Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Institutional Repositories

March 22, 2006

Maybe I should think up snappier title headings to these blogs. Believe me, occasionally I’m sitting in the class wondering how the hell I got here. Though I should say that the quality of the training programme so far has been very high and I’m finding it very engaging. The tutors are decent, down-to-earth people with practical advice. In other news, the stats for this blog suggest that most of ITP and IRP looked at it yesterday. Tomorrow’s stats should be interesting… 😉

Basically, this was a discussion on DSpace and the OCLC. Fedora was mentioned but only briefly. That’s OK, because Fiona, Damon and I attended a conference on Fedora last year. Damon’s an expert so ask him all the questions about Fedora… The implementation of a ‘trusted repository’ is central to digital archiving and the two main course documents are the OAIS standard and the follow up document, Trusted Digital Repositories. The TDR document basically goes through all the attributes and responsibilities that an OAIS compliant have. The report defines a TDR as:

A trusted digital repository is one whose mission is to provide reliable, long-term access to managed digital resources to its designated community, now and in the future.

It’s a useful document for testing how well your institution is doing.

DSpace is a repository system that’s been developed at MIT. It’s very popular (OK, so that’s a relative term…) in the USA and some UK institutions use it too. From what I could see, it provides a customisable ‘repository out of the box’ and shares some functionality with a Content Management System.

DSpace has three preservation service levels, providing functional preservation through ‘supported’ (1) and ‘recognised’ (2) file formats and bit-level (3) preservation. I don’t think it is ‘OAIS compliant’ but clearly it follows the basic OAIS functional model of Ingest of Submission Information Packages, creation of Archival Information Packages and the creation of Dissemination Information Packages. The example we were shown worked very well for the submission and archiving of a document by an academic writer. From the Fedora conference we attended, I’d got the impression DSpace was a bit crap, but there’s some competition between the two systems so that shouldn’t be surprising. Fedora is a different animal really as it provides a suite of repository services which developers are expected to work with while DSpace is useable out of the box by people without programming skills.

OCLC, The Online Computer Library Centre provides a repository service for other institutions so is really an out-sourcing solution. Accessible over the web with OAIS-like functionality but, of course, still requires that you prepare your collection for Ingest.

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Initiatives & Tools

March 22, 2006

Before lunch, we discussed a number of initiatives and tools that are emerging in digital preservation. I’m just going to list a few right now because there are so many.

UK Initiatives

JISC – Funding body
AHDS – Arts and Humanities Data Service
DPC – Digital Preservation Coalition (course organisers)
DCC – Digital Curation Centre. Courses, conferences, online forum, specifically interested in curatorial issues.
UKOLN – Advisory service
UKDA – UK Data Archive
NDAD – The National Digital Archive of Datasets
UKWAC – UK Web Archving Consortium
TNA – The National Archives

Non-UK Initiatives

NARA – Electronic Records Archive (USA) Project with $300m funding
National Archives of Australia Digital Preservation Service
PADI – National Library of Australia’s subject gateway to international digital preservation resources
ECPA – The European Commission on Preservation and Access
RLG – Research Libraries Group
Library of Congress Digital Preservation
ERPANET – Electronic Resource Preservation and Access Network

Tools (these were all demonstrated and very interesting – I think we could use one or two of them. And they are all open source and written in Java which Merlin’s Team have expertise in).

PRONOM/DROID – PRONOM is a file format registry at The National Archives. DROID is a tool which works in conjunction with PRONOM.
JHOVE – Validates digital files and extracts preservation metadata. Very cool. Really!
National Library of New Zealand Metadata Extraction Tool
XENA – XML Electronic Normalisinig of Archives