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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!
I’ve uploaded to YouTube a 4 minute clip of the SPMTE Archival Technology Medal Award ceremony and my acceptance speech from back in October 2014 -see https://www.youtube.com/
This is a still from the “This is your life” section of the video!
Preserving Digital Collections: current methods and research available now on Slideshare is the first of 12 conference presentations I have selected to mark 20 years in Digital Preservation. The remainder will be published at monthly intervals over 2015.
This is the earliest surviving presentation in my personal archive but it made the cut for selection because as far as I am aware, it presented the first advocacy of a lifecycle approach to digital preservation (as published in A Strategic Framework for Creating and Preserving Digital Resources). As such it was an important influence and framework for Tony Hendley’s 1998 publication Comparison of Methods & Costs of Digital Preservation (and subsequent approaches to digital preservation lifecycle costs by the LIFE and KRDS projects) as well as later life-cycle approaches such as the DCC Curation Lifecyle Model.
An important component of the strategic framework was pre-emptive action prior to ingest – as reflected in the work on the digital collections policy and the “Guides to Good Practice” for data creators of the then recently established (but now ceased at least as an umbrella organisation) Arts and Humanities Data Service.
The presentation largely reflects the main sections of A Strategic Framework for Creating and Preserving Digital Resources study authored by myself (then responsible for Collection and Standards Development at the AHDS) and Dan Greenstein (then Director at AHDS). The study was part of a programme of digital preservation studies funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee, following a workshop on the Long-term Preservation of Electronic Materials held at Warwick in November 1995.
We are pleased to announce the public release of the OAIS Introductory Guide (2nd Edition), the latest report in the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) Technology Watch Series. Written by Brian Lavoie of OCLC Research, and published by the DPC in association with Charles Beagrie Ltd, this free peer-reviewed report looks back on the development, features, and impact of the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model, one of the core standards of digital preservation.
Research Scientist at OCLC, Brian observes that perhaps “the most important achievement of the OAIS in this history is that it has become almost universally accepted as the lingua franca of digital preservation”
Emphasising its flexibility and conceptual nature, the report describes the OAIS, its core principles and functional elements, as well as the information model which support long-term preservation, access and understandability of data – highlighting the in-built level of abstraction which makes it such a widely applicable foundation resource for digital preservation.
Brian adds “it is possible to identify a few limitations associated with the OAIS’s impact,” generally associated with the very conceptual nature of the model, and goes on to recommend that the digital preservation community would certainly “benefit from a careful assessment of where more precise and authoritative definitions of OAIS concepts and relationships would accelerate progress in achieving robust, widely applicable, and interoperable digital preservation solutions.”
The Introduction to OAIS was the first of the DPC Technology Watch reports, and although it was first published a decade ago it has remained popular. The second edition updates and expands this first report, providing an excellent introduction to the OAIS for those new to digital preservation and resource for practitioners wishing to re-acquaint themselves with the basics of the model, supplemented by the wisdom of a decade of research, development and implementation.
Sarah Higgins of the Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth University praises the report, calling it “a much needed and important update. It lays out both the content of the second edition of the OAIS Reference Model, and the results of over a decade of research and development that can trace its roots to OAIS. The tools and processes for practical implementation of digital preservation and measuring their success are expertly explained and evaluated. The report will be invaluable to both established and new entrants to the digital preservation profession who need to understand the basic concepts of an OAIS and the tools available to them. This clear and comprehensive report will be embedded as core reading for Aberystwyth University students studying Digital Curation or Digital Information Management at Master’s level”.
OAIS Introductory Guide (2nd Edition) is the latest in the state of the art Technology Watch Reports that give an advanced introduction to ensuring that high-value and vulnerable digital resources can be managed beyond the limits of technological obsolescence.
It came as a bit of a shock to realise that sometime in the next 12 months, I will have been involved in digital preservation for 20 years.
The first thing I ever wrote in 1995 on the topic of digital preservation (fortunately anonymously) was this:
The inadequacies and compromises in this advice (not only for preservation but also for its implications for online access), sparked my interest in solving the problems and helping advance solutions for them (such as the Archaeology Data Service) in subsequent years.
How to mark the occasion? Well over the last two decades I have given over 150 keynotes and presentations at events internationally and in the UK on digital preservation topics, and a personal digital archive has gradually evolved. So I have decided to make a personal selection of 12 presentations that I think may have been the most significant and influential.
I will release a blog narrative for one of them each month over the next 12 months and will put it on Slideshare. For those interested in which presentations made the cut and will be appearing on 1st day of the month over 2015, this is my personal top 12 arranged in date order:
What a terrific couple of days! We completed a two day book sprint in London last week focussing on developing new content for the first 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.
A group of 11 people Matthew Addis (Arkivum), Neil Beagrie (Charles Beagrie Ltd), Stephanie Davidson (West Yorkshire Archive Service), Michael Day (British Library), Matt Faber (Jisc), Chris Fryer (Parliamentary Archives), Anna Henry (the Tate Gallery), William Kilbride (DPC), Ed Pinsent (ULCC), Virginia Power (Jisc), Susan Thomas (Bodleian Library Oxford), met up over two days to progress sections of the content for the new “Technical Solutions and Tools” chapter of the Handbook (as identified in the Draft Outline of the 2nd Edition of the Digital Preservation Handbook). Accommodation for the sprint was kindly provided by the Jisc in their central London offices via the good offices of Neil Grindley.
We have completed draft sections for:
In addition a content outline was agreed for the “Getting Started” sub-section of the Introduction. Alongside this work, other sections including the Background, How to Use the Handbook, Definitions and Concepts, Acronyms and Initials, and References have been partially revised as we went.
