Digital Preservation

This workshop outlines best practices for preserving digital information. Topics covered include appropriate selection criteria for physical carriers as well as tools for taking stock of existing digital assets and for developing digital preservation policies, plans and procedures. Software and hardware solutions for digital preservation in small to medium-sized heritage institutions are also recommended.

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • identify digital assets in their institution and assess the risk and impacts of losing access to these assets;
  • develop a digital preservation policy, plan and procedures;
  • understand the factors relevant to the choice of physical carriers; and
  • install and use hardware and software for the purpose of preserving digital assets in smaller heritage institutions.

Units

Taking stock of existing digital resources

The use of an inventory template to identify digital assets in an institution and to assess the risk and potential impacts of losing access to these assets.

Digital preservation policy development

Discussion of how to use a template to produce a concise and meaningful digital preservation policy. The importance of policy will also be discussed, including using its development as a means of obtaining buy-in from the institution’s management and using the resulting document as a guide to produce a digital preservation plan.

Digital preservation plan development

Using a template to ensure all facets of plan development are taken into account. Learning how to identify constraints, and using these constraints to produce and compare various digital preservation solutions. Selecting and justifying the selection of a digital preservation action plan.

Physical carrier management

Predicted lifespan of optical discs, magnetic tapes and magnetic disks. Recommendations for selection of physical carriers.

Examples of digital preservation hardware and software for small heritage institutions

Hands-on testing of back-up and checksum software using external hard drives. Example procedures will be covered to produce weekly and monthly back-ups, as well as long-term preservation copies of digital assets. Recovery procedures will also be discussed to address the possible loss of access to working copies.

Target audience

Curators, collections managers, conservators, archivists and other personnel responsible for the preservation of digital assets, particularly in smaller institutions.

Target audience

Curators, collections managers, conservators, archivists and other personnel responsible for the preservation of digital assets, particularly in smaller institutions.

Language(s)

English and French

Enrollment limits

Minimum 10, maximum 20

Duration

One day

Special requirements

The host institution must provide:

  • a meeting room
  • Internet access
  • a projector
  • a projection screen
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