Digital Preservation: Context & Content
In 1994 Paul Saffo wrote in Wired magazine, that “It is not content but context that will matter most a decade or so from now.”
Over 15 years later we can see that in many ways Saffo’s prognostication rings true. However, even if context is king, libraries deal in content. That said, librarians should not lose perspective about the context in which they function. Many academic libraries that are implementing institutional repositories, especially those in the United States, are focusing on scholarly content and access to information, possibly missing the context of what the mission and meaning of an academic library is. There are two main areas that this could be happening in: 1) The functionality of digital repository systems and 2) The type of content that many librarians are trying to gather.
Libraries have well-earned and deserved reputation for preserving and archiving information but many institutional repositories have not been built with preservation in mind and the amount of discussion about preservation has been limited in digital repository circles. For example, the abstracts of the SPARC Digital Repositories meeting held in November 2010  does not mention “preservation” or “preserve” even a single time. When academic libraries are approaching scholars for academic content, there is an implicit implication, based on the context of the role of an academic library within a university, that the content is going to be preserved. Libraries need to take this context seriously if they are going to succeed in building successful digital repositories.
Are some librarians focusing on the wrong type of content? Is the push to gather faculty output, ignoring the role that university libraries and archives have to preserve institutional memory? Would libraries be better off going after the low hanging fruit of campus newsletters, course catalogs, and other born digital information on campus that may be in far great risk of loss then scholarly articles?
This session will look at how one academic library is implementing a state of the art Digital Preservation system, both in terms of technology and in terms of content. Binghamton University Libraries is the first academic library to purchase the Rosetta, a digital archive and preservation system created by Ex Libris. The technological challenge of implementing a system originally designed for national libraries in a mid-sized academic library with limited systems staff will be discussed. Project management and collection development issues will also be explored.
corrado_rosetta_elag2011 (6,34 MB)
elag2011_Corrado (58,06 MB)
elag2011_Corrado.m4v (53,69 MB)