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Category: electronic records

After The Games Are Over: Olympic Archival Records

What does an archivist ponder after she turns off the Olympics? What happens to all the records of the Olympics after the closing ceremonies? Who decides what to keep? Not knowing any Olympic Archivists personally, I took to the web to see what I could find.

Olympics.org uses the tag line “Official Website of the Olympic Movement” and include information about The International Olympic Committee’s Historical Archives. The even have an Olympic Medals Database with all the results from all the games. ... 

New Skills for a Digital Era: Official Proceedings Now Available

New Skills for a Digital Era LogoFrom May 31st through June 2nd of 2006, The National Archives, the Arizona State Library and Archives, and the Society of American Archivists hosted a colloquium to consider the question “What are the practical, technical skills that all library and records professionals must have to work with e-books, electronic records, and other digital materials?”. The website for the New Skills for a Digital Era colloquium already includes links to the eleven case studies considered over the course of the three days of discussion as well as a list of additional suggested readings. As mentioned over on The Ten Thousand Year Blog, the pre-print of the proceedings has been available since August, 2007... 

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. ... 

Will Crashed Hard Drives Ever Equal Unlabeled Cardboard Boxes?

Photo of Crashed Hard Drive - wonderferret on FlickrHow many of us have an old hard drive hanging around? I am talking about the one you were told was unfixable. The one that has 3 bad sectors. The one they replaced and handed to you in one of those distinctive anti-static bags. You know the ones I mean – the steely grey translucent plastic ones that look like they should contain space food.

I have more than one ‘dead’ hard drive. I can’t quite bring myself to throw them out – but I have no immediate plans to try and reclaim their files. ... 

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. ... 

Book Review: Dreaming in Code (a book about why software is hard)

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software
(or “A book about why software is hard”) by Scott Rosenberg

Before I dive into my review of this book – I have to come clean. I must admit that I have lived and breathed the world of software development for years. I have, in fact, dreamt in code. That is NOT to say that I was programming in my dream, rather that the logic of the dream itself was rooted in the logic of the programming language I was learning at the time (they didn’t call it Oracle Bootcamp for nothing). ... 

Digital Archiving Articles – netConnect Spring 2007

Thanks to Jessamyn West’s blog post, I found my way to a series of articles in the Spring 2007 edition of netConnect:

“Saving Digital History” is the longest of the three and is a nice survey of many of the issues found at the interseciton of archiving, born digital records and the wild world of the web. I especially love the extensive Link List at the end of the articles — there are lots of interesting related resources. This is the sort of list of links I wish were available with ALL articles online! ... 

Copyright Law: Archives, Digital Materials and Section 108

I just found my way today to Copysense (obviously I don’t have enough feeds to read as it is!). Their current clippings post highlighted part of the following quote as their Quote of the Week.

Marybeth Peters (from http://www.copyright.gov/about.html)“[L]egislative changes to the copyright law are needed. First, we need to amend the law to give the Library of Congress additional flexibility to acquire the digital version of a work that best meets the Library’s future needs, even if that edition has not been made available to the public. Second, section 108 of the law, which provides limited exceptions for libraries and archives, does not adequately address many of the issues unique to digital media—not from the perspective of copyright owners; not from the perspective of libraries and archives.” Marybeth Peters , Register of Copyrights, March 20, 2007 ...