongly disagreed with that statement.

Peltzman 1

“Q16 - The way our digital preservation function is currently organized (staffing levels,  expertise, where they are placed within the larger organization) works well. [133 respondents]”] Taken from “Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation 2017 An NDSA Report”: http://ndsa.org/documents/Report_2017DigitalPreservationStaffingSurvey.pdf

To say that those numbers aren’t great would be an understatement. To make matters even worse, they represent an increase from the 2012 iteration of the survey, in which 34% of participants reported that they were unsatisfied with how things were organized.

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Lossy Accelerant: Surfeit and Fragment in Digital Collections Archives

Jefferson Bailey

Jefferson Bailey

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Jefferson Bailey is Director of Web Archiving Programs for The Internet Archive in the USA


Archival collections have always been incomplete. Being homogenous, selective groups of records preserved through time, they support attestation and evidentiary consideration only through their longitudinal availability. Multiple appraisal, selection, and processing strategies have developed over the history of the archival endeavor to address the ways in which the archival collection is, by nature, a partial or symbolic representation. From documentation strategy to the study of “archival silences,” both archivists and users alike have grappled with the challenges of incompleteness inherent in the archive. The emergence of born-digital records, and the ease of their creation, alteration, and publication, has compounded these challenges by introducing a documentary environment that is at once more rich and more easily  preserved, but also more dynamic, more ephemeral, and more partial. Furthermore, digital records have introduced their own characteristics of incompleteness: bit corruption, format migration, rendering and technological dependence, and other vulnerabilities that can impede recreation or interpretation.

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What we’ve done well, and some things we still need to figure out

David Minor

David Minor

Last updated on 1 December 2017

David Minor is Director of the Research Data Curation Program at the University of San Diego Library and formerly the Chronopolis Program Manager


I’ve worked in the Digital Preservation field for about a dozen years, and have had the good fortune to see a number of generations pass. I’d like to offer some thoughts on what we’ve done well, and some things we still need to figure out.

What we’ve done well:

  • Technology. In many ways, we’ve “solved” many of the digital preservation technology issues. Can we preserve bits for years and years? Yes. Can we move these bits around multiple locations and service backends and guarantee their persistence? Yes. Can we migrate data through various data types and outputs? Yes. (If we need to. Still an open question.) In many ways, the digital preservation community has made enormous strides in infrastructure that would have stymied us in the recent past. Can we do better? Of course. Will there be new technologies that come along and cause us to rethink everything we’ve done up to now? Hopefully. But if not, well, we can do our jobs, and we can do them well.
  • Variety of options. A striking facet of our community is the range of non/not-for profit options that 100% compete with commercial fare. We don’t celebrate this enough. Other significant segments of the digital library landscape have struggled with this for decades with little success. Today an organization that wants to contract with a preservation service can choose from at least a half dozen community-driven efforts, that are at least as good (if not better) than expensive commercial offerings. This is completely beyond awesome. It shows both the need for digital preservation across wide swaths of organizations and enterprises, as well as the dedication of large groups of people to solve thorny issues.
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Where is the real risk?

Carl Grant

Carl Grant

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Carl Grant is Associate Dean/Chief Technology Officer at University of Oklahoma Libraries


It’s always one of my goals in my role, to watch emerging technologies and to try and identify those that, per the model Geoffrey Moore established, will “cross the chasm” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Chasm ) and have an impact in research and pedagogy.  This is always a risky move.  You can be totally wrong, spend a fair amount of money and have little to show at the end.  Or you can be right and be a leader in helping deploy that technology in addition to being well positioned to capture the historical record surrounding it.  

Too many librarians are extremely risk adverse, due to typically working in a publicly funded institution. I understand why that makes so many hesitant to take a risky approach. But I wonder if they’re weighing the right risk? In my mind, I want the library to be seen as a place to come and try out new technology, a place where people can get help evaluating the pluses and minuses of that technology and help in using it to pursue their pedagogical and research goals.  I want them to see the library as a place of engagement, exploration, innovation and synthesis.  We can’t do sitting on the sidelines. Especially, in a world where technology is advancing as rapidly as it is today.  Doing so is to risk being seen as obsolete, a problem I hear all too many colleagues moaning about being the perception of their library on their campuses. 

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Digital Preservation Opportunities at ICPSR

Jared Lyle

Jared Lyle

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Jared Lyle is Archivist and Director for ICPSR Curation Services and the DDI Alliance in Michigin, USA


The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a social and behavioral science data archive based within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, is happy to celebrate the first ever International Digital Preservation Day.  ICPSR curates, preserves and shares 10,000+ data collections.  We also provide educational opportunities, including our Summer Program in Quantitative Methods and Social Research, and conduct data stewardship research projects

ICPSR has been preserving data collections for over 50 years.  Over the decades, we’ve archived data from punched cards and floppy disks and other media, as well as data in a wide range of formats, including now-decommissioned OSIRIS dictionaries written in EBCDIC.  We still do the occasional legacy conversion, such as rescuing data from a pioneering 1950s study of retirement, although the majority of data we acquire today arrive in more modern formats, such as SAS, SPSS, Stata, and R.  Regardless of the age, type, or shape of the data, preservation opportunities and challenges abound.

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Networked Approach to Preserving Software

Jessica Meyerson

Jessica Meyerson

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Jessica Meyerson is Research Program Officer for Educopia Institute in Austin, Texas, United States


One of key characteristic of information infrastructure outlined by Star & Ruhleder (1996) is that is ‘becomes visible on breakdown.’[1] While software does in fact breakdown, requiring patches or upgrades, as digital materials move from active use to the reuse context of cultural memory organizations, software breakdown can be understood as the inability to support meaningful access to digital information (ie, scientific or social scientific data, born-digital manuscript materials, complex models of the built environment) due to software dependencies and their associated challenges. This breakdown not only shines light on software (as cultural heritage itself and a tool for accessing existing digital cultural heritage), it makes visible the social structures and practices in which software is embedded – is a comprehensive breakdown of social structures to support information access including communication, legal systems and markets. By thinking about software as infrastructure we gain insight into ways in which software preservation fits into broader digital preservation practice as well as approaches that may prove to be the most effective in addressing the challenges of software preservation.

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Towards a Philosophy of Digital Preservation

Stacey Erdman

Stacey Erdman

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Stacey Erdman is Digital Archivist at Beloit College, Wisconsin USA


Are archivists born or made? I suppose we’ll never know the answer to that question definitively, but I feel pretty confident that if there’s an archivist “gene” I’ve surely got it. I’ve been actively building a personal archive since I was old enough to understand what memories are.

