We Did All That? NDSA Standards and Practices Working Group Project Recaps

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Video Stumbling Blocks Survey bookmark, designed by Kara Van Malssen, AVPreserve

The end of the school year often finds me thinking about time gone by. What did I work on and what can I show for it? The NDSA Standards and Practices Working Group members were in the same frame of mind so we recently did a survey of our projects and accomplishments since the NDSA launched in 2010. It’s an impressive list (if we do say so ourselves), especially once you realize that these topics come from the interests of our diverse membership. As co-chair of the working group, I’d like to share with you all of the the S&P-related blog posts to bring readers up-to-date with many of our topical and timely initiatives.

Video Survey
Video has been a hot topic in S&P recently. Several round-robin discussions led to a “Video Deep Dive” action team which developed and conducted the Stumbling Blocks to Preserving Video Survey to identify and rank issues that may hinder digital video preservation. The preliminary results led us to dig a little deeper in how we processed and analyzed the data so look for an update on this soon.

Preserving Digital and Software-Based Artworks
S&P hosted a two-part discussion with experts from four collecting institutions (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, and Smithsonian Institution Time Based Media Art project) to share their experiences in both preserving and providing access to digital art works and other new media. These complex digital objects materials are increasingly part of collections outside of traditional museum environments and cultural heritage institutions, including libraries and archives, will see more and more of this type of content in their collections.

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Photo courtesy of Time Based Media Art at the Smithsonian from the Report on the Status and Need for Technical Standards in the care of Time-Based Media and Digital Art

PDFA/3
S&P members contributed to a report that takes a measured look at the costs and benefits of the widespread use of the PDF/A-3 format, especially as it effects content arriving in collecting institutions. The report provides background on the technical development of the specification, identifies specific scenarios under which the format might be used and suggests policy prescriptions for collecting institutions to consider.

Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation Survey
S&P conducted a survey of 85 institutions with a mandate to preserve digital content about how they staffed and organized their preservation functions. In addition to an award-winning poster (PDF) at iPRES2012, S&P members produced a detailed report and deposited the raw data in ICPSR.

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Icons for Archive and Checksum, Designed by Iconathon Los Angeles, California, US 2013. Public Domain

Fixity
Along with our colleagues in the NDSA Infrastructure Working Group, S&P members helped author the NDSA publication, “Checking Your Digital Content: What is Fixity and When Should I Be Checking It?” (PDF). This resource provides stewards of digital objects with information about implementing fixity concepts and methods in a way that makes sense for their organization based on their needs and resources. Topics covered include definitions of fixity and fixity information, general approaches to fixity check frequency and comparison of common fixity information-generating instruments.

2015 National Agenda
S&P members also contributed significant input and informed actionable recommendations to the Organization Policies and Practice chapter of the NDSA 2015 National Agenda for Digital Stewardship.

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Issues with archiving email proved to be another rallying point for S&P members who participated in initiating an informal Email Interest Group to discuss issues, projects and workflows to preserve email.

Moving Forward
Compiling this review list for S&P proudly reminds me of how much we’ve done through our active and engaged membership. And I should mention that this post doesn’t even cover all our projects – just the ones with blog posts! Even with all we’ve done so far, S&P still has many issues and practices to explore.

DPOE Makes a Splash Down Under!

The following is a guest post by Barrie Howard, IT Project Manager at the Library of Congress. The Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE) program is pleased to announce a successful outcome for two international Train-the-Trainer workshops. These workshops were recently held in Australia, and are the first of their kind to be held outside […]

Digital Preservation Infrastructure Tours: The Bentley Historical Library

To better understand how organizations working to ensure long-term access to digital content are meeting the challenges of digital stewardship, the NDSA Infrastructure Working Group is running a new series of interviews. In each of these, we ask individuals to answer questions about their organization and the technologies and tools they use to serve as […]

Reminder: NDSA Host Applications due June 30

Is your organization interested in taking a leadership role in the digital stewardship community?  Consider applying to host and perform secretariat duties for the National Digital Stewardship Alliance. The application process starts with your organization sending a letter of inquiry (up to one page) to the NDSA Coordinating Committee Chair, Micah Altman (escience [at] mit.edu). […]

DPOE Interview with Jim Corridan

The following is a guest post by Barrie Howard, IT Project Manager at the Library of Congress. This post is part of a series about digital preservation training inspired by the Library’s Digital Preservation Outreach & Education (DPOE) Program. Today I’ll focus on an exceptional individual, who among other things, hosted one of the DPOE […]

Dodge that Memory Hole: Saving Digital News

Newspapers are some of the most-used collections at libraries. They have been carefully selected and preserved and represent what is often referred to as “the first draft of history.” Digitized historical newspapers provide broad and rich access to a community’s past, enabling new kinds of inquiry and research. However, these kinds of resources are at […]

Digital Archiving Programming at Four Liberal Arts Colleges

The following guest post is a collaboration from Joanna DiPasquale (Vassar College), Amy Bocko (Wheaton College), Rachel Appel (Bryn Mawr College) and Sarah Walden (Amherst College) based on their panel presentation at the recent Personal Digital Archiving 2015 conference. I will write a detailed post about the conference — which the Library of Congress helped […]

A New Interface and New Web Archive Content at Loc.gov

The following is a guest post by Abbie Grotke, Lead Information Technology Specialist on the Web Archiving Team, Library of Congress. Recently the Library of Congress launched a significant amount of new Web Archive content on the Library’s Web site, as a part of a continued effort to integrate the Library’s Web Archives into the […]

The K-12 Web Archiving Program: Preserving the Web from a Youthful Point of View

This article is being co-published on the Teaching With the Library of Congress blog and was written by Butch Lazorchak and Cheryl Lederle. If you believe the Web (and who doesn’t believe everything they read on the Web?), it boastfully celebrated its 25th birthday last year. Twenty-five years is long enough for the first “children […]