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Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > Library On the Roadmap with NIST

April 16, 2010 -- The National Institute of Standards and Technology launched an effort to establish a digital preservation roadmap.  Aiming to develop an interoperability framework, NIST convened a U.S. workshop (external link) March 29-31 in Gaithersburg, MD.

Leslie Johnston from the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program spoke on bit-preservation services.  She discussed work on current and planned tools and services for packaging content and inventorying lifecycle events.  She also outlined the Library’s intent to document best practices, release open source software, and conduct file-level preservation audits.

Rebecca Guenther from Library’s Network Development and MARC Standards Office spoke about preservation metadata and James Snyder from the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center spoke on Library of Congress repository collections.

The workshop also featured presentations touching on a variety of NDIIPP projects, including the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies Robust Technologies for Automated Ingestion and Long-Term Preservation of Digital Information (external link), LOCKSS, the Multi-State Preservation Consortium, Chronopolis and MetaArchive.

The meeting brought together representatives from numerous Federal agencies, research universities and cultural heritage institutions to discuss recent work in the area of digital preservation. The presentations covered content types including public records, electronic journals, research datasets, museum collections, medical records, newspapers, observational data and medical imaging. Topics included the lack of agreement on standards, strategies for format migration and the development of tools for data management and preservation.

Panels at the end of each day brought together a selection of the day's speakers to synthesize the presentations and identify trends. The mood was optimistic overall, and the panels highlighted a number of issues:

  • These are early days, and our work now is informing future solutions.
  • We need more convergence around standards.
  • The community should embrace open source tools and open standards.
  • There should be more conversations between cultural heritage organizations and industry.
  • We need more documentation of policy and implementation decisions made about repositories and preservation so the community can develop guidelines to assist in making preservation decisions.
  • Federal agencies as a collective market could potentially work with the storage industry to meet our preservation needs.
  • Copyright legislation must be revised to provide more clarity around digital content.
  • We all need to experiment more and work in the short term rather than being concerned whether all experiments and tools and standards will be in use forever.

NIST will convene an international interoperability framework symposium (external link) in Dresden, Germany on April 21-23.