Recommendations for Authors and Creators
Overview and Best Practices
1) Library of Congress guidelines on "How to Preserve Your Own Digital Materials"
Includes instructions on how to scan your personal collections, and information about how long digital storage media last. Specific tips are provided for photographs, audio, video, email, personal digital records and websites.
Additionally, you will find here a video on "Why Digital Preservation is Important for you".
Key points of much of this guidance can be downloaded in a single brochure: "Preserving Your Digital Memories".
Based on a 3-hour hands-on workshop on "Personal Digital Archiving," this site features a series of blog posts by Ellyssa Kroski, Manager of Information Systems at the New York Law Institute.
This practical overview from the Paradigm project (University of Manchester and JISC) includes practical tips, including intellectual property rights and privacy concerns and the benefits of using open source software.
The Library of Congress describes the attributes they consider important when selecting file formats for archiving the LC collections. These include disclosure, adoption, transparency, self-documentation, external dependencies, impact of patents, and technical protection mechanisms. They provide a list of different formats, continually updated, and rate them according to these considerations. Look yours up here to see how well LC thinks it rates in terms of these attributes: "Format Descriptions".
The U. S. National Archives offers advice when selecting a file format for long-term storage. For example:
"When selecting a format consider the following aspects: * The format should be publicly and openly documented. * The format is non-proprietary. * The format is in widespread use. * The format is self-documenting. * The format can be opened, read, and accessed using readily-available tools."
Look up your file format at the UK National Archives and find out how well it is supported: "PRONOM Technical Registry"
Note the differing levels of support provided by the University of Michigan for different file formats: "Deep Blue Preservation and Format Support Policy" and "Harvard's Recommended File Formats".
International Imaging Industry Association recommendations for digital photos: "Are your memories safe?"
This site provides a comprehensive overview of what needs to be considered, and also drills down to specifics, such as how to label, how to back up, what to do in case of hard drive failure, virus attack or camera card failure.
Here are some examples of "Forms of Image Deterioration" from the Image Permanence Institute.
"Recommendations for PDF Files Created for Long-term Preservation and Access" by Andrea Goethals Harvard University Library. Basics include: Prefer PDF/A, add metadata to the files, remove security restrictions, embed all document fonts, tag if possible, include OCR if the PDF is created from images... and more.
Social Media, Text Messages, Gmail
Do you use blogs, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media? Here's your options for managing and/or archiving your content there so you can back it up properly.
If you value this type of correspondence... this is worth a read. It's not easy or convenient, but it is possible to capture this content.
Intellectual Property: Rights! Issues
Just because you own or have a copy of a digital object doesn't mean you have the rights to it.
Backups and storage
What to back up, all the ways data can be lost, and why you shouldn't trust the cloud for storage.
Dated April 26, 2012, this is a blog post by Casey Johnston to assist those who want to store their content in the cloud.
What to watch for, prepare against, and what your options are... this is offered by a company ("DriveSavers"0 selling their data recovery services.
Conversion Software Registry -- given an input format and desired output format, this interface will provide you with a list of software options for transforming your files.
Embedded Metadata Extraction Tool for JPEG and TIFF files.
Metadata Extraction Tool for a variety of images, office documents, audio, video, markup, and internet files.
Much of the content of this page came from Columbia University Libraries and from The Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education modules.
15:31, 24 September 2012 (CDT)