Step-by-Step Management of Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media

I like lists. I particularly like ordered lists. I’ve even read a book about checklists. Which is one of the reasons I wanted to point out a recent OCLC report, You’ve Got to Walk Before You Can Run: First Steps for Managing Born-Digital Content Received on Physical Media(PDF). The report focuses on practical approaches institutions […]

Talking About Museums and Digital Preservation

In anticipation of the Museum Computer Network conference next week in Seattle, I’ve been giving some extra thought lately to museum community involvement in digital preservation. We (the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, that is) work with many partners from a range of industries, and in the last couple of years this has […]

Fixity and Fluidity in Digital Preservation

Kent Anderson offers a provocative post in The Mirage of Fixity — Selling an Idea Before Understanding the Concept.  Anderson takes Nicholas Carr to task for an article in the Wall Street Journal bemoaning the death of textual fixity.  Here’s a quote from Carr: Once digitized, a page of words loses its fixity. It can change […]

Using Wayback Machine for Research

The following is a guest post by Nicholas Taylor, Information Technology Specialist for the Repository Development Group at the Library of Congress. Prompted by questions from Library of Congress staff on how to more effectively use web archives to answer research questions, I recently gave a presentation on “Using Wayback Machine for Research” (PDF). I […]

The is of the Digital Object and the is of the Artifact

Fixity is a key concept for digital preservation, a cornerstone even. As we’ve explained before, digital objects have a somewhat curious nature. Encoded in bits, you need to check to make sure that a given digital object is actually the same thing you started with. Thankfully, we have the ability to compute checksums, or cryptographic hashes. This […]

Read All About It! An Update on the National Digital Newspaper Program

Here at the Library of Congress, there are many projects underway to digitize and make available vast amounts of historic, archival material.  One such project is the National Digital Newspaper Program, providing access to millions of pages from historic newspapers (a previous blog post provides an introduction).  Deb Thomas, NDNP program coordinator here at the […]

If You Can’t Open It, You Don’t Own It

On October 17, I had the extreme pleasure of hearing Cory Doctorow at the Library for talk entitled “A Digital Shift: Libraries, Ebooks and Beyond.”  Not surprisingly, the room was packed with attentive listeners. The talk covered a wide range of topics–his love of books as physical objects and his background working in libraries and […]

Revisiting NISO’s “A Framework for Building Good Digital Collections”

Today’s guest post is by Carlos Martinez III, a Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities intern in the Library of Congress’s Office of Strategic Initiatives. The National Information Standards Organization provides standards to help libraries, developers and publishers work together. Their report, A Framework Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections, is still as helpful to organizations today […]

My Weekend Project

I bought a new computer this summer.  I immediately copied all of my digital files from my old computer to my new one and to an external hard drive. Now I had three copies of my digital content on three different devices. Because if something happens to one of those media, I’ve got two others […]

Bits Breaking Bad: The Atlas of Digital Damages

A question popped up in the blogosphere recently.  “Where is our Atlas of Digital Damages?” asked Barbara Sierman of the National Library of the Netherlands. She pointed out the amazement that would greet evidence of physical books, safely stored, with spontaneous and glaring changes in their content or appearance.  “Panic would be huge if this […]