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Subject: Conservation Awards

Conservation Awards

From: Walter Henry <consdist-request<-a>
Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2005
International team wins the 2005 Digital Preservation Award


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The PREMIS Working Group--a team of 30 experts from five
countries--was awarded the prestigious Digital Preservation Award
for 2005 tonight by Loyd Grossman OBE FSA at the annual Conservation
Awards ceremony held at the British Library.

This is the tenth anniversary of the Conservation Awards, which this
year has a new sponsor--Sir Paul McCartney. This is the second year
to include the DPC-sponsored UKP5,000 Digital Preservation Award,
which was awarded to the PREMIS Working Group for "leadership and
advancement in digital preservation which will benefit the UK"

The winning team's work is to do with "preservation meta-data",
which is essential to ensure that digital objects remain accessible
over time. . The work of the PREMIS Working Group goes a long way
towards establishing an international open-source standard for
handling meta-data, which will help libraries and institutions
around the world to archive digital content--the volume of which is
doubling every year.

The PREMIS team were chosen ahead of four other shortlisted
projects, including overseas entries from the Vienna University of
Technology and the National Archive of the Netherlands. Two UK
entries also made the shortlist: a team from the BBC for their work
rescuing and restoring early colour programming (including unseen
episodes of Dr WHO); and the UK Web Archiving Consortium, a group
lead by the British Library, which is creating a searchable archive
of selected UK websites.

The judges were impressed by the work PREMIS has done in compiling a
"data dictionary" identifying core digital preservation metadata,
which they have supported with practical examples and a software
protocol. A key factor in the decision was the international scope
of PREMIS, and the consensus building and collaboration that is so
crucial in so many digital preservation issues.

Richard Boulderstone, Chair of the Judging Panel, said: "The DPC is
delighted to again have had a very strong shortlist for their annual
Award, with entries from both the UK and overseas. This demonstrates
an increasing awareness of digital preservation and the need to find
workable solutions."

In his original presentation to the judging panel, Brian Lavoie of
the PREMIS Working group said:

   "This work illustrates a gradual shift from articulating the
    problem to solving it ... it's not so much 'Why is digital
    preservation important?' anymore; rather, 'What must be done to
    achieve preservation objectives?'"

Preservation metadata was crucial to implementing reliable,
sustainable digital preservation programs, he said.

   "The issues of long term storage of digital resources are unique
    to the digital space. A digital object needs to be supported,
    wrapped in this metadata so it can be kept."

TV presenter and culinary entrepreneur Loyd Grossman, who helped to
launch the DPC in 2002, presented the award. "It's reassuring to see
how much things have progressed since we started, but it is still
daunting to realise how much still needs to be done," he said.

   "History will judge us very harshly if we are unable to overcome
    the obstacles to preserving access to our burgeoning digital
    cultural heritage so we need to encourage and reward those who
    are working to secure it."

Preservation metadata is sometimes referred to as the glue that
binds everything together. Without it, effective long-term digital
preservation is not possible and the search is on for cost-effective
strategies to implement it in a standardised way. The PREMIS Working
Group have compiled a data dictionary, which identifies core digital
preservation metadata, supported by practical examples and an XML
schema to enable more efficient transfer of metadata between
different organisations.

The Digital Preservation Coalition sponsors the Digital Preservation
Award under the banner of the Conservation Awards, which are
supported by Sir Paul McCartney and managed in partnership by key
organisations in conservation, restoration and preservation
management: the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), the
UK Institute for Conservation (UKIC), English Heritage, the
Institute of Paper Conservation (IPC) and the National Preservation
Office. UKIC and IPC are in the process of merging with other
organisations during 2005 into a new larger professional body for
conservation of the cultural heritage, the Institute of
Conservation. The Anna Plowden Trust sponsors the Award for Research
and Innovation in Conservation.

Digital Preservation Coalition is a cross-sectoral membership
organisation of 27 major UK organisations, which aims to ensure that
digital preservation is kept on the policy agenda and practical
progress in preserving access to important digital resources is
made. It was launched in February 2002. Information about its work
can be found at

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:27
               Distributed: Wednesday, November 23, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-27-001
Received on Wednesday, 23 November, 2005

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