Digital preservation

Browse resources aimed at helping cultural heritage institutions preserve their digital assets. Use items in the digital preservation toolkit to take stock of digital assets, to develop digital preservation policy and plans, and to implement digital preservation procedures.

Title Source
Medalta Museum – Digital Preservation Policy

The Medalta Museum of Medicine Hat Alberta, with the assistance of CHIN, applied tools in the digital preservation toolkit to produce a digital preservation policy, plan, and procedures to help ensure long term access to their digital assets, including images, audio recordings, collections management records, and similar content. This document is the Policy that arose from that work. It is preserved in the format that will be used by Medalta museum. It acknowledges existing preservation standards, outlines administrative responsibilities, summarises organisational viability and security measures, and assures financial, technological and procedural suitability.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Medalta Museum – Digital Preservation Plan

The Medalta museum of Medicine Hat Alberta, with the assistance of CHIN, applied tools in the digital preservation toolkit to produce a digital preservation policy, plan, and procedures to help ensure long term access to their digital assets, including images, audio recordings, collections management records, and similar content. This document is the Plan that arose from that work. It is preserved in the format that will be used by Medalta museum. It outlines the museum’s objectives and constraints, then posits various solutions. Finally the plan identifies which solution was chosen, justifies why it was chosen, and outlines basic procedures for implementing it.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Medalta Museum – CHIN Digital Preservation Case Study

In 2011, CHIN conducted a survey on the state of digital preservation in Canadian Museums and found that while museums often held digital assets, few museums had a formal policy or plan for the long-term preservation of these assets. In response, CHIN developed a Digital Preservation Toolkit, consisting of resources produced by both CHIN and its partners, which helps museums create digital preservation policies, plans and procedures. Medalta Museum, a mid-sized museum in Medicine Hat, Alberta, has partnered with CHIN as part of its flood recovery exercise to develop its own digital preservation plan and policy. This case study is an account of that activity, and it is hoped that other midsized museums may benefit from the work found herein and the resulting documents.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
8th Hussars Museum – CHIN Digital Preservation Case Study

The 8th Hussars Regimental Museum of Sussex New Brunswick, with the assistance of CHIN, applied tools in the digital preservation toolkit to produce a digital preservation policy, plan, and procedures to help ensure long term access to their digital assets, including images, audio recordings, collections management records, and similar content. This case study takes a look at how CHIN’s digital preservation toolkit can be applied to smaller museums where finances and human resources are limited.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
8th Hussars Regimental Museum Digital Preservation Plan

The 8th Hussars Regimental Museum of Sussex New Brunswick, with the assistance of CHIN, applied tools in the digital preservation toolkit to produce a digital preservation policy, plan, and procedures to help ensure long term access to their digital assets, including images, audio recordings, collections management records, and similar content. This document is the Plan that arose from that work. It is preserved in the format that will be used by 8th Hussars. It outlines the museum’s objectives and constraints, then posits various solutions. Finally the plan identifies which solution was chosen, justifies why it was chosen, and outlines basic procedures for implementing it.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
8th Hussars Regimental Museum Digital Preservation Policy

The 8th Hussars Regimental Museum of Sussex New Brunswick, with the assistance of CHIN, applied tools in the digital preservation toolkit to produce a digital preservation policy, plan, and procedures to help ensure long term access to their digital assets, including images, audio recordings, collections management records, and similar content. This document is the Policy that arose from that work. It is preserved in the format that will be used by 8th Hussars. It acknowledges existing preservation standards, outlines administrative responsibilities, summarises organisational viability and security measures, and assures financial, technological and procedural suitability.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST)

The Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) is the only professional association that bridges the gap between information science practice and research. For over 75 years, ASIS&T has been leading the search for new and better theories, techniques, and technologies to improve access to information. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Anne Kenney and Nancy McGovern on Ten Good Reasons to Pursue Digital Preservation

Listen to Anne Kenney and Nancy McGovern from Cornell University Library discuss ten good reasons to pursue digital preservation.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Authenticity in a Digital Environment

On January 24, 2000, CLIR convened a group of experts from different domains of the information resources community to address the question: What is an authentic digital object? To prepare for the discussion, five individuals were asked to write position papers that identify the attributes that define authentic digital data over time. These papers, together with a brief reflection on the workshop, are presented here. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Building a National Strategy for Preservation: Issues in Digital Media Archiving

This document consists of meeting summaries, sessions, and an essay that aimed to develop a national strategy for the preservation of digital information by the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (Library of Congress) and other federal, scholarly, and non-profit organizations.

Other
Building Digital Collections: Technical Information and Background Papers

The American Memory historical collections at the Library of Congress are the product of a permanent commitment to explore and establish the best practices of digitization, online presentation and access, and digital preservation of historical materials. The information on this page documents current solutions to technical challenges and solutions devised and implemented in the past. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Canadiana (Digitization, Preservation, Access)

Canadiana works to preserve Canada's print history and make it accessible online. Working closely with major memory institutions, we identify, catalogue, digitize and store documentary heritage—books, newspapers, periodicals, images and nationally—significant archival materials—in specialized research databases. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Canadian Museum of History’s Digital Collection Inventory: A Case Study Applying the Digital Preservation Toolkit

This case study recounts the digital inventory process undertaken by the Canadian Museum of History (CMH) as a first step in developing a digital preservation plan and policy.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Collections without Borders: Sustaining Digital Content at Cultural Institutions

While institutions continue to develop an array of digital content, and products, they often do so without giving enough consideration to the ongoing efforts and resources required to ensure their long-term viability. This case study explores how the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) successfully conceived and implemented a strategy to digitize its permanent collection and develop a durable database infrastructure. It offers a number of lessons for other institutions looking for ways to develop their own capacities and infrastructures, even if that development is more modest or takes place incrementally. The case study also features a useful Health Check Tool for Digital Content Creators in Cultural Heritage Institutions, developed in conjunction with the U.K.'s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the U.S.-based Ithaka S+R.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Concepts for Developing Digital Preservation Policies

This tutorial will help you understand how to set up digital preservation policies for your museum. The content assumes basic knowledge of digital preservation. However, for more experienced users, links are included to provide more information and resources. By taking this course, you will: - understand what a policy procedure is; - learn the steps and the process to develop a digital preservation policy; - become familiar with the institutional practices for developing a policy; - determine what a digital preservation policy needs to cover. Course Format: The digital preservation policy course consists of three modules, five quizzes, three self-assessments, checklists, printable tools and discussion forums. The course is organized into three modules: Introduction to Policies and Procedures, The Process of Developing a Policy and Developing a Digital Preservation Policy. You will also have an opportunity to assess your understanding of the material. The course offers tools you can use to analyze specific digital preservation policy situations within your own institution. You can send the results of these assessments to a facilitator via the course's email address to get feedback, suggestions or helpful tips.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Creator Guidelines. Making and maintaining digital materials : Guidelines for individuals

This brochure-style document, created by The InterPARES 2 Project can help your museum make informed decisions about creating and maintaining digital materials in ways that help ensure their preservation for as long as they are needed. While these guidelines can be applied to various kinds of digital publications, documents, and data, they are especially important for digital records.

Other
DIG35 Specification

A metadata standard for digital images. The DIG35 Specification includes a "standard set of metadata for digital images" which promotes interoperability and extensibility, as well as a "uniform underlying construct to support interoperability of metadata between various digital imaging devices."

Other
Digital Curation Centre (DCC) [UK]

The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) is a world-leading centre of expertise in digital information curation with a focus on building capacity, capability and skills for research data management across the United Kingdom's higher education research community. The Digital Curation Centre provides expert advice and practical help to anyone in the United Kingdom higher education and research wanting to store, manage, protect and share digital research data. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Digital Images Archiving Study and Moving Pictures and Sound Archiving Study

This Digital Images Archiving Study will investigate the way that digital image files are being preserved as well as determining archiving methodologies and future research possibilities (looking at both 'born digital' and digitised images). The Moving Pictures and Sound Archiving Study will also investigate the way that digital sound and moving pictures files are being preserved, as well as determining archiving methodologies and future research possibilities. This study includes both "born digital" and digitised material. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Digital Obsolescence Case Study - Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada

The Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada manages and displays portions of the National Currency Collection. In 2001, the Museum decided to digitize the collection to facilitate auditing and collection management, and work began in earnest in 2002. There are approximately 100,000 artifacts in the collection. We had two concerns about the digitization process. One involved the entries in our database, which included small versions of images, and the other was the large versions of the images themselves. This case study only addresses the images.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Preservation - Best Practices for Museums

