ArticleAbstract: This article introduces the British Library’s Flashback project, which is exploring the practical challenges of preserving digital content currently stored on physical media (magnetic and optical disks). It reports on a Flashback proof of concept that conducted experiments on a sample of content from hybrid collection items dating from between 1980 and 2000. It describes some of the activities undertaken by the proof-of-concept stage of the project from July 2015 to February 2016, including the initial collection profiling and sampling of content, the extraction of content from the disks, and the project team’s experiments with identifying and applying preservation approaches to the content, which included both emulation and migration. It concludes with some general observations on the approaches taken by the proof of concept and shares some recent findings from the second phase of the project, which is concerned with the practical challenges of developing an implementation strategy for the Library’s capture and preservation of digital content currently stored on physical media.
Day, Michael; Pennock, Maureen; May, Peter; Davies, Kevin; Whibley, Simon; Kimura, Akiko; Halvarsson, Edith
Identifying digital preservation requirements: Digital Preservation Strategy and collection profiling at the British LibraryAbstract: The British Library is increasingly a digital library. Over past decades, it has built up significant collections of digital content covering a very wide range of content types. In addition to the increasing amounts of digital content acquired by purchase or donation, the Library and its partners have also invested heavily in the digitization of selected collection content, helping to create large collections of certain types of content (e.g., newspapers, outof-copyright books, and sound). Most recently, the extension of legal deposit provisions to non-print works in 2013 has meant that the British Library - working in conjunction with the other UK legal deposit libraries - has begun to collect new categories of digital content, including periodic harvests of the UK Web domain. In order to support this, the Library has also invested heavily in developing scalable infrastructures for the acquisition, storage and management of large amounts of digital content. The British Library Digital Preservation Strategy, 2013-2016 is focused on the embedding of digital sustainability as an organizational principle across the Library and to help manage preservation risks and challenges across all digital collection content lifecycles. This practice paper describes work being undertaken by the Digital Preservation Team at the British Library to develop content profiles of high-level digital collections that will support the implementation of the strategy, in particular for the capture of long-term preservation requirements.
Day, Michael; McDonald, Ann; Kimura, Akiko; Pennock, Maureen