Closely related to, and supporting the programmatic focus on stewardship of institutional resources is the Coalition’s continuing work on preservation of a wide variety of digital content. This is a central issue not only in the shift to network-based scholarly communication, but also in ensuring the continuity of the broad cultural and intellectual record in the digital age and the continued availability of evidence to support future scholarly inquiry. The issues here are not simply technical, but represent a fundamental social and public policy challenge with wide-reaching implications; we are particularly interested in trying to define and characterize the ever growing range of materials that should constitute parts of our cultural and intellectual record, including new areas such as social media in the broadest sense. CNI works closely with ARL, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Library of Congress, the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Ithaka, the UK Digital Curation Centre (DCC), and OCLC on the full range of technical, economic, and strategy issues surrounding digital preservation.
We will co-sponsor and co-chair the DCC’s 7th International Digital Curation Conference, which will take place in Bristol, UK on December 5-7, 2011, and co-sponsor the Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) Archiving meeting, scheduled for June 12-15, 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Digital preservation progress will continue to receive extensive coverage at CNI membership meetings.
The wide-scale adoption of networked information services and the shift to digital content raises a set of new questions about risk management and business continuity planning for libraries and higher education institutions. CNI continues to track these risk management issues, exploring developments and experiences with so-called “cloud” storage systems and their implications for robust storage and digital preservation, as well as some of the thinking emerging from the exascale computing and massive storage communities on the development of resilient systems, and the ways in which these ideas can be applied to very large scale digital preservation. We’ll explore some of these topics in our Fall 2011 Executive Roundtable.
Another area in which CNI has maintained a strong interest is in the changing nature of personal information storage and personal archiving, and the social and scholarly implications of these developments. A specific case in point is the institutional response to the acquisition of large, personal digital archives from scholars and researchers, as well as the personal archives of prominent intellectual, artistic, literary, political and similar figures. CNI will be heavily involved again in the third Personal Digital Archiving Conference, which will be hosted at the Internet Archive in San Francisco, February 23-24, 2012. The digital records of organizations are also poorly explored; a particular area of CNI interest is the changing nature of the academic record caused by the deployment of learning management systems, institutional repositories (IRs), large-scale lecture and event capture, and long-lived, collaborative resources jointly developed by faculty and students; this will have lasting policy implications for special collections and institutional archives.