Yale University Library
Digital Preservation Committee (DPC)
Meeting Notes prepared by Bobbie Pilette
Date: (no meeting 9/25) October 2, 2006, 10:30a.m.
Present: Bobbie Pilette, Audrey Novak, E.C. Schroeder, Kevin Glick
Absent: Rebekah Irwin, David Gewirtz
Audrey announced that the VTLS agreement is moving forward and will be signed in November. She is working on the formation of a repository working group which will help organize the who, what and how to use the collections repository. The idea is that the collection repository will eventually include digital preservation services.
Today’s meeting was a chance to review the DPC charge and determine next steps.
Below are the specific activities in the charge.
1. Promulgate preservation policies, procedures and best practices for the following:
a. institutional standards governing the quality, type and source of digital assets to be archived
b. core preservation metadata elements to be used to manage digital resources of all kinds (as developed by the IAC Metadata Committee)
c. a scheme for managing whole classes of digital objects with differing life cycles and access requirements
d. commitments to preserving digital objects themselves and all the information required to authenticate, understand, present, and manage them,
e. digital migration strategies; emulation of hardware and software platforms; data recovery
f. the integration of the digital preservation program among the Library's core services.
2. Identify and determine compliance with current and emerging standards embraced by the preservation community, (e.g., Open Archival Information System (OAIS) standard),
3. Establish a business model for an affordable and sustainable program,
4. Articulate implications of implementing the preservation policies and program, assign preservation priorities based upon clear and available guidelines.
The DPC has addressed point 1.a.&d. in the Digital Preservation Policy. DPC is also close to making recommendations regarding the integration of digital preservation into library core standards and a business model, points 1.f.&3. The PREMIS Joint Committee is currently working on 1.b.
It is felt that points 1.c., e.,2.&5. are more appropriately developed in the context of the repository services. The final point, 6, regarding rights management is a broader issue than just preservation and has fallen within the DPIP purview.
Articulating implications of the preservation program and assigning preservation priorities, point 4, along with the continuing development of best practices need to be continued either by DPC or as part of the development of the Digital Curation Center (DCC). The DPC as a whole feels it is time to consider reconfiguring the group by establishing some form of the recommended digital preservation structure—DCC.
Audrey is continuing the work on the DCC document and pulling together those best practices that currently are completed for presentation at the next IAC meeting.
Next Meeting for committee as a whole:
· Monday, October 16
Next IAC meeting:
· Monday, October 30, Room 409, 1p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Committee members’ meetings unable to attend through December:
· Bobbie: Nov 20
· Rebekah: Oct 16
Administrative and Management Structure
For the Support of Digital Preservation at Yale University Library
Digital Preservation Committee
Draft 11 September 2006 (atn)
The Digital Preservation Committee (DPC) proposes an organizational structure for the coordination and management of digital preservation at Yale University Library that recognizes that the responsibility for the creation and administration of digital preservation services at Yale is shared by the following services:
· Metadata services
· Repository services
· Preservation services
The DPC recommends establishing a digital preservation core team with staff with expertise in these areas. This model acknowledges the following realities at Yale University Library:
The DPC recommends that this core team comprised of staff with expertise in metadata, repository and preservation services be conceived as a virtual Digital Curation Center. Digital curation in this sense encompasses all of the actions needed to maintain digitized and born-digital resources through their entire life-cycle and over time. Digital curation is a medium to long term process where resources are managed in repositories, cleaned and corrected, associated with metadata that shows their context, meaning and value, annotated and discussed, and where appropriate preserved or reliably disposed of. Digital curation is the key to the sustainability, reproducibility, and re-use of reliable and trusted digital resources. (Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_curation).
The DPC further recommends that the Digital Curation Center core team be staffed initially with 2 FTE and report to the AUL for Integrated Library Systems and Technical Services.
Special collections and library departments (e.g., BRBL, MSS/A, Maps, Medical, Law, Divinity), DPIP, RaMP, galleries, museums and special projects are significant production units for the creation of digital resources through reformatting. Special collections and e-collections are significant acquisition units for born digital and acquired digital resources. These groups are major consumers of digital curation services at all levels. As major consumers they are key stakeholders in the development of the Digital Curation Center and the implementation of individual digital curation projects. The DPC recommends that an initial, term-limited, DCC Working Group be formed to participate in the establishment of the Center. Furthermore, on a recurring, work-driven basis, project groups will be created to address individual curation and preservation endeavors.
