It’s the Day of Digital Archives again! We’re featuring a glimpse at what a few of our staff have been doing for our digital archives program.
Glenn Dingwall is working on the Archives upgrade from Archivematica version 0.8 to version 0.9. Archivematica is one of the core components of our digital archives. When the Archives accepts a transfer or donation of digital material, Archivematica is the software package used to examine files to determine what they are, to produce preservation copies in file formats that are suitable for long-term access, to make access copies that are suitable for providing on our website, and to package the access and preservation copies together with metadata that explains what they are so that people in the future will be able to read and interpret them.
One of the changes that will happen when we move to Archivematica 0.9 is that it will now be hosted in a virtual machine environment within the City’s network. This will have a number of advantages over our current local area network setup, by making it easier for us to maintain and update the software, enabling Archivematica to communicate faster and more reliably with other components of our digital archives (such as our search software and storage environments), and allowing us more flexibility in apportioning processing resources to different tasks.
We are planning to go from a bare-metal development network . . .
. . . to a more powerful and complex virtual system.
For anyone who is interested in Archivematica, the digital preservation system we are helping to develop, we have a summary blog post on the development so far.
It’s at opensourcearchiving.org, the blog of the Open Source Committee of the Association for Moving Image Archives. We’ve been contributing to this blog, and we hope it will become a useful resource for anyone looking at open source software for archival use.
Digital curation is an emerging challenge that applies what archivists already do
- receive donations
- decide which elements have lasting value
- process and store them
- provide access to researchers
to digital materials. This creates new challenges. For instance, we have to provide the digital materials in forms that are useful to many different communities, such as technology professionals, data scientists, librarians, and humanities researchers. Each of these professions (and more) are working in various ways to come up with digital curation solutions.
Professional conferences are typically a meeting of the minds of people from a single profession. This means that different communities are each coming up with their own digital curation solutions in a vacuum and missing out on the benefits of collaboration. The unconference format addresses this flaw.
Unconferences tend to be based around a topic area rather than a profession. I recently funded my own attendance to CURATEcamp 2011 at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. CURATEcamp defines itself as “a series of unconference-style events focused on connecting practitioners and technologists interested in digital curation.” The themes of each session are provided by participants rather than set in advance: as of the first morning, the schedule was an empty slate. First, we learned the informal procedure of the event, which was a challenge for some of us who are used to highly structured professional conferences.. After this introduction, the organizers asked us to go away for coffee, talk to each other and then come back with our ideas to fill in the schedule.
The blank schedule on the whiteboard was daunting at first and it changed several times over the course of the two-day event, but these are the sessions we came up with. If you follow the link, you’ll find that some attendees linked their notes from the session to the schedule grid. Continue reading
Association of Canadian Archivists Conference – Toronto, June 2-4, 2011
The Triumph of the West! Archivists representing Western Canada take home the Sir Arthur Doughty Cup
Perhaps overshadowed by the glorious victory of the Western team in the always contentious annual ACA softball game, and the subsequent awarding of the coveted Doughty Cup to team captain and coach Terry Eastwood, was the fact that there was also a conference being held.
The annual ACA Conference is the largest meeting of archivists from across Canada. This year’s conference was the 36th, and was attended by over 325 people – a record number of delegates. The City of Vancouver Archives Continue reading