The Open Planets Foundation has been steadily collecting the practical experiences of those working to solve concrete digital preservation and digital curation challenges. This began with a structure developed during the AQuA Project, where we captured information on the OPF wiki consisting of Datasets, preservation Issues with those Datasets and Solutions to the Issues. Subsequent events and projects built on the approach and captured more information. Its also been adopted by the SCAPE Project, who are developing a variety of new preservation solutions.
As well as sharing information about prototypes and working solutions for others to pick up and use, it also captures information about what not to do. Perhaps where a particular tool was applied to a problem, but the result didn’t work out. Perhaps to capture lessons learnt in approaching an arduous preservation task.
The other useful focus of this information is in the capture and sharing of the requirements of practitioners. Many digital preservation developments have been driven by those in an excellent position to come up with solutions, but without as much knowledge of the real digital preservation needs on the ground. As we’ve collated requirements from practitioners over the last 14 months, its been evident that many of the real needs are associated with quite simple questions. What is this digital content I’ve got? What’s is the content about? Which bits shall I keep? What are the preservation risks here? The capability to apply basic assessment, appraisal and characterisation is not yet there. For many of the practitioners we’ve spoken to, preservation planning, migration and emulation is not the immediate need
One of the aims of the SPRUCE Project is to provide better community support for our digital preservation practitioners and developers. The first significant output can be seen here:
We’ve collated all the information about preservation requirements and solutions in one place, and made it easy to browse, search and navigate through.
Please tell us if this is a useful resource? If you’d like to contribute: sign up for the OPF wiki and start adding new comments, requirements and solutions. If you have a particular preservation problem you need solving, maybe others in the community have the same need. Maybe the community can find a solution for you…