Of course, coming of age during the rise of the personal computer presented me with challenges in this arena. I still own my first computer – an Apple IIc, along with the floppies that contain my clumsy attempts to learn to program in BASIC. When I went off to college in 1995, I purchased a used Macintosh Plus and dial-up modem; soon I was surfing Mosaic from my dorm room in Urbana-Champaign –  home to HAL 9000, the fictional computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I discovered BBSs, IRC, newsgroups, MUDs, and became a voracious e-mail correspondent. I dove headfirst into this new online life, but with time, I grew concerned about the astounding impermanence of it all. How was I to document the time I was spending in these realms?

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The Next Leg in the Preservation Relay

Amy Kirchhoff and Sheila Morrissey

Amy Kirchhoff and Sheila Morrissey

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Amy Kirchhoff and Sheila Morrissey work for the Portico digital preservation service which is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization in the USA


Portico, a service of the non-for-profit organization ITHAKA, is a preservation service for the digital artifacts of scholarly communication.  Portico’s original remit 15 years ago– one shared by many DPC member organizations – was to develop a sustainable infrastructure, both institutional and technological, that would support the scholarly community’s transition from reliance on print journals to reliance upon electronic scholarly journals – more generally, to ensure that scholarly literature, published in electronic form, remains available to future generations of scholars, researchers, and students.

The occasion of the International Digital Preservation Day is an opportunity for us to reflect both on the continuing challenges (and opportunities) in preserving scholarly literature, and what we think might be new challenges ahead.

Written into our institutional DNA is the requirement simultaneously to preserve content at scale, and to preserve it in a fiscally sustainable way.  Again, this is challenge we all share, across all the content domains we jointly seek to preserve. The sheer ever-increasing volume of content flowing into Portico was a major motivator for undertaking a two-year project, launched in mid-2016, to develop the next-generation Portico technical infrastructure project.

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Educating Digital Stewards

Rhiannon Bettivia

Rhiannon Bettivia

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Rhiannon Bettivia is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Information Sciences (iSchool) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


I frame this post as a set of considerations for developing training and teaching modules for students and trainees endeavouring to enter the field of digital preservation. I teach such a module 2-3 times a year, and my university offers it 4 times a year with the help of adjunct instructors. It is often full to waitlist room only, meaning we will send anywhere from 50 up to as many as 110 students through this course in a calendar year. Chris Prom, of the University Archives, related that he was once requested to teach a module on advanced arrangement and description of digital materials for the Society of American Archivists nine times in a single year. The trend here is pretty clear: there are plenty of practitioners in the pipeline, ready to enter our field and to steward us into the future of digital preservation.

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Brushing up on Digital Architecture, Design and Engineering Assets

Kate Murray

Kate Murray

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Kate Murray works for Digital Collections & Management Services at the Library of Congress in Washington DC


On November 16, 2017 the Library of Congress, Architect of the Capitol and National Gallery of Art hosted the Designing the Future Landscape: Digital Architecture, Design and Engineering Assets symposium at the Library of Congress. The programming for the over 140 attendees included panels on lifecycle data management, data flow, access use cases, future-looking approaches and an ADE formats primer.

Murray 1

The presentations were recorded for later distribution on social media platforms, including YouTube, and a report covering the themes of the day will be published in early 2018. See #DigADE2017 on Twitter for on-the-spot reporting during the event and links to published information will be widely distributed when available.

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DAM and LAM - towards convergence

Helen Hockx-Yu

Helen Hockx-Yu

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Helen Hockx-Yu is Program Manager, Digital Product Access and Dissemination in the Office of Information Technologies for University of Notre Dame, Indiana USA


INTRODUCTION

Digital media are frequently produced and widely used at the University of Notre Dame (UND) to support education and research, and to document campus activities and athletic competitions. UND’s media products range from photographs and simple sound or video capture to sophisticated footage appropriate for national broadcasts. UND’s video assets are presently estimated to measure ~2PB.

As part of a project aimed at developing a common solution for managing Notre Dame’s video assets, we gathered and documented requirements from a wide range of stakeholders on campus and used these to assess Digital Asset Management (DAM) software.

DAM software vendors seem to have picked a very broad term for a relatively small software products segment. DAM systems (DAMs) in general have a much narrower focus than the collective name suggests. Different variants of DAMs are difficult to differentiate, making it hard for organisations to select the right product.

DAMs are a breed of software that manages specific types of digital information within a specific organisational context. DAMs are mostly intended for multimedia or rich media, such as photographs, videos, animation, graphics, logos, and marketing collateral. DAMs emerged in the private sector to support digital media creation, marketing, publishing, and brand management.

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Operationalizing Digital Preservation: An Innovative New Curriculum

Kara Van Malssen

Kara Van Malssen

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Kara Van Malssen is Partner and Senior Consultant at AVPreserve in New York


I work at AVPreserve, a consulting and software development firm, where we focus on developing innovative solutions that advance the ways data and information serve individuals, organizations, and causes. Often, we are asked to come in to an organization and help them assess their digital preservation efforts, in order to move toward expanding capacity, scope, functionality, overall efficiency, or standards-compliance. We start by looking at their current digital preservation practices, evaluating technologies, policies, workflows, procedures, staffing/roles, and other resources. It is not uncommon for us to find that the organization is “stuck” in some respect, struggling to, for example, consistently collect all digital assets of value, implement comprehensive ingest procedures, or store all content in a managed preservation environment. And while the causes of these challenges vary between organizations, lack of funding is generally not the culprit. There are a variety of operational factors that need to be considered in order to implement successful digital preservation processes.

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The only archival digital document format

Duff Johnson

Duff Johnson

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Duff Johnson is Executive Director of the PDF Association and Project Leader for ISO 32000 in Winchester, Massachusetts, USA


What is a “document”? It’s a record of some (typically written) content - a publication, a contract, a statement, a painting - at a moment in time. Until the advent of computers (and scanners), the only media considered useable for such records were papyrus, vellum or paper pages.

PDF became the document format of choice for business, government and the general public because it delivers the key qualities of paper in a digital format. PDF is fixed, self-contained, readily shareable and relatively hard to change. It’s not just PDF’s innate characteristics that make it successful, but the fact that PDF interoperates smoothly with paper documents. The classic “PDF it, send it, print it, sign it and return it” type of workflow introduced new efficiencies when PDF surfaced into public consciousness in the mid-to-late 1990s. This approach used only the most basic of the format’s capabilities, but it was enough to enable the slow economy-wide transition to digital documents.

