The distinguished lecturers of the ADA 2014 summer school and their topics
Nermina Bogicevic, Senior Archives and Records Assistant at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), The Netherlands
Importance of Influencing Submission Information Packages
One of the primary functions of the new archivist is the shaping and contributing to the definition of digital submission information packages (SIPs). With digital records the right timing to intervene would be at the initial stages of information systems design as with the passage of time the availability of resources may drop to a bare minimum or zero. For every stage and every situation before the ingest itself one needs to know the strategy as well as the standards that would help both SIPs creators as well as the curators. Digital archivists cannot afford shying away from how digital files are created. They need to be able to convince creators that without appropriate formats and metadata there cannot be long-term preservation. In environments where there is no appropriate legislation that would aid archivists in this mission what should be the first steps? Do archivists need allies in form of information managers in every institution providing SIPs?
Dr. Luciana Duranti, School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
A Clear Sky Forecast on a Cloudy Day: Making, Keeping and Preserving Records in a Public Cloud Environment
Individuals and organizations are increasingly creating and maintaining all kinds of information in the Cloud, often with the same expectations of privacy, access, intellectual rights, and control they have when storing it in in-house systems, either digital or analogue. With such expectations come disgruntled reactions in finding out that behaviour and processes on the Internet and by Internet Providers are not guided by long established rules, but need to be controlled by legal contracts and related policies. Furthermore, archival institutions and units are considering storing records selected for permanent preservation with Internet Providers because:
- Many of the records they are mandated to preserve already exist only on the Internet
- Access is possible from any location to anyone who can use a browser
- A trusted digital repository satisfying ISO standards as well as basic archival preservation requirements is not affordable and is often inadequate to the challenge
- The knowledge to deal with records produced by complex technologies is not commonly available among archival professionals and is very expensive
- Strong protection measures are often confused with preservation measures, but mostly because we are confronted with a generational divide.
This lecture will discuss different models of deployment and use of the Internet and present the benefits and risks, challenges and opportunities of using Internet Providers for records creation, keeping and preservation. It will focus on issues of jurisdiction, trust, and ownership and on the societal consequences of blurring the boundaries between public and private, organizational and personal, ephemeral and permanent, complete and in a state of becoming, platform generated and user generated, owned and open, recorded and performed, etc.
As technological change cannot be arrested or steered using old approaches and models neither can it be enthusiastically adopted without protecting the trustworthiness of the records, as well as legal rights and ethical rules, the lecture will be concluded by a presentation of the InterPARES Trust project, which is addressing all the issues previously outlined and working towards solutions that can be internationally shared.
The lecture will be followed by focus groups that will reflect on specific themes and try to imagine ways of addressing them.
Dr. Gabrijela Gavran, Faculty of Law Library, University of Zagreb
Practice in digitization, preservation and access to newspaper digital and print archives covering human rights and democracy issues in Croatia
Experience in digitization of newspaper documentation and developing newspaper databases on human rights and democracy issues for the need of researchers and investigative journalists will be presented. The lecturer will discuss access to newspaper digital and print archives covering war and post war period in Croatia. The participants will be immersed in practice in preparing selective information for domestic and international users coming from different institutions as universities, courts, media and non governmental organizations.
Neil Grindley, Coordinator for the 4C Project / Programme Manager at JISC
The Costs of Curation – Are we on the right track?
The session will guide participants through a number of 4C outputs and start by introducing them to some resources that are in development. 4C takes a holistic approach to the cost of digital curation and believes that ‘cost’ cannot be understood in isolation from other economically determining factors such as ‘benefit’, ‘value’, ‘risk’ and ‘sustainability’. Following a general introduction, the session will proceed to exercises that focus on some outputs of the project. This will include the ‘Curation Costs Exchange’, a place for all kinds of information on the costs and economics of curation and for everyone who is interested in understanding them; the ‘Cost Concept Model’, a framework to support future research and development in costing curation; and the ‘Economic Sustainability Reference Model’ which is an ongoing attempt to look beyond cost and business models and to think clearly and creatively about the value of digital assets, including data. The session will close with a presentation of the results in plenary and a discussion on the presented topics.
