Digital Preservation Lifecycle Management

Building a demonstration prototype for the preservation of large-scale multi-media collections

  • Abstract

    Increasingly, intellectual content is “born digital,” as a consequence of which the digital library and digital archival communities find themselves faced with unique preservation challenges—challenges that call for comprehensive digital preservation lifecycle management processes. These processes, in turn, need to be unobtrusive, with minimal impact on content production and dissemination. In order to make it as easy as possible for content creators to preserve their content for the long-term, preservation processes should be integrated into the content production lifecycle. We propose a demonstration of a software technology that will comprise such a preservation environment for a video collection that includes other related multi-media content such as audio, transcripts, annotations, related and introductory Web pages, and databases. Our project takes an existing video production workflow that is currently being used for producing and Web-casting video content in a small-scale studio setting, and integrates it with a digital preservation life-cycle management process that will enable the digital content to be archived for long-term preservation. The collection, “Conversations with History,” is produced at the University of California, Berkeley, edited by University of California, San Diego–TV (UCSD-TV), and broadcast and Web-cast through UCTV.

    The major research and development challenge that we will address is the development and automation of preservation processes that comprehend the accession, description, organization, and preservation of the video collection and associated content. The automation of these processes requires the integration of workflow systems that are used in active production with preservation systems, and the tracking of the execution of the preservation processes for completion and error recovery. We propose to build the preservation lifecycle management system around the SDSC Storage Resource Broker (SRB), taking advantage of its data grid and digital library features including hierarchical collection management, interoperability among heterogeneous systems, access control supporting intellectual property rights, persistent naming through a logical name space, content and systemic metadata management, and aggregation methods for ingest, access, and metadata entry; its capacity to deal with hardware and software obsolescence through technology migration; and its ability to support workflow processing systems. The system will demonstrate an effective preservation methodology by 1) ensuring that preservation “of last resort” is available for at-risk multi-media collections of critical lasting importance; 2) ensuring that preservation is available for collections that will expand and evolve over time, while managing evolution in the underlying software technologies; and 3) demonstrating a standard reference model for digital preservation lifecycle management that can be integrated into active production workflows.