Friday, October 27, 2006

Weekly readings - 27 October 2006

Preserving a copy of the future. The Guardian. October 19, 2006.

The UK recording industry is trying to extend the copyright of sound recordings from 50 years to 95, which it currently is in the US. The British Library Sound Archive opposes the change, because "we are unable to copy for preservation purposes film or sound material that sits in our permanent collection." In addition, 185,000 tapes are unpublished; many of the copyright owners are unknown, which makes the problem more difficult. Extending the term increases these ‘orphan works’. Others feel term extension and preservation copying are separate issues. Digital media increase the complications. Preservation must begin immediately because deterioration is invisible. Digital rights management also impacts preservation, since many licenses do not grant as many rights as the law allows. Access is important; preservation is not enough.

Fujifilm to Show MicroFilm Archive System at ARMA 2006. Press release. October 19, 2006.

The Fujifilm Document Archive System records documents onto their 16mm film. The documents can be scanned from paper, or transferred as TIFF files, which are then indexed to the imaging system. These files are imaged up to 130 pages per minute. The film can be read on any traditional microfilm reader. An index file containing the roll number, frame number, and file name, is also available. The system cost is $54,995.

Fedora and the Preservation of University Records Project. Kevin Glick, et al. RLG DigiNews. Oct 15, 2006.

The project was intended to decide if Fedora could serve as an electronic records preservation system. The project was framed within the OAIS model and beneath that there was a set of requirements that they needed. They soon realized that Fedora would only be one part of the preservation system, which would also include ingest and access, and creation of preservation policies. These must shape what Fedora will become for an institution. The team felt that Fedora provides a promising basis of a preservation system. It can manage essentially any type of file, complex hierarchical relationships, multiple bitstreams, versioning, and transformations. It can provide for persistent identifiers, access policies, and handles XML. Setting the requirements was the most difficult part.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Weekly readings - 20 October 2006

Strategies and Frameworks for Institutional Repositories and the New Support Infrastructure for Scholarly Communications. Tyler O. Walters. D-Lib Magazine.

October 2006.

The number of institutional repositories is increasing and increasingly they are more important for storing and sharing scholarly information. But they are becoming more than just a place to store, organize, and access content. Users now expect content that can be used in other settings and environments, reused in multiple formats, and also forums to exchanging ideas, both on and off campus. Everyone has ‘content’, not just libraries. To support these needs, content managers must be able to send/receive, store, organize, and archive content. The content must be easy to find and to use with other systems. In approaching this, libraries should follow this guiding principle: “first determine university goals and faculty needs and then develop products, services, and capabilities with these in mind.” If the repository is an indispensable part of the educational activities of the campus, it will get the support needed to survive. The success may well depend on finding creative ways for faculty and students to use the information in the repository, and a number of services and processes are mentioned. More work is need to integrate the repository into the institution.

8.6 gigapixel stitched photograph of Italian fresco revealed. Rob Galbraith. Web site. October 19, 2006.

Worth looking at: An Italian group that specializes in art restoration, preservation and high-resolution art photography, has posted an 8.6 gigapixel stitched image of an Italian fresco. The image consists of 1145 frames that were assembled into the final image of 96,679 pixels x 89,000 pixels. The methods used to assemble and crop the final image are a closely-guarded secret, since the company had to create custom tools and techniques to produce a high-resolution picture such as this.

It required writing dedicated software for some tasks because this large of an image can't be generated with a 'shoot and stitch' approach.

Considering a Marketing and Communications Approach for an Institutional Repository. Heleen Gierveld. Ariadne. October 2006.

Institutional Repositories come from the an institution’s vision to collect, secure, and provide digital access to scholarly publications in a local way. These repositories have emerged mostly because several reasons, of technological innovations which allow a new way to collect a university's output, reacting to the high cost of serial publications, and a way to provide quick access to publications. While the benefits may be clear to librarians, it is unclear if they are attractive to authors. The repositories have difficulty attracting content, which is a critical factor for the success of the repository. There are several approaches and factors presented, but essentially the institutional repository is a Product, and developing and managing it is a marketing matter. It requires good communications and a good strategy, but it must also meet a need and exceed the expectations of the users.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Weekly readings - 13 October 2006

What Is Needed to Educate Future Digital Librarians. Youngok Choi, Edie Rasmussen. D-Lib Magazine. September 2006.

Educating digital librarians has become an important agenda item. The role of libraries has changed with the new digital environment. Educational programs need to be created to prepare future digital librarians for libraries. Some of the new roles include positions similar to Digital Initiatives Librarian, Metadata Librarian, Digital Preservation Librarian, Digital Imaging Specialist, Digital Technologies Development Librarian, and others. New skills identified fall into areas such as Technology, Library related skills, and others, such as communication and interpersonal skills, project management, presentation, and grant writing. Findings include:

·Digital libraries are collaborative in areas from computing systems to traditional library functions.

·Digital library jobs will be very attractive to the next generation of library professionals

·Major tasks include management, leadership, and website-related tasks. Monitoring the practice and standards of current digital libraries, is critical.

·Soft skills, such as communication and project management are needed in digital librarianship. Digital librarians must adapt to change and continue to learn.

·Education programs must emphasize skills and competencies and technical and information skills.

Skype's Venice Project Revealed. Steve Rosenbush. BusinessWeek. October 5, 2006.

Skype is unveiling its latest product, a web site that combines TV and video with the interactive tools of the internet. The site should be available by the end of the year. They are trying to convince media and TV companies to place their full-length content on the network, but adding content will also be open to anyone. The site is designed to work within the intellectual property rights system. It is based on peer-to-peer technology, in which the infrastructure comprises user PCs, not central servers. The videos are streamed to the computers, not downloaded.

