|Digital Preservation: Logical and bit-stream preservation using Plato, EPrints and the Cloud
September 27 2009, Corfu, Greece.
The rapid technological changes in today's information landscape have considerably turned the preservation of digital information into a pressing challenge. The aim of an institutional repository has evolved in the last decade from the simple need to provide material with a persistent online home, to an infrastructure that facilitates services on complex collections of digital objects.
Digital librarians have long acknowledged the preservation function as a vital back office service that is central to the role of repository. However, preservation is often sidelined due to the practical constraints of running a repository. Dealing with institutional-scale ingests and quality assurance with minimal staff and investment rarely leaves sufficient capacity for engaging with a preservation agenda. A lot of different strategies, i.e. preservation actions, have been proposed to tackle this challenge: migration and emulation are the most prominent ones. However, which strategy to choose, and subsequently which tools to select to implement it, poses significant challenges. The creation of a concrete plan for preserving an institution's collection of digital objects requires the evaluation of possible preservation solutions against clearly defined and measurable criteria.
This tutorial shows attendees the latest facilities in the EPrints open source repository platform for dealing with preservation tasks in a practical and achievable way, and new mechanisms for integrating the repository with the cloud and the user desktop, in order to be able to offer a trusted and managed storage solution to end users.
Furthermore, attendees will create a preservation plan on the basis of a representative scenario and receive an accountable and informed recommendation for a particular preservation action. The whole preservation planning process will be supported by Plato, a decision support tool that implements a solid preservation planning approach and integrates services for content characterisation, preservation action and automatic object comparison to provide maximum support for preservation planning endeavours.
The benefit of this tutorial is the grounding of digital curation advice and theory into achievable good practice that delivers helpful services to end users for their familiar personal desktop environments and new cloud services.
Topics Covered: Repository Preservation, Cloud Storage, Preservation Planning, Plato
The tutorial is an accessible and practical session with significant take-home value. It is aimed at digital library practitioners and researchers, especially those with a professional or academic interest in repositories. The target audience for this tutorial thus comprises people who are aware of or actively concerned with long-term preservation issues. People intending to ensure the accessibility of their private photo collection for their offspring belong to this group as well as librarians and archivists with a mandate to long-time preserve the institution's digital objects.
The full-day tutorial will be broken into 2 main sessions. The morning session will be aimed at those wishing to understand the general principals of digital preservation, how it affects them and what technologies are out there which can help as well as an introduction to the preservation planning workflow.
In the afternoon, following a brief technical introduction, attendees will be given access to live repositories with which to experiment with preservation technologies including:
Participants will run their own repositories either from a Linux Live CD running on laptops or on remote training servers available on the day.
EPrints is an open source repository platform that has been used internationally to provide institutional and subject-based repositories for ten years. In 2006, EPrints Services began as a commercial activity in the UK to provide paid training, consultancy and hosting services as a sustainable income source to continue the development of the open source product. The EPrints team runs a mixture of for-pay and free training courses several times per year, as well as providing on-site training and consultancy to users. We maintain an open on-line training library containing the presentations and exercises used at our courses.
The planning tool Plato is a web-based decision support tool that implements the Planets preservation planning process. It integrates services for content characterisation, preservation action and automatic object comparison in a service-oriented architecture to provide maximum support for preservation planning endeavours resulting in an accountable and auditable preservation plan. Planets, Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services, is a four-year project co-funded by the European Union under the Sixth Framework Programme to address core digital preservation challenges.
The individuals involved with the tutorial will be:
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