Conference ItemAbstract: Many memory institutions hold large collections of hand-held media, which can comprise hundreds of terabytes of data spread over many thousands of data-carriers. Many of these carriers are at risk of significant physical degradation over time, depending on their composition. Unfortunately, handling them manually is enormously time consuming and so a full and frequent evaluation of their condition is extremely expensive. It is, therefore, important to develop scalable processes for stabilizing them onto backed-up online storage where they can be subject to highquality digital preservation management. This goes hand in hand with the need to establish efficient, standardized ways of recording metadata and to deal with defective data-carriers. This paper discusses processing approaches, workflows, technical set-up, software solutions and touches on staffing needs for the stabilization process. We have experimented with different disk copying robots, defined our metadata, and addressed storage issues to scale stabilization to the vast quantities of digital objects on hand-held data-carriers that need to be preserved. Working closely with the content curators, we have been able to build a robust data migration workflow and have stabilized over 16 terabytes of data in a scalable and economical manner.
Dappert, Angela; Jackson, Andrew; Kimura, Akiko
Conference ItemAbstract: To preserve access to digital content, we must preserve the representation information that captures the intended interpretation of the data. In particular, we must be able to capture performance dependency requirements, i.e. to identify the other resources that are required in order for the intended interpretation to be constructed successfully. Critically, we must identify the digital objects that are only referenced in the source data, but are embedded in the performance, such as fonts. This paper describes a new technique for analysing the dynamic dependencies of digital media, focussing on analysing the process that underlies the performance, rather than parsing and deconstructing the source data. This allows the results of format-specific characterisation tools to be verified independently, and facilitates the generation of representation information for any digital media format, even when no suitable characterisation tool exists.
Conference ItemAbstract: Manual quality assurance (QA) of digitised content is typically fallible and can result in collections that are marred by a variety of quality and access issues. Poor storage conditions, technology obsolescence and other unforeseen problems can also leave digital objects in an unusable state. Detecting, identifying and ultimately fixing these issues typically requires costly and time consuming manual processes. An inadequate understanding of potential tools and their application creates a barrier to the automation and embedding of preservation processes for many collection owners. The JISC funded Automating Quality Assurance Project (AQuA) applied a variety of existing tools in order to automatically detect quality and preservation issues in digital collections and work to bridge the divide between technical and collection management expertise. Two AQuA Mashup events brought together digital preservation practitioners, collection curators and technical experts to present problematic digital collections, articulate requirements for their assessment, and then apply tools to automate the detection and identification of the content issues. By breaking down the barriers between technical and non-technical practitioners, the events enabled grass-roots digital preservation collaboration between the two communities. This paper describes the AQuA Project’s novel approach to agile preservation problem solving and discusses the incidental benefits and community building that this strategy facilitated.
Wheatley, Paul; Middleton, Bo; Double, Jodie; Jackson, Andrew; McGuinness, Rebecca