The Long and Short of IT: The International Development Research Centre as a Case Study for a Long-term Digital Preservation Strategy
Nordland, Lori Podolsky
Nordland, Lori Podolsky. The Long and Short of IT: The International Development Research Centre as a Case Study for a Long-term Digital Preservation Strategy; A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies of The University of Manitoba in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts (Joint Masters Program), Department of History (Archival Studies), University of Manitoba, and University of Winnipeg. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: University of Manitoba & University of Winnipeg, 2007.
This thesis is a contribution to the study of the challenges facing archivists and record managers working on the long-term management and preservation of digital records. This thesis discusses the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Canadian government Crown agency, as a case study. In 2004 IDRC's Resarch Information Management Service (RIMS) Division was given the responsibility for developing a digital preservation program for the centre's final reports and related documentation. To facilitate this work, it hired a student intern to research recommendations for a digital preservation strategy. My research as the centre's intern led to the following recommendations for IDRC: Choose file formats that are ubiquitous, non-proprietary (when possible), viable, and lossless; Implement a strategy of conversion and migration of file formats and media as they become obsolete; Capture metadata to support the preservation of and access to digital objects; and Comply with the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) reference model. Much academic study by archivists on digital preservation focuses on the concepts relating to digital records and records management. This thesis offers a practical institutional example of one effort to develop an actual archival program.