Gabriella Ivacs, Chief Archivist and Records Manager at the Open Society Archives of Central European University in Budapest, Hungary
Think Big: Standards, Best Practices and Realities in Digital Preservation
Digital preservation strategies vary with the size of an organization and its available resources, so best practices could provide useful guidance regarding the implementation issues defining also gaps in the standards. But what is a best practice – is it a descriptive or prescriptive discourse? How can the current interpretation of best practice affect policy at the international and national levels? Sophisticated digital preservation systems are usually associated with large institutions, major budgets, and major infrastructure: they are more commonly connected to state institutions, and are less applicable in different contexts. Redundancy and scarcity, in terms of tools, expertise, and capacity, are each present in existing digital preservation strategies but smart and scalable solutions are still needed. At the same time, Digital Collections become a source for research, so-called research data – a term which is usually reserved for data generated by instruments in large quantities. How can we overcome the orthodoxy of digital preservation language and bridge the efforts of science repositories, open access repositories, and trusted digital repositories? Is OAIS our only option if we wish to speak a common language and intend standards to preserve the status quo instead of making digital preservation a somehow more grassroots initiative? The lecture will address the political economy of digital preservation, the proliferation of stakeholders, the current trends at the national and European levels, and their implications on implementation. Students will be asked to present their own case studies on the mapping of local experiences to international best practices, and a practical session will be included on rights management in the context of digital repositories.
Dr. Marc Kosciejew, Department of Library Information and Archive Sciences, Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta
Documentation Theory and Transitional Justice
Documentation science is the study and analysis of “the document”: its purpose(s), role(s), etc.; practices with it; its institutional embeddedness; and, ultimately, its constitutive effects. Who we are, what we are, what we can be, what we could be, and where we are going, depend in large part on how documentation, and the information it constitutes, controls and disciplines our official identities. An archives and archival work are directly concerned with documentation. In an archival context or setting, for example, a documentary analysis could concentrate on various institutional aspects, such as the roles, organization, use, effects, etc. of certain documents being preserved in order to help construct and entrench a particular idea or identity.
In light of recent, and ongoing, racially and ethnically motivated atrocities and conflicts – including the genocidal distinction between Hutu and Tutsi in 1990s Rwanda, the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, the increasingly violent sectarianism of the Arab Spring, the ethnic and tribal bloodletting following Kenya’s disputed 2007/2008 elections, increasingly contentious policies in many (Western) countries over citizenship, immigration, surveillance, and profiling issues, and many other past and present cases that the breadth of this course cannot cover here – a better understanding of documentation’s role in identity construction is of timely importance.
Mr. Carlo Meghini, Networked Multimedia Information Systems Laboratory, Institute of the National Research Council of Italy
Producing, Consuming and Preserving Linked Data
The lecture will be divided into two main parts. In the first part, the Semantic Web vision will be introduced, and the main constituents of the Semantic Web architecture will be reviewed, with a special emphasis on the Resource Description Framework (RDF) for representing knowledge. We will also briefly touch upon OWL, the family of languages for ontology representation. The four principles of Linked Data will then be illustrated, as a paradigm for the exchange of knowledge on the web, discussing the main approaches for producing and for consuming Linked Data. In the second part of the lecture, the issues concerning the long-term preservation and access to Linked Data will be reviewed, building on the results of the on-going Coordination Action PRELIDA. We will assume the OAIS stance, and discuss the implications of ingesting a Linked Data dataset, and of keeping it accessible and usable over the long term.
Robert Parnica, M.Phil., Senior Reference Archivist, Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
The Role of Human Rights Archives in Post-conflict Societies and Transitional Justice – Problems and Limitations
The presentation is intended to reflect on the current role of human rights archives in the field of transitional justice in post-conflict and post-traumatic societies. Within the diversity of experiences, more than 20 nations in the last 30 years have tried to institutionalize the search for “truth and reconciliation,” giving rise to the academic discipline of “transitional justice,” and introducing terms such as “retributive justice,” “restorative justice,” “historical clarification,” and “social catharsis,” among others. Despite high expectations concerning the final outcome, the process of reconciliation is never smooth nor a full success. In this work we will try to answer the question of why forming commissions for “truth and reconciliation” to examine the truth on the ground – and even the public trial of war suspects – does not result in “social catharsis” or the critical acknowledgement of committed war crimes. Even during the months of public testimony and revelations, there are no visible signs of the process of collective healing, which psychoanalysis and confession are supposed to provide for individuals. Victims, scholars, and psychoanalysts, together with political scientists, have ascribed a great number of benefits to a public reckoning from the catharsis to a belief that the awareness of past evil can inoculate a population against its repetition. Students of transitional justice acknowledge that collective repentance, or selective justice, is neither always a sovereign cure, nor even always good. The claim that truth and reconciliation are intrinsically connected, although paradoxical, does not always bring satisfactory solutions. For, while truth and reconciliation are good things in their essence, to presume that truth causes reconciliation is not necessarily good. For many victims of war, simply ensuring that the injustice is recorded for posterity often seems to be more important than compensation or reconciliation. For victims, the conservation of memories has thus become an imperative.
