Thursday, May 25, 2006

The ECHO Depository

At Computers in Libraries, there was a presentation on the ECHO Depository. (I've just listened to the audio of the presentation.) The presenters were:
  • Tom Habing, UIUC
  • Richard Pearce-Moses, Arizona Library & Archives [Richard is also the current president for the Society of American Archivists.]
  • Taylor Surface, OCLC
Unfortunately, their presentation is not on the Internet, but the resources they mentioned are at:
You can also see/hear a presentation Richard Pearce-Moses did on the Arizona Model when he was a NHPRC Electronic Records Fellow.

Part of the ECHO DEPository project is to "install and test instances of four or more major open-source digital object repositories (Fedora, DSpace, Greenstone, and ePrints) as well as the OCLC Digital Archive to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses." I don't see on the project web site any conclusions from this work. The project is to be completed in 2007, so we'll need to keep our eyes open for their results and lessons learned then.

A few of the key thoughts from what they said are:
  • What we do to curate a collection is the same no matter if it is paper-based or electronic, but how we curate it changes.
  • The solution must be scalable.
  • Curating these collections requires a combination of computer and human skills.
  • When preserving web sites, do you need to preserve the entire web site? Actually, they are not capturing entire web sites, but are capturing those pages that are "in scope" (relevant).
One presenter used the term "semantic preservation." I find that the term is used in other places, but cannot find a definition. If anyone has seen a firm definition, please post a comment and let me know what it is. Thanks!

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