Monday, June 11, 2007

The Future of the Past

This is an except from a post I did in the SLA blog. Since this section focuses specifically on digital preservation, I wanted to repeat it here.

Monday afternoon [June 4] there was a session entitled "The Future of the Past" with Victoria McGargar and Peter Johnson. Sponsored by the News Division, they talked about creating institutional repositories. Some institutions are realizing that long-term preservation is tough.
  • McGargar mentioned that one signification digitization project has quietly started to collect pristine paper backup.
  • She noted that at the LA Times, they tested 300,000 JPEG files and found that 10% of them were corrupt.
  • Non-monetized assets are especially at risk. (Small collections, personal papers, etc.)
  • Although we may migrate files successfully, she should examples of where the resultant files had still become unreadable because things just didn't "translate" well.
  • Files also can become corrupted without provocation.
  • We need a clearer understanding of what "preservation" means.
  • She talked through the core requirements for a trusted digital repository, which can be found here.
  • I have a note that says that the Copyright Clearance Center may start an orphaned works repository. I'm sure she must have thrown that out as an idea or some that is being discussed, but not something that is occurring now.

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