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Practical Digital Preservation: A How-to Guide for Organizations of Any Size


A practical guide to the development and operation of digital preservations services for organizations of any size Practical Digital Preservation offers a comprehensive overview of best practice and is aimed at the non-specialist, assuming only a basic understanding of IT. The book provides guidance as to how to implement strategies with minimal time and resources. Digital preservation has become a critical issue for institutions of all sizes but until recently has mostly been the preserve of national archives and libraries with the resources, time and specialist knowledge available to experiment. As the discipline matures and practical tools and information are increasingly available the barriers to entry are falling for smaller organizations which can realistically start to take active steps towards a preservation strategy. However, the sheer volume of technical information now available on the subject is becoming a significant obstacle and a straightforward guide is required to offer clear and practical solutions. Each chapter in Practical Digital Preservation covers the essential building blocks of digital preservation strategy and implementation, leading the reader through the process. International case studies from organizations such as the Wellcome Library, Central Connecticut State University Library in the USA and Gloucestershire Archives in the UK illustrate how real organizations have approached the challenges of digital preservation. Key topics include: • Making the case for digital preservation • Understanding your requirements • Models for implementing a digital preservation service • Selecting and acquiring digital objects • Accessioning and ingesting digital objects • Describing digital objects • Preserving digital objects • Providing access to users • Future trends. Readership: Anyone involved in digital preservation and those wanting to get a better understanding of the process, students studying library and information science (LIS), archives and records management courses and academics getting to grips with practical issues.
1. Making the case for digital preservation 2. Understanding your requirements 3. Models for implementing a digital preservation service 4. Selecting and acquiring digital objects 5. Accessioning and ingesting digital objects 6. Describing digital objects 7.Preserving digital objects 8. Providing access to users 9. Future trends.

Adrian Brown is the Director of the Parliamentary Archives and has lectured and published widely on all aspects of digital preservation. He was previously Head of Digital Preservation at the National Archives where his team won the International Digital Preservation Award in 2007.

"This book shares useful, practical knowledge in the important area of digital preservation. It provides knowledge of the process for a broad audience, effectively serving as a practical handbook for those specialists drowning in information about digital preservation and needing a clear, practical overview to help them get started. Because of the clarity and practical guidance offered, the book is valuable for the interested non-specialist too, and I would recommend it a must-read for those studying information management."

Library Management

"I recommend the book for archivists, librarians, digital repository managers, and any individual assigned the task of establishing a digital preservation service."

Journal of Electronic Resource Librarianship

"While the content is geared toward libraries, museums, and archives that are producing and maintaining digital content, this book would also be beneficial for professionals outside these fields. Each chapter is organized in a meaningful way, and the entire book flows with a natural progression through the complex stages of digital preservation. There is not a lot of technical jargon and the concepts outlined can be applied to small or large organizations that have a variety of assets. The author does an excellent job presenting complicated content in a digestible way, and offers useful case studies throughout the book. Practical Digital Preservation is an excellent book for anyone working with and producing digital content."

Library Resources and Technical Services

"The book's structure underpins its value as a practical tool. Refreshingly, it is designed to be read chapter by chapter or is easily navigable topic by topic to suit the needs of the particular reader. There's a useful table of contents and a consistent layout of each chapter, comprising an introduction, bite-sized sections, a conclusion or next steps, a review of key points, and notes for readers wanting to know more. The substance is illustrated with useful case studies and visual aids such as process flow diagrams. I can imagine returning to this book time and again as a reference text. But the book is much more than a digital preservation primer. There is real substance and Brown has a point-of-view; he rejects aspiring to the "unobtainable, ideal of curatorial perfection", the one-size fits all "monolithic IT systems" view of digital preservation, reminding us that preservation is an outcome that can be achieved in many ways and degrees of complexity. At the heart of Brown's proposed strategy is use of a maturity model to identify the appropriate digital preservation implementation in each particular context; in other words he advocates taking a proportionate and risk-based approach. This must be reassuring news to his primary audience: archivists in small organizations outside the flagship national cultural memory preservation programs and for whom the gold-standard digital preservation is unattainable."

Records Management Journal

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