Preservation and institutional repositories for the digital arts and humanities

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Dorothea SaloUniversity of Wisconsin

salo@wisc.edu

Institutional repositories for the digital arts and

humanities

Dorothea SaloUniversity of Wisconsin

salo@wisc.edu

Preservation for the digital arts and

humanities

Dorothea SaloUniversity of Wisconsin

salo@wisc.edu

Dorothea SaloUniversity of Wisconsin

salo@wisc.edu

Preservation andinstitutional repositories for the digital arts and

humanities

And I said...

... youre giving me how much time for this?

Environment

As several of you are intimately aware, higher ed is trying to figure out What To Do About Data.

This spells opportunity... IF you can get a seat at the table, and IF you know what to ask for!

Humanists will not be the first people they think of, sadly.

Serious (insoluble?) problem: data diversity Expect compromise solutions.

Do not let IT pros intimidate you. They do not know everything they think they know.

PICK SOFTWARELAST.

Friendly wordof advice:

Photo: Briana Calderon; future educator of america. http://www.flickr.com/photos/46132085@N03/4703617843/

Arielle Calderon / CC-BY 2.0

ITS WHATTHE SOFTWAREWONT DO.

Its not what the software doesthatll kill you.

Photo: Briana Calderon; future educator of america. http://www.flickr.com/photos/46132085@N03/4703617843/

Arielle Calderon / CC-BY 2.0

DONT CHASE THE SHINY.

Another friendly word of advice:

Photo: Sparkle Texture http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbylanes/3214921616/Abby Lane / CC-BY 2.0

its much lessshiny.

In five years...

Photo: Sparkle Texture http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbylanes/3214921616/Abby Lane / CC-BY 2.0

its not shinyat all.

In ten years...

Photo: Sparkle Texture http://www.flickr.com/photos/abbylanes/3214921616/Abby Lane / CC-BY 2.0

In twenty years...

its probablyuseless.

NOT A SOLUTION:your graduate students

You have a bright, tech-savvy grad student.She builds an Awesome Tech Thing.You have no idea how it works.She graduates. Youre hosed.

Because she didnt (know how to) build it sustainably... Because you dont have any documentation... Because nobody made contingency plans for it...

I have seen this pattern over and over again. Its killed more digital culture and research materials than

anything I can think of in academe.

Am I saying dont experiment?

Nah, of course not. Im saying know what an experiment means. Im saying dont mistake an experiment for an

archive. Im saying dont experiment and then expect

everybody else to pick up your pieces because you didnt plan for metadata or preservation.

That said?

You gotta do what you gotta do.Some friendly advice:

Know where the exits are. (Can you export your data? In a reusable format?)

When you finish a project, USE that export. Triply true if youre relying on the cloud!

Your overriding goal, while a project is in progress: keep your eventual options open!

Long-term... is a totally other kettle of fish.

Your best strategyThe single best strategy for a digital humanist

concerned about long-term preservation... ... is to figure out how to make it Somebody

Elses Problem. Right now, this is hard. I do believe it will get easier.

Its a lot easier to figure this out from the start than at the end.

Dierent Somebody Elses will have dierent things that they want. If you know that from the get-go, youre much better o.

Institution-internal solutions

Institution-internal solutions

Rolling your own

Institution-internal solutions

Rolling your own Please dont, if you can possibly avoid it.

Institution-internal solutions

Rolling your own Please dont, if you can possibly avoid it.

Adopting open-source software

Institution-internal solutions

Rolling your own Please dont, if you can possibly avoid it.

Adopting open-source software e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace...

Institution-internal solutions

Rolling your own Please dont, if you can possibly avoid it.

Adopting open-source software e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace... Better, but not foolproof. Upgrades? Security? Backups?

Institution-internal solutions

Rolling your own Please dont, if you can possibly avoid it.

Adopting open-source software e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace... Better, but not foolproof. Upgrades? Security? Backups? Writing plugins/mods = rolling your own. Avoid if possible.

