Archive Portal Europe

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.





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