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Legacy digital and outreach @archives nz


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The Digital Continuity team at Archives New Zealand is an active participant in community discussion and outreach. Knowledge and capability is built through different channels which enables others to observe from, and learn from, the work we do internally. These channels set an example and provide a setting for others to talk about their work and impart their knowledge. In a period of time that sees digital at the forefront of the archivist’s concerns, this paper discusses some of the physical and digital channels we promote that enables this cross-pollination of ideas to help ensure the longevity of the digital material entering our collections. We look at our use of blogging, Twitter, interest groups, discussion forums and the importance of simply being open and receptive to queries from organisations and individuals across and outside of government. We conclude by placing our efforts in the light of recent work by the team to support the extract and appraisal of legacy digital documents from otherwise obsolete carrier mediums for other government agencies. Through the use of demonstration and mentoring we can help teams develop workflows and capability to do this work for themselves and to share the knowledge with others; building a strong foundation for the future. Such examples emphasise the importance of being able to meet people face-to-face, and the importance of word-of-mouth communication in disseminating all of our works across communities. The paper demonstrates a need for ad hoc digital preservation, and continuity advice. Lessons from which we can learn once and apply many times. Through community we share this knowledge, through community we receive and reuse it.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Legacy digital and outreach @archives nz

  1. 1. Department of Internal Affairs Legacy Digital: Digital Continuity and Outreach @ArchivesNZ Ross Spencer, Mick Crouch Archives New Zealand ARANZ Christchurch Wednesday October 1 2014
  2. 2. Department of Internal Affairs Community Discussion •DCAP, GDAP, Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan, New Zealand Data Futures Forum •Australasian Digital Recordkeeping Initiative (ADRI) •Twitter – @dp_pig @leninoc etc… •Digital Preservation Practical Implementers Guild •iPRES – •Rosetta Format Working Group •Digital Preservation Q&A QANDA •National Digital Forum / GOVIS / Future Perfect conferences •GoogleGroups droid-list
  3. 3. Department of Internal Affairs Blogging •Open Planets Foundation
  4. 4. Department of Internal Affairs Outreach •“Providing services to a population who might not otherwise have access” •GitHub of code for others to use •Demystifying / sharing knowledge •It doesn’t benefit us (the small ‘us’ – Digital Continuity / Archives New Zealand or the large ‘us’ – the international DP community) to put up a wall •Feeds into community discussion but growing number of participants in discussion
  5. 5. Department of Internal Affairs Teaching DoC how to fish •Weirder than old! [Blog] •32 5.25-inch floppy disks from Claire Ashcroft @ DoC •KryoFlux! •30 disks successfully imaged •Forensically discovered CP/M file system •WordStar •Conversion from WordStar to plain text •A new ‘war story’ for the digital preservation community
  6. 6. Department of Internal Affairs Agents of Change •Extra-organisational •Intra-organisational •Victoria University •International
  7. 7. Department of Internal Affairs Benefits •Influence for our benefit – DoC doing it right, doing it well. •Influence for our benefit – TNA improving DROID •Stronger Together – Agencies will have their own fleet of fishing boats •We get to learn as well – Our experience grows beyond our own institution… •Those issues might yet reach our door…
  8. 8. Department of Internal Affairs Emphasis •Open source •Tools – Screwdrivers vs. Manuals •Open source implies community •Shared community •Shared solution •Can’t do job without tools, without community – shared problems and shared solutions •Contribute regardless, show the way for others to contribute too, even if they don’t
  9. 9. Department of Internal Affairs Notes •Grounded in PRA •Opening data •Twitter a phenomenon? – Powerful forum? E.g. influence of BitCurator •We’re ALL understaffed / under resourced – this can only be addressed by a community •It’s a big problem, with lots of individuals •The off-the-shelf solutions are not mature and they rely on the same tools we do anyway!
  10. 10. Department of Internal Affairs Why is it important now? •Cavalry isn’t coming •GDAP didn’t get to the finish line •Have to figure it out on our own – and we are •Digital isn’t coming – it’s already here (harks back to abstract – digital at forefront)
  11. 11. Department of Internal Affairs Conclusion •Community! •Share information, get involved… •Face-to-face; word-of-mouth •We can’t legislate for the possibilities •But we can build knowledge bases •Learn lessons once… apply many times •Through community we share information; •Through community we receive and reuse information!
  12. 12. Department of Internal Affairs Quesadillas? By cezzie901 (Flickr: Quesadillas) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
  13. 13. Department of Internal Affairs