National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


British Library LIFE3 digital preservation costs survey needs you

From the announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02010 04 30):

As part of the LIFE3 project (, we are collecting data on digital preservation storage costs. LIFE3 is developing a predictive costing tool that will significantly improve the ability of organisations to plan and manage the preservation of digital content. The data collected in this survey will help us to improve the accuracy and flexibility of the storage section of the model.

We would greatly appreciate it if you or your operational managers could fill out and return the survey, which can be downloaded from the following location:

If possible we would like to have the responses back by May 21st, and as mentioned on the form, incomplete responses are better than none at all as all data received will be of use.

All responses to this survey will be kept confidential and any data used in the LIFE Model will be anonymised.

UK Digital Preservation Coalition Digital Preservation Case Notes

As announced on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (2010 04 30):

The DPC, with help from the Scott Polar Research Institute, Portico and ULCC, and with funding from JISC, is pleased to announce the launch of the first in a series of Digital Preservation Case Notes. The Case Notes offer straightforward examples of organisations and individuals tackling the digital preservation challenges that come from mass digitization. The first describes the Scott Polar Research Institute's 'Freeze Frame' project. It makes the point that short lived projects need to do some long term thinking to ensure that the benefits of digitization are robust and it describes how a short term project negotiated its way round this long term problem.

Three more case notes are planned for the immediate future, and DPC members can preview the whole set [David says this is a members preview link and requires login].


4th International Conference on Preservation and Conservation Issues in Digital Printing and Digital Photography, May 0210, London, England, UK

Registration is open for the 4th International Conference on Preservation and Conservation Issues in Digital Printing and Digital Photography being held in London, England, UK, on May 27 and 28, 02010. The conference is designed for conservators, digital photographers and printers. The previous conference was held in April 02006. The conference was co-organized by the Institute of Physics (IOP) Printing and Graphics Science Group and Materials and the Arts Research Centre, University of Arts, London, UK.


Digital Humanities Now, a real-time, crowdsourced publication

According to the About page, Digital Humanities Now

"is a real-time, crowdsourced publication. It takes the pulse of the digital humanities community and tries to discern what articles, blog posts, projects, tools, collections, and announcements are worthy of greater attention.

Digital Humanities Now is fully automated. It is created by ingesting the Twitter feeds of hundreds of scholars followed by @dhnow (a list of scholars taken from this digital humanities Twitter list), processing these feeds through to generate a more narrow feed of common interest and debate, and reformatting that feed on this site, in part to allow for further (non-Twitter) discussions.

Digital Humanities Now was created by Dan Cohen, assisted by Jeremy Boggs, and is a production of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University."

And it's "passively edited by 350 scholars and organizations in the digital humanities and related fields."

UCL Centre for Digital Humanities official launch May 02010

The UCL (University College London, England) Centre for Digital Humanities held its internal launch in February 02010 and an official, invitation-only launch will be held on May 20, 02010. The Projects and Links pages contain many excellent resources, including on the former TEI by Example, a collaborative project to develop an online tutorial for learning TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), the gold SGML standard for marking up digitized manuscripts and printed works.

The UCL Centre for Digital Humanities is also on Twitter at


European IMPACT (Improving Access to Text) project

According to the front page of the European IMPACT (Improving Access to Text) project, "IMPACT is a project funded by the European Commission. It aims to significantly improve access to historical text and to take away the barriers that stand in the way of the mass digitisation of the European cultural heritage." Essentially, the project is developing a better OCR (optical character recognition) engine and, because no software is as yet better than the human eye and mind, "A full web-based collaborative correction system: this web-based platform, suitable for massive volunteer participation, validates and corrects OCR results. In this way, it enables the general public to help with large scale digitisation efforts." (IMPACT Tools).

PLANETS End of Project Conference, May 20, 02010, Berlin, Germany, and the new Open Planets Foundation

Registration is open for the PLANETS (Preservation and Long-term Access through Networked Services) End of Project Conference to be held on May 20, 02010 in Berlin, Germany. Registration closes on May 12, 02010.

Although the project is ending, the good work of PLANETS is continuing through the Open Planets Foundation.


