Think Like a Computer, Part II.

Part of my day with the AAPB National Digital Stewardship Residents has been added to the WGBH Forum Network. The idea behind this lecture is to “[l]earn the history of computers and computing in the same way that conservators learn the history of book and paper making, writing, and printing to care for physical collections. A variety of games and exercises are used to teach core concepts in logic and computing, and a review of computer history shows how the specific preservation problems in digital systems relate to fundamental preservation issues across all media.”

Setting the Stage: Creation, Curation, and Use

I had the pleasure of serving as the opening speaker for the 2015 NEDCC Digital Directions conference. This post contains the text of my remarks and the slides from my presentation. Each is intended to be able to stand on its own, so if you want a quick overview, download the slides. If you want to dig in, read on below.

Slides: Self Playing PowerPoint Slideshow (ppsx, 1.7MB)

SETTING THE STAGE: CREATION, CURATION, AND USE

In this essay, I want to do a few things to prepare you for a productive foray into learning about digital preservation. First, we need to cross the divide from analog to digital. From there, we need to think about what it really means to create digital resources, to curate them, and to put them to use. And finally, we need to get ourselves back home, and ready to do good work.

To ensure you are ready for this journey, please look at your shoes…

Continue reading Setting the Stage: Creation, Curation, and Use

Digital Preservation Webinars for NEFLIN

Starting October 21, I’ll be giving another series of webinars on fundamental issues in digital preservation for the members of the Northeastern Florida Library and Information Network(NEFLIN). The first installment introduces some basic concepts that support preservation (of any kind) and uses a variety of examples to show how those issues play out in digital libraries.

Future webinars in the series will provide a deeper introduction to file formats used in digital libraries and the core issues in reliably storing digital content for the long-term:

  • Webinar #2: Monday, November 4: Text and Image Formats
  • Webinar #3: Monday, November 18: Storing and Managing Digital Collections
  • Webinar #4: Monday, December 2: Audio and Video Formats

This series was presented last year, from July 17 – August 23, 2012. A handout of resources and frequently asked questions for both session is available here: DigitalMaterials-ResourcesFAQ.pdf.

Upcoming Webinar: Convert it to preserve it: Digitization and file conversion

I’ll presenting “Convert it to preserve it: Digitization and file conversion”, one of the webinars for the Connection to Collections series Caring for Digital Materials: Preventing a Digital Dark Age.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, April 4, 2013, 2:00 – 3:30 pm EDT. It will cover the key points about creating digital files that will be useful for a long time to come, with a focus on the core formats in use across libraries, archives, and museums: text, images, and audio. The webinar will also touch on video, moving images, data, and interactive systems, but mostly to make sure participants are clued into the risks and state of development for these types of collections.

Infopeople Webinar: Fundamentals of Digital Preservation

On Thursday, December 8, I’ll start a series of webinars on core issues in digital preservation for Infopeople, a library services group in California that is supported by the California State Library and the California Preservation Program. Dec. 8 is the first installment in a four-part series. The presentation on December 8th gives a framework for critical thinking about digital preservation, rather than giving a list of interesting acronyms and specific technologies.

Future webinars in the series will provide a deeper introduction to file formats used in digital libraries and the core issues in reliably storing digital content for the long-term:

  • Webinar #2: Tuesday, January 10: Text and Image Formats
  • Webinar #3: Tuesday, February 7: Storing and Managing Digital Collections
  • Webinar #4: Tuesday, March 20: Audio and Video Formats

Each webinar is only an hour, so we leave out more than we cover, of course. I’ve created an additional post with some follow up links to resources: http://jacobnadal.com/259

All of these webinars are intended to help you get started in building digital collections, not to raise barriers to building good digital collections. In subsequent sessions we’ll look at specific types of digital collection to assess current standards and future risks, but we’ll do that through the lens of doing the things worth doing right now while also being smart about limiting future preservation burdens.

For the first installment, we’ll start with a trip back in time through the decipherment of Linear B, as a way to show that the issues at stake in digital libraries are not foreign to our profession. Instead, I suggest that they are substantially the same issues we’re used to, presenting themselves in a new technology and media.

But the technology and media are new! From Linear B, we turn to some of the specific quirks of digital media, formats, and encodings, and wrap up with a little discussion of timelines – what matters today? what matters in the incipient fututre? what can I leave for some future generation of archivists?

I have presented versions of this material before, and the feedback has been positive, especially for librarians and archivists who need to have digital preservation in their planning, but don’t have a degree in computer science. I hope you’ll tune in. Registration and information about related events here: http://infopeople.org/training/digital-preservation-fundamentals

METRO Webinar on Digital Preservation

On Monday, October 24, I’ll be giving a webinar on core issues in digital preservation for METRO, a library services group in New York. The presentation gives a framework for critical thinking about digital preservation, rather than giving a list of interesting acronyms and specific technologies.

The webinar actually starts with a trip back in time through the decipherment of Linear B, so show how the issues at stake in digital libraries are not foreign to our profession. Instead, I suggest that they are substantially the same issues, presenting themselves in a new technology and media. From there, we turn to some of the specific quirks of digital media, formats, and encodings, and wrap up with a little discussion of timelines – waht matters today? what matters in the incipient fututre? what can I leave for some future generation of archivists?

I have presented versions of this material before, and the feedback has been positive, especially for librarians and archivists who need to have digital preservation in their planning, but don’t have a degree in computer science. I hope you’ll tune in. Registration and information about related events here:http://www.metro.org/en/cev/109

AMIGOS Digital Preservation Conference: Core Issues in Digital Preservation

On August 12, 2011, I’ll be part of an Amigos Library Services web-conference, “Digital Preservation: What’s Now, What’s Next?“. My section is at 11:00 Central (12 Eastern, 9 Pacific) and it’s one of my favorite things to teach, “Core Issues in Digital Preservation.”

I’ve been using the story of decoding Linear B as a way to make the metaphor on digital preservation for years now, and an updated version of that talk will be at the heart of this presentation. I’ll also take the attendees through the process of crafting the ALA/ALCTS definitions of digital preservation. And finally, I’ll spend some time on the real theme – what’s now, what’s next – with a discussion of the most important areas of focus for today, versus emerging or potential problems that can be left for later.

Fundamentals of Preservation

The next installment of Fundamentals of Preservation runs May 16-June 10. You can contact me for more information through the comment form (nothing is posted publicly; it just sends me an email) or you learn more and register for the course at the ALCTS website.

I co-developed Fundamentals of Preservation with Karen Brown (SUNY Albany) as part of the ALCTS continuing education series. This course is part of the three-course series that makes up the Library Support Staff Certification ProgramCollection Management elective. Fundamentals of Preservation was recently mentioned in the American Libraries Winter Digital Supplement (Pages 11-12) on e-learning.

 

 

Assoc. for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Workshop

On May 11, I’ll be co-leading “Audio Archives 101: Identification, Organization, and Preservation,” the pre-conference workshop for ARSC 2011. The conference is in Los Angeles, downtown at the Westin Bonaventure. Audio archives are a fascinating part of the library, archive, and museum sector. As a preservation librarian, the media in these collections pose a lot of challenging problems.

Aaron Bittel (UCLA) and Karen Fishman (Library of Congress) deserve the lion’s share of credit for putting this workshop together. I’ll primarily be talking about assessment, but audio archives require a diverse set of expertise, and Aaron and Karen bring that in spades. I expect to learn just as much as I teach. There will be some lecture, plenty of time for discussion, but most importantly, a significant amount of hands-on examination of materials.