Dean of Libraries
University of North Texas
Dean of University Libraries
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
This briefing will highlight and discuss the early findings of a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project hosted by the Educopia Institute that is documenting and modeling the use of data preparation techniques and distributed digital preservation frameworks to collaboratively preserve digitized and born-digital newspaper collections. US libraries and archives have been digitizing newspapers since the mid-1990s using a highly diverse and ever-evolving set of encoding practices, metadata schemas, formats, and file structures. Increasingly, they are also acquiring born-digital newspapers in an array of non-standardized formats, including websites, production masters, and e-prints. This content genre is of great value to scholars and researchers in the humanities, and it is in critical need of preservation attention.
This project is exploring how existing standards (including the National Digital Newspaper Program’s digitization standards) may be elaborated upon and applied to foster the preservation readiness of collections from the last two decades that were digitized according to evolving standards, as well as the born-digital content that institutions are steadily acquiring. This project is also documenting how curators can effectively exchange their preservation-ready content across repository systems, focusing on the use of distributed digital preservation (DDP), a collaborative approach in which content is exchanged and replicated across multiple sites, and actively monitored using various network-driven technologies (e.g., LOCKSS, iRODS, CODA).
This briefing will share initial project results, including the following:
1. A “state of the field” report (based on surveys conducted by the researchers) regarding the challenging collections with which academic libraries are contending, including legacy content from more than two decades of digitization and a wide range of born digital content; and
2. Preliminary recommendations regarding what type and level of preservation preparation for these diverse newspaper collections might be considered essential, and what type and level might be considered optimal.