Going Digital: Strategies for Access, Preservation, and Conversion of Collections to a Digital Format

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Recommendation: The Library should establish contractual arrangements i. Recommendation: For all fail-safe arrangements, the Library must regularly test the integrity of the materials and systems and its capacity to accept responsibility in a timely way. Such tests will demonstrate whether LC has the appropriate technical capability and whether the arrangements with publishers are realistic ones.

The way in which librarians work must be totally reconceptualized for these fail-safe mechanisms to work. The burden of preserving digital collections is daunting and must be shared with other archiving institutions. The archiving and preservation of digital resources normally accessed over the Internet will not take place as a by-product of normal access but must be explicitly pursued.

Simply assuming that preservation will be carried out somewhere across numerous replicated research collections will not be a solution for networked resources. The archiving and preservation responsibility is a long-term one that will serve researchers in generations to come. One advantage of digital materials is the potential to distribute preservation responsibilities among a wide variety of partners so that each institution preserves only a designated portion of the global digital record.

With careful planning, coordination, cooperative agreements, and clearly articulated boundaries around its curatorial collection, the Library could assume long-term preservation responsibility for a much smaller portion of the digital corpus than it did for the paper one. Some redundancy is necessary for backup and security purposes, but less redundancy is needed for digital collections than was required in the past because access no longer requires physical proximity to materials.

Distributed curatorial responsibility will be achieved only with leadership from LC and cooperation with many partners. A variety of roles can be envisioned for the Library in a collaborative effort among libraries, publishers, government agencies, and other stakeholders to define the parameters of distributed digital collections and delineate the roles and responsibilities of various parties for access and long-term maintenance of important digital works see Box 4. As mentioned above, several European national libraries and the national libraries of Canada and Australia have launched programs to collect and preserve the digital portions of their national bibliographies.

If the mechanisms to acquire and preserve the digital national bibliographies of some countries succeed, LC could be relieved of responsibility for preserving most digital materials from those countries. At that point, it could concentrate its curatorial efforts on works created or published by Americans or that reflect important aspects of U.

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Some other countries would need help. For the foreseeable future, many developing countries will not have the resources to preserve their digital heritage. Curatorial responsibility for these collections could be shared by LC and other libraries that have well-developed repository systems rather than assuming that LC will serve as the repository for all significant materials globally.

There are many other opportunities to divide up long-term preservation responsibilities by subject area or domain. This is not unprecedented: LC already cedes responsibility for materials in medicine, agriculture, and education to the national libraries set up for those subject domains.

In addition, the National Archives and Records Administration preserves records of the federal government that have long-term value for documenting U. BOX 4. The CEDARS project aims to provide guidance in best practices for digital preservation by both developing practical demonstrator projects and sponsoring strategic working groups. Funded by the British Joint Information Systems Committee JISC , with work carried out at Leeds, Oxford, and Cambridge universities, its main objectives are to promote awareness; to identify, document, and disseminate strategic frameworks for the development of appropriate digital collection management policies; and to investigate, document, and promote methods appropriate for long-term preservation.

For Project NEDLIB , several European national libraries have joined forces to develop strategies, programs, and infrastructure for digital deposit and archiving. Project partners include deposit libraries, archives, developers of information technology, and three large publishers Kluwer, Elsevier, and Springer-Verlag that contribute to the project and will supply electronic publications for demonstration purposes.

The project aims to construct the basic infrastructure upon which a networked European deposit library can be built. Key issues to be investigated are standards and interfaces for the generic architecture; electronic document technical data; and access controls and archival maintenance procedures. Information technology developers and publishers will assist in defining standards, methods, and techniques. The commercial and copyright interests of publishers will be handled through access controls implemented when the publications are stored and activated when they are accessed. The PANDORA project Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia is an initiative of the National Library of Australia that aims to develop policies and procedures for the selection, capture, and archiving of Australian electronic publications and the provision of long-term access to them.

One of its priorities is the fostering of working partnerships with other national libraries and overseas agencies that are also undertaking research and development in this area. It is now developing a working model for a national collection of Australian electronic publications. Project PRISM , at Cornell University, is a 4-year effort to investigate and develop the policies and mechanisms needed for information integrity in distributed digital libraries. One of its five foci is digital preservation; it aims to investigate the long-term survivability of information in digital form.

