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Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Edward M. Corrado and Heather Moulaison Sandy

Digital Preservation in Libraries, Archives, and Museums represents a new approach to getting started with digital preservation: that of what cultural heritage professionals need to know as they begin their work. For administrators and practitioners alike, the information in this book is presented readably, focusing on management issues and best practices. Although this book addresses technology, it is not solely focused on technology. After all, technology changes and digital preservation is aimed for the long term. This is not a how-to book giving step-by-step processes for certain materials in a given kind of system. Instead, it addresses a broad group of resources that could be housed in any number of digital preservation systems. Finally, this book is about “things (not technology; not how-to; not theory) I wish I knew before I got started.”

Digital preservation is concerned with the life cycle of the digital object in a robust and all-inclusive way. Many Europeans and some North Americans may refer to digital curation to mean the same thing, taking digital preservation to be the very limited steps and processes needed to insure access over the long term. The authors take digital preservation in the broadest sense of the term: looking at all aspects of curating and preserving digital content for long term access.
The book is divided into four parts based on the Digital Preservation Triad:

  1. Situating Digital Preservation,
  2. Management Aspects,
  3. Technology Aspects, and
  4. Content-Related Aspects.
The book includes a foreword by Michael Lesk, eminent scholar and forerunner in digital librarianship and preservation. The book features an appendix providing additional information and resources for digital preservationists. Finally, there is a glossary to support a clear understanding of the terms presented in the book.
Digital Preservation will answer questions that you might not have even known you had, leading to more successful digital preservation initiatives.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 294Size: 6 1/4 x 9
978-0-8108-8712-1 • Paperback • April 2014 • $69.00 • (£47.95)
978-0-8108-8713-8 • eBook • April 2014 • $67.99 • (£47.95)
Edward M. Corrado is director of library technology at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York. He has written articles and presented at multiple national and international conferences on various library technology topics, including digital preservation and cloud computing. His other research interests include open source software in libraries, social software in libraries, and the role of libraries in Democracy 2.0.

Heather Lea Moulaison is assistant professor at the iSchool at the University of Missouri. Her research interests include metadata, digital libraries, cloud computing, international librarianship, web technologies, and information organization and access.

Foreword by Michael Lesk

List of Figures and Tables



  1. What is Digital Preservation?
    1. Digital Preservation Is Not
      1. Digital Preservation Is Not Only About Backups and Recovery
      2. Digital Preservation Is Not Only About Access
      3. Digital Preservation Is Not an Afterthought
    2. Elements of Digital Preservation
    3. Why Digital Preservation?
    4. Digital Preservation: A Management Issue
    5. Why Libraries, Archives, Museums?
    6. Conclusion
  2. Getting Started with the Digital Preservation Triad
    1. Steps in the Digital Preservation Process
    2. The Digital Preservation Triad
    3. Management
      1. Policies and Planning for Digital Preservation
      2. Technology Decisions
      3. The Question of Rights
      4. Resource Issues
      5. Outreach and Sustainability
    4. Technology
      1. Trustworthy Digital Preservation Systems
      2. Metadata
      3. File Formats
    5. Content
    6. Copyright Issues
    7. Kinds of Content
    8. Conclusion
    1. The OAIS Reference Model
    2. History
    3. OAIS Reference Model Components
      1. Vocabulary
      2. Information Model
      3. OAIS Functional Model
      4. OAIS Required Responsibilities
    4. Conclusion
  4. Human Resources and Education
    1. Human Resources
      1. Categories of Human Resources
    2. Education for Digital Preservation
      1. Digital Preservation and Digital Curation: What’s in a Name?
      2. University-Level Education for Digital Preservation
      3. Continuing Education for Digital Preservation
      4. Research in Digital Preservation
    3. Conclusion
  5. Sustainable Digital Preservation
    1. Digital Preservation as Risk Management
      1. Involvement in the Creation Process
      2. Open and/or Well-Documented Standards and Systems
      3. Documentation of Decisions
      4. Accepted Standards for Metadata Schemas
      5. Needs of the User
      6. Exit Strategy
      7. Succession Planning
      8. Other Considerations for Risk Management
    2. Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access
      1. Five Conditions Necessary for Digital Preservation Sustainability
    3. Factors Affecting Digital Preservation Sustainability
      1. Organizational Factors
      2. Financial Factors
      3. Social and Societal Factors
      4. Technological Factors
    4. Homegrown, Open Source, and Proprietary Software Development Models
    5. Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)
    6. Conclusion
    1. The Digital Preservation Repository and Trust
    2. Trust
    3. Trusted Repository Criteria and Checklists
      1. European Framework for Audit and Certification of Digital Repositories
      2. TRAC, TRD, and ISO 16363
    5. Conclusion
  7. Metadata and Metadata for Digital Preservation
    1. Metadata in Digital Librarianship
      1. Descriptive Metadata
      2. Administrative Metadata
      3. Technical Metadata
      4. Structural Metadata
      5. Mark-up Languages
      6. Structure of Metadata Files
      7. Metadata Schemas
      8. Application Profiles
      9. Converting Records and Data to a New Format
      10. Metadata Generation and Creation
      11. Documentation
    2. Metadata Necessary for Digital Preservation
      1. Preservation Description Information (PDI)
      2. Digital Preservation Metadata
    3. Metadata Specific to Digital Preservation
      1. PREMIS Model
      2. Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)
      3. METS Profiles
    4. Conclusion
  8. File Formats and Software for Digital Preservation
    1. File Formats
      1. File Formats for Digital Preservation
      2. Evaluating File Formats for Digital Preservation
    2. Determining File Formats
      1. File Extensions
      2. MIME Internet Media Types
      3. File Format Registries
      4. Why Are Registries So Difficult?
    3. Software to Help Identify File Formats
      1. Generic Tools
      2. File Type Specific Tools
    4. Conclusion
    1. Collection Development
    2. Criteria
      1. Existing Collections
      2. New Collections
    3. Conclusion
  10. Preserving Research Data
    1. Research Data
      1. Research Data Life Cycle
      2. Big Data
      3. Small Data as Big Data’s Counterpart
    2. Metadata Schema for Science Data
      1. Directory Interchange Format (DIF)
      2. The Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM)
      3. Darwin Core Schema
      4. Harvestable Scientific Metadata
    3. Open Data Initiatives
      1. The U.S. National Science Foundation
      2. The U.S. National Institute of Health
      3. Other U.S. Initiatives
      4. English-Speaking Countries: Approaches to Open Data
    4. Human Subjects and Data Preservation
      1. Challenges with Preserving Human Subjects Data
    5. Conclusion
  11. Preserving Humanities Content
    1. Computerizing the Humanities
      1. Big Data in the Digital Humanities
    2. Funding for the Digital Humanities
    3. Humanities Sources
      1. Metadata Schema for Published Texts
      2. Metadata Schema for Digital Texts
      3. Metadata Schema for Encoding Visual Resources: Museum Artifacts
      4. Metadata Schema for Encoding Video and Sound
    4. Conclusion
  12. Conclusion