The following diagram illustrates the proposed structure of a term-limited Digital Curation Center working group teamed with the virtual Digital Curation Center core to support individual projects.
As background to this recommendation, the DPC surveyed peer institutions (Cornell, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Michigan). The most striking finding that emerged from this survey is that no single organizational model for the support of digital presevation services exists although a common characteristic across these institutions is a strong synergistic relationship between digital and technology units in the support of digital preservation services. The administrative and management structure for the support of digital preservation in peer institutions recognizes:
· The heavy technical requirements of digital preservation by placing these services within the library’s technology departments, or
· The digital nature of the problem space by anchoring the services within digital initiative units, or
· The preservation function by locating these services along with traditional preservation within preservation units, or
· A hybrid approach that. like this proposal, recognizes the cross-functional nature of digital preservation.
At Cornell, the Digital Preservation Officer coordinates the development and implementation of preservation policy for Cornell University Library (CUL) and serves as a liaison to the Library’s, as well as external, digital preservation projects and initiatives. The main objective of the DPO position is to develop a conceptual framework for the establishment of a cohesive digital preservation program at Cornell. As the head of the Research and Assessment Services unit of the Instruction, Research and Information Services (IRIS) division the DPO is a member of digital preservation research projects teams. The DPO heads the Research Department under the auspices of IRIS. Preservation services are also supported within the Digital Library and Information Technology division. The Library Systems unit of that division includes a Preservation Programmer/Analyst, and the Digital Consulting and Production Services (DCAPS) offers services necessary to ensure cost-effective planning, creation, management, use, and preservation for digital collections.
At Harvard, the Digital Initiatives program in the Weissman Preservation Center supports the creation and preservation of digital collections of permanent research value. This program administers the development of specialized tools to support conservation and preservation activities in the Weissman Preservation Center and the HCL Preservation & Imaging Department. Program staff works with colleagues throughout the preservation programs, as well as members of the Library Digital Initiative team in the library’s technology unit, the Office for Information Systems, providing advisory services to librarians, archivists, faculty and other members of the Harvard community seeking to improve access to research materials.
The Preservation Librarian for Digital Initiatives works closely with four constituencies:
And provides the following services:
At Stanford, digital preservation and the overall management of digital resources is a responsibility among many of the library’s technology unit, the Digital Library Systems and Services group. DLSS works collaboratively to:
At the University of Michigan digital preservation services are offered through Deep Blue, the library managed institutional repository, and the Digital Library Production Service unit within Library Information Technology program, which provides digital preservation reformatting services. Deep Blue, a DSpace implementation, provides long-term access to all deposited content, by applying best practices for data management and digital preservation. The Repository commits to preserving the content in the form it is originally deposited and, for some formats, will preserve the content, structure and functionality of the files through migration or other preservation strategies. In addition, the Repository provides basic services including secure storage, backup, management, fixity-checks, and periodic refreshment by copying the data to new storage. (See: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/about/deepbluepreservation.jsp).
Digital Preservation Committee
Developing the Administrative and Management Structure
Draft 17 August 2006
Digital preservation programs are still in their infancy in most research institutions. Those that are further along the path of digital programs such as Cornell, Stanford, Harvard and University of Michigan are grappling with the preservation aspects of the digital objects whether born digital or reformatted from the analog. All of these institutions started out with digital activities as part of preservation. Presumably the logic was: digital activities initially focused on reformatting and reformatting activities fell under the preservation umbrella. Therefore it made practical sense to have preservation handle the digital activities. Digital activities, however, have grown and deeper technical knowledge has been needed than many ‘traditional’ preservation departments had in order to meet the challenges of preserving digital objects.
Over the last 3-5 years the above mentioned institutions’ digital programs have and continue to develop in two directions.
DLSS is the information technology production arm of the Stanford Libraries; it serves as the digitization, digital preservation and access systems provider for SULAIR; and it is the research and development unit for new technologies, standards and methodologies related to library systems. http://library.stanford.edu/depts/dlss/about/index.htm
The DLSS is developing the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR) that includes LOCKSS as well as other services.