Digital Preservation—Best Practices for Museums focuses on the fact that once museums create digital collections, they must create plans to preserve these as well. Many museums create small collections of digital images for CD-ROM or for Web-based virtual exhibits; others learn how to digitize their entire collections. It is important for museums to learn proper project planning for digitization. A Unique Perspective on Digital Preservation: Many international organizations have looked at issues of digital preservation over the last few years. However, few resources have looked at this issue from the museum’s perspective. This resource has consolidated the recommendations of several research papers about how museums can best create and manage digital collections, and includes a checklist to help museums implement their own preservation strategies. It is organized into several discrete sections, including an Abstract and Introduction, The Current Literature, Best Practices Guides, The Museum Context, Recommendations for Museums, a Checklist for Creating a Preservation Policy, and a detailed bibliography.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC)

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is an advocate and catalyst for digital preservation, enabling our members to deliver resilient long-term access to content and services, and helping them derive enduring value from digital collections. We raise awareness of the importance of the preservation of digital material and the attendant strategic, cultural and technological issues. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Digital Preservation Decision Tree Model to Establish Whether a Digital Resource Should be Preserved

These three digital preservation decision trees help small and medium-sized museums make decisions regarding which of their digital resources should be preserved for the long-term. The trees address three types of digital assets commonly found in museums, including: administrative assets, born digital artefacts, and digital copies of physical museum artefacts. The trees, which were designed to identify at a glance, key issues with regards to the selection of digital content, can be used both to develop and support digital preservation policy.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Preservation Inventory Template for Museums

The digital preservation inventory template is used during the problem definition stage of any digital preservation activity. Even if your museum does not choose to pursue digital preservation activity, it should at the very least take stock of what resources it has, how long they are expected to be kept, what risks exist with access to these resources, and what potential impacts may arise as a result of losing access. If your museum should decide that some degree of digital preservation is merited, the information completed using this template will serve in the development of your digital preservation policy, action plan, and procedures.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Preservation Plan Framework for Museums

A Digital Preservation Plan evaluates various ways in which a given Preservation Policy might be implemented, then selects a specific course of action for carrying out this policy. The resulting course of action (an Action Plan) provides details such as workflows for each major activity, the technology to be used, who will use it, and cost of these activities. This Framework helps those responsible for developing such a plan by outlining what must be considered, and how to choose a resulting Action Plan. It lays out a clear format that is suitable for digital preservation in small to medium sized museums. This format may also be used by larger museums, but the framework makes reference to other formats that larger institutions should consider before proceeding.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Preservation Policy Framework: Development Guideline Version 2.1

A well thought-out digital preservation policy must be tailored to meet the needs of the organisation that will use it. As such, no one policy is suitable for all museums. There are however, common components that should be considered in the development of any such document, and these are captured in The Digital Preservation Policy Framework Development Guideline. This is version 2.1 of the guideline, last revised in October 2012, and developed by Nancy Y. McGovern, Director, Digital Preservation Management Workshops. It builds on version 1.0 that reflected the findings of the Cornell Digital Preservation Management workshop curriculum development project (co-developers, Anne R. Kenney and Nancy Y. McGovern, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities); and lessons learned in the development of the Cornell University Library Digital Preservation Policy Framework. Examples of digital preservation policy frameworks that have been developed by organizations using this guideline include: The Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the Library and Archives of Canada, and the North Carolina State Archives and Library.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Preservation Survey: 2011 Preliminary Results

In the fall of 2011, CHIN launched a Digital Preservation Survey to collect accurate and timely information about the scope and the state of digital assets held by its member organizations. This report provides an overview of the information received, as well as an analysis of the results, on a question-by-question basis. The data received from survey respondents is rich, and would support additional, more detailed analyses of the current situation. In all, 307 surveys were included in the analysis, representing a response rate of 22.3%. A number of organizations took the time to emphasize the extensive technical knowledge required to complete the survey. Not all organizations could find the resources to respond to the survey within the time-frame allowed. Key survey results reveal that: - Many member institutions don’t have the resources to complete an inventory. - The number of obsolete carriers is quite low. - The vast majority of respondents have digital assets, and can prioritize them for preservation. - Most respondents use a small number of widely installed software packages. - Some respondents don’t know the temperature and relative humidity in their storage space(s). A mechanism needs to be implemented that will guide new member organizations, and new volunteers within those organizations to older training topics such as digitization.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Preservation Toolkit

In response to member feedback in the 2011 CHIN Digital Preservation Survey, CHIN has identified and produced a number of easy-to-use tools that help museums assess their own needs for digital preservation, and guide them in the development of digital preservation policy, plans, and procedures. All of these documents (which are organised by chronological order of use) are accessible to museum professionals and volunteers who may have no formal training in the field of digital preservation.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Digital Preservation: National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP)

