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Digitization and Its Challenges. Ezra Shiloba Gbaje Department of Library and Information Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

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Digitization and Its Challenges

Ezra Shiloba Gbaje

Department of Library and Information Science,

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

Digital Records and Archival Management Workshop for Members Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Archives and History Bureau Committee and Liaison Officers. Arewa House, Kaduna

June 3rd – 9th June 2007


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Challenges of Traditional records and Archival Management

  • Disintegration of storage media particularly paper, films, magnetic tapes

  • Easy to misfile records

  • Requires large storage space

  • Locating and retrieving records time consuming and very difficult

  • Records cannot easily be shared by multiple user

www.sharondelight.com


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Challenges of Traditional records and Archival Management

  • Access to records are geographical and time restricted

  • Storage facilities and process very expensive

www.sharondelight.com


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Non Digital vs Digital Materials

  • Digital records are not localized, with ICT a digital record can be used from anywhere, without any geographical restrictions.

  • Several people can use the same electronic records at the same time.

  • Electronic records can be stored, arrange, index and retrieve easily.

www.sharondelight.com


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Non Digital vs Digital Materials

  • Electronic records are easily copied.

  • Records stored digitally are very flexible. They are easy to rearrange, reformat, and combine with other documents.

  • Collection of records stored in electronic form are less bulkier than paper versions. The trend is far even greater compactness.

www.sharondelight.com


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What is Digitization

Process of converting non-digital born documents to digital format

www.sharondelight.com


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Process of Digitization

This includes:

  • selection of collection/materials

  • Imaging or scanning material,

  • transcribing,

  • creating markup and index,

  • creating metadata,

  • processing images,

  • uploading to the web,

  • preserving and maintaining archival media

www.sharondelight.com


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Planning for Digitization.

Developing Service Model

  • What is the purpose of digitization ? (enable more access, Intranet, Internet)

  • What kinds of content will be digitize ? (paper records, datasets, digital pictures, audio, visual and audio)

  • Who are the key stakeholders ? (Researchers/Scholars, Government agencies , and general public)

www.sharondelight.com


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Planning for Digitization

  • Methods of Storing digital records (online, offline or nearline) – refresh storage media!

  • Digital Preservation

  • What are the type of services you would want to offer ?

www.sharondelight.com


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Digital Preservation

  • Digital information is lost when it is left unattended while hardware, software and media continue to develop

www.sharondelight.com


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Digital Preservation

  • Digital preservation is to ensure digital materials are available and accessible in the long term.

  • Defined as the set of processes and activities that ensure continued access to information … in digital formats

www.sharondelight.com


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Challenges: Component faults

Failure of server, network, software, 3rd party services, or entire data center

Possible Solution

  • Separate digital asset storage from management system

  • Replicate collections at multiple, geographically distributed sites

www.sharondelight.com


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Challenges: Media faults

Extensive (e.g. entire SAN) or limited (e.g. CD-ROM bit rot); visible or latent at the point of request

Possible Solution

  • Audit data frequently (e.g. checksum checking)

  • Replicate collections at multiple sites (e.g. via SRB)

  • Automate repairs from replications

www.sharondelight.com


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Challenges: Software/file format

Software to read digital files no longer runs (e.g. VisiCalc, AppleWorks, Wordstar, Ami Pro)

Possible Solution

  • User education on best formats to archive

  • Format migration (on ingest, on-the-fly)

  • Format-specific preservation plans (XML)

www.sharondelight.com


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Preservation Strategies

  • Bitstream Copying or backing up data, where duplicate of digital records are made.

  • Durable, Persistent Media – where you preserve the physical media or CD, on which the object is stored

  • Migration: - where you copy data from one technology to another to avoid obsolescence of both the physical media and the data ormat

  • Standards:- relies on recognized, long-term standards over proprietary formats

  • Emulation: - process of reproducing software and hardware environments to translate code from one computing environment to run on another

www.sharondelight.com


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