6. Another question with regards to documenting complex process histories. In our case, if we want to document every step, we will need to record information about objects that will not actually be preserved. For example, the graded/restored file that ultimately gets sent to preservation storage has been through several events that result in the creation and deletion of new objects. Going back to the previously described workflow involved in restoring the captured TIFFS, the objects created in events A and D are deleted, and their derivatives make their way to preservation storage instead. I am thinking that it makes sense to retain information about these deleted objects on our database. The preserved objects can link back to them so that we can get an unbroken sense of the process history involved in going from film to restored DPX/FFV1. Does this make sense or is there some other way to document this?
Alright, this response is purely from experience from National Library of New Zealand (I know that others would do this is in a different way and they will chip in with their take).
The first question is what is the purpose of documenting this process? Is it for QA, or is it for preservation?
If this is a process controlled by your organisation, we would document in another way.
For our internal digitisation processes we do three different things. One, in the audio space, we keep the coding history in the Broadcast wave. This, we think, gives us enough. In the AV space, we take an XML output from the software running the process and keep that. Third, for newspapers, we donít note the intermediaries that have been made. We essentially donít care. The team that are in charge of the QA process of the creation of those control that process and ensure that it works and is in line with the standards they have set out. We trust (and know) that they run that properly.
The solutions above asrenít all perfect (and not at all aligned with each other!) but they are the implementation decisions we took given our own internal idiosyncracies. Another option could be to note all the details in an event at the (perhaps) representation level, which is what we sometimes do with born digital boutique ingests if required.
However, this to me comes back to controlling the process you are using. If you control the process then you can use standards and policy to make sure that the process is correct and followed. Perhaps then you donít need to note the process against every file or representation. You just need to documentation the process in general.
With best wishes,
Peter McKinney | Digital Preservation Policy
Analyst | Information and Knowledge Services
National Library of New Zealand Te Puna M‚tauranga o Aotearoa
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