This site presents information about National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) partners and initiatives, along with details about digital preservation standards and best practices, tools and services and education and training. There is also a substantial section on personal digital archiving that focuses on tips and guidance for how individuals and families can preserve their digital memories. (Description taken from the website)

Other
DOCAM - Documentation and Conservation of New Media Arts Heritage (DOCAM)

DOCAM’s main objective is to develop new methodologies and tools to address the issues of preserving and documenting digital art, technological and electronic works of art. Over the project’s five-year mandate, numerous case studies will be conducted that will focus on documentary collections and conserving works of art featuring technological content.

Other
DPC/PADI Publications

This publication is a quarterly summary of selected recent activity in the field of digital preservation compiled from the Preserving Access to Digital Information (PADI) Gateway and the digital-preservation and padiforum-l mailing lists. (Description taken from the website)

Other
DRAMBORA - Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment

The Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment (DRAMBORA) represents the main intellectual outcome of a period of pilot repository audits undertaken by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) throughout 2006 and 2007. It presents a methodology for self-assessment, encouraging organisations to establish a comprehensive self-awareness of their objectives, activities and assets before identifying, assessing and managing the risks implicit within their organisation. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Electronic Media Collections Care for Small Museums and Archives

Electronic Media Collections Care for Small Museums and Archives provides information on the steps that can be taken to improve their longevity. Taking action now will help to prevent information loss in the future.

Canadian Conservation Institute
Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative

A collaborative effort by federal agencies formed as a group in 2007 to define common guidelines, methods, and practices for digitizing historical content. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Guidelines for Handling Image Metadata

These Guidelines for image metadata are produced by the Metadata Working Group, an alliance of digital camera manufacturers.

Other
Guidelines for the Preservation of Digital Heritage

These Guidelines form a small part of a UNESCO's campaign to improve access to digital heritage for all the world's peoples, and to ensure that the means of preserving their digital heritage are in the hands of every community. The Guidelines have been prepared to offer realistic and useful guidance for those responsible for preserving digital heritage, including those having only very limited resources. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP)

The Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP) serves the caretakers of media collections by providing information resources to help preserve our cultural heritage. IMAP offers innovative solutions through information sharing, continuing education and networking opportunities. (Description taken from the website)

Other
InterPARES (International research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems)

The International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES) aims at developing the theoretical and methodological knowledge essential to the long-term preservation of authentic records created and/or maintained in digital form. This knowledge should provide the basis from which to formulate model policies, strategies and standards capable of ensuring the longevity of such material and the ability of its users to trust its authenticity. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Les stratégies de gestion et de conservation préventive des documents électroniques

The OAIS (Open Archival Information System) reference model for archiving digital objects is an International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard, upon which existing library and archival preservation research is currently based. The objective of this document is to define standard components of a reliable system within the context of the OAIS model, so that long-term retention and access to digital objects can be guaranteed. Available in French only.

Other
Linking Collection Management Policy to Metadata for Preservation – a Guidance Model to Define Metadata Description Levels in Digital Archives

This paper attempts to provide some structure for the concepts and ideas on a general collection management decision guide in the form of a requirements analysis framework that may assist in determining the metadata granularity required for digital resource management within an archive. (Description taken from the website)

Other
LOCKSS

The LOCKSS Program, based at Stanford University Libraries, provides libraries and publishers with award-winning, low-cost, open source digital preservation tools to preserve and provide access to persistent and authoritative digital content. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)

METS was developed by the Digital Library Federation as an implementation strategy for preservation metadata. It is not in itself a metadata standard, but it provides a means to exchange metadata and digital resources. The METS schema provides a flexible mechanism for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata for a digital library object, and for expressing the complex links between these various forms of metadata.

Other
Moving Theory into Practice: Digital imaging tutorial

This tutorial offers base-level information on the use of digital imaging to convert and make accessible cultural heritage materials. It also introduces some concepts advocated by Cornell University Library, in particular the value of benchmarking requirements before undertaking a digital initiative. You will find here up-to-date technical information, formulas, and reality checks, designed to test your level of understanding. (Description taken from the website)

Other
MPEG-7

MPEG-7 is a standard for describing features of audio and video content "so that users can search, browse, and retrieve that content more efficiently and effectively". It combines content metadata (title, creator, rights, information about people, objects, and events represented in the multimedia file, etc.) as well as technical metadata about the file. MPEG-7 is an ISO standard developed by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group).