Institution-internal solutions

Rolling your own Please dont, if you can possibly avoid it.

Adopting open-source software e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace... Better, but not foolproof. Upgrades? Security? Backups? Writing plugins/mods = rolling your own. Avoid if possible.

Adopting institutional infrastructure

Institution-internal solutions

Rolling your own Please dont, if you can possibly avoid it.

Adopting open-source software e.g. Omeka, Dataverse, ArchivesSpace... Better, but not foolproof. Upgrades? Security? Backups? Writing plugins/mods = rolling your own. Avoid if possible.

Adopting institutional infrastructure Make sure itll survive your departure from the institution!

Outside the institution

Outside the institution

Lists of data repositories

Outside the institution

Lists of data repositories Databib: http://databib.org/

Outside the institution

Lists of data repositories Databib: http://databib.org/ re3data: http://re3data.org/

Outside the institution

Lists of data repositories Databib: http://databib.org/ re3data: http://re3data.org/ N.b. you will find less here on the humanities than you

would probably prefer. Long story.

Outside the institution

Lists of data repositories Databib: http://databib.org/ re3data: http://re3data.org/ N.b. you will find less here on the humanities than you

would probably prefer. Long story.

Figshare

Outside the institution

Lists of data repositories Databib: http://databib.org/ re3data: http://re3data.org/ N.b. you will find less here on the humanities than you

would probably prefer. Long story.

Figshare ... and other web services springing up, e.g. omeka.net

You will be limited by... Infrastructure your library/IT has already

committed to this is why you want to be in on ground-floor discussions!

Their willingness and ability to tweak, rewrite, or replace it with something suiting your needs

Your willingness and ability to evaluate, install, and maintain a software stack that suits you

... perhaps indefinitely!

The availability of hosted solutions, and your ability to pay for them (perhaps indefinitely!)

You need to know what the options are like.

Your library and IT folks may well need guidance. At minimum, they need clearly-expressed requirements.

The requirements you give them need to go beyond end-user access, use, and UI.

Back end: getting material in as eciently as possible, allowing for additions/changes/deletions

Preservation requirements Data and metadata purity, clarity, preservability,

reusability, mashuppability, migratability, standards

Institutional repositories

Whats an IR?[A]ttics (and often fairly empty ones), with

random assortments of content of questionable importance

Brown, Griths, Rasco, University publishing in a digital age. Ithaka 2007. http://www.sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/university-publishing-digital-age

A basic digital preservation-and-access platform designed to allow faculty to deposit and describe single PDFs.

Quite commonly available in research libraries or through library consortia.

You probably have one available to you!

IR softwareOpen source

Fedora Commons: http://fedora-commons.info/ (youll need a layer on top of this)

DSpace: http://dspace.org/ EPrints: http://eprints.org/

Commercial ContentDM: http://contentdm.com/ DigiTool: http://www.exlibrisgroup.com/category/

DigiToolOverview

Hosted ContentDM: http://contentdm.com/ BePress: http://bepress.com/

Two minutes!

Find an IR available to you for depositing content.

You can typically expect...To get in touch with someone in the library to

get an account set up, and a space for you to deposit into

Have a collection name and description ready. Default descriptors, if you have any, also a good idea. Need access controls? To delegate deposit? Talk about this.

To be able to put materials in on your own, through web forms

To find the deposit process fiddly and annoying

To have material appear on the web right after deposit.

IRs work for...

Small(ish), discrete files that never change So an Excel-using researcher is just fine with an IR.

Documentation for data held elsewhereSome IRs can handle static website captures.Files with uncomplicated IP lives

... which complicates the static website question.

Access restriction may be possible, as may dark archiving; it depends on the IR platform. Expect it to be annoying to implement, though.

IRs dont work forReally Big Data

including, sometimes, audio and video This is less a reflection on IR software than of most IRs being

horribly underprovisioned with storage and bandwidth.