Moving towards shareable metadata. Sarah L. Shreeves, Jenn Riley, and Liz Milewicz. First Monday. August 2006.

Shareable metadata is metadata which can be understood and used outside of its local environment by aggregators to provide more advanced services. Sharing metadata and the resultant aggregations benefit users, particularly those users whose subject interest cuts across disciplinary boundaries. Aggregations also benefit the institutions sharing the metadata. Institutions can no longer assume that users know about their online collections and remember to visit them. By allowing their metadata to appear in places outside of the original collection, institutions increase the number of access points to the items in their collection and expose their collection to a broader audience. Problems include:

·Inconsistency within a single collection.

·Too much information.

·Lack of key contextual information.

·Lack of conformance to technical standards.

Shareable metadata is different from in house metadata; it should be human understandable, and quality data, thought that does not mean complex. The following characteristics are particularly important:

·Content is optimized for sharing.

·Metadata within shared collections reflects consistent practices.

·Metadata is coherent.

·Context is provided.

·The metadata provider communicates with aggregators through direct or indirect means.

·Metadata and sharing mechanisms conform to standards.

At the most basic level, institutions who contribute metadata through whatever means should consider the content and consistency of their metadata. Implementing shareable metadata may be a slow process that is conducted as institutions work with new collections, but the ability to think critically about the shareability of ones’ own metadata and the commitment to make the necessary changes will be key for the next stage of effective digital library services.

Arius3D Canada Inc.: University College London, Petrie Museum to Digitize Collection. News Release. Oct. 5, 2006.

Arius3D provides digital archiving solutions. It is the only three-dimensional measurement system that simultaneously captures color and geometry from real world objects. It is affected by ambient light, so it provides an accurate and precise image. Once an object's image is captured it can be redeployed in a multitude of resolutions and in a range of file formats.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Weekly readings - 6 October 2006

Fedora and the Preservation of University Records Project. Eliot Wilczek, Kevin Glick. Project web site. September 2006.

This project examines electronic records preservation research and theory with digital library practice. The three areas looked at are:

1. Requirements for trustworthy recordkeeping systems and preservation activities,

2. Ingesting records into a preservation system, and

3. Maintaining records in a preservation system.

The project provides twelve reports and an ingest prototype tool. The sections include:

1. Introduction: Overview, model, concerns

2. Ingest: Ingest guide, projects, tools

3. Maintain: Guide, checklist

4. Findings: Analysis of Fedora’s ability to support preservation activities, conclusions, future directions

A few notes from the conclusion that caught my interest:

· The OAIS Reference Model is the overarching conceptual structure for preservation activities and systems.

· The Ingest Guide and Maintain Guide translate the requirements into actions in those areas

· Long-term preservation of archival university records is a difficult and costly endeavor.

· Because of resource costs, most archives must develop partnerships to successfully preserve electronic records and digital objects.

· Archivists must become a step removed from the records they manage if they are going to preserve them.

· Archivists must work with record creators as they create their records to preserve them

CEATEC: Hitachi Maxell develops wafer-thin storage disc. Martyn Williams. Computerworld. October 04, 2006.

The stacked volumetric optical disc (SVOD) is less than a tenth of a millimeter thick, and this thinness could give the technology an advantage over current CDs, DVDs and blue-laser discs, all of which are 1.2 mm thick. Many of the discs can be stacked together to realize a large data storage capacity in a small space.

New DVD could end format war. CNN. September 27, 2006.

New Medium Enterprises said it can produce a multiple-layer DVD disk containing one film in different, competing formats, such as Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.

This follows a patent by three employees at Warner Bros. in which these are complementary patents. By being able to put the same material on a single disk in the two competing formats this will resolve consumer’s concerns. The first prototype using the technology should be ready by early 2007. NME has also created the technology for the machines to read and write the disk. The technology can create DVD disks with up to 10 different layers that were still readable. Data on a DVD are stored at different depths depending on the technology: Blu-Ray discs store information 0.1 millimeter from the surface while HD-DVD discs store it at 0.6 millimeters.

With technology, records seem made to be forgotten. Charles Piller. Los Angeles Times. Sept. 18, 2006.

An article discussing the loss of digital items. It affects households as well as archivists. There is no list of lost records, but archivists continue to find examples. "If we don't solve the problem, our time will not become part of the past. It will largely vanish." Archivists expect that the current presidential administration records will be less complete than those of Lincoln. NARA is creating a system to preserve information, but some feel that each migration of data will lose some meaning. In other ways, each new migration generates more data which increases the complexity of the problem.

New 1TB Desktop External HD Goes for $500. Chris Preimesberger. eWeek. October 2, 2006.

Buffalo Technology has announced a new external hard drive which ranges from 500GB to 1.5TB. It has two drives that can be set up in a RAID-1 configuration for reliability. It is intended to make storage simple for end users. It comes with data encryption technology to prevent unauthorized access. The cost is $249 for 500GB up to $999 for 1.5TB.

Old E-Mail Keeps Getting More Expensive. Kim Nash. eWeek. September 26, 2006.

We all know it is expensive to go through old files and backup tapes looking for emails that are required for lawsuits or audits. Sometimes the cost of producing the files can be shared. But in a recent case, the judge ruled they: “should have reasonably anticipated having to produce all the former employees’ e-mails, and therefore kept that data in a form that was quick and easy to access – i.e. not archived on backup tapes stored offsite.”