Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ndiipp partners meeting

Last week I attended the three-day 2008 meeting for the partners in the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). Yesterday a colleague who couldn't attend asked me what stood out for me in the program. I didn't take a lot of notes -- I kept forgetting to because I just wanted to listen -- but I see some patterns in the cryptic, poorly-keyed memo on my Centro. (Note to organizers -- get more wireless connections next time. I didn't bother with my laptop because there was very little chance of getting on the network)

Private LOCKKSS Networks were everywhere. MetaArchive, Arizona State Library and Archives PeDALS, Data-PASS, ETD preservation, and, of course, journal content. It's interesting to see the LOCKSS distributed and self-replicating architecture being used for all types of content.

Distributed and/or replicated storage overall was definitely a trend. iRODS was mentioned in several sessions, I learned more about Dataverse, and I attended a meeting with the FACIT partners.

The packaging and transfer of files between institutions was discussed quite a bit. I was pleased to see the positive reaction to the BagIt package standard that LoC has been working on, which has been put into use with some NDIIPP partners including CDL and Stanford. I was really intrigued with a presentation that Tom Habing did on the ECHO DEPository project. I've seen it presented before, but something really clicked this time when I saw their Hub and Spoke architecture and listened to him talk about packaging between systems and services.

What really stuck with me was something that Micah Altman from Harvard said. He was discussing selection for digital preservation and declared that we need to "select the selectors" in identifying what should be preserved, because we can't save everything. If we identify key researchers and tie preservation to their research, we're assured to capture at least some vital resources. But there are so many disciplines that no one institution can identify what should be preserved, so the corollary need is for many, many institutions to involves themselves in selection and preservation, so there is more preservation coverage for the future. I was glad to hear selection described as a necessary activity.

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