36 · Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses
Transferring content from legacy media to server storage.
We are selectively copying born-digital files (mostly photography) to our servers for backup. We hope these in turn will
be moved over to the digital repository for digital preservation actions.
We have a sophisticated digital video encoding platform that enables us to retrieve video and audio data from a range
of legacy formats (VHS, Digi Beta, etc.) For formats we cannot manage, such as reel-to-reel tapes, we occasionally
outsource to a commercial vendor. Whether or not we retain the legacy media depends on whether it is accepted as
a collection in our Special Collections/University Archives Department. If not, we return the legacy material to the
collection owner. We are increasingly receiving research data in commercial formats such as Excel. Our current strategy
is to document the version and test sample data with new software versions for backward compatibility and to store the
data whenever possible in an alternative, less proprietary format. Currently, Excel and other database formats are also
stored as CSV. We are looking at the DDI data format and other XML solutions as another non-proprietary standard.
We are more interested in finding non-proprietary standards that retain the information content than in emulation or
encapsulation of legacy data. Our biggest issues are research data formats proprietary to a specific data analysis tool,
such as the FASTA format for gene sequencing, since we do not currently have an acceptable non-proprietary format for
such data.
We have some legacy hardware but have no intention of building a true “collection.” We use it to retrieve and transfer
content from legacy media when possible. When we encounter a format we do not have hardware for, we turn to
neighbor institutions for assistance; when this fails, we consider the likely value of the content on the legacy media. If it
is not high, we will generally store the hardware as is. If it is high enough, we would consider outsourcing, dependent
on cost and availability of funds.
We migrate digital media into a “digital archives” sever area that replicated our intellectual department divisions.
With some legacy media we can have our IT staff transfer the data, but I would not consider this outsourcing.
Planned Strategy
Migrate materials to newer media.
Plan to transfer data when resources are available.
Transfer to server storage (or, for example., repository).
Unknown. The planning process is just beginning.
We also have a strategy to investigate 3rd party vendors and their abilities for normalizing content for ingest.
We feel that the legacy hardware/software requirements for the digital content in our current “hybrid” collections are
modest and can be addressed with local equipment. We have also purchased the “FRED” forensics system that will
boost our capacity. We anticipate there will be some types of legacy media where we will need to use external vendors
for content retrieval.
We plan to transfer records stored on legacy media to server storage and into the library’s digital preservation
repository. Two units are developing a collection of legacy hardware. One is outsourcing the process of retrieving the
data.
Other Comments
We are currently pursuing a mix of 1, 2, and 4 but are interested in the fifth option and keeping track of collaborative
efforts in the field.
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