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Showing posts from 2016

Digital Preservation Awards 2016 - celebrating collaboration and innovation

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Last week members of the Filling the Digital Preservation Gap project team were lucky enough to experience the excitement and drama of the biannual Digital Preservation Awards ! The Awards ceremony was held at the Wellcome Collection in London on the evening of the 30th November. As always it was a glittering affair, complete with dramatic bagpipe music (I believe it coincided with St Andrew's Day!) and numerous references to Strictly Come Dancing from the judges and hosts! This year our project had been shortlisted for the Software Sustainability Institute award for Research and Innovation . It was fantastic to be a finalist considering the number of nominations from across the world in this category and we certainly felt we had some strong competition from the other shortlisted projects. One of the key strengths in our own project has been the collaboration between the Universities of York and Hull. Additionally, collaboration with Artefactual Systems, The National Archives and t

Every little bit helps: File format identification at Lancaster University

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This is a guest post from Rachel MacGregor , Digital Archivist at Lancaster University. Her work on identifying research data follows on from the work of Filling the Digital Preservation Gap and provides a interesting comparison with the statistics reported in a previous blog post and our final project report . Here at Lancaster University I have been very inspired by the work at York on file format identification and we thought it was high time I did my own analysis of the one hundred or so datasets held here.  The aim is to aid understanding of the nature of research data as well as to inform our approaches to preservation.  Our results are comparable to York's in that the data is characterised as research data (as yet we don't have any born digital archives or digitised image files).  I used DROID (version 6.2.1) as the tool for file identification - there are others and it would be interesting to compare results at some stage with results from using other software such a

AtoM harvesting (part 1) - it works!

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When we first started using Access to Memory (AtoM) to create the Borthwick Catalogue  we were keen to enable our data to be harvested via OAI-PMH (more about this feature of AtoM is available in the documentation ). Indeed the ability to do this was one of our requirements when we were looking to select a new Archival Management System (read about our system requirements here ). Look! Archives now available in Library Catalogue search So it is with great pleasure that I can announce that we are now exposing some of our data from AtoM through our University Library catalogue YorSearch . Dublin Core metadata is automatically harvested nightly from our production AtoM instance - so we don't need to worry about manual updates or old versions of our data hanging around. Our hope is that doing this will allow users of the Library Catalogue (primarily staff and students at the University of York) to happen upon relevant information about the archives that we hold here at the Borthwick wh

Automating transfers with Automation Tools

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This is a guest post by Julie Allinson, Technology Development Manager for Library & Archives at York. Julie has been working on York's implementation for the 'Filling the Digital Preservation Gap' project. This post describes how we have used Artefactual Systems' Automation Tools at York. For Phase three of our 'Filling the Digital Preservation Gap' we have delivered a proof-of-concept implementation to to illustrate how PURE and Archivematica can be used as part of a Research Data management lifecycle. One of the requirements for this work was the ability to fully automate a transfer in Archivematica. Automation Tools is a set of python scripts from Artefactual Systems that are designed to help. The way Automation Tools works is that a script (transfer.py) runs regularly at a set interval (as cron task). The script is fed a set of parameters and, based on these, checks for new transfers in the given transfer source directory. On finding something, a tran

From old York to New York: PASIG 2016

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My walk to the conference on the first day Last week I was lucky enough to attend PASIG 2016 (Preservation and Archiving Special Interest Group) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A big thanks to Jisc who generously funded my conference fee and travel expenses. This was the first time I have attended PASIG but I had heard excellent reports from previous conferences and knew I would be in for a treat. On the conference website PASIG is described as "a place to learn from each other's practical experiences, success stories, and challenges in practising digital preservation." This sounded right up my street and I was not disappointed. The practical focus proved to be a real strength. The conference was three days long and I took pages of notes (and lots of photographs!). As always, it would be impossible to cover everything in one blog post so here is a round up of some of my highlights. Apologies to all of those speakers who I haven't mentioned. Bootcamp!  The f

Filling the Digital Preservation Gap - final report available

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Today we have published our third and final Filling the Digital Preservation Gap report. The report can be accessed from Figshare:  https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.4040787 This report details work the team at the Universities of York and Hull have been carrying out over the last six months (from March to September 2016) during phase 3 of the project. The first section of the report focuses on our implementation work. It describes how each institution has established a proof of concept implementation of Archivematica integrated with other systems used for research data management. As well as describing how these implementations work it also discusses future priorities and lessons learned. The second section of the report looks in more detail at the file format problem for research data. It discusses DROID profiling work that has been carried out over the course of the project (both for research data and other data types) and signature development to increase the number of researc

Some highlights from iPRES 2016

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A lovely view of the mountains from Bern Last week I was at iPRES  2016 - the 13th International Conference on Digital Preservation and one of the highlights of the digital preservation year. This year the conference was held in the Swiss town of Bern. A great place to be based for the week  - fantastic public transport, some lovely little restaurants and cellar bars, miles of shopping arcades, bizarre statues and non-stop sunshine! There was so much content over the course of the 4 days that it is impossible to cover it all in one blog post. Instead I offer up a selection of highlights and takeaway thoughts. Jeremy York from the University of Michigan gave an excellent paper about ‘ The Stewardship Gap ’. An interesting project with the aim of understanding the gap between valuable digital data and long term curation.  Jeremy reported on the results of a series of interviews with researchers at his institution where they were asked about the value of the data they created and their pl

File format identification at Norfolk Record Office

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This is a guest post from Pawel Jaskulski  who has recently completed a Transforming Archives traineeship at Norfolk Record Office (NRO). As part of his work at Norfolk and in response to a question I posed in a previous blog post  ("Is identification of 37% of files a particularly bad result?") he profiled their digital holdings using DROID and has written up his findings. Coming from a local authority context, his results provide an interesting comparison with other profiles that have emerged from both the Hull History Centre and the Bentley Historical Library  and again help to demonstrate that the figure of 37% identified files for my test research dataset is unusual. King's Lynn's borough archives are cared for jointly by the Borough Council and the Norfolk Record Office Profiling Digital Records with DROID With any local authority archive there is an assumption that the accession deposited might be literally anything. What it means in 'digital terms' is