Interview with a SCAPEr – Per Møldrup-Dalum

Interview with a SCAPEr – Per Møldrup-Dalum

Who are you?

My name is Per Møldrup-Dalum. I am employed at the State and University Library in Denmark and have been so since 2007. Before my present employment I worked as a system consultant for a large international software company creating systems for the newspaper industry.

My job title at the State and University Library is IT development consultant and I work primarily with digital preservation as developer and work package lead.

Your role in SCAPE?

I work both as a developer and as the work package lead for the Characterisation Component work package within the Preservation Components sub project. Apart from this I also take part in primarily the Web Content Testbed, but also in the other work packages that my institution is involved in.

Why is your organisation involved in SCAPE?

At the State and University Library we have more than 200 TB of web content and 800 TB of audio and video content and several other digital collections. We are also in the process of digitising in excess of 30 million newspaper pages. To curate and preserve all these collections we need something like SCAPE. We need the tools developed by SCAPE, we need the experiences we gain by participating in SCAPE, we need the connections to our European colleagues facing the same challenges as us. All in all SCAPE is a very evident project for us and we see a lot of potential in both the outcome and certainly also in the work process.

What are the biggest challenges in SCAPE as you see it?

A project as big as SCAPE inherently presents a number of risks and challenges pertaining project lead, international collaboration and administration, but to me the real challenges are the technologically ones. We need to analyse existing tools, improve them and make them easily deployable. We need to make these tools available on a cluster to do the heavy lifting, working on our big collections. And we certainly need to know when to take action with our collections. Still all this needs to be done in a way that facilitates deployability at the actual content holders in Europe. There are a lot of different systems, both hardware and software, that could potentially integrate with the SCAPE platform.

Right now I see the biggest technological challenge being how to actually create the connection between Taverna workflows and the Hadoop/SCAPE platform. A solution which I am very much looking forward to working with.

What do you think will be the most valuable outcome of SCAPE?

When the vision of the Planning and Watch is realised, we will have created a huge impact on the whole domain of digital preservation. This is a very ambitious goal but we have already seen good results and our hope is high. At the bottom of the project (my subjective view 🙂 we have the stand alone tools used for things such as file format identification, migration, quality assurance, etc. Work on these tools have gotten off to a very good start and lots of analysis and improvements have come out of the first year. Tying all this together, we have the platform. We have really gained a lot if the platform manages to create an easy way of running the stand-alone tools on a arbitrary large cluster.

So my wish is a fulfilment of the Planning & Watch promise connected to a large scale platform for running the preservation tools. This actually amounts to (most of?) the scope of the SCAPE project, but why settle for less?

Contact information:

Per Møldrup-Dalum
IT Digital Preservation
[email protected]
@perdalum at Twitter

State and University Library
Victor Albecks Vej 1
DK-8000 Aarhus


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