Libraries traditionally have formed a preservation safety net for materials that will be transmitted to subsequent generations of information seekers and scholars. For paper-based documents, provision of adequate storage conditions was the best means to help ensure that materials would remain readable far into the future. With the advent of digital technology, many knowledge creators do their work on computers. Some of that knowledge may be printed on paper, but much of it, particularly databases, geographic information, scientific data sets, and Web sites, exists only in electronic form. At the same time, traditional forms of publications have changed significantly and, as a result, create new challenges. For example, publishers of electronic journals license their content to libraries, but libraries do not own that content and they may not have rights to capture digital content to preserve it. Who will preserve these materials?
Which organizations or systems will provide the needed preservation safety net for electronic materials?
What tools, technologies and standards are available to preserve information in digital format?
What are the best practices that can help us to address long-term digital archiving for a range of file formats and media types?
This course will examine these questions, as well as provide an introduction to the metadata needed for a digital environment, terminology, cross walking, harvesting, interoperability and metadata frequently used to describe digital collections. Practical hands-on exercises will be included. Through a combination of lecture, case studies and interactive sessions, students will learn about the long-term preservation requirements of digital assets.