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.
This was the first book sprint for all bar one of the participants. We learnt a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of “Booktype” the open source software we used that had been developed to help support this type of activity, eventually settling on using it in parallel with collaborative text tools such as Google Docs to get the best from each approach. A two-day book sprint was very intense but few could have spared more time away from the workplace, and as one participant said a tight-deadline helped everyone focus on the tasks in hand.
At the end of the sprint the challenge was set to aim to make the new content available within 3 months – we hope sufficient additional sections to create a ready critical mass, potentially the complete Tools and Solutions Chapter of the Handbook can be readied and transferred to the DPC website and reviewed for release in the New Year.
The official company press release on the Archival Technology Medal award is out but I wanted to add an individual thank you to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and my colleagues.
First of all, a big thank-you to the SMPTE for the great personal honour and for all the work it is doing through the SMPTE Archival Technology Medal Award to raise awareness of digital preservation challenges and solutions. Film and television reach into every sector of society and around the globe and the SMPTE’s leadership is important not just to the film and television industries but beyond.
Secondly, digital preservation is highly collaborative. I feel I have done my best work over my career in partnership with others. I am fortunate to have co-workers, colleagues, and collaborators who are often world- leading in their fields and to whom I owe a great deal professionally. From television, sound and software engineers to librarians, archivists and economists they have been a pleasure to work and collaborate with.
The citation for the 2014 Archival Technology Medal specifically mentions the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and the Jisc digital preservation programme and my early involvement in their establishment. The ongoing success of the DPC, Jisc and its services over the last decade in digital preservation is due to the leadership and staff of these bodies and they have had continuing international impact in their work.
Finally my thanks to SMPTE members and other colleagues for their messages of congratulation and kind words on the announcement.
Press Release Date 30/10/2014
Award of the 2014 SMPTE Archival Technology Medal to Neil Beagrie
At a ceremony in Hollywood on 23 October 2014, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers® (SMPTE®) awarded the 2014 Archival Technology Medal to Neil Beagrie in recognition of his long-term contributions to the research and implementation of strategies and solutions for digital preservation.
The full citation for the award reads “Mr. Beagrie played a key role in the development of a collaborative approach to the study and dissemination of knowledge relating to Digital Preservation, Research Data Management, Digital Curation and Data Archives. He was responsible for establishing the Digital Preservation Coalition, with major members from industry, national libraries, broadcasters and archives. In addition, he was responsible for establishing the digital preservation program within Jisc. This program helped to create the Digital Curation Centre, which seeks to actively manage, preserve, and curate digital data throughout the research lifecycle.”
William Kilbride, Executive Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition said: “‘I am delighted to hear that Neil’s work is being recognised with this well-deserved accolade. He is highly regarded among colleagues in the UK and internationally for his calm, approachable manner, his clear advice, and the high standards he sets. These virtues are woven into the fabric of the Digital Preservation Coalition, an organisation which he helped create. I extend congratulations on behalf of all of the DPC’s members and staff, and we are honoured that DPC should be associated with this award.”
Rachel Bruce, Deputy Chief Innovation Officer, from Jisc added: “This award is recognition not only of Neil’s enormous contribution to digital preservation over the years but also the work he has done to clarify and explain aspects of managing research data. This has focused particularly on economic perspectives with the ‘Keeping Research Data Safe’ phases of work and more recently with an influential series of reports on the value of data centres. We are delighted that SMPTE has honoured Neil in this way, it is very much deserved, and we are pleased that some of the initiatives that Jisc has established, such as the digital preservation coalition and our research data programmes and services, are acknowledged as globally valuable.”
The SMPTE is the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries.
The SMPTE Archival Technology medal recognizes significant technical advancements or contributions related to the invention or development of technology, techniques, workflows, or infrastructure for the long-term storage, archive, or preservation of media content essence.
Pervasive, fluid and fragile: digital data is a defining feature of our age. The creative industries, Government, research and education, health, the heritage sector, and private life depend on digital materials to satisfy ubiquitous information needs. Digital preservation is an issue which all organisations and individuals will need to address. The 2014 award can also be viewed as a reflection of:
Others recognised by the SMPTE at the 2014 Honors & Awards Ceremony included George Lucas and John Logie Baird.
Neil Beagrie is Director of Consulting at Charles Beagrie Limited (www.beagrie.com), an independent consultancy company based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, specialising in the digital archive, library, science and research sectors.
Charles Beagrie Limited email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; telephone +44 (0)1722 338482
A low, medium, and high resolution version of the photograph of the award at the SMPTE 2014 Honors and Awards Dinner and Ceremony is available for editorial use only at https://www.flickr.com/photos/smpte/15650350081/in/set-72157648600445387 . The Editorial Use Only license means that the images cannot be used for commercial advertising purposes. An Editorial Use Only image can be used: in a newspaper or magazine article; on a blog or website for descriptive purposes; or in a non-commercial presentation.
SMPTE 2014 Honours and Awards Press Release - https://www.smpte.org/2014honors_awards
I’m starting to really look forward to the book sprint for the Digital Preservation Handbook next week.
Final preparations are now in place and we are ready to go. 11 people are contributing over a two-day sprint that will focus on developing new content in key areas such as “Technical Solutions and Tools” and “Getting Started”. The aim is to address some of the new areas identified in the recent audience survey and new content outline.
This will be the first “book sprint” I have been involved in as a facilitator (or participant) so that anticipation is mixed with a bit of nervousness. However there is a great bunch of people involved so we should be productive. Expect a blog post late next week reporting on how it went.
Civic pride this morning as Lonely Planet voted Salisbury one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015.
It is a good place for Charles Beagrie Ltd to be based too!