Tuesday, 25 May 2010
On Friday I attended the excellent Practical Approaches to Electronic Records event in Dundee. The programme included thought provoking discussions from Dr Ian Anderson (HATII) and Malcolm Todd (TNA) who both stressed the importance of demonstrating ‘value’ and ‘relevance’ to our organisations, and the need to develop new partnerships with colleagues working in digital forensics, ICT departments and universities to tackle the challenge of digital preservation. WillIam Kilbride (Digital Preservation Coalition) offered some interesting personal reflections on digital preservation and the conclusion that it is not about ‘data’, ‘access’ or ‘risk’ but about people and outcomes.
The afternoon was especially timely as it featured two demonstrations of ingest tools - something the AIMS project is currently working on. Viv Cothey showed us the work he has done at Gloucestershire Archives on the SCAT tool and this was followed by Peter Cliff demonstrating the BEAM Ingest tool being developed at the Bodleian. Both tools have adopted a modular approach to utilise many of the excellent and widely adopted 3rd party tools such as PRONOM, Jhove and FITS and this is the obvious route to follow as we seek to create an ingest tool that is integrated with the Fedora digital repository.
The day ended with Chris Prom summarising his work to identify and compare many of the open source tools that are available. He encouraged everybody to get involved with a software project and listed the elements that he thought made an excellent Open Source project citing archivematica as a good example as it provided regular updates, clear documentation, availability of source code and support wiki.