So we’ve come to Week 9 of MCPDM and classes will soon be over!
In the afternoon Yunhyong asked us what we thought we had learnt about digital preservation over the last few months. I initially could not think of a thing, but after 20 minutes of “automatic writing” on post-it notes it turned out that we actually knew quite a bit. Not only that, after comparing our post-its to the OAIS model it seems like we are subconscious experts on that as well!!
The only, and quite major, area my group missed out on was the actual end user. As someone mentioned at the start of this week – what is the point of preservation if you do not have access? We swore to better our ways…. Which does not stop us from enjoying our amazing post it charts all the same! They are the colours of the rainbow:
Automatic Writing put into OAIS model
Looking back over the course so far I am amazed by how far I have come in my learning. I see clearly that the principles of record keeping in the physical world carry over into the digital world. It’s just a matter of learning the technical aspects – oh that and the overwhelming volume of stuff in the digital world. I suppose we tend to treasure the distance past because there is so little of it. Undoubtedly we have benefited from the generations before us who have appraised, saved and destroyed on our behalf. It is a comfort to me to know that deterioration and accidental destruction happen in the digital world. I get overwhelmed by rate and expansion of digital material, its insidious creep and leak characteristic and unstoppable ability to copy itself or be effortlessly copied. Less is more.
I really enjoyed learning about checksum and watermarking to keep a handle on the data. I am a keen supporter of selection – like evolution let the weakest go and the strong survive through adaptation to their environment (migrate) or if they are worth it provide an environment to suit (emulation).
Management, audits, policies, standards and risk assessments are my cosy comfort zones! Although some of this was quite LARGE and complicated I could follow the game plan.
Metadata, it’s wonderful, but oh could the digital world get its act together here. All my working life I have dreamed of a world where when a new thing comes to one end of the table at least two old regimes should be swiped off the other end. Looking at the range of naming conventions and thesauri makes me despair. Whatever I do someone will think it is wrong or inappropriate. 😦 On the upside I expect I will see others do the same!
Overall I have learned a great deal, although the depth varies considerably, but I have enough knowledge to recognise the signposts and know where they lead. It’s up to me to consolidate my learning appropriately to my future career.
18th February catch up – In the lab today we had a look at metadata in context. The exercise involved checking out what kind of metadata you could find from a range of file formats using – right click properties and extractmetadata.com. There were a few glitches to start with but once we got exploring it became very interesting. My particular favourite was the Eiffel Tower picture. We opened this first in extractmetadata, then in exifdata, and were astonished to see the gps co-ordinates showing up on google maps as slap bang in the middle of Washington, USA. This is very intriguing. My thoughts are, something has messed up the metadata or someone has taken a picture of a picture of the Eiffel Tower while standing in Washington. Any other ideas? Since doing this exercise I have had lots of fun at home checking out many of my own photographs. Metadata is wonderful. The more I know about it the more I understand why it is so valuable, but ‘how much’ does need to be weighed against the time and money involved in generating it in an archive. The Dublin Core/Premis elements which relate to ‘rights’ particularly interest me as I wrestle with the complexities of Copyright Law, Data Protection and FOI.
Response to Disordered Beings’ Blog saving thoughts….that’ll be the 28th January! Yeh, who’s disordered now?
Hmmm – Having read the disorder of being’s gallusly imaginative approach to our task (what did they have for lunch?) my response would be that by picking out little bits to save you reduce the value. None of this material is unique, but the entirety with its interwoven strands and offshoots does make it interesting. Surely we don’t just preserve for scholarly reasons? Remember that eclectic collection of stuff we brought in to ‘show and tell’ in records and evidence…….everybody say ahhhh!