Another focus is to. It aims to evaluate emulation as a digital preservation strategy for retaining the original functionality and look and feel of digital objects and to locate emulation within a larger suite of digital preservation strategies. Its deliverables include cost comparisons of different levels of emulation; a set of emulation tools that will be available for use and further testing in libraries; and preliminary guidelines for the use of different strategies conversion, migration, and emulation for managing and preserving digital collections.

The Data Provenance Project at the University of Pennsylvania is exploring methods for keeping track of the source the provenance of digital information as it is extracted from databases, translated, transformed, and combined with other information. Funded by the Digital Library Initiative DLI , it aims to identify the central issues of digital provenance and to contribute to the development of new data models, new query languages, and new storage techniques that will lead to the creation of a substrate for recording and tracking provenance.

The NARA Project: Persistent Archives and Electronic Records Management , a project of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the National Archives and Records Administration, is working on an approach to maintaining digital data for hundreds of years by developing an environment that supports the migration of collections onto new software systems. It is developing both the technologies and the preservation and management policies needed to define an infrastructure for a collection-based persistent archive.

LOCKSS is testing the feasibility of preserving digital documents by storing multiple copies on different computers. If these tests are successful, the Stanford researchers hope to expand the project to libraries overseas. It is performing basic research in the area of Internet-distributed algorithms and protocols. Finding: Many national libraries, university research libraries, national archives, bibliographic utilities, and organizations with large holdings of digital information are actively pursuing solutions to the problems of digital preservation.

Although the Library of Congress might have been expected to provide leadership in this area as it once did in others, LC has at best played only a minimal role in these initiatives. As a consequence, it has little awareness of potential solutions that are emerging from joint research and development projects and has not contributed much to this important national and international problem for the library community. Recommendation: Ensuring its leadership in digital preservation will require the Library to hire or develop relevant expertise.

The Library should join and, where possible, lead or facilitate national and international research and development efforts in digital preservation. There are opportunities for the Library to learn from and contribute to such efforts in preserving born-digital information and converting certain types of information to digital form as a preservation strategy.

Recommendation: To make it a safe haven for preservation purposes, 9 the Library should take an active role—including working with the Congress if necessary—in efforts to rework intellectual property restraints on copying and migration. In The Digital Dilemma , p.

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Even if LC carefully defines its roles and responsibilities along the continuum from serving as a portal to acting as the primary custodian for digital materials, there is an urgent need for it to enhance its technical capacity and expertise in digital preservation. Such preservation will involve a wide range of activities, including the following:. Access will be enhanced to the extent that archived materials remain online rather than, say, being stored on media such as tapes, which must be mounted manually.

It must also work with users to help them undertake these tasks. Maintaining appropriate metadata —All preservation activities will depend on the completeness and quality of the metadata for the objects to be preserved. It will be critical for the Library to monitor developments in metadata standards and follow best practices for metadata as they develop. Migrating formats —Even the most careful selection of archiving formats cannot ensure that objects will be useful in the decades to come. It will be necessary to migrate objects periodically from one archival format to another. Such processes must be carefully designed and executed to ensure minimal loss of content it is impossible to ensure that all such migrations will be loss-free.

Some works, such as those that include active software e. Conducting research and development —Only a handful of institutions are likely to face digital preservation challenges on the scale or scope of those that LC faces in the coming years. This makes it unlikely that LC will be able to import models and solutions for all of its preservation needs. An active program of research and development in digital preservation is needed to solve immediate preservation problems—technical, legal, and economic—at LC and to provide guidance to other libraries and archives.

Educating the relevant communities —Especially in this transitional period, when digital materials are new and preservation practices are still in flux, institutions and particular communities will need to be educated about digital preservation: What is the state of the art? What factors must be taken into account in planning for preservation?

LC is well situated to participate in such efforts and possibly to take the lead. A robust preservation program will employ curators and preservation staff with knowledge of the formats of materials in their collections and of appropriate metadata standards and practices and an understanding of the issues involved in migrating objects from one format to another. It will require well-developed production services for creating the specified metadata, sound and robust repository services, and periodic quality checking and copying of objects in the collection.

And yet, now that archivists and librarians have defined the issues surrounding the life expectancy of media, the very concept of longevity itself is fading as a meaningful intellectual construct for preservation.

