Advanced Digital Preservation
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There is growing recognition of the need to address the fragility of digital information, on which our society heavily depends for smooth operation in all aspects of daily life. This has been discussed in many books and articles on digital preservation, so why is there a need for yet one more? Because, for the most part, those other publications focus on documents, images and webpages – objects that are normally rendered to be simply displayed by software to a human viewer. Yet there are clearly many more types of digital objects that may need to be preserved, such as databases, scientific data and software itself.
David Giaretta, Director of the Alliance for Permanent Access, and his contributors explain why the tools and techniques used for preserving rendered objects are inadequate for all these other types of digital objects, and they provide the concepts, techniques and tools that are needed. The book is structured in three parts. The first part is on theory, i.e., the concepts and techniques that are essential for preserving digitally encoded information. The second part then shows practice, i.e., the use and validation of these tools and techniques. Finally, the third part concludes by addressing how to judge whether money is being well spent, in terms of effectiveness and cost sharing.
Various examples of digital objects from many sources are used to explain the tools and techniques presented. The presentation style mainly aims at practitioners in libraries, archives and industry who are either directly responsible for preservation or who need to prepare for audits of their archives. Researchers in digital preservation and developers of preservation tools and techniques will also find valuable practical information here. Researchers creating digitally encoded information of all kinds will also need to be aware of these topics so that they can help to ensure that their data is usable and can be valued by others now and in the future.
To further assist the reader, the book is supported by many hours of videos and presentations from the CASPAR project and by a set of open source software.
Deals both with rendered objects and arbitrary object collections like databases, scientific data sets, software, etc.
Encompasses both technical and economical issues
Integrates digital rights management, authentication, and accreditation
From the reviews:
"I am very excited by the potential of CASPAR's tools and techniques to ensure sustained quality of and access to valuable data in the future." Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission
"The research library is evolving from a collection of books to a service centre that caters to a variety of information needs in the university community to which it belongs. [...] If your institution is contemplating developing such services or is already engaged in such activities, this book is a must-have. In this book, Giaretta and his co-authors bring together the entire body of knowledge about digital preservation that the partly EU-funded CASPAR project has delivered." Inge Angevaare, Liber Quarterly, Vol. 21 (1), November 2011
"There is lots of good solid basic digital preservation information in this book. [...] Everybody has seen the functional model's diagramme, but how many of us have actually read the standard and understood the philosophy behind it? Giaretta guides us through it in detail. And in pleasantly understandable language. [...] Giaretta's fluid style of writing, the many cross-references, summaries, and warning signs have enabled me to delve deeper into the technical level [...] ." Duurzame toegang, September 2011
"[...] The book provides a landscape of solutions for digital preservation, ensuring future usage and access. It addresses both theoretical and conceptual aspects of digital preservation, and offers excellent examples of the tools and techniques used in practice.[...]" ACM Computing Reviews, George Popescu, March 2012
Addressing advanced issues of digital preservation, beyond keeping the bits and the ability to render, this book explores concepts of understandability, usability and interoperability for digital objects, as well as concerns over issues such as authenticity.