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Leestip: Evaluation and Strategies of Digital Preservation & UNESCO's Role in Facing the Technical Challenges

21 november 2014

Tijdens het jaarlijkse congres van het ICA, International Council on Archives, is in oktober de tweede position paper, ditmaal voor de technology taskforce, van het UNESCO PERSIST project gepresenteerd en besproken.

De paper, getiteld Evaluation and Strategies of Digital Preservation & UNESCO's Role in Facing the Technical Challeges, is opgesteld door de National Archives of Sweden, UNESCO's Memory of the World Sub-Committee on Technology, Microsoft Research, Internet Society Nederland en het Nationaal Archief.

Uit de samenvatting van de paper:
"The start of this position paper lies in a discussion in spring 2014 in Amsterdam. This discussion fed the idea of a global service for enhancing digital preservation practices by jointly addressing the issue of sustainable computation. At the ICA 2014 conference we will host a workshop to reflect on this idea. Three persons agreed to share their thoughts on this subject and contribute to this position paper, which is intended to set the stage for a discussion at the ICA-workshop. They look at the problem of the sustainable information society from different perspectives. Jonas Palm contributed a Reflection on the long standing approaches of memory institutions to use technology and techniques to establish continuity of content. Natasa Milic-Frayling takes us to the Computing Ecosystem and our Digital Legacy and finally Michiel Leenaars gives us a look Beyond a software and hardware repository.

All three writers reflect on the purpose of libraries and archives to ensure access to information. The knowledge base of their profession lies in appraisal and selection, collection management and services to the general public. Some institutions have acquired new  specialisms, for example preservation and conservation of physical information carriers but mostly they outsourced those special tasks. The budget for managing their collections comes mainly from the government’s expenses for cultural, educational and scientific activities. In the pre-digital era libraries and archives had time on their side to spread the cost of managing and maintaining their collections.

And then digital information became the standard. And librarians, archivists and keepers of digital heritage had to acquire a whole gamut of new skills to acquire a level of certainty about the sustainable access. Earlier on only keepers of audio-visual collections were facing that kind of difficulties; now every heritage institution is beset by neverending and always pressing technical challenges. In the position papers of Palm, Milic-Frayling and Leenaars we read what changes occur in the profession of heritage institutions since the introduction of digital information."

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