Digital Conversion of Library Research Materials:

Digital preservation has little concern for the longevity of optical disks and newer, more fragile storage media. The viability of digital image files is much more dependent on the life expectancy of the access system — a chain only as strong as its weakest component. Today's optical media most likely will far outlast the capability of systems to retrieve and interpret the data stored on them. Since we can never know for certain when a system cannot be maintained or supported by a vendor, libraries must be prepared to migrate valuable image data, indexes, and software to future generations of the technology.

Librarians can exercise control over the longevity of digital image data through the careful selection, handling, and storage of rugged, well-tested storage media. They can influence the life expectancy of the information by making sure that local budgetary commitments are made consistently at an appropriate level. Ultimately, we have no control over the evolution of the imaging marketplace, especially corporate research and development activities that have a tremendous impact on the life expectancy of the digital files we are creating today.

Preservation adds value through selection. Selection is choice and choice involves defining value, recognizing it in something, and then deciding to address its preservation needs in the way most appropriate to that value.

BU Libraries Digital Preservation Policy

Over decades the act of preservation has evolved from saving material from oblivion and assembling it in secure buildings to more sophisticated condition and value assessments on the already-collected. Preservation selection in libraries has largely been dictated by the need to stretch limited resources in as wise a fashion as possible, resulting in the dictum that "no item shall be preserved twice. Selection is perhaps the most difficult of undertakings precisely because it is static and conceived by practitioners as either completely divorced from present use or completely driven by demand.

Selection in the digital world is not a choice made "once and for all" near the end of an item's life cycle, but rather is an ongoing process intimately connected to the active use of the digital files. The value judgments applied when making a decision to convert documents from paper or film to digital images are valid only within the context of the original system. It is a rare collection of digital files, indeed, that can justify the cost of a comprehensive migration strategy.

Without factoring in the larger intellectual context of related digital files stored elsewhere and their combined uses for teaching and learning, preservation decision making cannot take place. Even while recognizing that selection decisions cannot be made in a vacuum, librarians and archivists CAN choose which books, articles, photographs, film, and other materials are converted from paper or film into digital image form. Influence over the continuing value of digital image files is largely vested in the right to decide, in close coordination with the many parties interested in the decision, when it is time to migrate image data to future storage and access systems and when a digital file has outlived its usefulness to the institution charged with preserving it.

What we cannot control is the impact of these ongoing value judgments on the abilities of our patrons to find and use information in digital form. Maximizing the quality of all work performed is such an important maxim in the preservation field that few people state this fundamental principle directly. Instead, the preservation literature dictates high quality outcomes by specifying standards for treatment options, reformatting processes, and preventive measures. The commitment to quality standards — do it once, do it right — permeates all preservation activity, including library binding standards, archival microfilm creation guidelines, conservation treatment procedures, the choice of supplies and materials, and a low tolerance for error.

The evolution of preservation microfilming as a central strategy for the bulk of brittle library materials has placed the quality of the medium and the quality of the visual image on an equal plane. In the pursuit of quality microfilm, compromise on visual truth and archival stability is dictated only by the characteristics of the item chosen for preservation. Quality in the digital world is conditioned significantly by the limitations of capture-and-display technology.

Digital conversion places less emphasis on obtaining a faithful reproduction in favor of finding the best representation of the original in digital form. Mechanisms and techniques for judging quality of digital reproductions are different and more sophisticated than those for assessing microfilm or photocopy reproductions. The image market has transformed the principle of maintaining the highest possible quality over time to one of finding the minimal level of quality acceptable to today's system users. We must reclaim image quality as the heart and soul of digital preservation.

This means maximizing the amount of data captured in the digital scanning process, documenting image enhancement techniques, and specifying file compression routines that do not result in the loss of data during telecommunication. We can control standards of digital quality, just as we have done for microfilm. We can only influence the development of standards for data compression, communication, display, and output.

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Out of our hands are improvements in the technical capabilities of image conversion hardware and software. We risk hastening obsolescence by prematurely setting overly rigorous equipment specifications. The concept of integrity has two dimensions in the traditional preservation context — physical and intellectual — both of which concern the nature of the evidence. Physical integrity largely concerns the item as artifact and plays out most directly in the conservation studio, where skilled bench staff use water-soluble glues, age-old hand-binding techniques, and high quality materials to protect historical evidence of use, past conservation treatments, and intended or unintended changes to the structure of the item.