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The Emergence of “Digital Patinas”

Euan Cochrane

Euan Cochrane

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Euan Cochrane is Digital Preservation Manager at Yale University Library in the USA


Physical objects often have a “patina” associated with them that illustrates their age and authenticity and evokes an emotional response in ways that are in contrast with responses to brand-new objects.

“Patina (/ˈpætɪnə/ or /pəˈtiːnə/) is a thin layer that variously forms on the surface of stonecopperbronze and similar metals (tarnish produced by oxidation or other chemical processes), [1] wooden furniture (sheen produced by age, wear, and polishing), or any such acquired change of a surface through age and exposure.” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Patina&oldid=810608866

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Inform and Form – The Role of Education in Digital Preservation

Millard Schisler

Millard Schisler

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Millard Schisler is Researcher at Digital Culture Center / CEBRAP in São Paulo, Brazil


It is wonderful to celebrate International Digital Preservation Day and recognize how much has been accomplished during the past decades, while also realizing how much we still need to work on, evidenced by the people, businesses and institutions struggling with how to deal with their ever-growing digital assets. As I think about our role in transforming this landscape, I go back to the beginning of this century, when Nancy McGovern and Anne Kenney talked about the three-legged stool that was necessary for digital preservation to happen: the organizational infrastructure, technological infrastructure and the resources (human and material). You cannot sit on a stool with just two legs – we need all three to maintain a balance, and one cannot be larger or smaller than another if we are to make the stool functional. I have used this image so much in my talks. With this awareness, another image came into my mind once when preparing for a lecture – if we were to connect all three legs at the bottom, it would provide the stool with extra sturdiness; this strength would come from the role of education within digital preservation.

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Archivo web de Proceso de Paz y Posconflicto

Johanna Gallego Gutierrez

Johanna Gallego Gutierrez

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Johanna Gallego Gutiérrez is Digital Deposit Manager for Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, in Bogotá


La Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia ha iniciado la construcción del Archivo de la web y de recursos estáticos digitales sobre proceso de paz y posconflicto en Colombia. Esta iniciativa pretende recolectar, custodiar, preservar y divulgar, para las generaciones presentes y futuras, la historia web del importante momento que vivimos en nuestro país, a través de las herramientas especializadas de harvesting que permiten la copia de sitios web, recopilan su contenido, diseño y arquitectura. 

Gutierrez 1

Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia. Foto por: Confidencial Colombia. Agosto 9, 2016.

Este interés surge, principalmente, por el actual proceso de paz que vive Colombia con las FARC, el mayor grupo guerrillero en el país y con mayor alcance militar. Pues, tras más de 50 años de guerra, nuestro país ha comenzado uno de los capítulos más anhelados por la mayoría de los colombianos.

Es importante resaltar que el escenario de producción en Colombia ha tenido un crecimiento importante desde la esfera digital; sin embargo, no hay una excepción en la legislación que le permita a la Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia realizar la preservación de este patrimonio. Además, las implicaciones de realizar la preservación web en casa, teniendo en cuenta que el dominio .co se ha vendido, es usado de manera comercial y su cosecha no garantizaría la salvaguardia de la web colombiana, por esto y teniendo en cuenta la compleja realidad, se ha iniciado un proyecto en alianza con la Universidad Externado de Colombia para la recolección selectiva sobre la producción web de proceso de paz y posconflicto.

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A Wish List for the Future of the Digital Preservation Community

Nancy McGovern

Nancy McGovern

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Nancy McGovern is Director of Digital Preservation at MIT Libraries in the USA


International Digital Preservation Day got me thinking about this: what might be most helpful for the digital preservation community to be able to continue to grow in a sustainable, inclusive, and responsive way? Here is a brief, annotated wish list for the digital preservation community using four attributes of an emergent group, a sociological convention to enable a group to be identified and studied.

  1. Membership: members have a sense of belonging to the group and it is possible to recognize other members.

Background: There is a perception that the digital preservation community exists and is growing. So far, the best ways to indicate membership has been attendance conferences and meeting.

My wish: That we identify more and increasingly better ways to be able to “join” the digital preservation community, whatever that may come to mean.

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Collaboration is essential for Digital Preservation

Thomas Ledoux

Thomas Ledoux

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Thomas Ledoux is Co-ordinator of Digital Production at the National Library of France


Digital preservation, seen from the outside, may appear as a very technical topic where you only talk about formats, storage, infrastructure and the like.

Indeed, in order to appraise, audit or ingest digital material, a certain degree of technical expertise is needed. But when you follow these steps, it becomes clear that the first requirement is collaborating and building up communities, because what you build should last.

Of course, the first community you need to build is inside your organization: aggregate an internal team. This means you need to define your own goals and start to share a common vocabulary (here is where tools like OAIS or METS can be helpful). A better understanding about the collections and the kind of media you have to deal with is essential. At the same time, you need to pool the means (especially storage infrastructure) so that what you build is sustainable.

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The More You Know...

Leslie Johnston

Leslie Johnston

Last updated on 12 December 2017

Leslie Johnston is Director of Digital Preservation for the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC, USA


One of the greatest challenge for any archive is the multiplicity of file formats. For the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), with several decades of history accessioning and managing electronic records, this is compounded. We received our first transfer of electronic records in 1970!

How do you plan a preservation strategy to account for decades of electronic files? I started by drawing a picture. Not a literal picture, of course, but I wanted to find a way to analyze and visualize what NARA has in its holdings.

NARA has recently completed a file format profile of its electronic records files. Why did we do this? Because we could not plan without first getting a better idea of what we really have. NARA operates under several different regulatory mandates, each with different restrictions on collection schedules and scope, as well as access controls. This led to the implementation of multiple systems--developed over more than 20 years with different technologies--which meant a real challenge in understanding the scope of the holdings.

I worked with the system owners and our IT operations to get the most granular reporting possible on each set: federal, legislative, and individual presidential administrations. The reporting didn’t always match in terms of granularity, given different tooling for the format analysis and report generation, but in the end I was able to compile a record of what we have, what formats we have, and counts. Could we identify every file format with complete certainty? No. Were there decisions in the past about format normalization that I had to take into account? Yes. Will it help me plan for preservation program and technology priorities? Absolutely.