Work in progress; files that may change or be updated

Complex digital objects (except static websites)Digital objects that need interactivity

Even something as simple as video streaming. IRs cant.

Anything that needs a DOI. (Youll get a permanent identifier, but it wont be a DOI.)

Datasets where the researcher wants to vet any potential reusers

Digital libraries

Digital-library software Omeka, Greenstone (aging), ContentDM... Again, chances are your library already has some kind

of digital-collections software. Go ask a librarian what it is, and whether you can add material to it! Also ask if its attached to any kind of digitization or metadata-help

service. It may not be, but you never know.

If not, there are hosted options if youre prepared to pay for them indefinitely.

Designed for image exhibitions May extend to audio and video, but UI wont be ideal. May extend to page-scanned books, but may not. (Omeka is terrible

at these.)

Be aware

The digital-preservation underpinnings of this class of software are weak to nonexistent.

Its designed for exhibiting, not for archiving! It may also entice you into poor sustainability decisions,

such as using web-friendly but lossy JPG as your master image format. Or not making backups.

On the plus side, though, if its a library service, the library feels an institutional commitment to the materials in it.

Thats a lot of the preservation battle won, right there.

Emerging solutions

Often involve combining software to attack dierent parts of the problem

Preservation underlayers: Fedora Commons, microservices Deposit and management UI: Hydra, Islandora End-user UI: Hydra, Islandora, Omeka, plugins, mods, etc.

Are still pretty DIY at this point If your library is doing active development, youre one of

the lucky ones. The rest of you may have to wait. And lobby.

Archives platforms

Designed for coping with an undierentiated mess of random digital stu.

I know, right? Nobody has that problem...

Not usually designed to help other people use or interact with that stu.

Also, designed for archivists ways of thinking. Archivists are humanists, but not all humanists are archivists.

Worth getting a software tour from an archivist!

Archivematica, ArchivesSpace (in beta), Duke Data Accessioner, CollectiveAccess, BitCurator

Data-management platformsUsually designed for the sciences, not the

humanities! But that doesnt necessarily mean they wont work for what

you have in mind. (E-lab notebooks will probably feel pretty foreign, though.)

Look at Dataverse Network, http://thedata.org/Gigantor lists of everything ever:

http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/external/tools-services/archiving-and-preserving-information

http://dirt.projectbamboo.org/categories/publishing http://foss4lib.org/packages Less helpful than you might think; theres rarely any decision

apparatus alongside.

Dorotheas cantankerous, crabby, cynical, crude, choleric, churlish, other-words-beginning-with-C

take on digital humanists working with librarians and IT pros

Neil Gaiman on George R.R. Martin and his eager fans

CENSORED

CENSORED

From: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html

Digital humanists:

Librarians and IT professionals are

not your bitch.CENSORED

Not entirely your fault!

$$$ is a consideration, unfortunately The sciences have it. Unfortunately.

Your colleagues may have poisoned the well by being prima donnas, even though youre not!

Dierent professional-advancement infrastructure

We may just. not. be. ready. Or the infrastructure we rely on may not be.

DH and libraries should be friends Involve the library from the outset.

Please do NOT ask us to pick up your messes at the end! Expect us to have work for you to do, and quality expectations. Yes, I know thats how it used to work with analog materials

and archivists. Digital is dierent.

Come to us in groups. We serve all of campus. We cannot aord to move heaven and

earth for any one person. Please dont be a prima donna! At minimum, have an idea how what youre asking will

concretely benefit other campus constituencies.

Oer quid pro quo. Whats in it for us? (Library advocacy in high places is always a good trade.)

Be patient, please. We dont turn on a dime.

Will this always work?Sadly, no.A good many libraries are just not ready to

take digital preservation and DH support seriously.

The presence of a DH center in the library is not always proof of serious intent.

Others have been burned before.Still others are skeptics. I cant promise youll find help in the library, or

with campus IT. I can promise you wont if you dont seriously approach them.

(Miriam Posners article is a must-read!)

Thanks!Questions?

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