The preservation of intellectual integrity is also based upon concern for evidence of a different sort. The authenticity, or truthfulness, of the information content of an item, maintained through documentation of both provenance — the chain of ownership — and treatment, where appropriate, is at the heart of intellectual integrity. Beyond the history of an item is concern for protecting and documenting the relationships among items in a collection.

In traditional preservation practice, the concepts of quality and integrity reinforce each other. In the digital world, a commitment to maintaining the physical integrity of a digital image file has far less to do with the media upon which the data are stored than with the loss of information when a file is created originally and then compressed mathematically or sent across a network. In the domain of intellectual integrity, structural indexes and data descriptions traditionally published with an item as tables of contents or prepared as discrete finding aids or bibliographic records must be inextricably linked and preserved along with the digital image files themselves.

Preserving intellectual integrity also involves authentication procedures, like audit trails, to make sure files are not altered intentionally or accidentally. Librarians and archivists can control the integrity of digital image files by authenticating access procedures and documenting successive modifications to a given digital record. We can also create and maintain structural indexes and bibliographic linkages within well developed and well understood database standards. We also have a role to play in influencing the development of metadata interchange standards — including the tools and techniques that will allow structured, documented, and standardized information about data files and databases to be shared across platforms, systems, and international boundaries.

It is vain to think, however, that librarians and archivists are anything but bystanders observing the rapid development of network protocols, bandwidth, or data security techniques. In spite of decades of claims to the contrary, increased access is largely a coincidental byproduct of traditional preservation practice, not its central focus. Indeed, the preservation and access responsibilities of an archive or library are more often in constant tension. In traditional preservation, access mechanisms, such as bibliographic records and archival finding aids, simply provide a notice of availability and are not an integral part of the object.

In the fifty years that preservation has been emerging as a professional speciality in libraries and archives, the intimate relationship between the concepts of preservation and access has undergone a sequence of transformations that mirror the changes in the technological environment in which cultural institutions have functioned. In the digital world, access is transformed from a convenient byproduct of the preservation process to its central motif.

Control over the access requirements of digital preservation, especially, the capability to migrate digital image files to future generations of the technology, can be exercised in part through prudent purchases of only non-proprietary hardware and software components. In the present environment, true "plug-and-play" components are becoming more widely available and our limited checkbooks provide the only incentive we can provide to vendors to adopt open system architectures or at least provide better documentation on the inner workings of their systems.

Additionally, librarians and archivists can influence vendors and manufacturers to provide new equipment that is "backwardly compatible" with existing systems. This capability assists image file system migration in the same way that today's word processing software allows access to documents created with earlier versions.

Much as we might wish otherwise, the life expectancy of a given digital image system and the requirement to abandon that system are profoundly important matters over which we have little or no control. Perversely, it seems, the commitment of a vendor to support and maintain an old system is inversely related to that vendor's ability to market a new system. It is impossible to come to terms with the responsibilities inherent in digital preservation without distinguishing between "acquiring" digital imaging technology to solve a particular problem and "adopting" it as an information management option.


Acquiring an imaging system to enhance access to library and archive materials is now almost as simple as choosing the combination of off-the-shelf scanners, computers, and monitors that meets immediate specifications. Hundreds of libraries and archives have already invested in or are planning to purchase digital image conversion systems and experiment with their capabilities. Innumerable pilot projects demonstrate how much more challenging it is to digitize scholarly resources than the modern office correspondence and case files that drove the technology a decade ago. In time, most of these small-scale, stand -alone applications will fade away quietly — and the initial investment will be lost — as the costs of maintaining these systems become apparent, as vendors go out of business, and as patrons become more accustomed to remote-access image databases and the latest bells and whistles.

The process of converting library materials to an electronic form — a process which in many aspects is similar to the one used to create preservation microfilm — is distinct from any particular medium upon which the images may be stored at a particular point in time. This distinction allows for a continuing commitment to creating and maintaining digitized information while entertaining the possibility that other, more advanced storage media may render optical media obsolete.