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Digital Preservation at Historic Environment Scotland

Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith

Last updated on 5 December 2017


My name is Hannah Smith and I work for Historic Environment Scotland, based in the digital archive team within the Heritage Directorate. For the first ever Digital Preservation Day I thought I would share some of the progress we have been making in terms of digital preservation at HES, as well as some of the more day to day work in the digital archive. We have been actively collecting digital archive since 2003, receiving both internally and externally generated material. Historic Environment Scotland currently holds more than 437,000 catalogued digital items which equates to around 32TB of archived data. Over the last 2 years, the digital archive has been making huge strides in renewing the technical infrastructure that underpins our work and to ensure the long term preservation of our digital records. Our goal is to provide the best possible care for our digital archives and we are looking to bench mark our services within the European accreditation framework. In 2015 HES invested in new trusted digital repository software, and work has focused on integrating this preservation system with our own repository. We have made huge advances in the standard of care we provide to our digital archive: 617,338 individual digital files have been audited and processed to ensure they conform to appropriate standards.

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The Threat of the Double Extinction

Cees Hof

Cees Hof

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Cees Hof is Project Acquisition Manager at Data Archiving and Networked Services(DANS) in the Netherlands 


A first glimpse at the DPC ‘Save the Bits’ announcement on the compilation of a list of Digitally Endangered Species confused me when it passed my screen. Further scanning the text only increased this feeling as I encountered more ‘species’ related references, but it soon turned out I was misled by my own biologically biased search image.

It was especially the ‘IUCN Red List of Threatened Species’ that was steering me wrong. A list very familiar to me as a former coordinator of several large Biodiversity data programmes. But the DPC suggested list had nothing to do with plants, animals and microbes soon to disappear from our planet’s surface. It was all about their digital equivalents occupying binary niches and threatened by the lack of proper digital archives, outdated software formats, or insufficient human efforts to safeguard their existence.

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Two early episodes on digital preservation… plus one!

José Borbinha

José Borbinha

Last updated on 29 November 2017

José Borbinha works at INESC-ID – Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) at Lisbon University, Portugal


(Episode 1) When unsuccessful digital preservation can be convenient

The year of 1998 was special. In May, it opened the Lisbon World Exposition! In June, it was held the “Sixth DELOS Workshop on Preservation of Digital Information” in the beautiful Tomar. Finally, in October, I became CIO of the National Library of Portugal.

In retrospective, 1998 was my definitive commitment with this great world of digital libraries and archives. A seed has been planted in 1996, when I got involved in the new DELOS Working Group on Digital Libraries, and it blossom in 2000 when I had the privilege of organizing the 4th ECDL conference in Lisbon. DELOS was a community that still brings special memories (“saudade” as we say in Portuguese - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudade)

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Lansio Polisi Cadwedigaeth Ddigidol i Gymru / Launching the Digital Preservation Policy for Wales

Sally McInnes

Sally McInnes

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Sally McInnes is Director of Unique Collections at the National Library of Wales


Today is the first International Digital Preservation Day. The aim of the day is to create greater awareness of digital preservation and the issues associated with preserving and providing access to digital material. There are particular challenges associated with the preservation of digital material, notably the fast pace of software and hardware developments, the increasing complexity of digital resources and the resulting impact on the stability of such media.  If digital material is to remain accessible, both in the short-term for business continuity, research, economic and legal requirements and for preserving the historic record in the longer-term, measures have to be taken to ensure that this information is accessible.

The International Digital Preservation Day has been co-ordinated by the Digital Preservation Coalition http://www.dpconline.org/. The NLW is a long-term member of the DPC, the aim of which is to support its members to make digital information available in the future.  It has published a 'Bit List' of the World's Endangered Digital Species http://dpconline.org/our-work/bit-list) which has been unveiled today as part of this campaign to raise awareness of the need to preserve digital materials.

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Guten Tag from the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre

Martin Iordanidis

Martin Iordanidis

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Martin Iordanidis is Information Safety Officer at HBZ in Germany


 

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Hey, thats us! Us at the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz) in Cologne, which is an authority of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

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The Costs of Inaction: advocating for digital preservation

Neil Beagrie

Neil Beagrie

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Neil Beagrie is Director of Consultancy at Charles Beagrie Ltd


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Illustration by Jørgen Stamp digitalbevaring.dk CC BY 2.5 Denmark

Traditionally the major challenge in digital preservation has been seen to be technology obsolesence.  However, arguably the organisational challenges, particularly funding (and advocacy for funding), have proved to be much more significant over time.

In recent years an increasing number of community efforts have focussed on helping organisations to identify benefits and write a business case for digital preservation. The Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) Digital Preservation Benefits Analysis Tools and the Digital Preservation Business Case Toolkit are good examples.

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Digital Preservation Milestones at the University of Sheffield

Chris Loftus

Chris Loftus

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Chris Loftus is Digital Preservation Manager at the University of Sheffield Western Bank Library in the UK


The first International Digital Preservation day allows us an opportunity to reflect on some of the milestones and significant events so far in the implementation of the University of Sheffield’s Digital Preservation programme. The Library became one of the early adopters of Rosetta, a Digital Preservation solution provided by ExLibris, in 2015. Following installation Rosetta was given the Sheffield brand name ArchiveUS and initial priority focussed on developing ingest routes for our valuable digital material; born digital and digitised collections from Special Collections and the National Fairground and Circus Archive.

In September 2016 the University's Festival of the Mind event gave the Library the opportunity to highlight the thinking behind Digital Preservation through a collaboration with local artist Paul Carruthers. ‘Memories in the digital age’ is a triptych film that featured difficult to access footage from the library’s collections. The piece, which was exhibited at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery, explored some of the ideas underpinning Digital Preservation; such as the generation and use of digital information and its relationship to memory.

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To deposit, or not to deposit (or whether it is a question at all)

Kuldar Aas

Kuldar Aas

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Kuldar Aas is Deputy Director of Digital Archives at the National Archives of Estonia


Prologue

October 2006. A workshop discussing digital information management. A known and respected IT visionary comes up and delivers a statement about file format obsolescence: “It is really not an issue to worry about. In ten years we will certainly have artificial intelligence which is able to render any bitstream there is”.

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Pixabay, CC0, https://pixabay.com/en/artificial-intelligence-robot-ai-ki-2167835/

The digital society and the digital archivist

“Dear community! My name is Kuldar and I’m a digital archivist in Estonia.”

