Converge and Ingest: A WSU NDSA colloquium

This evening, Wayne State University’s student chapter of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance hosted a colloquium titled “Converge & Ingest: Learning about Digital Preservation.” There were a total of five presentations and a poster session afterwards. Everything is available online, so make sure to check them out by clicking either of the above links.

My notes on each presentation are after the jump.

Kevin Driedger (Library of Michigan) spoke about “A Conservator takes on Digital Preservation.” His talk focused on the similarities and differences between book preservation and digital preservation. He said librarians’ mission is to preserve and provide access to materials, and asked how we should adjust our strategies when facing digital preservation. He also gave some values and lessons of conservation that really apply to both print and digital preservation, namely (values) authenticity, reversibility, and documentation, and (lessons) compromise and humility. He ended by emphasizing the fact that information professionals shouldn’t draw boundaries between their various communities – each group has a different and valuable viewpoint to offer.

Graham Hukill (Wayne State University library system) gave a talk titled “Imagining an Ecosystem: Selecting a Digital Collections Platform for the Library.” His list of desired platform characteristics included: open source, free, flexible, supports preservation, facilitates discovery, and robust. He included this quote in his slideshow:

The key to the interoperability of digital cultural content, and in fact any digital collection, is consistency . . . inconsistent digital collections require . . . more complex, costly, and unreliable systems and processes. – http://mirror.dlib.org/dlib/january02/gill/01gill.html

Nick Krabbenhoeft, a second-year student, took a different approach with his presentation, “Data Curation on Trips to the Stars.” He talked about Voyager 1 and the challenges of receiving and preserving the data coming back from its computer. He mentioned the future of sending humans deeper into space, and said how much easier it is to get the metadata you want from a robot (just program it and go!).

Jessica Shaengold, a student at the University of Michigan, spoke about “Dissemination Information Packages for Information Reuse.” The project is all about collecting and making available the field notes and other papers of scientists in fields like archaeology and zoology. She broke down three groups involved in the life cycle of data: data creators, data curators, and data re-users. She also specified the two factors needed for successful data reuse: context/metadata and trust.

The final presenter, Lance Stuchell (University of Michigan libraries), spoke about “Desk Drawers & Trusted Repositories: Digital Preservation in an Academic Library.” He talked a lot about the digital preservation continuum, and in particular how to run a digital preservation program when you have a very limited budget. He gave some examples from his own job, including tips for how to approach removable media (floppy disks, CDs, flash drives, etc.). His main point was do the most preservation you can – even if it’s only the most basic of steps.

If you want some more presentation details, read my tweets (just more notes and quick quotes) below the jump.

In reverse order:

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