Administrators who have responsibility for selecting systems for converting materials with long-term value also bear responsibility for providing long-term access. This commitment is a continuing one — decisions about digital preservation cannot be deferred in the hope that technological solutions will emerge like a Medieval knight in shining armor. An appraisal of the present value of books, manuscript collections, or a series of photographs in their original format is the necessary point of departure for judging the preservation of the digital image version.

The mere potential of increased access to a digitized collection does not add value to an underused collection. Similarly, the powerful capabilities of a relational index cannot compensate for a collection of documents whose structure, relationships, and intellectual content are poorly understood. Random access is not a magic potion for effective collection management. If libraries, archives, and museums expect to adopt digital imaging technology for purposes of transforming the way they serve their patrons and each other, then they must move beyond the experimental stage.

Digital image conversion, in an operational environment, requires a deep and long-standing institutional commitment to preservation, the full integration of the technology into information management procedures and processes, and significant leadership in developing appropriate definitions and standards for digital preservation. In the past three years, significant progress has been made to define the terms and outline a research agenda for preserving digital information that was either "born digital" or transformed to digital from traditional sources.

PBS recently aired the film, "Into the Future," which graphically portrayed the problem of digital information and speculated on the consequences of inaction, all the while offering precious few ideas of what to do about the dilemma. It may be premature for most of us to worry about preserving digital objects until we have figured out how to make digital products that are worth preserving. Digital imaging technologies create an entirely new form of information. Digital imaging technology is not simply another reformatting option in the preservation tool kit.

Digital imaging involves transforming the very concept of format, not simply creating a faithful reproduction of a book, document, photograph, or map on a different medium. The power of digital enhancement, the possibilities for structured indexes, and the mathematics of compression and communication together alter the concept of preservation in the digital world. Format Migration: A means of overcoming technical obsolescence by preserving digital content in a succession of current formats or by transforming the original format into the current best practice format for presentation.

The purpose of format migration is to preserve the digital objects and to retain the ability for clients to retrieve, display, and otherwise use them in the face of constantly changing technology. Format Registry: An accessible compilation of information on file formats.

It may provide identifiers for formats, definitive names, methods of identification, descriptions and other information useful for identifying preservation needs. Format Verification: Process of checking that a file in a given format is complete and conforms with the format's technical specification.

GIF : A file format that supports up to colors and compresses file size without loss of image quality. GIF format works best on line drawings such as Clip Art that contain few colors, or on pictures that use large blocks of solid color. Hardcopy: Documentation and data resources in physical formats e. Holdings: The whole of the archival material and collections found in an archives. See also: Collection , Data Resource.

Tags are embedded in the text to control display and presentation of a document. Identifier: An identifier is a language-independent label, sign or token that identifies an object from another object. See Unique Identifier , Persistent Identifier. Information: Any type of knowledge that can be exchanged. In an exchange, information is represented by data. An example is a string of bits the data accompanied by a description of how to interpret the string of bits as numbers representing temperature observations measured in degrees Celsius the Representation Information.

Information Package: A logical container composed of optional Content Information and optional associated Preservation Description Information. Associated with this Information Package is Packaging Information used to delimit and identify the Content Information and Package Description information used to facilitate searches for the Content Information. The detailed expression, or value, of that part of the information content is conveyed by the appropriate parts of the Content Data Object and its Representation Information.

Integrity: Internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data. See Checksum and Fixity Check. Intellectual Entity IE : A coherent set of digital objects or a singular digital object that is described as a unit, for example, a book, a map, a photograph, or a serial. Java Servlet: Technology that provides Web developers with a simple, consistent mechanism for extending the functionality of a Web server and for accessing existing business systems.

A servlet can be thought of as an applet that runs on the server side -- without a face. JPEG is a method of lossy compression used in digital images. JPEG is also an image file format, most often seen with the extension. JPEG is also a format with the file extension. Keyword: Keywords are used to retrieve documents in an information system, for instance in a catalog or when using a search engine. Knowledge Base: A set of information, incorporated by a person or system, that allows that person or system to understand received information. Legacy System: Previous generation or version of a system information technology architectures and its contents legacy data which needs special treatment to make it usable in a current IT environment.