The particular thing to note about this confession is the country as such – just Google for it and you are guaranteed to get a fair number of hits which describe how in e-Estonia you can set up companies in 18 minutes, declare taxes in 3 minutes, or tell you that 99% of public services are available online. Digging a bit further you will find out how Estonia has implemented nice things like ‘once-only’, ‘digital by default’, and ‘no legacy’ – principles which, when spoken out aloud, will lead any reasonable archivist straight to a mental institution along with inflicting a serious heart condition.

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A day at the digital archives of the National Archives of Denmark

Anders Bo Neilsen

Anders Bo Neilsen

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Anders Bo Neilsen is the Senior Adviser on Digital Preservation at the Danish National Archives


Thursday was yet another busy and versatile day here at the section of Digital Preservation of the Danish National Archives. As usual there were the daily audit reports and the results of the quality assurance of the ingested SIPs which once again were spit out (pun intended) by our QA system. The producers of the SIPs were notified and given a new deadline for resubmitting SIPs which we can ingest and digest. Almost all of the rejected SIPs were produced by national authorities, but one or two were actually produced by a colleague. A taste of one's own medicine can be bitter and hard to stomach. The errors were the typical ones: lack of context documentation, missing explanation of code values, broken referential integrity and poor conversions to TIFF.

Having dealt with the ingest problems we turned our focus on the next item in the process, the packaging and storage of the AIPs. We are in the process of storing five AIPs from five similar authorities ranging in size from two to eight TB. At first we could not understand the huge size of these AIPs produced from ordinary digital case and document management systems. It seems that many incoming documents are an order of magnitude larger than the outgoing. Apparently, quite a few citizens seem to reply to these authorities by printing out the documents they receive, adding handwritten comments on them, taking pictures of all the pages using their smart phone, and emailing them to the authorities. That is how an outgoing black and white document is transformed into an incoming document in full colour - and full size.

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Name that item in…?

Kirsty Chatwin-Lee

Kirsty Chatwin-Lee

Last updated on 30 November 2017

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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We need to talk about copyright

Susan Reilly

Susan Reilly

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Susan Reilly is Director of Digital Library, Licencing & Copyright at Qatar National LibraryDoha


With a European Parliament vote on copyright reform looming it’s worth taking a look at the relationship between digital preservation and copyright  law and why we need copyright reform at international level to help ensure the preservation of the digital cultural and scientific record.

You don’t need to be a lawyer to figure out that one of the biggest challenges facing digital preservation today is copyright. Digital preservation usually necessitates the making of several copies, shifting formats or making derivative works, circumvention of technical protection measures, not to mention making available. Each one of these acts can require an exception and limitation in copyright law.

Reilly 1

Possibly one of the least discussed aspects of the current proposal for an EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market is Article 5 on the preservation of cultural heritage, which introduces a mandatory exception to the right of reproduction allowing cultural heritage institutions to make copies of items (in any format) in their collection for the purpose of preservation. This article recognises the fact that a single copy is not sufficient for digital preservation and that it is necessary to multiple copies. It also allows for format shifting. The proposed directive also has a provision on technical protection measures but does not go far enough in providing a mechanism for recourse should rights owners not cooperate in allowing cultural heritage institutes to circumvent these measures for the purpose of preservation.

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1997-2007: the main challenge after two decades of digital preservation research is the weakness of the professional and institutional networks

Maria Guercio

Maria Guercio

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Maria Guercio is President of Associazione nazionale archivistica italiana


The main challenge after two decades of good research is the weakness of international and national professional and institutional networks with reference to the capacity of sharing knowledge and solutions.

It is a paradox that in the modern society, interconnected by definition, the international community involved in digital preservation (more robust and interrelated than other professionals and rich of two decades of good research and experience) does not have planned tools and communication channels strong enough to play with continuity its role with success. In fact and indeed, the networked digital world is more fragmentary than in the past, while the archival heritage can survive for future only if our professional and institutional community will be able to put in place a long-term program of research and a stable cooperation framework. The relations we have to create and maintain could be able to re-enforce our capacity of identifying and improve solutions by cooperating and sharing our experiences, our successful achievements, but also our failures.

The lack of continuity and the increasing isolation of the stakeholders is the most critical aspect of the whole sector, but the international funding and coordinating bodies do not seem to be aware of this. For instance, this factor has seriously weakened the European effort in this area and prevented the completion of ambitious and promising projects and implementation plans, at the point that no robust programs for funding preservation projects are in place within Horizon 2020 and no coordination is available to discuss and compare the models developed in the European countries. A similar attitude is present in the ICA initiatives where a temporary group of expert has been created for handling with digital records (DREG, http://www.ica.org/en/our-professional-programme/expert-group-digital-records-dreg), but no resources are available neither for events nor for meetings. 

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Fifteen years with digital preservation

Zhenxin Wu

Zhenxin Wu

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Zhenxin Wu is Professor of the Information System Department and Deputy Director of the Digital Preservation Center of Chinese Academy of Sciences at the National Science Library in Beijing, China


 

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与长期保存共同成长的十五年

        长期保存对我而言,是我研究生涯的开始,之前我是一个图书馆系统程序员。2003年,张晓林教授找到我,希望我能参与斯坦福大学图书馆的一个项目协助做些事情,也就是日后很成功的LOCKSS项目。出于对这所著名大学的敬仰,我立刻就答应下来。从配合LOCKSS项目在中国北京建立一个测试节点开始,我逐步了解了数字资源长期保存的内涵,以及这项工作的重要意义,并产生了浓厚的兴趣。2004年,在北京作为工作人员参加组织了第一届数字资源长期保存国际会议(iPRES),目前iPRES已成为长期保存领域最有影响力国际会议。2005年Neil Beagrie先生介绍我到英国数字保管中心(DCC)作高级访问学者,在爱丁堡,我学习到很多新东西,也看到很多新思想的碰撞,结识了很多长期保存领域的专家。

        回到北京后,在中国科学院的资助下,我开始从事电子出版物的长期保存研究和试验,对文件格式管理、fixity check,起源信息管理,数据迁移,以及可信赖审计与认证等进行了深入的研究,与团队一起开发了基于Fedora的电子期刊存档试验系统,并致力国家层面的宣传呼吁。

       

 

图1.电子期刊存档试验系统功能框架  

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PERSIST: A Global Dialogue on Digital Preservation

Rob Buckley

Rob Buckley

Last updated on 1 December 2017

Robert Buckley works for the National Archives of the UAE in Abu Dhabi


PERSIST: A Global Dialogue on Digital Preservation

To those unfamiliar with PERSIST, it is a project within the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme, whose International Advisory Committee is currently chaired by Dr. Abdulla Alraisi, Director General of the National Archives of the UAE. The Memory of the World (MoW) Programme was created in 1992 to facilitate preservation of the world’s documentary heritage and to assist in providing universal access to it.

