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Category: digital preservation

SAA2008: Preservation and Experimentation with Analog/Digital Hybrid Literary Collections (Session 203)

floppy disks

The official title of Session 203 was Getting Our Hands Dirty (and Liking It): Case Studies in Archiving Digital Manuscripts. The session chair, Catherine Stollar Peters from the New York State Archives and Records Administration, opened the session with a high level discussion of the “Theoretical Foundations of Archiving Digital Manuscripts”. The focus of this panel was preserving hybrid collections of born digital and paper based literary records. The goal was to review new ways to apply archival techniques to digital records. The presenters were all archivists without IT backgrounds who are building on others work … and experimenting. She also mentioned that this also impacts researchers, historians, and journalists.For each of the presenters, I have listed below the top challenges and recommendations. If you attended the sessions, you can skip forward to my thoughts... 

Digital Preservation via Emulation – Dioscuri and the Prevention of Digital Black Holes

dioscuri.JPGAvailable Online posted about the open source emulator project Dioscuri back in late September. In the course of researching Thoughts on Digital Preservation, Validation and Community I learned a bit about the Microsoft Virtual PC software. Virtual PC permits users to run multiple operating systems on the same physical computer and can therefore facilitate access to old software that won’t run on your current operating system. That emulator approach pales in comparison with what the folks over at Dioscuri are planning and building. ... 

Preserving Virtual Worlds – TinyMUD to SecondLife

A recent press release from the Library of Congress, Digital Preservation Program Makes Awards to Preserve American Creative Works, describes the newly funded project aimed at the preservation of ‘virtual worlds’:

The Preserving Virtual Worlds project will explore methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction. Major activities will include developing basic standards for metadata and content representation and conducting a series of archiving case studies for early video games, electronic literature and Second Life, an interactive multiplayer game. Second Life content participants include Life to the Second Power, Democracy Island and the International Spaceflight Museum. Partners: University of Maryland, Stanford University, Rochester Institute of Technology and Linden Lab. ... 

Thoughts on Digital Preservation, Validation and Community

The preservation of digital records is on the mind of the average person more with each passing day. Consider the video below from the recent BBC article Warning of data ticking time bomb.


Microsoft UK Managing Director Gordon Frazer running Windows 3.1 on a Vista PC
(Watch video in the BBC News Player)

The video discusses Microsoft’s Virtual PC program that permits you to run multiple operating systems via a Virtual Console. This is an example of the emulation approach to ensuring access to old digital objects – and it seems to be done in a way that the average user can get their head around. Since a big part of digital preservation is ensuring you can do something beyond reading the 1s and 0s – it is promising step. It also pleased me that they specifically mention the UK National Archives and how important it is to them that they can view documents as they originally appeared – not ‘converted’ in any way. ... 

International Environmental Data Rescue Organization: Rescuing At Risk Weather Records Around the World

iedro.jpgIn the middle of my crazy spring semester a few months back, I got a message about volunteer opportunities at the International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO). I get emails from from VolunteerMatch.org every so often because I am always curious about virtual volunteer projects (ie, ways you can volunteer via your computer while in your pajamas). I filed the message away for when I actually had more time to take a closer look and it has finally made it to the top of my list. ... 

Should we be archiving fonts?

I am a fan of beautiful fonts. This is why I find myself on the mailing list if MyFonts.com. I recently received their Winter 2007 newsleter featuring the short article titled ‘A cast-iron investment’. It starts out with:

Of all the wonderful things about fonts, there’s one that is rarely mentioned by us font sellers. It’s this: fonts last for a very long time. Unlike almost all the other software you may have bought 10 or 15 years ago, any fonts you bought are likely still working well, waiting to be called back into action when you load up that old newsletter or greetings card you made! ...