Archive Portal Europe

maandag 16 januari 2012

DLM Forum’s triennial conference 2011: Re‐Using Data : Lascaux 2.0: Retaining meaning & purpose for records in collaborative spaces

13 december

Lascaux 2.0: Retaining meaning & purpose for records in collaborative spaces
‐ Tim Callister, Information Management Consultant, UK National Archives (UK)


Tim Callister invited us to join him in an exploration of collaboration spaces. He employed the perspective of the story teller by bringing us back to the Lascaux cave paintings. Since the dawn of time people want to share information. The trouble is however that it is hard to interpret what people want to share: over space and over time.

Collaborative, dare we say 2.0 technology has provided us new ways to share, but has left us with the same challenge: how do we understand what people share?

In the UK Callister explained there are many applications in which sharing takes place: knowledge management, information exchange, transparancy and data re-use is performed with use of Sharepoint, Huddle, Civil Pages, Linkedin and Yammer. Proper interpretation of the data shared through these applications implies knowledge of original use of data. We need to know about the context.


He touched on a subject which has already been experienced in the Netherlands: the need to capture implicit   metadata. Much of the context is only available implicitly: that means that much of information on the who, the what and the why is stuck in people's heads. This means that digitization also calls for formalization. In order to answer the questions needed to perform preservation and interpretation over time metadata should be explicitly stored with the records.

The solutions remained the same according to Callister. One should have good retention schedules, proper FOI/DPA management, Access management and Knowledge management. If you can’t manage these re-use of data seems impossible.

The UK solution is found in centralization of certain tasks and responsibilities within Directgov.
Directgov as an organisation does two different things. It  provides access to online transactional services and it publishes government  information for citizens in one place.

The National Archives (TNA) then provides services for the management of information. It also participates in government ICT strategy. Through these channels standardization and linkage of information is promoted and executed. Furthermore TNA manages the Government Web Archive and in the Secure Web Archiving Project researcher look at archiving intranet en web-based platforms.

Initiatives well worth keeping track of.

His presentation is also found online.

donderdag 5 januari 2012

DLM Forum’s triennial conference 2011: Keynote: Preserving Communications for the Future / Common Features of Messages for Interoperability and Long Term Preservation

Keynote: Preserving Communications for the Future / Common Features of Messages for Interoperability and Long Term Preservation

Richard Jeffrey‐Cook, Head of Information & Records Management,
In‐Form Consult (UK)

Jeffrey-Cook focused on the challenge of continuity of information. For him this encompassed all forms of communications transactions: from text to social media communication. Not an uncommon perception for archivists. The challenge can be beaten by finding common ground between communications. Jeffrey-Cook argues that Moreq2010 provides such common ground.


The world of communication and technology changes at an ever increasing speed. The use, purpose and impact   of communication changes as well as do the instruments we use for communication. A case also made by Angelika Menne-Haritz.

All these instruments use different technology, have different functionality, employ different standards, but all potentially produce records.

Jeffrey-Cook points out that we need to search for common characteristics between all these forms of communication and identify which characteristics are important for interpreting and preserving records. In a many ways this confirms the ideas formulated in the Interpares projects. He also stressed the importance of maintaining the threads between communications. Proper interpretation is derived from the relationships between communications.

The biggest challenge will come from communications where little is standardized. The interaction by social media has little or no standardization. The maintenance of threads will be all important. We will also face problems when dealing with communications with interaction which are not intended to produce records. I think the first case study has already arrived.

Jeffrey-Cook concluded with the following remarks:


  • Distinguish  the message and it’s metadata from the technology
  • Identify the characteristics common to all communications
  • Separate the client application - the user interface into an extension module

His presentation can be found here.