Life Cycle: A set of iterative, modular processes that govern the creation, acquisition, selection, description, sustainability, access and preservation of digital content over time. Logical Record: All the data for a given unit of analysis. Long-Term: A period of time long enough for there to be concern about the impacts of changing technologies, including support for new media and data formats, and of a changing Designated Community , on the information being held in an OAIS. This period extends into the indefinite future. Long-Term Preservation: The act of maintaining information, independently understandable by a Designated Community , and with evidence supporting its Authenticity , over the Long-Term.

Lossless Compression: The use of a compression algorithm which causes no loss of original information during compression. Resulting files are generally larger than those compressed using lossy compression algorithms. Lossy Compression: A use of a compression algorithm which causes the loss of some of the original information during compression.

Resulting files are generally smaller than those compressed using lossless compression algorithms. Management: The role played by those who set overall OAIS policy as one component in a broader policy domain. Metadata: Structured information that describes the context, content and structure of a document and their management over time to allow users to find, manage, control, understand or preserve information over time.

Metadata: Administrative: Information needed to help manage the digital object. Often included in administrative metadata is rights management, technical, and preservation information. Metadata: Descriptive: Metadata that identifies a resource and describes its intellectual content for purposes such as discovery, identification, and use. Metadata: Event: Metadata which provides an audit trail of actions by an agent on an object. Sometimes considered a specific type of Preservation Metadata.

Metadata: Preservation: The contextual information necessary to carry out, document, and evaluate the processes that support the long-term retention and accessibility of digital content. Metadata: Rights Management: Administrative metadata that indicates the copyrights, user restrictions, and license agreements that might constrain the end-use of digital content including metadata files.

Metadata: Structural: Information that provides information on how the digital object is organized or how compound objects are put together or related. This may include the page or chapter order of a book, its table of contents or indexes. Structural metadata is often used by software programs.

Metadata: Technical: Information about aspects of the object often closely related either to its file format or the original software used to create the file. Metadata Schema: A metadata schema defines a framework for representing metadata. In general it includes definitions of terms used in the schema, structural constraints and data structure definitions, and bindings to physical description syntax. See METS.

See MODS. Migration: Set of organized tasks designed to achieve the periodic transfer of digital materials from one hardware or software configuration to another, from one generation of computer technology or system to a subsequent generation, or from one format to another. Standards created often are named MPEG- x and file extensions are based on the standard.

Some common extensions are. See QuickTime. Native Format: The format in which the record was created or in which the originating application stores records. Network: A number of computers connected together to share information and hardware. Network File System NFS : A Network File System is a process for mounting magnetic disks on a network so that disks not physically attached to a computer can be accessed as if they were physically attached. Normalization: In a preservation context, normalization refers to a preservation strategy that involves the imposition of "standard" formats and rules to create preservable file formats.

Normalization has specific connotations within the database e. See Open Archives Initiative. Open Archival Information System OAIS : The Open Archive Information System OAIS Reference Model is an ISO standard that formally expresses the roles producer, management, consumer, and implicitly archives , functions common services, ingest, archival storage, data management, administration, preservation planning, and access , and content submission information package, archival information collection, archival information package, and dissemination information package of an archive.

More information can be found here. Open Format: In a computer environment, an open format is a data format that is not considered proprietary and is free of commercial ownership or patents. Typically the technical specifications for the format are also publicly available, allowing users to alter and develop the format to suit their specific needs. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open Standard: Recognized national or international platform-independent standards.

They are often developed collaboratively through due process, are often vendor-neutral and do not rely on commercial intellectual property. Open Systems: Systems usually operating systems that are not tied to a particular computer system or hardware manufacturer.

An example is the UNIX operating system, with versions available for a wide variety of hardware platforms. Operating Environment: All the hardware and software that is needed to run a digital resource. Operating System: The special software required to make a computer work. It provides the link between the user and the hardware. Order Agreement: An agreement between the Archive and the Consumer in which the physical details of the delivery, such as media type and format of Data , are specified. Organizational Unit: A department, division, program, sector or other group working to curate and preserve a digital collection.

Original Version: The original deposited data resource that is preserved without any changes or alterations to the content. Package [verb]: The act of creating an arbitrary container of digital data. Packaging Information: The information that is used to bind and identify the components of an Information Package.

