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Digital Curation and Preservation: Defining the Research Agenda for the Next Decade [2005-2015]. How did we do?

The Warwick3 Workshop: Digital Preservation and Curation Summing up + Next Steps available now on Slideshare is the eighth of 12 presentations I have selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.

I have chosen it as it briefly allows us to look back at aspirations and achievements in Digital Preservation over a 20 year period from the very first (and seminal) Warwick 1 workshop held in 1995 to today. The first Warwick workshop considered the Long Term Preservation of Electronic Materials and a UK response to the final report of the RLG/CPA Task Force on Digital Archiving. Two further Warwick workshops followed in 1999 and 2005 to review progress and set a forward agenda.

The two-day workshop that took place over 7 – 8 November 2005 at the University of Warwick aimed for the first time to address digital preservation issues for both scientific data and cultural heritage and to map out a future research agenda for them. Sponsored by JISC, the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), the British Library and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC), the invitation-only event drew a wide range of national and international experts to explore the current state of play with a view to shaping future strategy. The slides are from my summing up and conclusions at the workshop close.

Part of my conclusions (slides 12-13), outlined the recommendations of the previous Warwick workshop held in 1999 and reviewed the progress that had been made in implementing them over the subsequent five years with a very subjective level of achievement (some) to √ √ √ (good) as follows:

Raise awareness

√ √ √ DPC advocacy, EU council, UNESCO, CODATA, ICSTI, NSF,RCUK

Encourage cross-sectoral communication

√ √ Established Digital Preservation Coalition 2001 – now 27 members

Develop guidelines

√ √ Preservation Management Handbook, Curation Manual, Cornell tutorial

Preservation Centre/Network of centres

√ √ Digital Curation Centre, British Library, The National Archives

Certification criteria

RLG/NARA checklist (TRAC)

Checklist to determine complexity and cost

JISC 04/04 funding programme (LIFE project, assessment tool project)

New research – emulation, dynamic data

Camileon project, JISC 04/04 programme, DCC research agenda

So how have we done 10 years further on?  Overall, OK I think with the caveat progress in digital preservation can take a long time. Perhaps I would raise the achievement levels if doing this exercise again in 2015 for “Encourage cross-sectoral communication”, “Checklist to determine complexity and cost”, and “New research”. However I would probably move Raise Awareness down one level. The others would probably be about the same. How about you?

20 years in DP: Personal Digital Libraries and Collections, Vienna 2005

Plenty of Room at the Bottom? Personal Digital Libraries and Collections, my keynote presentation to the European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL), 2005, in Vienna Austria available now on Slideshare is the seventh of 12 presentations I’ve selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.

This presentation represents a thought piece and call to arms to focus more on the collection and preservation of personal digital archives. It was given as a keynote to ECDL but also formed the core of my Banks Lecture at the University of Texas in April 2006 on Preservation and Access for Personal Digital Archives and Literary Papers.

Many of the ideas in the presentation were developed in greater detail in an article in D-Lib June 2005 Plenty of Room at the Bottom? Personal Digital Libraries and Collections, in my contribution to the Memories for Life project (c.2004-2006) and our publication in the Royal Society Interface Journal in June 2006 Memories for Life: a review of the science and technology, and in my initial work as Principal Investigator on the Digital Lives research project involving the British Library and UCL. It is an area of interest I had to leave behind on departing the BL and focussing full-time on consultancy. However it has been great to be editor on behalf of the DPC for the forthcoming Technology Watch Report by Gabriela Redwine on Preserving Personal Digital Archives that should be released later this year on the DPC website.

Over recent years this area has blossomed with an annual conference since 2010 on Personal Digital Archiving and many special collections and research projects developed in libraries. We are beginning to see mass market shared services for lifelogging and personal collection emerging but the key focus of growth currently seems to be on health data. Broader issues though for the public are still surfacing: there has been growing publicity around digital legacy issues for social media and even guidance from the Law Society in the UK on digital legacy and executors. It remains a fascinating area for digital preservation.

20 years in DP: eScience and Digital Preservation 2004

eScience and Digital Preservation, presentation to Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST) conference November 2004, Rhode Island USA, available now on Slideshare is the sixth of 12 presentations I’ve selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.

It is closely related to the previous slideshare for May on the Jisc continuing access and digital preservation strategy but focuses just on the science component.

This is one I wasn’t able to present in person but it was kindly delivered by Gail Hodge.

My brief for the presentation was “thoughts or citations you have for the impact of e-science, particularly the GRID, on information management, particularly archiving, preservation and long-term access.”

It is a short presentation of 15 slides covering collection-based science, the Grid, data publishing, and the background and rationale for the Digital Curation Centre (just launched two weeks before in the UK).

It is a snapshot in time and of key issues in 2004 – interesting to contrast with what one would write 10 years on and ponder on progress made.

