Workshop Recap: Digital Preservation – A Sampler

Guest author: Rachel Walton
Digital Archivist & Records Management Coordinator, Rollins College and SNAP Roundtable Steering Committee Member

Hosted in Columbus, GA on October 21st, 2015 by the Society of Georgia Archivists
Lead by Seth Shaw, Assistant Professor of Archival Studies, Clayton State University

This was a wonderful hands-on class that exposed participants to a variety of (mostly open source) digital preservation tools that can help archival professionals execute and automate many of the following critical digital preservation activities: acquisition, analysis and reporting, fixity checking, migration, and providing access to digital objects of enduring value. To see the specific tools covered in this workshop see the Digital Preservation Workflows Tool Matrix below. My suggestion to those who take this workshop in the future: ask for a link to the tools being covered in advance so that you can install and play around with them on your own before you dive into the nitty-gritty during the workshop.

Below are some notes I took and some critical resources I gathered during the workshop. Enjoy!

Choosing a Digital Preservation Tool:

Non-Functional Requirements to Consider

  1. Hardware and software compatibility
  2. Total cost of ownership
  3. Ease of installation and maintenance
  4. Documentation quality and community of users
  5. Usability
  6. Scalability and Level of Support
  7. Interoperability (does it work well with other tools)
  8. Flexibility (is it customizable)

Steps for Software Evaluation

  1. Identify the requirements
  2. Create an evaluation rubric
  3. Identify candidates
  4. Evaluate candidate
  5. Analyze results
  6. Make a recommendation

Where to Find Tools:

  1. Tool Registries (for example, COPTR – )
  2. Professional Conferences, Workshops, and Networking
  3. The Open Web! (listservs, blogs, forum threads, white papers, etc.)

Resources Highlighted in this Workshop:

Chris Prom (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) E-Records Blog
Kari Smith (MIT) PAIMAS Diagrams —
Cost Modeling for Digital Preservation and Sustainability —
POWRR Project Tool Grid —
California Digital Library UC3 Webinars —


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