How We Digitize: Digital Preservation 2 | Digitization Centre

n the last post we looked at Why a digital preservation strategy is necessary. This post outlines a few of the steps we are taking here at the Digitization Centre to enact our preservation goals.

Planning for preservation starts at the creation of our digital objects. We need to choose digital formats that are suitable for the long-term and follow best-practices for their creation. There are many factors that go into the choice of formats, for example check out the detailed information from the Library of Congress.

In general, it is necessary to avoid proprietary formats and compression, and look for open formats with wide adoption. These factors contribute to the sustainability of the file into the future, ensuring that the bits will not be corrupted, the data will be readable, and the image can be properly rendered. To meet these goals, our master images are stored in uncompressed TIFF, which has been the standard for many years. Some of our capture devices, such as the ATIZ or TTI, create proprietary RAW format images that need to be converted.

The next step is managing the long-term storage of our files. As described in the last post, this is a difficult problem. Here at the Digitization Centre, a big part of the solution is our developing use of Archivematica. We have been working with UBC IT and the developer Artefactual to integrate digital preservation into our digitization workflow.