Other
NISO Z39.87-2006 - Data Dictionary - Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images

This standard defines a set of metadata elements for digital images to enable users to "develop, exchange, and interpret digital image files. The dictionary has been designed to facilitate interoperability between systems, services, and software as well as to support the long-term management of and continuing access to digital image collections." Metadata for intellectual property and rights management is not included. This standard was written with large-scale digital repositories in mind, but is still useful for smaller repositories.

Other
Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) provides professional conservation treatment for books, maps, photographs, documents, parchment, papyrus, manuscripts, architectural plans, and works of art on paper. NEDCC treats many highly significant paper and photographic objects and continues to be the premiere center for the most difficult conservation challenges. (Description taken from the website)

Other
PREMIS (Preservation Metadata) Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata

The PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata is the international standard for metadata to support the preservation of digital objects and ensure their long-term usability. Developed by an international team of experts, PREMIS is implemented in digital preservation projects around the world, and support for PREMIS is incorporated into a number of commercial and open-source digital preservation tools and systems. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization

The paper describes four large-scale projects—Google Book Search, Microsoft Live Search Books, Open Content Alliance, and the Million Book Project—and their digitization strategies. It then discusses a range of issues affecting the stewardship of the digital collections they create: selection, quality in content creation, technical infrastructure, and organizational infrastructure. The paper also attempts to foresee the likely impacts of large-scale digitization on book collections. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Preserver Guidelines. Preserving digital records : Guidelines for organizations

These brochure-style guidelines have been developed by the InterPARES 2 Project to provide concrete advice to those who are responsible for the long-term preservation of digital records. They are not intended to be comprehensive, but to highlight a number of areas that are particularly important to the preservation of authentic digital records, which experience has shown to be often overlooked in the rush to accept digital records into archival repositories.

Other
PrestoSpace - Preservation towards storage and access. Standardised Practices for Audiovisual Contents in Europe

The project's objective is to provide technical solutions and integrated systems for digital preservation of all types of audiovisual collections. The project intends to provide tangible results in the domain of preservation, restoration, storage and archive management, content description, delivery and access. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Safekeeping: A Cooperative Approach to Building a Digital Preservation Resource

This article describes the first phase of the safekeeping project that is being undertaken by the National Library of Australia, with funding from CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources). This project aims to identify significant resources in digital preservation early in their lifecycle. It also aims to facilitate the cooperative development of a distributed network of 'safekept' material with resource owners, or parties nominated by them, providing long-term access to their material. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Technical data and Preservation needs

Presentation on Technical data and Preservation needs by Catherine Lupovici from the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Other
The National Archives (UK) – Digital Preservation

The National Archives collects and secures the future of the government record to preserve it for generations to come, making it as accessible and available as possible. (Description taken from the website)

Other
The Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS)

OAIS is a "conceptual framework for an archival system dedicated to preserving and maintaining access to digital information over the long term". OAIS is of interest to libraries, archives, museums, and other research repositories. The OAIS information model "provides a conceptual foundation" on which the PREMIS (Preservation Metadata) Data Dictionary is based.

Other
Thirteen Ways of Looking at...Digital Preservation

D-Lib Magazine article on digital preservation as a self-contained problem, focusing on the technical obstacles that must be overcome in order to secure the long-term persistence of digital materials. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist

The Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria and Checklist is meant for those who work in or are responsible for digital repositories seeking objective measurement of the trustworthiness of their repository. (Description taken from the website)

Other
Understanding Recordable & Rewritable DVD

A comprehensive guide to Recordable and Rewritable DVD technologies encompassing DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM. Includes information on all aspects including formats, compatibility, capacity, copy protection, labeling, handling, storage, longevity, manufacturing and further resources.

Other
UNESCO Draft Charter on the Preservation of the Digital Heritage

The draft charter is a declaration of principles focusing on advocacy and public policy issues, the technical issues being covered in the Guidelines for the preservation of the digital heritage, prepared for UNESCO by the National Library of Australia. The charter is expected to help Member States prepare their national policies inspiring responsible action for preservation of and access to the digital heritage. (Description taken from the website)

Other

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This resource was published by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). For comments or questions regarding this content, please contact CHIN directly. To find other online resources for museum professionals, visit the CHIN homepage or the Museology and conservation topic page on Canada.ca.

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