NISO Digital Preservation Forum:
Planning Today for Tomorrow's Resources

Sponsored by

Ex Libris


Friday, March 14, 2008
8:00 -9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 9:15 a.m.

Welcome & Introductions

Todd Carpenter, Managing Director, NISO


9:15 - 10:15 a.m.


Evan Owens, Chief Technology Officer, Portico


The long-term preservation of digital objects is highly dependent on a vast array of standards covering hardware, software, metadata, and even the conceptual model of the preservation process. While standards conformance may be necessary, it is probably not sufficient, and it certainly isn’t easy to achieve. Moreover, there is a conflict between standards conformance and diversity as approaches to reducing risk over the very long term. This keynote presentation will include an overview of the current landscape of long-term preservation and of the related standards, and then consider in detail the use of standards in preservation illustrated by some examples of real-life problems from e-journals. Finally, it will be suggested that standards conformance must be supplemented by quality control and good content management practices to ensure effective long-term preservation.

10:15 -
11:00 a.m.

The Data Preservation Imperative: A Global Challenge

Lucille T. Nowell, Program Director - Data, Data Analysis & Visualization, Office of Cyberinfrastructure, National Science Foundation


NSF aims to develop a national network of data repositories that are interoperable, both among themselves and with their international counterparts. The goal is to facilitate reuse and repurposing of data over multiple decades and across geographic boundaries, with support for discovery and meta-analysis. Realizing data level interoperability depends on developing standards for data abstraction, both within and across disciplines.

11:00 -
11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m. -
12 noon

Digital Preservation Trends and Resources from the Field

Tom Clareson, Program Director for New Initiatives, PALINET


Clareson will discuss his work on the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) "Digital Preservation Readiness Survey" project, where consultants visited cultural institutions to review their digital programs, policies, and work in digital preservation. This groundbreaking project adapts some tools and activities from the traditional preservation world to the digital age, and has resulted in the development of new resources which cultural heritage institutions can utilize in building their digital preservation programs.

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


1:00 - 1:45 p.m.

The MetaArchive Cooperative: A Collaborative Approach to Distributed Digital Preservation

Katherine Skinner, Executive Director, Educopia Institute & Digital Projects Librarian, Emory University


The MetaArchive Cooperative, established in 2004, has developed an organizational model and technical infrastructure (building on the LOCKSS software developed at Stanford University) for preserving the digital assets of archives, museums, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions in a geographically distributed framework. This presentation will focus on strategies employed by the MetaArchive Cooperative to support, sustain, and grow its cross-institutional collaboration and will explore some of the curatorial, logistical, and organizational issues that have arisen for the Cooperative to date. Dr. Skinner will also discuss the importance of creating a sustainable set of interoperable frameworks that enable cultural heritage institutions to become active participants in the digital preservation process.

The MetaArchive Cooperative ( began in 2004 as a collaborative venture of Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Louisville, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Auburn University, Florida State University, and the Library of Congress. The MetaArchive Cooperative has operated a distributed preservation network infrastructure for several years that is based on the LOCKSS software, and has now transformed into an independent, international membership association hosted by the Educopia Institute and based in Atlanta, Georgia.

1:45 - 2:30 p.m.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library – Preserving Information Ecology

Tom Garnett, Program Director, Biodiversity Heritage Library, Smithsonian Institution Libraries


Biodiversity information is created, used, and maintained in a complex information ecology of taxonomists, conservationists, field researchers, professional societies, publishers, librarians and others. Making it available for future generations requires more than preserving bit streams. This presentation will examine the issues and initial solutions facing this multi-institutional program.

2:30 - 2:45 p.m.


2:45 - 3:30 p.m.

Mitigating Preservation Threats:
Standards and Practices in the National Digital Newspaper Program

  • Deborah Thomas, Program Coordinator, National Digital Newspaper Program, Library of Congress Collections and Services/Serial & Government Publications Division
  • David Brunton, Project Manager, National Digital Newspaper Program, Library of Congress Office of Strategic Initiatives, Repository Development Program

    arrow red Presentation

The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of all U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages contributed by, eventually, all U.S. states and territories. Aggregating digital content produced by many institutions, the program's use of digitization standards and validation in the production and management of this data are critical to mitigating preservation threats and risks to the digital collections over time. This presentation will discuss the strategic development and implementation of these standards and operations and how they enhance our efficiency and sustainability, both during the life of the program and beyond.

3:30 - 4:15 p.m.

An Overview of the Chronopolis Digital Preservation Framework:
A Collaborative DataGrid Approach to Distributed Preservation

Robert McDonald, Chronopolis Project Manager, Digital Preservation Initiatives Group, San Diego Super Computing Center, University of California - San Diego

biography presentation

In January 2008, the Library of Congress funded the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), the University of California, San Diego Libraries, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the University of Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) to conduct a demonstration and development of their Chronopolis digital preservation environment. The Chronopolis framework is a datagrid based system that utilizes multiple (three) geographically dispersed copies to ensure long-lived durability and availability of archived digital content. The program will be conducted over 14 months (Jan 2008 - February 2009) using 50 TB of partner content from the California Digital Library and the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Science Research. The content will include web crawl archives and social science archival material that has been curated under the aegis of the Library of Congress's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). This session will include information on the status of the project including an overview of the Chronopolis preservation framework as well as proposed deliverables of the project that may be of interest to others working on mass-scale transfer and preservation initiatives.

4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

The CLOCKSS Initiative and Requirements for a Distributed Digital Preservation

Adam Chesler, Assistant Director, Library Relations and Customer Service, American Chemical Society


Digital preservation and archiving initiatives are emerging now that e-journals are inextricably woven into the fabric of scholarly communications. CLOCKSS represents a unique approach to ensuring the long-term availability of this digital content, serving to create the best way to preserve, and subsequently display e-journals after a "trigger" event results in a global loss of access from the publishers' website. It's also an award-winning example of publishers, librarians, and other parties collaborating to devise a solution to a vexing problem that affects all stakeholders in the information development/distribution environment.