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A System for Long-Term Document Preservation

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This paper analyzes the requirements and describes a system designed for retaining records and ensuring their legibility, interpretability, availability, and provable authenticity over long periods of time. In general, information preservation is accomplished not by any one single technique, but by avoiding all of the many possible events that might cause loss. The focus of the system is on preservation in the 10 to 100 year time span—a long enough period such that many difficult problems are known and can be addressed, but not unimaginable in terms of the longevity of computer systems and technology.

The general approach focuses on eliminating single points of failure - single elements whose failure would cause information loss - combined with active detection and repair in the event of failure. Techniques employed include secret sharing, aggressive “preemptive” format conversion, metadata acquisition, active monitoring, and using standard Internet storage services in a novel way.
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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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