This blog is beginning with a very international conference called Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation (ANADP) that is taking place today in Tallinn, Estonia.
The President of Estonia opened the conference. He emphasized how technologically and digitally aware the country is and also the national library. 10 million Estonian books were destroyed during the Soviet occupation as part of an effort to erase Estonian identity. Further destruction took place when Estonia came free and people wanted to cover up their past. Digitization allows the country to preserve and made materials accessible. The president closed by saying: "Digitizing our national memory is a cornerstone of liberty."
Laura Campbell (Library of Congress) gave the keynote address. NDIIPP (National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Plan) has the goal of preserving digital materials. Congress provided $100 million for this effort. LoC has worked on a distributed network to carry out this mission. The program model was to learn by doing. There was no clear pathway forward. She cited WARC development as one of the key technological components and argued that secrecy through proprietary systems does not lead to success in digital archiving. As an example she told the story of Goldcorp - a Canadian gold mining company -- that put their proprietary software online and offered a prize for the best recommendations on what to do. The company grew significantly as a result of crowdsource-suggestions. She recommended planing broad goals for collaboration for digital preservation and expanding national digital collections into international ones. LoC has a strong outreach program with classroom teachers to push discussion out to younger people.
The technical alignment panel looked at two issues: infrastructure and testing. Presentations on infrastructure included kopal, nestor, LuKII, and the UK LOCKSS Alliance. The presentations about testing called for benchmarking, public tests, and metrics that librarians can use when making decisions, rather than just believing vendor claims. A vendor raised questions about this, but admitted that they were not willing to share their test data, except among customers. (Note: I was panel chair and could not make detailed notes during this session.)
The panel on organizational alignment looked at long term commitment, the scale necessary to make the work cost-efficient, and effective interaction with vendors. While the EU funds many projects that promise to continue when the funding ended, most do not. TRAC fostered the audit and Certification of Trustwothy Digital Repositories, which is now an ISO Standard. Social collaboration is a necessary element of infrastructure and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance is an attempt to address this. Distributed digital preservation is an idea as old as monastic copying. MetaArchive is a distributed digital preservation initiative that began with NDIIPP funding. MetaArchive now also has European members and has been experimenting with cross-deposit with IRODS.
The day ended with a reception.