Kicking off phase 3 of "Filling the Digital Preservation Gap"

I realise I've gone a bit quiet on "Filling the Digital Preservation Gap" since the release of our phase 2 project report. I am pleased to pass on the news that we have been funded by Jisc to continue some of our work into Phase 3.

Our Research Data Spring phase 3 kick off meeting was held yesterday at the Hull History Centre and we celebrated with a suitably spring-themed cake!

Our Research Data Spring chicken cake

So here is a run down of what we are planning to do in phase 3:

The big one at the top of the list is Archivematica implementation. Both York and Hull are going to be working on their own proof of concept implementations of Archivematica integrated with their existing repositories (and potentially other systems within the RDM workflow). We may not be able to follow the implementation plans from our phase 2 report in full (as we have not been funded in full) but both institutions plan to get an implementation up and running with a focus on a single use case.

I for one am very excited about this implementation phase. This is what our work over the previous two phases has been leading up to. The ground work laid in phases 1 and 2 has been incredibly valuable, but it will be great to move from talking about Archivematica to actually working with it!

We are also going to continue to look at the issue of unidentified file formats. This has been a recurring theme during phases 1 and 2 and is particularly pertinent for research data which comes in such a huge variety of formats. We are going to work with The National Archives to ensure a few more research data file formats are represented in PRONOM. We will also give further thought to our workflows for handling unidentified files and how tools such as Archivematica can help.

We will of course be continuing our dissemination and outreach work. Some of this has already happened over the last couple of months.
  • I gave a presentation at the IDCC16 conference in Amsterdam in February and discussed why active digital preservation is often left out of RDM workflows - the slides can be viewed here
  • Julie Allinson presented a case study about our project at a workshop entitled 'Digital Preservation: Strategic Issues' at the National Library of Wales in February
  • Myself and Simon Wilson from Hull produced a poster for the UK Archives Discovery Forum last month to promote some of the themes of our project so far and make sure the wider archives community is aware of our work

Our UKAD 2016 poster
  • At the UK Archivematica meeting last month I gave a presentation which summarised the outcomes of the development work we funded in phase 2. This can be found here
Watch out for us at 'Research Data, Records and Archives: Breaking the Boundaries' in Edinburgh later this month and Open Repositories in Dublin in June.

Of course we will also be keeping you posted on this blog as phase 3 of our project progresses, so watch this space

Jenny Mitcham, Digital Archivist


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