Appendix: Select Resources in Support of Digital Preservation
Selected Digital Preservation Organizations (Alphabetical)
Selected Digital Preservation Consortium/Group Initiatives
Data Preservation (Alphabetical)
Other Initiatives (Alphabetical)
General Reports on Digital Preservation (Most Recent Listed First)
File Formats
Moving Images
Webliographies and Webinars
Webliographies (Alphabetical)
Books, Guides, and Textbooks
Online Digital Preservation Glossaries
Directories for Digital Preservation Education
Centers Supporting Research and Teaching in Digital Preservation (Alphabetical)
Conferences and In-Person Events
Core Conferences on Digital Preservation
Related Conferences on Digital Preservation
Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, and Museums is an important addition to the existing literature on the subject. It is a seminal book on an emerging discipline. This book is a must read for librarians, archivists, and administrators. Students and experts alike can benefit from its teachings and it should be on university curricula.
The Washington BookReview

Edward Corrado and Heather Moulaison’s Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, and Museums is a dense, practical compendium. Building on their previous collaboration . . . their newest book is a readable, up-to-date guide that goes well beyond the usual OAIS model and file formats in including summaries of major initiatives and significant publications in the emerging field of digital preservation. . . .As the field of digital preservation matures and new tools, rubrics, and guidelines evolve, this book is a timely overview. What it lacks in depth, it more than makes up for in comprehensiveness and concision. I personally refer to it in the course of my own work to ensure that I have not overlooked anything.
Metropolitan Archivist

The objective of this book is to benefit libraries, archives, and museum personnel in their development of a digital preservation project. This objective succeeds in providing the aspects of such projects. . . .This book would certainly be a practical guide that appeals to librarians, archivists, administrators, and managers, as well as professionals seeking answers to questions that should be addressed before or during a digital preservation initiative.
Library Resources & Technical Services (LRTS)

A really interesting and thought-provoking section on sustainability asks readers to consider digital preservation as ‘an exercise in risk management’. . . .The chapter on metadata is essential reading. . . .The book does have a very detailed set of notes after each chapter and a bibliography that provides a very comprehensive set of pointers to a wide range of sources and resources.
Archives and Records: The Journal of the Archives and Records Association

Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, & Museums provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the art and practice in a single volume. The approach is a pragmatic one that covers the requisite theoretical aspects where needed, and is accessible to the non-technical reader who is willing to learn about some of the detail around technical aspects of digital preservation. Recommended for librarians and archivists, curation professionals in the cultural heritage sector, as well as administrators who need to get up to speed on this topic and unpack issues around it for new programs and services.
Pascal Calarco, Associate University Librarian, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Corrado and Moulaison have provided a timely and invaluable resource for libraries, archives, and museums grappling with the many challenges of digital preservation. As a museum curator often confused by the complexities of digital preservation, this book offers insight into the questions we should be asking, as well as a systematic approach for dealing with digital preservation. A must-read for all museum professionals!
Shannon Meyer, Senior Curator, Missouri History Museum