'What's New' Issue 52: February 2013

Magdalena Getler | 20 February 2013

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 February issue:

WHAT'S ON: Forthcoming events from March 2013 onwards

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

WHAT'S WHAT: The 8th International Digital Curation Conference, Marieke Guy, DCC

Is it too late to say that I hope you had a good Christmas holiday and wish you a happy 2013? The new year has already kicked off with a big bang for the DCC with our annual international conference. This year the 8th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC13) was held at the Mövenpick Hotel, Amsterdam, with a beautiful snowy backdrop and temperatures to match!

The conference is aimed at both people who create, manage and use data and at those who teach about curation processes. There was something for everyone and I recommend you take a look at the plethora of online resources that are now available including slides, videos and papers. [/events/idcc13]

One of the biggest buzzes of the conference was during a fascinating talk by Herbert van de Sompel on ‘the Web as infrastructure for scholarly research and communication’ [http://www.slideshare.net/hvdsomp/the-web-as-infrastructure-for-scholarly-research-and-communication]. Herbert treated us to a history lesson from the evolution of OAI-PMH to OAI-ORE and beyond. He concluded that Web archives are part of the core infrastructure for research and offered the results of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Memento project as a tool to support activities [http://mementoweb.org]. Using a URI the Memento framework leverages existing capabilities and protocols of the web and applies them to allow users to see a version of a resource as it existed at some date in the past. Memento won the DPC's Digital Preservation award back in 2010 [http://www.dpconline.org/newsroom/not-so-new/655-memento-project-wins-digital-preservation-award-2010] but appeared to be new to many of the audience.

There was Twitter talk of Memento “solving all digital preservation problems”. However, no matter how great a toolkit Memento is it can only work with archival copies that exist, and for many resources there are no archived versions. Encouraging those involved in the creation of Web sites to create archived copies is something I’ve been interested in since I worked on the JISC Preservation of Web Resources (PoWR) project back in 2008 [http://jiscpowr.jiscinvolve.org/wp/]. It’s been a slow process.... Read more

ONE WORLD: Evidence in The Atlas of Digital Damages, Barbara Sierman, KB

A few months ago I started www.atlasofdigitaldamages.info with the intention of collecting evidence about “digital damages”. Why?

After years of “raising awareness”, the digital preservationists are fully convinced of the need to treat digital collections in a responsible manner. There are manuals, articles, trainings, websites, blogs, audit standards and conferences where knowledge is spread and experiences are exchanged. Issues are discussed and solutions shared.

But there is a world outside the professionals in digital preservation, not fully aware of the ins and outs of digital preservation and curation. People that could have an important say about the funding of digital preservation. We, the digital preservationists, need to convince them of the need and benefits of keeping the digital collections accessible. Arguments will help to support their decisions, but evidence will be even better.

I realized that we often hear the same stories about damaged collections, with the Domesday Book on place number 1. When you look into these cases in more detail, these are stories with a rather happy ending: the collection seemed to be lost, but with (sometimes major) effort, the bits were rescued. So in essence they were not lost, although it cost a lot of money to regain them. In these stories obsolescence of hardware is frequently the cause of the loss. I’m not aware of a story that relates to the number 1 reason for lost data in IT: human errors. Isn’t that weird? Read more

YOUR VIEW?: Comments and views from readers