Showing posts from October, 2012

Requirements for software and systems

When I started my job in June, one of the first things I wanted to do was get an idea of what existing systems and software were in place for recording analogue archives and see how I could record and manage digital material alongside this. It is essential that systems for analogue and digital archives are integrated to allow us to catalogue digital material alongside its analogue equivalents. If an organisation has been archiving minutes of their meetings with us in paper form for several decades but has now moved to digital deposition, we need a media-blind system which records the archival material regardless of format and upholds the relationships between these objects. In talking to other archivists at the Borthwick over my first few months it was clear that existing systems for accessioning, cataloguing and providing access to metadata about archives did not meet all of our needs. We decided that this would be a great opportunity to list our requirements and analyse a range of s

Ten years of the Digital Preservation Coalition

Photo owned by the DPC. Taken by Megan Taylor On Monday this week I was lucky enough to be able to attend the ten year anniversary celebration of the Digital Preservation Coalition . This was held at the House of Lords, Westminster and was a great event. Great because of the fabulous location but also because of the opportunity to get all the members of the DPC in one room together. The last ten years have certainly been an interesting time from a digital preservation perspective. There have been major changes and developments in this field and the DPC has played an important part in facilitating many of these. I can also map my own involvement with digital preservation into this ten year time frame! Knowing pretty much nothing about digital preservation apart from the fact it was 'A Good Thing', I applied for a job at the Archaeology Data Service at the end of 2002. I was lucky enough to get my first job there as a Curatorial Assistant (a strange job title but essentially I w

Testing out Google Forms

Over the last couple of weeks I have been creating an on-line survey to find out about data management practices amongst researchers at the University of York. The aim is to find out what sorts of digital data is being produced and what plans are in place to manage their data, both for the lifetime of their project and for the longer term. It was suggested that rather than purchasing a licence for a survey tool such as Bristol Online Surveys we use Google Forms. The University of York has moved to Google for e-mail, calendars and document sharing, so this seemed like a logical step. The survey is quite long with 40+ questions and several redirects or dependencies required based on which way an earlier question has been answered. My previous experience of creating on-line forms has primarily been to hand-code them using Coldfusion and a database back end, so this was a new venture for me. Here are my first impressions of Google Forms. Pros: Easy to use. Can quickly jump into it and set