Library of Congress

Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > Archiving 2009 Conference

May 28, 2009 -- The Archiving 2009 Conference (external link), held in Arlington, VA, from May 4-7, 2009, had something for everyone with an interest in digital preservation.

William LeFurgy

William LeFurgy speaking at Archiving 2009.

The conference program was evenly balanced between digital collection stewardship on the one hand and imaging and preservation on the other.  This permitted a unique opportunity for cross-domain interaction and sharing.

The meeting also benefited from robust international collaboration.  William LeFurgy from the Library of Congress served as General Chair, and Simon Tanner from King’s College, London and Astrid Verheusen from the National Library of the Netherlands served as Program Co-Chairs.  Christopher A. "Cal" Lee from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill contributed as Short Course Chair.

Steve Knight from the National Library of New Zealand (external link) provided a keynote address that outlined the work behind its National Digital Heritage Archive.  The Archive is an operational digital preservation system for a variety of digital content, including web sites, sound and vision files and digital images.  Knight described the intent to provide New Zealanders access to information that is important to their lives and cultural identity.  "Digital preservation is the glue that makes this happen," he said.

Google’s Dan Clancy spoke at length about the legal, policy and technical underpinnings of the company's Book Search Project (external link). He outlined impressive access statistics for the books in the Google collection, noting that many of the volumes were now getting more use than they had previously.  "We provide access to books from 200 years ago that had never been read before," said Clancy.  "In some cases we went into libraries and found books with uncut pages and worked with staff to literally open them up to the world."

Clifford Lynch from the Coalition for Networked Information (external link) provided the third keynote. He noted successful preservation efforts in some areas, but pointed to a broad array of important digital materials that remained at risk.  "The level of demand for digital preservation services far exceeds the resources available," Lynch said.  "We need to explore the minimal actions that are necessary to keep digital materials viable—a compromise between the 'perfect and costly' and the 'rapid and cheap,' if you will."

Sessions relating to digital collection stewardship considered subjects such as "Economically Sustainable Digital Preservation;" "Preservation, Cooperation, and the Making of the Hathi Trust Digital Library;" and "Meeting the Preservation Demand Responsibly = Lowering the Ingest Bar." Geospatial data stewardship was a special focus of the conference, with four papers looking into areas such as collaborative agreements, metadata, appraisal, and preservation infrastructure.

Clotilde Boust discussing the interactive presentation, "Study of Contemporary Art Preservation with Digitization."

Clotilde Boust discussing the interactive presentation, "Study of Contemporary Art Preservation with Digitization."

Imaging and preservation sessions treated topics such as "Digitizing the Dead Sea Scrolls;" "The Lifecycle of Embedded Image Metadata within Digital Photographs;" and "Federal Digitization—Moving to Common Guidelines."

The Archiving 2009 conference also had a rich array of interactive presentations offered in two sessions.  Topics included "Search and Access Strategies for Web Archives;" "Defining Digital Archeology;" and "Advanced Digital Image Preservation Data Management Architecture."  Attendees voted for "Digital Archive Program of the Songjiang Battle Array" as the best of the interactive presentations. 

The Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program had a strong presence.  Over 20 NDIIPP staff and partners attended and a dozen gave presentations.

During the meeting Steven Puglia of the National Archives and Records Administration received the 2009 HP Image Permanence Award (external link). The Society for Imaging Science and Technology and the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works grants the award to recognize advances materials, predictive science and educational efforts that contribute to permanence. 

Archiving 2010 will be held in The Hague, Netherlands.  When available, details will be posted on the IS&T website (external link).