DOE Green Energy search portal

According to the start page of the DOE Green Energy, it "is your gateway to green energy results from thousands of DOE-sponsored research and development projects. DOE Green Energy is a portal to information about various forms of green energy, including solar, wind, bioenergy, and others. This free search of green energy DOE technical report literature, green energy patent information, and much more is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information."

Source: DIG_REF@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU, 02010 04 23

PREMIS in METS Toolkit released by Library of Congress and Florida Center for Library Automation

From the announcement on DIGLIB (2010 04 23):

The Library of Congress and the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA) are pleased to announce the availability of the PREMIS-In-METS Toolbox at The PREMIS-in-METS Toolbox is a set of open-source tools developed to support the implementation of PREMIS preservation metadata in the METS container format.

The Toolbox includes three tools: Validate, Convert and Describe.

Validate will validate a PREMIS or a PREMIS-in-METS document and return a list or errors or a conformation message. PREMIS documents are validated against the PREMIS schema. METS documents containing PREMIS are validated against the METS schema, the PREMIS schema, and the best practice Guidelines for Using PREMIS with METS (

Convert will convert between stand-alone PREMIS and PREMIS embedded in METS. A PREMIS document will generate a METS document containing the PREMIS elements in multiple or single METS metadata sections. A METS document containing PREMIS elements in it will generate a stand-alone PREMIS document.

Describe will output a complete PREMIS description of a file, including extensions for format-specific metadata. Describe uses the DAITSS 2 Format Description Service, which in turn uses DROID for format identification and JHOVE for format characterization. The resulting PREMIS document can then be run through Convert to turn it into PREMIS in METS if desired. Types of file formats that are covered are text, image, audio, video and software.

All three tools support various modes of input: a source document or file can be addressed by URL or uploaded. PREMIS and METS documents can also be typed or copied directly into Validate and Convert.

The PREMIS-in-METS Toolkit was developed by FCLA under contract to the Library of Congress. The Toolkit code will be released under an open source license in SourceForge.


Pass It On through National Preservation Week, May 9–15, 02010

Too bad this is not an International Preservation Week, but the slogan of the first National Preservation Week organized by the American Library Association is Pass It On. Events are scheduled for the week of May 9 through 15, 0210. Lots of great tools for setting up something like this in communities outside the United States.


Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access final report available

The final report of the international Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access is available through its Web site. Highlights from the report will be presented at the Blue Ribbon Task Force Symposium on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access on May 6, 02010 at the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, London, England. Registration for the Blue Ribbon Task Force Symposium closes on Monday April 26, 02010.



Twittering in the ivory tower archives Manitoba style

As announced on ARCAN-L (02010 04 09):

The University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections is now on Twitter. Follow us at and receive frequent updates on new acquisitions, descriptions, digital collections, upcoming events, YouTube and blog uploads and more.


Smithsonian Institution Collections Blog

The Smithsonian Institution has a Collections Blog using Google Blogger/Blogspot. The first post was on December 23, 02009, which was also the first and only post of 02009, and by April 5, 02010 there were a total of 48 posts for 02010. Not a high volume, but very enlightening and entertaining.


Recommended: VMplayer for your virtual machine appliances

I've been trying out virtual macine software that allows me to run Linux distributions on a Windows PC. I discovered that Sun VirtualBox, which was the first one I tried, does not currently support the 64-bit edition of Windows even though the download page indicates it does. The latest release is version 3.1.6. build 59338, which appeared on March 25, 02010. Sun VirtualBox is open source and Oracle, which now owns Sun Microsystems, continues to maintain it. Versions prior to 3.1.6 may have worked on a 64-bit Windows PC.

As an alternative to Sun VirtualBox for those of you faced with the challenge of finding 64-bit VM software, I can recommend the free VMplayer from VMware. While it is not open source, it is a well-supported application and, according to the Web site, there are "over 200 supported operating systems including Windows 7, Chrome OS, Ubuntu 9.04, and many other versions of Windows, Linux, and more." VMware also offers a free Web browser virtual machine application called VMware Server. VMware Server offers many more options for setting up a virtual machine but in my one attempt to get one running, I had no luck. Also, you can only install EITHER VMware Player or VMware Server on a single Windows PC. The installation wizards for both will detect the other.

