We (Exlibris) are part of SCAPE for already a year. We joined the project as a ‘Digital Preservation Commercial Company’ (actually – the only one among the partners – off course that commercial companies are in, but not companies that produce a full scale Digital Preservation solution).
Well, I have to admit that participating in this kind of project is an unusual activity for us. We are a commercial company which means that we sell products, we are not a research institution that performs research ‘not for profit’ or a national library that has a government mandate to preserve digital materials. So having discussions, sessions and more activities with institutions which are not our customers but our partners makes us feel differently in a way – we are trying to create here something together for the benefit of all of us and for the benefit of the community and not trying to solve problems alone as a vendor.
Since this post is not intended to be a Rosetta or Exlibris advertisement, before writing about the benefits of partnering with SCAPE I will quickly describe our Digital Preservation activities. We developed Rosetta together with the National Library of New Zealand. Rosetta has quickly become one of the leading Digital Preservation solutions out there. We have customers all over the world: Asia, New Zealand, Europe and The United States. Some of these customers are already working with very large scale repositories.
Now to the point.
Last week we had a very productive session at Braga, Portugal. This session was part of SCAPE Testbed Sub Project which we are part of. From this session I learned on other work packages (which we are not part of), I met other developers for the first time and got an almost complete picture of the partners, their problems and the solutions they currently have or looking for. After this session we can start drawing solutions for the partners most burning problems. Now, how SCAPE can benefit from us? Well, if I’ll write down all the benefits – this post will be very long, so I’ll try to list three highlights.
First of all, we have experience. We have customers that are archiving the web, we have customers that are scanning and preserving old books, we have customers that are preserving research data and more and more. This experience is valuable for such projects – I don’t think I need to explain more. Second, we will disseminate the project outcomes, as already mentioned – our customers are spread worldwide and already know that we are part of SCAPE, I’m sure that when time will come and the project outputs will be disseminated – our customers will use them. Third and last but not least, we will try to advice our customers to join some of SCAPE initiatives, for example, sharing preservation risks which is one the best examples of how the community knowledge is very important to each and every individual.
So how we can benefit from SCAPE? It’s easy, we are part of a global community. We (at Exlibris) know and agree with the fact that the Digital Preservation challenge is global, much the same as global warming (not from the damage aspect off course). This means that we must face it together! and SCAPE is helping us in doing so. Last week at Braga meeting, it was the first time I saw all SCAPE community in action:
- I saw how data owners are learning about other data owners problems and explaining their owns, how tools developers will solve their problems and how repositories can integrate these tools.
- I saw how developers are thrilling to understand the problems in order to create better solutions and how they can integrate their solutions with the platform
- And finally, I saw how repositories are thinking about the overall platform integration and how they can interact with each and every SCAPE component
I really believe that the next similar session will be even more powerful and productive.
If you are part of the Digital Preservation community or just having the problem, follow SCAPE! I’m sure you’ll get some valuable knowledge and solutions.