Showing posts from November, 2015

File identification ...let's talk about the workflows

When receiving any new batch of files to add to the digital archive there are lots of things I want to know about them but "What file formats have we got here?" is often my first question. Knowing what you've got is of great importance to digital archivists because... It enables you to find the right software to open the file and view the contents (all being well) It can trigger a dialog with your donor or depositor about alternative formats you might wish to receive the data in (...all not being well) It allows you to consider the risks that relate to that format and if appropriate define a migration pathway for preservation and/or access We've come a long way in the last few years and we now have lots of tools to choose from to identify files. This could be seen as both a blessing and a curse. Each tool has strengths and weaknesses and it is not easy to decide which one to use (or indeed which combination of tools would give the best results) ...and once we've s

Sharing the load: Jisc RDM Shared Services events

This is a guest post from Chris Awre,  Head of Information Services, Library and Learning Innovation   at the University of Hull. Chris has been working with me on the "Filling the Digital Preservation Gap" project. On 18th/19th November, Jenny and I attended two events held by Jisc at Aston University looking at shared services for research data management.  This initiative has come about as many, if not all, institutions have struggled to identify a concrete way forward for managing research data, and there is widespread acknowledgement that some form of shared service provision will be of benefit.  To this end, the first day was about refining requirements for this provision, and saw over 70 representatives from across Higher Education feed in their ideas and views.  The day took an initial requirements list  and refined, extended and clarified these extensively.  Jisc has provided a write-up of the day  of its own that describes the process undertaken usefully. Jenny and

The third UK Archivematica user group meeting

This is a guest post from Simon Wilson, University Archivist at the University of Hull based within the Hull History Centre. Simon has been working with me on the "Filling the Digital Preservation Gap" project and agreed to provide a short write up of the UK Archivematica group meeting in my absence. With Jen presenting at iPRES in North Carolina Julie Allinson and I attended the UK Archivematica user group meeting at the Laidlaw Library in Leeds. After the round table introductions from the 11 institutions that were represented, Julie began proceedings with an presentation on our Jisc "Filling the Digital Preservation Gap" project. She updated the group on the progress within this project since the last user group meeting 5 months previously and focused in particular on the development work and enhancements to Archivematica that are being undertaken in Phase 2. A presentation from Fergus O'Connor and Claudia Roeck at the Tate highlighted their use of Archivemat

iPRES workshop report: Using Open-Source Tools to Fulfill Digital Preservation Requirements

As promised by the conference hosts it was definitely Autumn in Chapel Hill! Last week I was lucky enough to be at the iPRES conference . iPRES is the international conference on digital preservation and is exactly the sort of conference I should be at (though somehow I have managed to miss the last 4 years). The conference was generally a fantastic opportunity to meet other people doing digital preservation and share experiences. Regardless of international borders, we are all facing very similar problems and grappling with the same issues. Breakfast as provided at Friday's workshop iPRES 2015 was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina this year. Jetlag aside (I gave up in the end and decided to maintain a more European concept of time) it was a really valuable experience. The large quantities of cakes, pastries and bagels also helped - hats off to the conference hosts for this! One of the most useful sessions for me was Friday's workshop on ‘Using Open-Source Tools to Fulfill Digital