When my colleague Hamad Al Mutairi, Director of the Archives Department here at the National Archives of the UAE, and I first sat down to discuss this contribution, he drafted the outline of a general digital preservation policy. We realize that having a policy for digital preservation or digital continuity is not a unique thing; numerous institutions have one already, suitably adapted to the environment in which they operate. What is different is that the effort here is partly stimulated by our participation in the PERSIST project.

The PERSIST project is essentially a digital component of the MoW programme. It is an outgrowth of the The Memory of the World in the Digital age Conference  held in Vancouver in 2012. PERSIST aims to address the challenges of long-term digital preservation and the risks of losing access to part of our digital heritage. Partnering with UNESCO on PERSIST are the International Council of Archives (ICA) and the International Federation of Libraries Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

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Building blocks of digital preservation in India

Dr. Dinesh Katre

Dr. Dinesh Katre

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Dr. Dinesh Katre is Associate Director and Head of Department at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Pune, India


 It is a matter of great pride for me to have associated myself with the global cause of preserving information in digital era. I wish to congratulate the team of Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) for taking this initiative to celebrate International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD)! This can be a very effective tool for creating awareness about rampant digital obsolescence among general public.

We have been working on digital preservation in India since 2009. I take this opportunity to present an overview of “Centre of Excellence for Digital Preservation”, the flagship project undertaken as part the National Digital Preservation Programme sponsored by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India. The Centre of Excellence of Digital Preservation is established at C-DAC, Pune, INDIA. Being the Principal Investigator (PI) of this project, I would like to share information on major outcomes of this project.

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Digital Preservation at the University of Melbourne

Jaye Weatherburn

Jaye Weatherburn

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Jaye Weatherburn is Digital Preservation Officer at the University of Melbourne


Background

Three years ago, at the September 2014 meeting of Academic Board at the University of Melbourne, the Digital Preservation 2015–2025: Strategy[i] and Implementation Roadmaps[ii] were endorsed. By early 2016 the Digital Preservation Project team had formed and commenced the “Establishment phase” towards implementing the Strategy. A central aim of the Strategy is to establish a university ecosystem of repositories with the capability to archive, preserve and provide ongoing access to the university’s digital assets.

The project has survived and thrived through a large-scale university restructure, and significant resourcing challenges, thanks to the ongoing dedication of the library Research & Collections team at the university, led by Donna McRostie.

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Digital Preservation of Indian Cultural Heritage: Issues and Challenges

Ramesh Gaur

Ramesh Gaur

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Dr. Ramesh C Gaur works at the Jawaharlal Nehru University


At the outset, let me congratulate all on initiating 30th November as the International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD17).

My introduction to digital preservation started in 2005 when I visited Germany with the support of Max Mueller Bhawan. My three-week stay, one week each at Belfield University, Belfield; German National Library Frankfurt; and State Gottingen University Library, Gottingen; provided me opportunity to closely study some of the digital preservation initiatives in Germany in particular and in Europe in general. The interaction with researchers working at project like NESTOR, KOPOL, and REUSE, etc., helped me in learning the basics of digital preservation. After coming back from Germany, I shared my experience in the form of various lectures delivered at various national and international conferences in India. Since then, digital preservation is one of the prime area of my interest.

Digital preservation is a process of preserving both digitized and born-digital contents to a distant future in reusable condition for access by its users. It involves a set of systematic guidelines, processes, strategies, technology and approaches.' The technological obsolescence, shorter and uncertain life-period for current storage media, information glut, and internet revolution are some of the major factors which have made preservation of digital information more complex and challenging. Being a librarian, preservation for access is key to my thought process.

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How do I keep my digital films safe

Joshua Ng

Joshua Ng

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Joshua Ng is the Information Technology (IT) & Technical executive at the Asian Film Archive (AFA) based in Singapore.


Hi Joshua,

I made some short films a couple of years back. Some of them were submitted to competitions and won some awards. I have been keeping them in an external hard disk, thinking that since the files are backed up, it should be safe. But I had quite a scare the other day when my computer couldn't detect the hard disk. Fortunately when I tried it with another USB cable it worked. Is there something I can do to ensure my short films are safe?

Warm regards,

Paul Soon

Filmmaker

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Plans are my reality

Yvonne Tunnat

Yvonne Tunnat

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Yvonne Tunnat is Preservation Manager at the ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics


I was fresh from university when I started my job as a preservation manager in October 2011 at the ZBW. Having taken a module named “Digital Preservation” during my studies of library and information science and after a 9-week-internship at the Digital Preservation Department of the university of Utah, I obviously was the best they could find for the job, although I knew next to nothing and they knew it.

Only, I did not know it. I felt self-confident and well-prepared. I had seen the OAIS slides several times, I knew our ingest was more or less solved and I did not need to think about access as we run a dark archive, so preservation planning was the one big task left on my desk.

There was this software, JHOVE, which miraculously was able to decide if a PDF was ok, flagging the bad ones for later preservation actions. As I knew nothing (like Jon Snow), I took all JHOVE findings as granted.

My preservation plan was as following:

  1. Gather all bad PDF
  2. Migrate them to good PDF
  3. Check if they still look alike

Thanks to JHOVE, the first step was easy. I left the second step to our IT guy, who quickly built a small java program, which transformed all the bad PDF into good ones. At least, after the migration JHOVE could not find anything wrong with them anymore.

But I had to rack my brain about the third step. Somehow I needed to compare the new PDF version with the original to see if there were any changes that would make the data producer angry (like layout changes, missing content etc).

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What does digital preservation mean to you?

Jaye Weatherburn

Jaye Weatherburn

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Jaye Weatherburn is Digital Preservation Officer at the University of Melbourne


In a review conducted in 2016 for the University of Melbourne’s Digital Preservation Project, key research staff at the university were asked the question, What does digital preservation mean to you? The primary aim of this review was to identify and document gaps in service provision for research data management, and to highlight the main barriers impeding the implementation of sustainable digital preservation.