20 years in DP: The JISC Continuing Access and Digital Preservation Strategy 2002-5

The JISC Continuing Access and Digital Preservation Strategy 2002-5, presentation to the 2004 JISC-CNI conference, Brighton UK available now on Slideshare is the fifth of 12 presentations I’ve selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015 (however due to sheer volume of work over May this year including the EBI Impact Survey and the 2nd Handbook sprint, two monthly selections are appearing together this time!).

For those outside the UK, an important context is that Jisc’s role as a national body for digital infrastructure and content on behalf of UK universities and colleges, gave the Strategy considerable influence at the time not just within HE but in other sectors through partnership activities.

This presentation from 2004 is important largely for the legacy of the Strategy that helped establish bodies such as the Digital Preservation Coalition and the Digital Curation Centre, which still have a major influence today.

The presentation sets out the context and rationale for the Strategy including the predicted growth of electronic publications, scientific data, and data curation. The implications of that growth were seen as:

  • Core funding for institutions would not grow in line with information growth;
  • A need for more automation and tools;
  • A need for new shared services and information infrastructure;
  • A significant need for R&D and investment to prepare for this.

Therefore  the objectives of Strategy were:

  • As an advocacy document to secure additional funding of £6m over 3 years (2002-5) for new programmes in electronic records management and digital preservation;
  • Justify the accompanying implementation plan;
  • Provide a longer-term framework and rationale for activity extending beyond 2005.

Fortunately activity in these areas did continue beyond 2005 under a series of very able Jisc programme directors and managers.

Reflections on the 2nd Digital Preservation Handbook Book Sprint 18-19 May 2015

Another rewarding but exhausting couple of days! We completed a two day book sprint in Kew earlier this week focussing on developing more new content for the release of the next edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook that is being funded by The National Archives, the British Library, and Jisc. Really pleased with the outputs and progress we made.

This is now the second book sprint we have held and we have been able to build on the sterling work at the first sprint held in October last year.

A group of 9 people Neil Beagrie (Charles Beagrie Ltd), Glenn Cumisky (British Museum), Matt Faber (Jisc), Stephen Grace (University of East London), Alex Green (The National Archives), William Kilbride (DPC), Gareth Knight (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Sharon McMeekin (DPC), and Paul Wheatley (DPC), met up over two days to progress sections of the content for the new “ Getting Started” and “Organisational Activities” sections of the Handbook (as identified in the Draft Outline of the 2nd Edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook). We also progressed some sub-sections of “Technical Solutions and Tools” left over from Book Sprint 1. The venue for the sprint was kindly provided by The National Archives in their Kew building.

We completed draft sections for:

Getting Started

Creating digital materials

Acquisition and appraisal

Retention and review

Preservation

Metadata and documentation

Access

Information Security

Persistent Identifiers

We covered more topics than the first sprint so were occasionally thinly spread: as a cautionary note we may need to review our draft content carefully to ensure the final outputs have the breadth and depth of perspective we aim for:  what I have read so far has been terrific although inevitably it will need some more content adding and final polishing.

The revision has been guided by the user feedback and consultation (see Report on the Preparatory User Consultation on the 2nd Edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook) in short to keep the Handbook text practical, concise, and accessible with more detail available in the case studies and further reading.

We used a different tool from book sprint 1 and successfully adopted Google Docs for our collaborative writing.

A two-day book sprint was very intense but few could have spared more time away from the workplace, and a tight-deadline helped everyone focus on the tasks in hand.

We followed a process of scoping contents for a specific section, brainstorming key points for inclusion, writing, and then review.

Participants were also able to see the substantial emerging Handbook content that is already in the DPC content management system together with the excellent illustrations re-used with permission from digitalbevaring.dk. In addition Google Docs was pre-populated with any relevant text from the previous Handbook, marked in red so it was easily identifiable for review, retention, deletion, amendment or addition/replacement  as needed. The Google Docs were also pre-populated with all case studies and external resources relevant to those sections identified during desk research for the new edition of the Handbook.

The after work drinks in the Tap on the Line and group dinner at Café Mamma were enjoyed by all and allowed everyone to relax and socialise outside the event itself. Next time I will try to remember to take photos for the report!

In June the draft text will be the focus for detailed editorial review, additions, arrangement, proof-reading and input to the DPC content management system. Based on the 1st book sprint that will be at least a two month process after which we will look for peer review to be completed by around the end of September.

It is great to see so much more of the new Handbook there in preliminary form after the sprint. With the contents of the first sprint, supplementary work, and its peer review, there is now substantial draft content emerging for the 2nd edition of the Handbook.

Digital Preservation Technology Watch Reports pass 100,000 Downloads

Last month the new series of Digital Preservation Coalition Technology Watch Reports passed 118,842 downloads: these are downloads by real users excluding robots etc.

