Repository sought

In the last few months I’ve been making good progress on figuring out how to undertake a Digital Preservation project. Since I’m getting close to being ready to undertake digital preservation work on the PAW/DOC collection, I decided to make an attempt to find a home for the collection before I start. That way, I can tailor the digital preservation work to the requirements of the receiving repository – should I be lucky enough to find anyone who is interested. Anyway, I now have a short two pager to send to repositories which might be interested. This is the second version. Dave Thompson of the Wellcome Foundation (who I met on the UCL online Digital Curation course) was kind enough to comment on the first version and his observations resulted in a substantial rewrite. I’ve sent it to 6 organisations – Loughborough University’s Centre for Information Management, Manchester University’s Computer Science Dept, City University’s Cass Business School, UCL’s Dept of Information Studies, the National Archives, and The Science Museum Wroughton Library and Archives. If I get a positive response from any of these all well and good. If I do not I shall proceed with the Digital Preservation work as planned.

Some three years ago I made a list of activities I wanted to undertake with the PAW/DOC collection, and this seems a good moment to summarise where I’m up to – the activities and their status are described below:

  • Scan the remaining 4 boxes of paper. Take the opportunity to explore scanning in colour and using PDF. Possibly also using OCR – though this is of much lower priority. DONE (but not OCRd)
  • Write a paper on “The paper artefact in the digital age” using an analysis of the contents of PAW/DOC as the basis for the paper. DONE
  • Explore the issues of longevity and survivability of file formats and of digital indexing and file management systems, using PAWDOC as the basis for the work. This could also include moving the material from FISH and even Filemaker. STILL TO BE DONE
  • Revisit all the requirements listed in my 2001 BIT paper to identify current status and opportunities for further work. STILL TO BE DONE
  • Scan all remaining PAW/DOC paper i.e. all those items in the three archive boxes (most of which have been identified as artefacts to be retained in their physical form). STILL TO BE DONE – but next on list – I’m trying to find a binding machine to be able to sheet feed the documents with comb binding
  • Check that all index entries are valid (i.e. not blank and with an appropriate Movement Field entry) and have an associated populated FISH entry. STILL TO BE DONE
  • Write up a guide to the material and to the technology supporting it. STILL TO BE DONE
  • Hand over PAW/DOC and its supporting technology to the new owner and provide training for the people who will be managing it going forward. STILL TO BE DONE

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