The responses from the review have been anonymised, remixed slightly, and in parts edited for length, but still accurately represent the answers as provided. They are presented here in both transcript form, and as an audiovisual creation using the Mac OS X El Capitan (version 10.11.6) speech-to-text voices: Fiona, Alex, Karen, Samantha, Tessa, and Daniel.

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Twittering on the edge of two conferences: Themes of power and empowerment at ASA-ITIC and iPRES 2017

Rachel Tropea

Rachel Tropea

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Rachel Tropea is a Senior Research Archivist at the University of Melbourne in Australia. 


2017 has been a year for digital preservation firsts – the first ever International Digital Preservation Day on 30 November 2017, the University of Melbourne became the first Australian institution to join the Digital Preservation Coalition, and on a personal level it was my first time attending iPRES.

iPRES is the major international conference on the preservation and long-term management of digital materials. In 2017 it was hosted by Kyoto University, and the theme was Keeping Cultural Diversity for the Future in the Digital Space — From Pop Culture to Scholarly Information.

At the same time, the Australian Society of Archivists Conference & Information Technologies Indigenous Symposium (ASA-ITIC) took place in Melbourne, and its theme was Diverse Worlds.

Although these communities confer separately, their concerns are largely the same as evidenced in part by their shared theme of diversity this year. And, as I hope you’ll see from my discussion of ASA-ITIC, the challenges posed by the keynote speaker Jarrett Drake go to the very core of what we all do.

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What’s in a name?

Amber Cushing

Amber Cushing

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Amber Cushing is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) for the School of Information & Communication Studies, University College Dublin


When it comes to digital curation in Ireland, a lot, actually.  In 2014, I was recruited by University College Dublin (UCD) to start an Msc in Digital Curation.  Digital curation has been concisely defined as “the management and preservation of digital material to ensure accessibility over the long term” (Abbott, 2008).  In essence, preservation is only part of the process, digital curation prescribes that sustaining long term access to digital material should be considered before the object is even created, but selecting optimal file formats, a preservation strategy, etc.  I thought my background, having been a PhD student at the UNC School of Information and Library Science, that launched one of the first degrees in digital curation had prepared me for this.  I knew the major issues in the field, as well as the key literature.  Just to be sure, I, along with UCD School of Information and Communications Head of School Professor Kalpana Shankar, decided to embark on a needs analysis of digital curation in Ireland.

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This is not a part

Sean Barker

Sean Barker

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Sean Barker runs a Technical consultancy on Enterprise Integration and Information Sharing for Products


Barker 1Dear colleagues,

This photo shows my paperweight for the last 25 years. The suggestion is that it was a test part, used in a prototype for a flight control mechanism. You might think that it is the physical part that endures long after the design has been lost in an archive, but this piece of metal demonstrates the opposite - it is a part without provenance, so not an aircraft part at all.

Yes, we could measure and redraw it, but that would not be its design. The holes are set where they are because of the geometry of the mechanism, but which mechanism was it designed for? The flanges - the metal ridges round the edges that stand up from the base plate - are there to stiffen the plate. They will have been analysed through a finite element stress model, but without knowing the original mechanism, we don't know the forces the stress model tested. And even if we can find the most likely mechanism, it is likely that it went through several versions, and which version, which loads is this designed for?

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Crossroads

Andrea Goethals

Andrea Goethals

Last updated on 30 November 2017

 Andrea Goethals works at the National Library of New Zealand


Recently I unexpectedly found myself with extra time on my hands, as I was preparing to take a new position halfway around the world. Like most of you, I’m assuming, I normally don’t get the time to go back and reread some of my favorite digital preservation papers, discover new favorites I missed previously, or to follow the sourced papers to see where it takes me. Because my interests lie in what it takes to build and grow effective digital preservation programs, I focused on preservation requirements, capability criteria, maturity models, self-assessments, risk assessments, audits and certifications.  Besides all the benefits that come from rereading these guidance documents, papers, and standards; several things struck me in the process that I’d like to share with you.

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Welcome to the Digital Preservation Laundrette!

Matthew Addis

Matthew Addis

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Matthew Addis is Chief Technology Officer for Arkivum


This blog post is both a demonstration of how to extensively torture a metaphor if you try hard enough, which I'm certainly want to do from time to time, and a look at some of the serious issues of digital preservation at an industrial scale outside of memory institutions. 

The metaphor is washing machines, the industrial application is research data preservation, and the answer, perhaps paradoxically, is to choose to do less for more.

Addis 1aI've been involved for over 2 years now with the Jisc Research Data Shared Service (RDSS).  This has the ambitious and laudable goal of providing a national Shared Service for Research Data Management to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the UK, including the deposit, storage, publication and preservation of a wide range of digital research outputs. 

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Bit Preservation is NOT a Question of Technology!

Eld Zierau

Eld Zierau

Last updated on 30 November 2017

Eld Zierau is Digital Preservation Specialist PhD at the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark


 And yes, it does involve technology, but technology is just a tool, in the same way as a word processing editor is a tool for a writer.

Today, there is a growing awareness of the need for bit preservation, but there are still a lot of talk about backup, hardware longevity, bit preservation as a technology solution etc. I will here focus on the technology contra non-technology parts, and I will therefore take the liberty to assume the following: It is common knowledge, that there needs to be copies of data in bit preservation, and that these copies of data are equally worthy (not backup copies of an original), and that the copies of data (replicas) are regularly checked and fixed for errors.

Zierau 1

Figure text: Bit preservation with coordinated independent replica units in different organisations, expressed in OAIS terms and images from digitalbevaring.dk

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Digital Music Production MK I.

Thomas Bårdsen

Thomas Bårdsen

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Thomas Bårdsen is Audio Production Manager at the National Library of Norway


I guess the first digital thing that entered my house growing up, was music. A shiny disc of digital information, read out via laser technology. So futuristic, at the time I think it even changed my hairstyles in a more “pointy” direction.  Those discs were just an end product of a whole new direction in music production. The whole music production chain aimed digital. The discs were graded and stamped as if they were jewelry. DDD meaning digital technology were used from start to finish. Music productions have in some ways been born digital for over 35 years. It has also left some strange digital collections behind. In the very early eighties, going digital was a risky and costly piece of business.  The previous analog era in music technology, had at least tried to be compatible. The new approach from the industry was that of proprietary systems. Legendary record producer Richard Burgess called the approach of the early digital audio formats a winner takes all play, were larger companies hoped on maximizing profits by squeezing out all competition.

