National Digital Stewardship Alliance regional meeting

Last week on Friday, June 14th I attended the NDSA Regional Meeting  hosted by the Metropolitan New York Library Council  in New York City. This regional meeting of National Digital Stewardship Alliance members, NDIIPP project partners and other institutions interested in digital stewardship was held in an “unconference” format allowing for various short and long presentations on institution activities that are focused around digital stewardship and an open agenda session for topics of discussion to arise. Sibyl presented on the work the Digital Team has accomplished at the RAC creating and implementing a digital preservation program from ingest to access.

The NDSA’s mission is “to establish, maintain, and advance the capacity to preserve our nation’s digital resources for the benefit of present and future generations.” The alliance takes a collaborative approach to preserve access to digital cultural heritage. Regional meetings are held to supply needed face to face communication. Jefferson Bailey hosted this regional event and is the NDSA Innovation Working Group co-chair.

He presented on NDSR (National Digital Stewardship Residency)  which is a  post-graduate residency level program dedicated to advance recent graduates digital stewardship knowledge and skills in the field. The residencies will start in September 2013 and will be hosted by various institutions in Washington D.C.

AVpreserve  gave two great presentations by Chris Lacinak and Kara Van Malssen. Chris presented a new tool that is in the beta testing stages called Fixity. It routinely monitors checksums in a repository. Fixity would be a good tool to look into for the RAC Digital Program. It would be useful to use to monitor our AIPs and DIPs and other digital objects. Currently, we use Ace Audit Manager.

Kara presented remote digital preservation camp called CURATEcamp AVpres 2013   that was held on April 19th, 2013. It was a conference that was hosted remotely and allowed information professionals across the globe to participate in a conference on the internet using Google Hangouts, Google Docs, a CURATECAMP wiki and Youtube. Archived video streams and notes for each presentation are available on the CURATEcamp AVpres wiki. Kara’s presentation was fantastic. I look forward to see more of these type of online conferences in the future. By having conferences and workshops online it could open more doors to create more accessibility for access to conferences and workshops in order to share information, workflow experiences and education in the archival community.

Tessella  presented on their digital preservation service Preservica. Preservica is a proprietary digital preservation system like Archivematica, but also has a storage repository built into the costs.

Don Mennerich of the New York Public Library presented on access to born digital records. He discussed how to use various tools to image and access data on digital media such as KryoFlux, Forensic Toolkit, Quick View Plus , PST Viewer Pro and other emulators. At the RAC, we will be purchasing a KryoFlux this summer to test out and are currently using FTK Imager as part of our digital media workflow. It would be good to look into the other tools that were in Don’s presentation and determine if and how they could be incorporated into the RAC workflows.

Ben Fino-Radin of MOMA discussed emulation as a digital preservation strategy by using various open source tools such as Mini vMac , Basilisk II , SheepShaver , DOS box  , VirtualBox  , and Citrix XenApp   that can run emulation of programs from the late 1970s-2001. The emulators that were the focus of this presentation are for Mac machines and the content that was being emulated was a video game installation at MOMA.

Afternoon open agenda discussions included topics such as handling of legacy format materials, the  NDSA levels of preservation , creating a community based website where collective digital stewardship ideas, questions and documentation could be centralized as a reference tool for the community. This topic of discussion arose after Mark Matienzo, a Digital Archivist at Yale University and Technical Architect for ArchivesSpace Project  presented on the fact that there is no longer a collective site available of digital stewardship knowledge after the Libraries and Information Science stackexchange website  had been shut down. It would be great if a resource like this was up and running again on another platform in order to promote centralized communication.

All in all, it was a very interesting meeting that touched on various facets of digital stewardship. It was great to see how other institutions are contributing to the field and coming back to the RAC to see if some of the ideas and workflows other institutions are implementing or looking into could be applied at our institution.

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