Session 2: New Horizons

Elizabeth England, David Underdown, Hannah Merwood, and Alex Green | BitCurator Consortium

Talk One: DiAGRAM – the Digital Archiving Graphical Risk Assessment Model: quantifying digital preservation risks (00:00:00)

David Underdown, Hannah Merwood, Alex Green

The last 20 years have seen a wide range of digital preservation good practice established, from OAIS to the NDSA Levels of Preservation. This practice is aimed at mitigating the risks faced by the digital materials being preserved.

However, there has been little quantitative work done to allow institutions to make informed decisions about which risks actually pose the biggest threat to their collections. We have worked with staff from a broad range of UK archives to develop such a risk model, with support from statisticians at the University of Warwick, blending traditional quantitative data with structured expert judgment where data is not currently available.

DiAGRAM’s foundation is a Bayesian Network – a statistical model that estimates the probability of outcomes by considering conditional events and changes over time (e.g. the lifespan of our archival storage depends on a changing mix of storage media types). We will give an overview of how we have applied this method to digital preservation and demonstrate how we’ve created an interactive decision support tool.

We will illustrate how DiAGRAM can:
Improve users’ understanding of the complex digital archiving risk landscape and of the interplay between risk factors.
Empower archivists to compare and prioritize very different types of threats to the digital archive: from software obsolescence to natural disaster.
Aid in quantifying the impact of threats and risk management strategies on archival outcomes to support decision making, communication with stakeholders, and developing business cases for targeted action.

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Note: Recording skips moderator’s introduction and start of DiAGRAM talk.

Talk Two: Update on US National Archives Digital Preservation Framework (00:21:00)

Elizabeth England

In Fall 2019, NARA released a draft of its Digital Preservation Framework for public comment on GitHub. The framework identifies hundreds of file formats in NARA’s holdings and includes risk assessments, prioritization for action, and draft preservation action plans for various record types (email, digital still image, spreadsheets, etc.). Over the past year, work has continued on the framework. This lightning talk will discuss feedback received and how that has shaped recent work, in particular the decision to release the preservation action plans as linked data. I will cover project challenges and successes, and provide an update on its current status.

Chat Log Slides
BitCurator Consortium Presentations

Cite this resource:
Elizabeth England, David Underdown, Hannah Merwood, and Alex Green. (October 13, 2020). Session 2: New Horizons. BitCurator Consortium.