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2017: A Watershed Year for Digital Preservation?

Ross Harvey

Ross Harvey

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Ross Harvey is Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.


Preparing a new edition of Preserving Digital Materials with Jaye Weatherburn (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) has provided the opportunity to reflect on a large body of material about digital preservation. What I have observed suggests strongly that in the future, 2017 will be considered as a watershed year for digital preservation.

Sometimes the progress of digital preservation seems to resemble a tortoise inching along. Solid foundations are in place, and the need for action is better understood, but these only brush the surface of the many, varied, and evolving challenges. Four challenges seem particularly resistant to change: managing digital preservation, especially its lack of integration into mainstream practice; funding digital preservation – there’s never enough; peopling digital preservation, there being a lack of skilled people; and making digital preservation fit—lack of scalability of digital preservation activities.

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The Future of Television Archives

Richard Wright

Richard Wright

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Richard Wright runs Preservation Guide, a consultancy on audiovisual preservation. Before retiring, Richard worked as a Technology Manager at BBC Information & Archives from 1994. 


Not everyone knows that there even are television archives. Europe is fortunate in having a tradition of public service broadcasters. They are publicly supported in various ways (licence fee, limited advertising, direct government funding) but all have a remit to provide high-quality information and entertainment. Broadcasting can be seen as ephemera, but yesterday's ephemera becomes today's heritage. Of particular interest in a time of fake and false news is the role of public service broadcasters in providing quality factual material: news and current affairs.

Public service broadcasters, particularly in Europe, have also led the way in maintaining archives of their productions. While drama and entertainment programmes are kept for repeats and for sale to other countries, factual content is heavily recycled to add depth and interest to current programmes. In the BBC, about 30 to 40 percent of 'the news' is actually archive material. Other uses include biographies; retrospectives on people, places and political situations; cultural history; and a wide range of factual content that needs archive footage for context and historical memory. Up to 2010, about 20% of the BBC television archive was accessed each year, and 95% of that use was internal: back into the BBC for adding depth to new programmes. The other 5% was commercial use. Broadcast archives had little or no public access. In the UK, public access to BBC Archives was via copies of tapes sent from the BBC to the British Film Institute.

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If I had a time machine: Letter to past-DP-newbie-me

Michelle Lindlar

Michelle Lindlar

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Michelle Lindlar is Digital Preservation Team Leader at Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) in Germany.


Dear past self,

You left your IT job a couple of months ago to work in digital preservation. It seemed like a really exciting and good fit given your background and interests. I think you’re still trying to work out the culture shock of working in a public service environment and trying to figure out what digipres is ‘zactly. I thought a few pointers and words of encouragement from future-you-who-has-been-in-the-job-for-a-while would be good.

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Stop, collaborate and listen! NSLA’s here with a successful vision

NSLA

NSLA

Last updated on 29 November 2017

National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) is a leading library sector collaboration of the National, State and Territory libraries of Australia and New Zealand. 


How Australasian libraries are working together on digital preservation

How often do you leave a conference, or a meeting, with the best intentions of “collaborating more”, only to see those intentions evaporate quicker than rain on bitumen on a hot summer’s day, as soon as you return to your desk and look at your email inbox? We don’t make these statements flippantly; most of us share a sincere commitment to work together, recognising that for us to move forward and progress our work, we need help from others. Sadly though, what happens next is that reality takes over. Business-as-usual kills the best intentions.

Despite this, the national libraries of Australia and New Zealand and state and territory libraries of Australia have found a model of collaboration that has proven to be extremely rewarding. National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA) brings these ten libraries together under a shared vision of connecting library professionals to information, and to each other. The libraries have many differences – they range significantly in size; they have differing mandates, and differing priorities – and yet, NSLA is a success story.

One of the significant NSLA success stories is the Digital Preservation working group. Formed in 2012, the group brings together representatives from each of the ten member libraries to identify best practice for preserving digital content – practices that are best served by a collaborative approach.  

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Keep the knowledge

Panos Constantopoulos

Panos Constantopoulos

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Panos Constantopoulos is Professor in the Department of Informatics at Athens University of Economics and Business & Digital Curation Unit in Greece


An answer to the question “what should be preserved?” would typically include digital content of various forms and related metadata.  But what stands for content and where is the limit between content and metadata? The changing notion of ‘document’ and the evolution and spread of computationally supported business and research processes, entail a greater need for keeping process and contextual knowledge.

Digital content traditionally includes material that is the product or record of some activity and comes in several forms - text, graphics, images, audio, video, data sets. Recent years have witnessed a shift in content granularity and structure. This is related with the ability to manage both the identification of entities that possess independent information value and the associations of those entities. Reference to self-contained parts of documents is an old practice (chapters, sections, tables, images, columns, etc.). Yet it is in the universe of the Web and linked data that this practice becomes fully operational and on a large scale: here the parts are independently identified through their URIs following some naming scheme and the conceptual bond that makes them parts of a whole is explicitly represented in the form of appropriate relations between them. The parts can then be reused in different ways. In this perspective, it is useful to maintain the knowledge of the successive uses as well as of the contexts of use.

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The first International Digital Preservation Day (#IDPD17) is finally here!

William Kilbride

William Kilbride

Last updated on 29 November 2017

Glasgow, 30th November 2017

Dear colleagues and friends around the world,

Welcome one, welcome all! The first International Digital Preservation Day (#IDPD17) is finally here!

This day is for everyone who works in digital preservation. It’s about their work.  It’s about the opportunities created by the digital materials they safeguard and make accessible. It’s about the hard work and ingenuity, often unrecognised, that makes a secure digital legacy possible. And it’s about fostering links across this growing but highly dispersed community. 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.

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5 ways to share your International Digital Preservation Day

Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 29 November 2017

There are two months until our very first International Digital Preservation Day (IDPD17), and already there’s a fantastic buzz about it. People have been tweeting and emailing me since we first announced it, asking for ideas for things they could do to join in the celebrations, the fun, the party!

My favourite suggestion yet has been someone contemplating dressing up as a floppy disk at work for the day – please don’t let me stop you.

What’s great is, even aside from the dressing up, there are LOADS of ways to get involved. Whether you’re a tweeter, facebooker, instagrammer, blogger, vlogger, filmmaker extraordinaire…or you just like a good old-fashioned face to face chat with a bunch of likeminded folk, you can do any or all of those things.

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