Permissions: The access available to system users attached to specific roles in a computing environment, as well as the mechanism for administering access to a specific object on a computer system. Depending on the system or application, permissions can be defined for a specific user, specific groups of users, or all users; or for a role, or groups of roles; or based on one or more user attributes. Access Rights are a specific type of permission.

Persistent Identifier: A persistent identifier is a language-independent label, sign or token that identifies an object from another object that cannot be changed over time. See Identifier and Unique Identifier. Plain Text File. Portable File: In computer usage, a file or program is "portable" if it can be used by a variety of software on a variety of hardware platforms. SPSS portable files can be produced using the "export" command.

Portable Document Format PDF : A universal file format that retains the page layout, typography, and graphics of the original document and can be viewed, printed, and searched with viewer software such as Adobe Acrobat. There are three such standards. Preservation: The processes and operations in ensuring the technical and intellectual survival of digital objects through time. Preservation Copy: A copy made and used to preserve the intellectual content of a digital resource.

Preservation Format: A format chosen for preservation purposes based on standards and best practices. One resource for choosing a preservation format is the Sustainability Factors section of the Library of Congress Sustainability of Digital Formats page. Other formats may be chosen for different purposes. See also: Access Format , Dissemination Format. Preservation Repository: A repository that intends to preserve and manage content in perpetuity, or for as long as needed.

The repository may also enable access to the digital content. Preservation Planning: The OAIS functional entity that provides the services and functions for monitoring the environment of the OAIS and providing recommendations to ensure that the information stored in the OAIS remains accessible to the Designated User Community over the long term, even if the original computing environment becomes obsolete. Preservation Strategy: Coherent set of objectives and methods for maintaining digital components and related information over time, and for reproducing the related authentic data resources.

See also: Digital Preservation, Migration, and Copy. Principal Investigator PI : The person or organization responsible for a study; equivalent to "author" in bibliographic citations. Producer The role played by those persons, organizations, or client systems, which provide the information to be preserved. Proprietary Format: A file format that is privately owned and controlled, the specifications are generally not open.

Provenance Information: The information that documents the history of the Content Information. This information tells the origin or source of the Content Information , any changes that may have taken place since it was originated, and who has had custody of it since it was originated.

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The Archive is responsible for creating and preserving Provenance Information from the point of Ingest ; however, earlier Provenance Information should be provided by the Producer. Provenance Information adds to the evidence to support Authenticity. QuickTime Format. See also MOV.

Spaces & events

Reference Information: The information that is used as an identifier for the Content Information. It also includes identifiers that allow outside systems to refer unambiguously to a particular Content Information. Reference Model: A framework for understanding significant relationships among the entities of some environment, and for the development of consistent standards or specifications supporting that environment. A reference model is based on a small number of unifying concepts and may be used as a basis for education and explaining standards to a non-specialist.

Reformatting: Copying information content from one storage medium to a different storage medium media reformatting or converting from one file format to a different file format file re-formatting.

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  4. This is generally done to minimize the risk of information loss caused by media degradation. Render: To process a digital object generally with a software application in order to view, listen to, or interact with the content. This is usually done in a fashion consistent with the format encoding of the file.

    The bits used to represent these Information Objects are preserved in the transfer to the same or new media instance. An example of Representation Information for a bit sequence which is a FITS file might consist of the FITS standard which defines the format plus a dictionary which defines the meaning in the file of keywords which are not part of the standard.

    Another example is JPEG software which is used to render a JPEG file; rendering the JPEG file as bits is not very meaningful to humans but the software, which embodies an understanding of the JPEG standard, maps the bits into pixels which can then be rendered as an image for human viewing.


    Digital Preservation

    Resolution : The clarity or fineness of detail in an image produced by a monitor or printer. Restricted Use: A category of digital content restricted for any number of reasons including copyright restrictions, donor agreements, security clearance, presence of personally identifying information PII , or simply that the content is intended for internal use only. The RDF metadata model is based upon the idea of making statements about resources in the form of a subject-predicate-object expression and is a major component in what is proposed by the W3C's Semantic Web activity: an evolutionary stage of the World Wide Web in which automated software can store, exchange and utilize metadata about the vast resources of the Web, in turn enabling users to deal with those resources with greater efficiency and certainty.

    RDF's simple data model and ability to model disparate, abstract concepts has also led to its increasing use in knowledge management applications unrelated to Semantic Web activity.