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Digital Preservation - The Planets Way

Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Rome
19-21 April 2010

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Suggested Readings

The following reading list is intended to present you with an introduction to the various aspects of digital preservation. In order to maximise your learning at the event, please take the time before the event to read the first three papers in section 1, 'Introduction to Digital Preservation'. These will provide you with a good introduction to the topic.

The remainder of the reading list will acquaint you with the technical, organisational and financial issues relating to the preservation of digital objects. These texts will also give you insight into the tools and services developed by the Planets project to facilitate the planning, testing and execution of digital preservation.

1. Introduction to Digital Preservation

An Introduction to Digital Preservation
JISC Digital Media / January 2009

This brief introduction discusses the main issues of and approaches to digital preservation (migration, refreshment and emulation).

Preservation Management of Digital Material
Digital Preservation Coalition / November 2008

This is a more detailed introductory article on digital preservation.
The report explores the technical depth of the problem of long-term digital preservation. It analyses the strategy of emulating obsolete systems on future (unknown) platforms to access obsolete formats. Finally it presents the author's own views about the strengths of emulation as a preservation strategy.

The Open Archival Information System Reference Model
Brian F. Lavoie, OCLC Online Computer Library Center / January 2004

Lavoie's paper provides a brief history of the OAIS reference model. It introduces the reader to the three components of an OAIS compliant archive. The first part describes the external environment within which the OAIS operates; the second part treats the internal mechanisms of the OAIS preservation components. And the third part portrays the information objects which are ingested, managed, and disseminated by the OAIS.

Guidelines for the preservation of digital heritage
UNESCO - Prepared by the National Library of Australia / March 2003

This report, prepared for UNESCO by the National Library of Australia, reflects upon the general and technical guidelines for the preservation and continuing accessibility of the ever-growing world digital heritage.

2. Introduction to the Planets Tools

Planets: Integrated Services for Digital Preservation
Adam Farquhar, Helen Hockx-Yu, The British Library / November 2007

This article offers a broad introduction to the Planets project. It looks at the motives for launching the project, as well as at its technical architecture and approach to the OAIS reference model. It then continues to sketch a scenario on Planets performance in a real-life digital preservation case.

Report on Comparison of Planets with OAIS
Barbara Sierman, National Library of the Netherlands / June 2007

Sierman's article examines Planets' view of Preservation Planning within a repository. The paper tries to identify any missing elements within the Planets project in relation to the OAIS model. It also provides feedback on proposed future revisions to the OAIS standard.

How to Choose a Digital Preservation Strategy
Stephan Strodl, Christoph Becker, Robert Neumayer, Andreas Rauber, Vienna University of Technology / June 2007

This paper reviews the Planets Preservation Planning strategy. The latter enables an informed and accountable decision making on the optimal solution for conducting digital preservation. This strategy is based on Utility Analysis to evaluate the performance of various solutions against well-defined requirements and goals. The paper presents the application of this strategy in two scenarios of web archives, two collections of electronic publications, and a collection of multimedia art.

Characterisation of Digital Objects: the XCL Languages
Christoph Becker, Andreas Rauber, Vienna University of Technology Volker Heydegger, Jan Schnasse, Manfred Thaller, University of Cologne / October 2008

This paper presents the eXtensible Characterisation Description Language (XCDL) and the eXtensible Characterisation Extraction Language (XCEL). These allow the automatic validation of document conversions and the evaluation of migration quality. The paper presents the context of the development of these languages and the respective Planets tools. It describes the overall concept and features of the languages. Finally it shows how XCDL and XCEL can be applied to the evaluation of digital preservation solutions.

The Planets Interoperability Framework
Ross King, Rainer Schmidt, Austrian Research Centers GmbH - ARC
Andrew Jackson, Carl Wilson, The British Library
Fabian Steeg, University of Cologne / September 2009

The paper introduces the reader to the Planets Interoperability Framework. The design of this Framework was driven by the digital preservation requirements of archives and libraries. These include the need for durable and scalable infrastructures for the characterisation and migration of digital documents as well as for the emulation of digital environments. The IF is a Java-based software suite built on a number of open-source components. The framework incorporates a workflow engine for the execution of flexible preservation plans and a Job Submission Service (JSS) for enabling intensive preservation actions on numerous digital objects.

The Planets Testbed: Science for Digital Preservation
Brian Aitken, Petra Helwig, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lindley, Eleonora Nicchiarelli, Seamus Ross, HATII at University of Glasgow / June 2008

Until recently, digital preservation has been characterised by practices that could be best described as more craft than science. The Planets Testbed offers a scientific solution for the problem. It provides a controlled environment where preservation tools can be tested and evaluated, and results of these experiments can be empirically compared. The paper presents an overview of the Testbed application, an analysis of the experiment methodology and a description of the Testbed's web service approach.

3. Further readings:

Plato: A Service Oriented Decision Support System for Preservation Planning
Cristoph Becker, Hannes Kulovits, Andreas Rauber, Vienna University of technology
Hans Hofman, National Archive of the Netherlands / June 2008

This paper presents the PLATO tool, a service-oriented architecture and decision support tool for preservation planning. Plato's architecture integrates services for content characterisation, preservation actions and automatic comparison of objects.

Europe's cultural heritage at the click of a mouse Progress on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation across the EU
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions / August 2008

This report of the European Commission summarises the progress on the digitization and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation across the EU.

Report based on DT/7 questionnaire
Filip Kruse and Annette Balle Sørensen, State and University Library of Aarhus / April 2009

The report presents the results of a questionnaire submitted to researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark. It sheds light on the means of communication that are important in academic and e-government communities, as viewed from the standpoint of preservation.