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Rip – Mix – Burn: Why Content Repurposing Is the Answer to Digital Preservation

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Traditional preservation arguments focused on two technological options, emulation [4, 5] and format conversion [1, 2, 3] or a combination of both [6]. All provide solutions to some preservation scenarios but also list limitations of scalability [3] and unsustainable loss [7], respectively, a common belief which led us to employ a procedural hybrid focused on access and usage, incorporating migration on access advantages described by LOCKSS [3].

This strategy is based on the philosophy that any preservation action made directly to the original digital objects must be postponed until absolutely necessary, arguably forever. However, access is given immediately by employing current-era rendering programs and translating to current-era digital formats which are sufficiently-featured to fully represent the intellectual content in need of preservation. Therefore, we will argue that access, to mix and remix digital content, generates sufficient and necessary incentives [8, 15] to extend the life of digital objects, and indirectly that of digital formats, for as long as they are relevant to some user subgroup.

Additionally, we will introduce assessment and measurement processes complementing the Rosenthal's LOCKSS model. We will develop the main argument by showing the relationships between the three distinct classes of costs incurred by any preservation program. We will show how INFORM methodology [10] is used to time the selection of new programs and formats. Lastly, we will show how translation loss can be measured, managed and validated, by employing a process built on the project at the Library of Congress to analyze the sustainability of digital formats [11].
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • The IS&T (digital) Archiving Conference offers a unique opportunity for imaging scientists and those working in the cultural heritage community (curators, archivists, librarians, photographers etc) from around the world to come together to discuss the most pressing issues related to the digital preservation and stewardship of hardcopy, and other cultural heritage documents and objects. Authors come from museums, archives, libraries, government institutions, industry and academia. Cutting edge topics related to multispectral and 3D imaging, as well as best practices for workflow, sharing, standards, and asset/collection management and dissemination are explored in papers presented at this annual, international event.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in pertuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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