“For archivists with strong geeky tendencies”

Yesterday saw the first meeting of the Data Standards Group of the Society of Archivists under its new name. It was formerly known as the EAD/Data Exchange Group. The new name reflects a new, broader remit for the group, which is now providing a focus for digital preservation as well as data exchange.

This was evident in the talks that were given by Susan Thomas and Dave Thompson at the meeting, which was held at the British Library. Susan talked about the work of the Paradigm project, which is investigating the issues surrounding the acquisition and processing of personal digital materials. Susan described some of the software that has proved useful to the project, much of which has been developed for use by police investigators, whose requirements for an audit trail of untampered-with-data are similar to those of archivists.

The findings of the project are being written up into a Workbook, which is building up into an exceptional, practical, resource for anyone faced with the task of dealing with the accession of electronic records.

Dave’s talk on the UKWAC project described some of the technical and political challenges involved with the preservation of web sites and focused on the skills needed for staff involved with this sort of work. His conclusion was the title to this entry. I think this description encompasses the majority of members of the Data Standards Group.

Paolozzi's statue of Newton in the British Library's Piazza
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi’s statue of Newton in the British Library’s Piazza