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Category: at risk records

At Risk Records are archival records that are in danger of being lost forever, usually due to physical damage or (in the case of electronic records) loss of the ability to access the originals.

Chapter 10: Open Source, Version Control and Software Sustainability by Ildikó Vancsa


Chapter 10 of Partners for Preservation is ‘Open Source, Version Control and Software Sustainability’ by Ildikó Vancsa. The third chapter of Part III:  Data and Programming, and the final of the book, this chapter shifts the lens on programming to talk about the elements of communication and coordination that are required to sustain open source software projects.

When the Pacific Telegraph Route (shown above) was finished in 1861, it connected the new state of California to the East Coast. It put the Pony Express out of business. The first week it was in operation, it cost a dollar a word. Almost 110 years later, in 1969, saw the first digital transmission over ARPANET (the precursor to the Internet). ... 

Chapter 4: Link Rot, Reference Rot and the Thorny Problems of Legal Citation by Ellie Margolis

The fourth chapter in Partners for Preservation is ‘Link Rot, Reference Rot and the Thorny Problems of Legal Citation’ by Ellie Margolis. Links that no longer work and pages that have been updated since they were referenced are an issue that everyone online has struggled with. In this chapter, Margolis gives us insight into why these challenges are particularly pernicious for those working in the legal sphere. ... 

UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Declaration

In honor of the 2012 Day of Digtal Archives, I am posting a link to the UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Declaration. This is the product of the recent Memory of the World in the Digital Age conference and they are looking for feedback on this declaration by October 19th, 2012 (see link on the conference page for sending in feedback).

To give you a better sense of the aim of this conference, here are the ‘conference goals’ from the programme... 

CURATEcamp Processing 2012

CURATEcamp Processing 2012 was held the day after the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) sponsored Digital Preservation annual meeting.

The unconference was framed by this idea:

Processing means different things to an archivist and a software developer. To the former, processing is about taking custody of collections, preserving context, and providing arrangement, description, and accessibility. To the latter, processing is about computer processing and has to do with how one automates a range of tasks through computation. ... 

Rescuing 5.25″ Floppy Disks from Oblivion

This post is a careful log of how I rescued data trapped on 5 1/4" floppy disks, some dating back to 1984 (including those pictured here). While I have tried to make this detailed enough to help anyone who needs to try this, you will likely have more success if you are comfortable installing and configuring hardware and software.

I will break this down into a number of phases:

  • Phase 1: Hardware
  • Phase 2: Pull the data off the disk
  • Phase 3: Extract the files from the disk image
  • Phase 4: Migrate or Emulate

Leveraging Google Reader’s Page Change Tracking for Web Page Preservation

The Official Google Reader Blog recently announced a new feature that will let users watch any page for updates. The way this works is that you add individual URLs to your Google Reader account. Just as with regular RSS feeds, when an update is detected – a new entry is added to that subscription.

My thinking is that this could be a really useful tool for archivists charged with preserving websites that change gradually over time, especially those fairly static sites that change infrequently with little or no notice of upcoming changes. If a web page was archived and then added to a dedicated Google Reader account, the archivist could scan their list of watch pages daily or weekly. Changes could then trigger the creation of a fresh snapshot of the site. ... 

Blog Action Day 2009: IEDRO and Climate Change

IEDRO LogoIn honor of Blog Action Day 2009‘s theme of Climate Change, I am revisiting the subject of a post I wrote back in the summer of 2007: International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO). This non-profit’s goal is to rescue and digitize at risk weather and climate data from around the world. In the past two years, IEDRO has been hard at work. Their website has gotten a great face-lift, but even more exciting is to see is how much progress they have made! ... 

DH2009: Digital Lives and Personal Digital Archives

Session Title: Digital Lives: How people create, manipulate and store their personal digital archives
Speaker: Peter Williams, UCL

Digital lives is a joint project of UCL, British Library and University of Bristol

What? We need a better understanding of how people manage digital collections on their laptops, pdas and home computers. This is important due to the transition from paper-based personal collections to digital collections. The hope is to help people manage their digital archives before the content gets to the archives. ...