'What's New' Issue 50: November 2012

Magdalena Getler | 30 October 2012

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and Digital Curation Centre (DCC) are delighted to announce a new issue of our joint newsletter ‘What’s New’.

In the November issue:

WHAT'S ON: Forthcoming events from November 2012 onwards

WHAT'S NEW: New reports and initiatives since the last issue

WHAT'S WHAT: The 2012 Digital Preservation Awards

There are very many parts of working for the DPC that I enjoy, but my absolute favourite part is the bi-annual digital preservation award.

Being a judge on the award gives you a really clear and privileged insight into very many of the best projects and initiatives in digital preservation.

The scope is as wide as possible and the range of proposals is international. It also has a strangely nostalgic feel to it. I've been a judge now on three occasions and every time the number of applicants has increased. Each time, we've looked back fondly on the previous winners and nominees and thought out loud - they were absolutely fantastic but would they have stood a chance this time round?

It's a very particular statement of a fundamental truth about digital preservation in the recent past: that the number of initiatives and contributors has grown impressively, their quality and significance continues to increase, and the extent of their impact and ambition is expansive... Read more

WHO'S WHO: Sixty second interview with Ant Miller, BBC

Where do you work and what's your job title?

I work in BBC Research & Development, and my job title is Senior Research Manager.

Tell us a bit about your organisation

We are a major public service broadcaster, but that much you know. We are also custodians of a colossal multi-media archive of radio, music, TV, written materials, photographs, sheet music and many other items. For the most part that has built up over the years as a resource for program making, but technology, audience expectations, and the whole infrastructure of archives and the wider media world are changing, so the expectations and aspirations for that archive are developing too.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

The team are looking at a range of archive projects from massive scale storage to advanced automated metadata ascription, and several collaborative frameworks that cover many more besides.

How did you end up in digital preservation?

I developed a number of infrastructure systems inside the library and project managed a few migrations of catalogue systems, and then became involved in the main preservation effort. With my background I tended to focus on the unsolved technical problems that needed new techniques and before long these were R&D projects rather than operational. In the R&D domain many if not all of the challenges are around digital asset preservation.

What are the challenges of digital preservation for an organisation such as yours?

Scale is a huge issue for video, and that’s where a lot of our issues come from. The sheer volume of bits produced by digitising a film recorded TV show from the archives is enormous, and that sets constraints on the technologies we can use for holding all our assets. Volume, and I/O channels are all pushed to the limit when moving around the very large objects that video produces... Read more

ONE WORLD: Digital preservation in Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Ba-Essa and Richard Johnson, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), located on the Red Sea coast one-hour north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was founded in 2009 as an initiative of the Saudi king (and university namesake).

The 36 square kilometer campus, which includes a new town and amenities to accomodate the university personnel and students, are a marvel of execution, having been designed and built in just three short years. The result is a gleaming, modern facility designed to nurture developments that will contribute to a better future for the people of Saudi Arabia.

Focused exclusively on graduate education and research, KAUST’s aim is to create economic opportunity by advancing scientific and technological research in four broad areas: Water, Food, Energy and Environment. To accomplish this, the university has brought together leading faculty, post-docs, staff, and graduate students from throughout the world and given them access to state-of-the-art labs and excellent funding... Read more

YOUR VIEW?: Comments and views from readers