Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Geocities being rescued by Archive Team

Yahoo's decision to pull the plug on geocities sites shows how ephemeral web content can be. There should be a means for individual users to obtain their geocities stuff first, so long as they get the message to do something in time. In a more comprehensive approach, the Archive Team are busy downloading all the geocities websites they can find, though what happens after that is unclear. The Archive Team have a page with more info. and there's a nice article in The Register, complete with geocities styling.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Whitepaper from MITH/HRC/Emory born-digital literary mss. project

I mentioned a white paper coming out of the 'Approaches to managing & collecting born-digital literary materials for scholarly use' (phew, long title!) grant in this post a while back. The paper is available here and definitely worth a read.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Digital Repository Workshop at Oxford

I attended a University of Oxford Digital Repositories Steering Group Workshop a couple of weeks ago (I've been on honeymoon so I'm only just now getting around to posting it!). The internal workshop was subtitled "Tools and Infrastructure" and provided an opportunity for the various repository projects around the University to present what they were doing and then some discussion on how repositories might go forward. All good and interesting stuff!

Details on the day are available and I've also put my talk on slideshare.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Standing on the shoulders of Giants?

Just attended the Repositories and Preservation Programme meeting in Aston Birmingham I would really recommend the talk The Institutional Perspective - How can institutions most effectively exploit work in the Repositories and Preservation field? given by Jeff Haywood- University of Edinburgh.

I would like to think this may kickstart a process to find methods by which current projects could more easily use and build on the outputs of previous projects and create a framework to more easily exchange code and ideas.

Jeff's talk was given even more currency as in the afternoon session Rachel Heery give a presentation (its on slideshare) in Repositories Roadmap Session launching her just published Digital Repositories Roadmap Review: towards a vision for research and learning in 2013

The question however remains: by then will Standing on the shoulders of Giants still be a distant concept?

Monday, 11 May 2009

What is this thing anyway?

The first step in doing anything useful with a digital accession is to answer just that question. The next is generally "now that I know, what 'stuff' do I need to recover the data and how might I do that?". With some items, it's easy enough. With others it can be rather more challenging. Alex Eveleigh just pointed me at Mediapedia - a database being developed at The National Library of Australia to help folk identify media. Best of all, it sounds like it's been designed to help people find things by easily determined characteristics (e.g. physical measurements) rather than relying on the user to know, more or less, what they are looking for. Super idea.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The best introduction to digital preservation ever?

Recently I've been involved in organising a series of 'digital preservation roadshows' for archivists in the UK. The series is aimed at archivists who have had little chance to look at digital preservation issues; the idea is to provide an introduction and some practical, inexpensive, tips and tools that will help people make a start. We've had a lot of positive feedback from the first roadshow (Gloucester, April 29th), though there were calls for a little more easing into the topic and its terminology that we'll need to take on board for the next event (York, June 26th). I wonder whether our delegates might have appreciated this video, produced by the Digital Preservation Europe project. If it's not the *best* introduction to digital preservation I've seen, it's most definitely the funniest. It made me laugh anyway :-) .