VMware's Virtual Appliances Marketplace is a good place to start with finding VMware compatible virtual machine appliances.

If you are looking for Linux operating system VM distributions, the best place to begin is with the Linhost VMware Repository.

Digital Curation Institute Conference, June 02010, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

From the announcement on ARCAN-L (02010-04-06):

Digital Curation Institute Conference

June 16th – 17th, 2010
iSchool, University of Toronto – Canada

The Digital Curation Institute at the University of Toronto's iSchool provides a rich, interdisciplinary environment for investigating principles and theory building related to the creation, management, use, interpretation and preservation of digital resources; conducting research on digital curation issues; and developing technologies and tools to support best practice in this area. The DCI promotes innovative multi-faceted research projects that involve collaboration among faculty, students, practitioners, and researchers both national, and internationality. It encourages research that utilize multi-methods approaches from the fields of critical information studies; library and information science; archives and record management; information systems, media, and design; cultural heritage; museum studies, knowledge management and information management.

The key objectives of this conference are to promote greater understanding of the issues of digital curation, advance research on digital curation, to refine a digital curation model and defining the Digital Curation Institute’s research agenda.

Topics include: approaches for digital curation research; modeling for digital curation; risk, trust and certification; curating creative objects, digital libraries and digital repositories; digital curation and government records; experimentation.

Speakers include: Ross Harvey (Simmons GSLIS), Hans Hofman (Nationaal Archief Netherlands), John MacDonald (information management consultant and educator), Andreas Rauber (Vienna University of Technology), Seamus Ross (iSchool, University of Toronto), Raivo Ruusalepp, (Estonia Business Archives). Tom Hickerson, (University of Calgary) Anne Van Camp (Smithsonian Institute)

Registration: Registration fees include catered lunches, coffee break and a reception.
Register online at: [(not active as of April 6, 02010)]
Pre-registration before June 10,

$150 General public
$100 University of Toronto faculty and staff
$50 Students
Onsite registration

$200 onsite

Prof Wendy Duff
DCI Director iSchool, University of Toronto Phone: 416-978-3152

New British Columbia Archival Network Service Coordinator and e-mail address

I was awarded the contract by the Archives Association of British Columbia as its new British Columbia Archival Network Service Coordinator effective April 1, 2010. My main work under the contract is management of the MemoryBC database of archival descriptions submitted by archival institutions in the province. MemoryBC was official launched in November 2009 as part of BC Archives Week and is the rebranded successor to the British Columbia Archival Union List.

I've set up a new e-mail address on Gmail specifically for this work. The address is Please use this address rather than


Into the Pixel, ongoing juried exhibit of video game artwork

Curious about what some of the upcoming video games will look like or how some existing games differ from their original concept art? Check out Into the Pixel, an ongoing, juried exhibit of video game artwork sponsored and hosted by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. The exhibits date back to 2004.


What's New, Issue 24 (02010)

DPC and DCC are delighted to announce the publication of 'What's New 24'

This latest edition marks a new initiative between the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) which pools our efforts and produces a more frequent and more interactive news bulletin for those interested in all matters of digital curation and preservation. It is a successor of the DCC's monthly Curation News Round-up and the DPC's quarterly bulletin 'What's new in Digital Preservation?'

Each month, this publication will feature a snapshot of what's on and what's new, a topical discussion paper, a practitioner profile and an update from one of our partners overseas. In addition, readers are invited to share comments and debate current issues (simply add your comments at the bottom of the page on the DPC website).

The third issue of the joint publication includes an interview with Anusha Ranganathan, Oxford University Library Services, an overview of recent developments from Inge Angevaare, Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation, a listing of forthcoming events and an editorial section from the DPC Executive Director William Kilbride.


Worldwide disappearance of pixels, global emergency declared

The worldwide disappearance of pixels from computer screens everywhere, that is, on a global scale, has led to the implementation of worldwide emergency measures. If you are able to read this, then your pixels are all right for the time being. If you are unable to read this, then it's time to clean your computer monitor, because today is April 1 and it's time for a bit of spring cleaning before your pixels really do disappear.