The new series was launched publicly in February 2012 with Preserving Email by Chris Prom and there are now 10 titles published since that date. All have proved very popular: Preserving Email still heads the group with over 29,000 downloads (but has been available for longest), followed by Digital Forensics and Preservation with over 25,000, and Preserving Moving Picture and Sound with over 15,000.

The reports are published by the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) in association with Charles Beagrie Ltd as editors and Neil Beagrie as Principal Investigator and managing editor of the series. The series is intended as an advanced introduction to specific issues for those charged with establishing or running services for long term access.  They identify and track developments in IT, standards and tools which are critical to digital preservation activities. All are released as peer-reviewed open-access publications after a preview period of exclusive access to DPC members.

The DPC Technology Watch Report Series publications are freely available online from the DPC website at: http://www.dpconline.org/advice/technology-watch-reports

Digital Preservation of e-journals and e-prints, presentation at 1st iPRES conference, Beijing China 2004

Digital Preservation of e-journals and e-prints presentation 1st iPRES conference Beijing China2004 available now on Slideshare is the fourth of 12 presentations I’ve selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.

This is one of the four presentations I gave as part of the very first iPRES conference at the Chinese National Academy of Sciences in July 2004.

iPRES was conceived in 2004 by the Chinese Academy of Science and Electronic Information for Libraries, as a forum to exchange ideas and expertise in digital preservation between China and Europe. Since then, it has expanded to attract delegates from around the world. For me it was a great founding conference with wonderful hospitality: there can be few better places in the world to visit if you like archaeology, culture and food.

I have chosen the e-journals preservation presentation from the conference as it is a thread of work that I have returned to many times over the last decade (including a DPC Technology Watch report in 2013).

It was also the most intriguing, as I gave an additional invited private seminar on the topic of preservation and continuing access for international STM e-journals to Chinese colleagues during the conference. At the time tensions were rising over Taiwan: it was probably the only time I sensed digital preservation was felt to be (and probably could be funded as) a national security issue….

 

TNA Webinar on 27 March: Cloud Storage and Digital Preservation Case Studies

How can cloud storage help address growing digital preservation challenges? A webinar will take place from 13.00-14.00 GMT on Friday 27 March to discuss the five case studies that accompany The National Archives’ cloud storage and digital preservation guidance compiled by Charles Beagrie Ltd.

The webinar is an opportunity to learn more about  experience with digital preservation, the Cloud, and digital storage at the Archives and Records Council Wales Digital Preservation Working Group, Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, Dorset History Centre, and Tate Gallery, that are the subjects of the case studies and to put your questions to the staff involved.

Please register for the event in advance, as numbers will be limited. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar.

If you would like to submit questions for the webinar in advance, please email them to Neil Beagrie at neil@beagrie.com.

This is the 2nd webinar of two on the topic of Cloud Storage and Digital Preservation organised by the TNA. The first webinar from 27 May 2014 on The National Archives’ cloud storage and digital preservation guidance provides an introduction to the topic and key issues. This is available for re-play on the TNA website  and is the precursor to the 2nd webinar in the series.

20 Years in Digital Preservation: presentations on the Digital Preservation Coalition June 2004 (UK)

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) Slide Set 2004 available now on Slideshare is the third of 12 conference presentations I have selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.

The DPC was founded during 2001-2002 commencing with a summit in January 2001, and culminating with its formal incorporation as a not-for-profit company with 7 members and a public launch at the House of Commons in February 2002. It has since grown to more than fifty members. Ably steered since by a succession of staff and board members, it has exceeded the hopes of its founding members and is very worthy of inclusion in this top 12. This slide set is a nice visual snapshot of the DPC at a key time in its development.

The slide set consists of four presentations dating from June 2004 (but with origins in earlier versions from January 2001) that have been combined here: the History of the DPC, Rationale for the DPC, Structure of the DPC, and Programme of Activities. They formed a set of DPC member resources (in the then DPC colours and Powerpoint template) dating from June 2004. However their origins are much earlier than that –elements date from the key first Digital Preservation Summit for the DPC in January 2001 with subsequent updates. There is a background briefing and a report of proceedings of that summit available on the DPC Website.

20 Years in Digital Preservation: 2001 presentation on the Preservation Management of Digital Materials [the Digital Preservation Handbook] at the Digital Continuity Forum and workshop, Melbourne Australia

Preservation Management of Digital Materials [the Digital Preservation Handbook] available now on Slideshare is the second of 12 conference presentations I’ve selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.

This one is selected because of the subsequent influence the Handbook has had (I believe 15 years later it is still the most heavily used resource on the DPC website). It also seemed apposite with the online Handbook currently being worked and updated to its first major “second edition”.

The presentation is in two parts a keynote to the Forum on the Handbook and a set of workshop slides – consisting of a digital preservation questionnaire and a set of [institutional] responses probably from a repeat performance and workshop at a separate event in Australia.

I have almost no information left on these events but fortunately the Pandora web archive at the National Library of Australia has this archived description of the Forum: it just shows how useful web archives are!

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