KB Research

Research at the National Library of the Netherlands

Month: January 2013

OAIS in het Nederlands! (OAIS in Dutch!)

Finally, an article on the OAIS model has been written in Dutch. Barbara Sierman of the KB National library of the Netherlands, Research department, wrote “Het OAIS-model, een leidraad voor duurzame toegankelijkheid” in Handboek Informatiewetenschap, issue 62, December 2012. The article describes the most important concepts of the latest version of the standard for digital preservation (2012) in clear terms.

Within the KB, the OAIS model guides the design of the new digital repoitory, and is important to everyone involved in the long-term preservation of digital material – from acquisition to metadata and from IT to online access. The article will also appear in www.iwabase.nl


Eindelijk is er een artikel in het Nederlands verschenen over het OAIS model. Barbara Sierman van de Koninklijke Bibliotheek, afdeling Onderzoek, schreef “Het OAIS-model, een leidraad voor duurzame toegankelijkheid” in het Handboek Informatiewetenschap, aflevering 62 van december 2012. De beschrijving gaat uit van de laatste versie van de standaard voor digitale duurzaamheid (2012) en beschrijft in heldere taal de belangrijkste concepten.

Het OAIS model is binnen de KB leidend bij het ontwerp van het nieuwe Digitaal Magazijn, en is van belang voor iedereen een rol speelt bij het duurzaam toegankelijk houden van digitaal materiaal. Van acquisitie tot metadatering en van IT tot online toegang. Het artikel verschijnt ook in www.iwabase.nl


The Elephant in the Library: KB at Hadoop Summit Europe

Clemens Neudecker (technical coordinator in the Reseach department at the National Library of the Netherlands) and Sven Schlarb (Austrian National Library) will present the paper ‘The Elephant in the Library’ at the upcoming Hadoop Summit Europe, the leading conference for the Apache Hadoop community.

The paper, which is based on the work being done in the SCAPE project, discusses the role Apache Hadoop is playing in the mass digitization of cultural heritage in the MLA sector. Clemens and Sven were recently interviewed about their participation at this large-scale event – the interview is available from the Hadoop website: Meet the Presenters.

Paper abstract:
Libraries collect books, magazines and newspapers. Yes, that’s what they always did. But today, the amount of digital information resources is growing at dizzying speed. Facing the demand of digital information resources available 24/7, there has been a significant shift regarding a library’s core responsibilities. Today’s libraries are curating large digital collections, indexing millions of full-text documents, preserving Terabytes of data for future generations, and at the same time exploring innovative ways of providing access to their collections. 

This is exactly where Hadoop comes into play. Libraries have to process a rapidly increasing amount of data as part of their day-to-day business and computing tasks like file format migration, text recognition, linguistic processing, etc., require significant computing resources. Many data processing scenarios emerge where Hadoop might become an essential part of the digital library’s ecosystem. Hadoop is sometimes referred to as a hammer where you have to throw away everything that is not a nail. To remain in that metaphor: we will present some actual use cases for Hadoop in libraries, how we determine what are the nails in a library and what not, and some initial results.

BVIM and digital preservation policies

Author: Barbara Sierman
Originally posted on: http://digitalpreservation.nl/seeds/policies/bvim-and-digital-preservation-policies 


Toy clock Digital 350 computer

Organizations must evaluate their activities and show the relevancy of them to their funders. It  is no exception that organizations like libraries and archives are facing severe budget cuts, which will affect their current activities like their digitization projects. Simon Tanner of the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, wrote an interesting report, in which he explains the Balanced Value Impact Model. This model will support organizations (especially memory institutions) to do an Impact Analyses of their digital resources in order to show how the use of digital resources will benefit  and change people. Not with vague notions, but in an evidence based approach. The results can be valuable input for further plans and can support decision makers at various levels. Decisons could be made not only on economical grounds, but also by taking the impact values into account.

Tanner distinguishes the following impact areas:

  • Social and Audience impacts : “the audience, the beneficial stakeholders and wider society has been affected and changes in a beneficial fashion”
  • Economic impacts “the activitiy is demonstrating economic benefits to the organisation or to society”
  • Innovation impacts: “that the digital resource is enabling innovation which is supporting the social and economic benefits accrued”
  • Internal process impacts: ”that the organisation creating/delivering the digital resources have been benefitted within its internal processes by the innovation demonstrated”. (p.45)

The model consists of 5 stages, of which the first two are “Context” and “Analysis and Design”. In these steps the digital environment in which the organization operates ( “the digital ecosystem”), are described, as well as the stakeholders who either benefit from or at least are affected by the digital resources.

It is not my intention to explain the model here and I would advise you to read the report. But it occurred to me that this exercise could benefit the case of digital preservation in an organisation as well. Part of the digital resources will be preserved for the long term after all.

As digital preservation is a costly activity, it is important to show the value of it. Why are we keeping all this digital material for an undefined amount of years? The Balanced Value Impact Model could be very helpful as this exercise will lead to an overview of the current ecosystem, and the current stakeholders for the digital resources. It will also show the value the stakeholders relate to the digital collections. Values for society and for individuals, economic values and values for the organization itself.

The  information collected for the Balanced Value Impact Model can help the organization to identify the areas they need to monitor in their Preservation Watch to safeguard that this ecosystem and the identified stakeholders will be served over the years. The Designated community, –  for many memory institutions quite a vague notion -, will be  described better, as well as the value this Designated Community experiences with the digital resources. These values could be an ingredient for the organization in establishing their preservation policies, in which they will describe whether and how  they will keep these values in the digital collection present.

Creating a Balanced Value Impact model will not be an easy task for an organization. But it could be a very useful exercise to support the preservation policies too.

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