Developing such a strategy is going to be a difficult and
time-consuming process. Even harder, however, is implementation. There
is a lot of literature out there on digital preservation, but if
you're at an institution with limited resources, or if you're a
one-person show, you are not going to be able to implement most of the
more elaborate methods of preserving/storing digital records.
Some very simple steps you could consider in a low-budget strategy are
1. Protect directories containing master digital records. You don't
want just anyone to be able to get into these directories. Of those
who do have access, you don't want many of them to have the ability to
modify or delete files (for example you may have student workers
scanning files and the need to put them in a directory, but you don't
want them to have the ability to delete anything in that directory).
Ask IT at your Library to limit read/write privileges on these
2. Backups. Keep a second copy of all your digital files somewhere,
and make sure it isn't the same place as your first copy. If there is
a system failure somewhere and data is lost, it won't help you to have
your backups lost at the same time as your originals. Ask Systems to
help you pick a backup location. It might be burning everything onto
DVDs or CDs.
3. Checksums! Oh so very very very important. Ideally, you'd like a
system that can verify checksums as well as produce them. This is how
you will be able to verify whether any of your data is corrupt. With
thousands of digital files, it would be an absolute nightmare to have
to determine what was still sound and what was corrupt without
checksums. Ideally you want to verify your checksums every time you do
anything with your data, like move it to a new directory. If you have
a system failure but are able to recover data from somewhere, running
a verification of the checksums is how you will figure out if that
data is still in tact or corrupt.
On Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 12:31 PM, Kerstin Ringdahl <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I have been asked to develop strategies for long-term preservation of
> digital records.
> Wonder if anyone on this listserv has done much in this area? Thank you for
> any hekp you can give me..
> Kerstin Ringdahl
> University Archivist and Curator
> of Special Collections
> Robert A.L. Mortvedt Library
> Pacific Lutheran University
> Tacoma, WA, 98447
Metadata and Cataloging/
Digital Library Initiatives
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