Planets and the DPC are hosting a joint event on preservation planning on July 29th at the British Library. The day looks to be a useful and interesting one for anyone who has struggled with aspects of long-term planning in digital preservation – which means just about all of us in the field, I suspect. PLANETS appears to have made real progress in constructing usable tools to help with planning, which I think is remarkable. Tools are not going to give us all the answers yet, but they will help in clarifying the questions. They should also make it easier to compare policys and decision-making processes between institutions, as will efforts like the PLEDGE project.

Staff from DPC member institutions can attend at no cost – register via the

DPC registration page. There’s also a link from there for others to purchase tickets. Wish I could be there myself, but unfortunately I’ll be on holiday.

A DRAMBORA workshop took place at ULCC yesterday. DRAMBORA (http://www.repositoryaudit.eu/) was developed jointly by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and DigitalPreservationEurope (DPE). DRAMBORA stands for Digital Repository Audit Method Based on Risk Assessment and according to their website it ‘represents the main intellectual outcome of a period of pilot repository audits undertaken by the DCC throughout 2006 and 2007. It presents a methodology for self-assessment, encouraging organisations to establish a comprehensive self-awareness of their objectives, activities and assets before identifying, assessing and managing the risks implicit within their organisation.’ Andrew McHugh and Perla Innocenti from the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute in Glasgow (HATII) came down from Glasgow to deliver the workshop.

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I was pleased the DCC news feed alerted me to a new publication by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Alternative File Formats for Storing Master Images of Digitisation Projects. Particularly as on the KB publications page are also links to two other recent reports Evaluating File Formats for Long-term Preservation and Recommendations for the creation of PDF files for long-term preservation and access. These look like excellent resources for wrestling with the gnarly issue of file formats. It can be hard to find one’s way among the many reports and papers circulating on all aspects of DP – as I found out working on the SPeLOs report, at the busy intersection of E-learning and Digital Preservation. For file formats issues, at least, these very recent KB publications look like a good place to start. I only hope I get time soon to read them thoroughly.

It occurred to me that the blog is the perfect place to invite any passing readers to suggest other key readings, so if you know of any other recent, authoritative work in file formats, please leave a link in the comments box below.

I’m writing this shortly after realising that I left it too late to book a place at the 3rd International Digital Curation Conference in Washington DC. The two previous events, in Bath and Glasgow, were excellent in every respect: well organised, a diverse range of papers from a variety of perspectives, and stimulating discussion. I got a taste of what this year’s conference will offer since I was lucky enough to be part of the review panel for papers submitted to the conference. Two have stuck in my mind as having particular relevance for us: More »