Further on in the presentation we will discuss the role of human rights archives in promoting reconciliations for local communities in the Balkan region. Using archival collections from the Open Society Archives pertaining to human rights, some interesting collaborative and crowd-sourcing projects have been initiated that both promote trust in the archives, and strengthen mutual understanding, not just between divided communities, but also between the community and the archive as a trusted institution. Archives are thus able to deconstruct the traditional, mostly nationalistic narrative (particularly when dealing with the Balkan region) of the “other,” and also to show their suffering during and after the conflict by exposing highly emotional records and testimonies to the public. The growing digital environment of today thus serves as a fertile ground for the “exchange” of individual stories, and for comprehending micro “truths,” which, put together, make a complex and composite block for sometimes harsh historical analysis and criticism – because history and memory are very often incompatible.
Dr. Oleksandr Pastukhov, Department of Information Policy and Governance, Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, University of Malta
Legal Aspects of Building Trust in Digital Archives
With the on-going digitization of collections and the emergence of distance access to memory institutions, legal and policy issues are becoming increasingly relevant to the work of librarians and archivists. The lecture will provide an overview of the legal aspects surrounding digital archives with particular emphasis on the activities that are key to building trust in their services: intellectual property clearance, re-use of public sector information, as well as privacy and personal data protection. The regulatory framework relevant to digitization and electronic access will be sketched out using examples from the legal systems of the U.S., EU member states and other European countries. The lecture will be followed by a case study divided into a group work assignment, a presentation by students and a general discussion.
Prior readings suggested:
Besek JM, Coates J, Fitzgerald B, et al. (2008) Digital preservation and copyright: An international study. The International Journal of Digital Curation 2(3): 103-111.
Boudrez F, Dekeyser H and Dumortier J (2004) Digital Archiving: The New Challenge. Brussels: I.R.I.S. Group.
Evens T and Hauttekeete L (2011) Challenges of digital preservation for cultural heritage institutions. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 43(3): 157-165.
Dr. Hrvoje Stancic, Department of Information and Communication Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb
Digital Preservation in Cultural, Governmental and Business Sector
Cultural heritage objects transferred into digital form, or those born digitally, need to be actively preserved over the long time. This simple statement hides potentially overwhelming set of problems. Many cultural heritage institutions and professionals are not aware of them or at least are not aware of the urgency to conduct preservation actions concerning their digital holdings. The problem comes from the fact that the preservation specialists are rarely trained in digital preservation. Many institutions are used to preserve the traditional, non-digital materials and have preservation policies well developed for those materials. On the other hand, the digital materials are substantially different. The message does not depend on the medium to be preserved – one can change the medium, i.e. migrate the data, and still have the same message. Therefore, the paradigm shift from preservation of analogue materials to preservation of digital materials is needed. Long-term digital preservation in the environment of constant technological change is a challenging task. The problem gets more complicated if the records need to be preserved as authentic or remain so after several preservation actions. Therefore, in the first part, this lecture will offer insight into the problem of digital preservation and discuss several applications and services that could help achieve that task.
In the second part, the lecture will focus on the governmental and business environment. Long-term preservation is not only specific to cultural heritage institutions but for governments and businesses as well. Modern governments tend to develop different e-services for citizens (G2C) and businesses (G2B), modern businesses develop e-services for citizens (B2C) and for other businesses (B2B) as well as citizens develop e-services for citizens (C2C). G2C and G2B services should be developed as trusted governmental e-services. Therefore, in the second part, this lecture will discuss what it takes to develop a trusted service having in mind underlying long-term preservation paradigm.
Focus groups addressing specific issues followed by discussions will be part of the lecture.