The SDR is designed to support the wide variety of digital information being created and used by Stanford communities engaged in learning, scholarship, and research. http://library.stanford.edu/depts/dlss/services/serdigpres.htm
The SULAIR Preservation Department is responsible for the preservation of paper-based materials. While there is still a reformatting operation in the department it deals only with microfilm at this time. Any item that is to be digitized is handled through the DLSS’s Media Preservation unit now a part of DLSS.
However, the current head of the Preservation Department has recently left and there are discussions of emphasizing greater crossover with more preservation input in the development of policies and procedures, especially in the area of reformatting.
The University of Michigan in the past eighteen months has separated the digital activities from preservation activities. The Preservation & Conservation Services (CPS) operations according to the web site “treat the book as a physical object: to prevent damage, to extend the book’s useable life, or to repair damage.” Digital Conversion Services, the reformatting operation had been almost exclusively digital for a number of years, has become a part of the Digital Library Production Services (DLPS). [I am not finding any information regarding digital preservation on their sites. Anyone aware of what they are doing?] Digital preservation at the University of Michigan (not necessarily the Library) has taken the form of outsourcing to a commercial aggregator (google) and as a participant in the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) through the establishment of the DataPASS project (see this link) http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/DATAPASS/. “The goal is to ensure the long-term preservation of our holdings and of materials that we have not yet collected. We seek to acquire and preserve data at-risk of being lost to the research community, from opinion polls, voting records, large-scale surveys, and other social science studies.”
Proposed Yale program
The Yale Digital Preservation Committee (DPC) is proposing a program that selects components of the above examples, considers Yale’s organizational structure, culture, other initiatives and programs to create a program that fits our needs. The Yale Digital Preservation Policy and in turn the digital preservation program “supports the preservation of digital resources within the Library’s collection.” This includes not only analog materials converted by the Library to digital object(s) but the broad spectrum of digital objects existing only in a digital form that have been commercially purchased or produced within the University as well as those digital objects brought into the collections through gift or donation. It is also a program that provides flexibility and will allow us to grow and change as the field of digital preservation continues to develop.
Modeled after the Digital Production and Integration Program (DPIP) structure of shared responsibilities and staff strengths, DPC is proposing a similar organizational structure for the coordination and management of digital preservation at YUL. The following functions share primary responsibility for the creation and administration of digital preservation services at Yale and constitute the core of this structure: (While the three services below are core to preservation they are insufficient to establish a trusted digital repository. These services must be orchestrated and managed by an administrative function that Regean and Moore (2006) suggest can be automated.
· Metadata services
· Repository services
· Preservation services
· Administrative/Policy Services
The DPC proposes that existing staff within YUL and ITS technology partners with expertise in these areas be re-deployed to form this digital preservation core. We further recommend that the core represent 2 FTEs.
This model acknowledges the following state of digital preservation at YUL:
The DPC further recommends that this core be conceived as a virtual Digital Curation Center. (At the University Administrative level Centers are a touchy word; I would suggest that we substitute “function” for Center. Also we should define what we mean by digital curation – “The Digital Curation Centre's current definition of the term is: Digital curation, broadly interpreted, is about maintaining and adding value to, a trusted
body of digital information for current and future use.” Curation recognizes that technology changes always have the potential to revive or enhance the value of a digital object to a scholar. Therefore the digital curation function accounts for long term preservation of digital objects or resources;
Special collections and library departments (e.g., BRBL, MSS/A, Maps, Medical, Law, Divinity), DPIP, RaMP, galleries, museums and special projects are significant production units for the creation of digital resources through reformatting. Special collections and e-collections are significant acquisition units for born digital and acquired digital resources. These groups are major consumers of digital curation (is this the same as repository services; if not what are they?) services at all levels but do not have the responsibility to create and maintain these services. As major consumers they are also key stakeholders in the development of the Digital Curation Center and the implementation of individual digital curation projects. The DPC recommends an initial, term limited, DCC Working Group be formed to participate in the establishment of the Center. Furthermore, on a recurring, work-driven basis, working groups will be created to address individual projects. (The more I think about this idea the more I grow concerned about the response that other stakeholders in YUL may have to the concept. While I support the concept of digital curation it implications to others may generate significant push back to this committee as going well beyond its scope.)
The following diagram illustrates the proposed structure: