Over the last few months a team of librarians, archivists, curators, engineers and other technologists in the NDSA have been working to draft a simple chart to help prioritize digital preservation work. After iteratively developing this document and workshopping it at Digital Preservation 2012 we are excited to publicly share it for comment.
Why Define Levels?
NDSA members felt like there was great basic digital preservation information, like NDIIPP’s personal digital archiving materials, and extensive and substantial and comprehensive requirements for being recognized as a trusted digital repository. However, the working group felt there was a lack of solid guidance on how an organization should prioritize its resource allocation between these two ends of the spectrum.
This is a working draft and we know there are things we haven’t yet addressed, or things that should come before other things, or things that should be in a different box. Please take the time to tell us what you think.
How to read the levels
The overall idea with the document is that all the things in the first level are either necessary prerequisites for things in the second to fourth levels or are themselves the most pressing things to address. To some extent, the goal for this diagram is that you could use it to start getting your proverbial digital boxes off the floor, and then work your way up to level four where you are much more protected against risk of loss.
These levels have been developed with the following ideas in mind.
- This is useful for developing plans — not a plan in itself: This is not a digital preservation cookbook; we believe these are elements that are important but not sufficient for addressing digital preservation requirements.
- These levels are non-judgmental: Organizations have different resources and priorities, and as a result need to think about how to best allocate those resources to meet their specific needs.
- These levels can be applied to collection(s) or system(s): These levels function coherently with everything from individual case by case collection level decisions as well as issues for an entire centralized digital library.
- This is designed to be content and system agnostic: This is only about generic issues. Specific kinds of content (e.g., documents, audio interviews, video, etc.) are likely to have their own nuances, but these levels and factors are generic enough that they are intended to apply to any digital preservation situation.
Working Draft of the Levels of Digital Preservation Chart
You can also download a printable PDF draft chart.
How you can get involved?
- Review the document, think about it a bit, see if you think specific things should be moved around, or that the document needs to address some other factor, and then. leave a comment here.
- Alternatively, feel free to go and blog about this on your own site and then post a link to your reactions here on this post.
- Send this link out to some of your colleagues or some of the list
What the levels are not meant to address
The levels explicitly do not deal with broader issues related to collection development practices, critical policy framework decisions, general issues involving staffing or particular workflows or life cycle issues. Those are all critical, and in many cases are handled quite well by existing work (like the OAIS model, and the TRAC and TDR standards). The levels do not represent any specific type of hardware, software, system, organization, or product.
- Andrea Goethals, Manager of Digital Preservation and Repository Services, Harvard University
- Abbie Grotke, Web Archiving Team Lead, Library of Congress
- Amy Kirchoff, Archive Service Product Manager, ITHAKA
- Kris Klein, Digital Programs Consultant, California State Library
- Jane Mandelbaum, IT Project Manager, Library of Congress
- Trevor Owens, Digital Archivist, Library of Congress
- Meg Phillips, Electronic Records Lifecycle Coordinator, National Archives
- Shawn Rounds, State Archivist, Minnesota Historical Society
- Jefferson Bailey, Strategic Initiatives Manager, Metropolitan New York Library Council
- Linda Tadic, Executive Director, Audiovisual Archive Network
- Robin Ruggaber, Director, Online Library Environment, UVA