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Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures. Project Goals. Archiving recorded field material from the region around Australia Preservation (longterm storage and backup) Description (metadata or cataloguing information) Rights (access and deposit conditions)

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project goals
Project Goals
  • Archiving recorded field material from the region around Australia
    • Preservation (longterm storage and backup)
    • Description (metadata or cataloguing information)
    • Rights (access and deposit conditions)
    • Access (providing data online)
    • Training in appropriate methods to support these goals
  • Records of cultural material are themselves becoming endangered
    • (reel to reel tapes are deteriorating, audio-cassettes are becoming obsolete)
  • Such records are held in poor conditions, not catalogued and so unlocatable remotely
policy issues
Policy issues
  • Research policies of participating universities with regard to safeguarding research data
  • Policies of engagement with the Australian region
university of melbourne
University of Melbourne
  • “A core principle is that research data and records should be maintained for as long as they are of continuing value to the researcher and in accordance with the requirements set down by the University, research funding bodies, legislation, regulatory authorities and patent agencies. ..... Recognising that there is a requirement for researchers to retain research data and records, the University seeks to facilitate compliance by requiring each department or unit to make arrangements for facilities to be available for the storage of research data and records. Researchers may either use such storage space or make alternative arrangements acceptable to the supervising staff member or head of department.”

Records Management Policy & Procedures ManualCHAPTER SEVEN - Research Data and Records (7.2)

university of melbourne1
University of Melbourne
  • Encouraging the Melbourne Institute of Asian Languages and Societies and the Asialink Centre to work together to implement the 'Melbourne Agenda', particularly by promoting political, industry and community understanding of Asia in Australia, and positioning the University of Melbourne as a significant East Asian institution.

(MU Operational plan 2003)

  • Pacific ??
implementation of paradisec
Implementation of PARADISEC
  • Currently ARC LIEF funded (1 year)
  • Steering Committee made up of representatives of University of Sydney, ANU and University of Melbourne
  • Three staff, admin officer and audio officer (Sydney), project manager (Melbourne)
preservation longterm storage and backup
Preservation (longterm storage and backup)

Conform to data standards to allow data migration

  • Audio - Broadcast Wave Format (BWF)
  • Text - pdf, rtf, ASCII, UNICODE
  • Video - (still in progress, DigiBeta)
  • Images - TIFF
steering committee
Steering Committee
  • Linda Barwick (Team Leader, PARADISEC Sydney)
  • Jane Simpson (Linguistics, University of Sydney)
  • Allan Marett (Music, University of Sydney)
  • John Bowden (Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, ANU)
  • Stuart Hungerford (ANU Internet Futures Project)
  • Ewan Maidment (Pacific Manuscripts Bureau Executive Officer, ANU)
  • Steven Bird (Computing Science, University of Melbourne)
  • Nick Evans (Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, University of Melbourne)
preservation longterm storage and backup1
Preservation (longterm storage and backup)

Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) (encapsulated metadata) 24-bit, 96khz

Metadata extension chunk including unique permanent identifiers, coding history, and content descriptors

preservation longterm storage and backup2
Preservation (longterm storage and backup)

Distributed data

  • Mirrored data in different locations using the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing national facility (APAC) at the ANU.
  • Moved between Sydney and ANU via GrangeNet
  • Stored on tape and hard disk
  • downsampled version provided to depositor (MP3 or similar)
metadata cataloguing info
Metadata (cataloguing info)
  • For discovery / harvesting
  • For assessment
  • For preservation

Conforms to Open Languages Archives Community (OLAC), which itself conforms to Dublin Core

Export to XML

  • PARADISEC is a static repository of OLAC conformant metadata.
  • BWF encapsulated data

Use of controlled vocabularies

  • language names / codes, from Ethnologue
  • Country names / codes, ISO
  • Roles (OLAC)
  • Etc

Database used to constrain entry (FMPro)


Ability to locate data via a standard search mechanism. Metadata in OLAC format

Allows a user to identify material using standard descriptors

Assessed (ie not just digitised) data also listed

Tapes undiscoverable

Tapes + catalogue discoverable locally

Tapes + catalogue + web discoverable globally

Tapes + catalogue + web+digital objects discoverable globally

and available

(subject to permissions)

data assessment metadata cataloguing information
Data assessment (metadata / cataloguing information)

Assessing tape collections for ingestion (=digitisation), triage based on:

- state of current media

- content (regional, endangered)

- state of current storage

- share of services between partner campuses

Selection based also on individual items within a

collection that may have special value.

data preservation metadata cataloguing information
Data preservation (metadata / cataloguing information)

Tracking data through the process of ingestion and duplication for depositor’s copies. Metadata exported to BWF to transcript level

  • Digital preservation copy stored on 100 GB digital access tapes in the MSS at the University of Sydney
  • Mirrored at the robotic mass storage system at the ANU (APAC)
  • Digital data in the mass storage system is automatically backed up and migrated to new tapes on a regular basis.
  • Examples
technicalities hardware
Technicalities - Hardware
  • Quadriga AudioCube 4-II has 2 Pentium III 1Ghz processors, 256 MB RAM, 36 GB audio hard-disk (shuttle), and a 9GB system hard disk.
  • Digital Audio Denmark ADDA 2402 converter box, located between the analogue playback equipment and the AudioCube, handles analog-to-digital conversion.
technicalities software
Technicalities - Software

Wavelab sound editing software to record the audio data at 24-bit 96khz .wav files (PC-standard PCM raw audio files).

Audio File-Inspector

  • converts standard WAV-files into BWF
  • analyses them for maximum and average level, signal-to-noise ratio, dynamics and phase correlation, with results being recorded automatically and saved as metadata in the ‘quality chunk’ of the BWF file.
  • BWF files are then digitally 'sealed' with a File Security Code to maintain the integrity of the audio and metadata.
rights access and deposit conditions
Rights (access and deposit conditions)
  • Deposit / access forms
  • Embedding rights information in the processing system for eventual automated access or restriction of access
access providing data online
Access (providing data online)
  • Data store


training in appropriate methods
Training in appropriate methods
  • Structuring data with best current tools
    • Key concepts: reusability, open formats
  • Archiving achieved in everyday practice not just an end point
    • Documentation of recordings, notes, photographs etc
schedule end of the first year
Schedule: end of the first year
  • Developed control vocabularies for use in metadata (language names, country names, data types)
  • Digitised versions of 500 hours of reel to reel tape with associated metadata descriptions.
  • Developed draft data deposit and access forms for rights management.
  • Developing collaborative arrangements with the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (PAMBU, ANU), National Library of Australia (NLA) and ScreenSound.
schedule end of the first year1
Schedule: end of the first year
  • Established presence of PARADISEC as a service to researchers
  • Training of staff in standard formats, techniques for data transfer and digitisation
  • Developed local data entry mechanism for metadata
  • Developed data export function for metadata to XML and OLAC static repository. Published metadata descriptions to the web
  • Presentation of methodology at national and international conferences
  • Established ongoing funding
current status
Current Status
  • Equipment installed and operating in Sydney
  • Data transfer arrangements in place with APAC
  • Metadata draft revision #3
  • FMPro catalogue working well
  • Staff commenced work in Sydney (April)
  • Project Manager working in Melbourne
  • Static repository validated by OLAC June 2003
current status1
Current Status
  • Support from national institutions
    • ScreenSound (National Film and Sound Archive)
    • National Library
current status3
Current Status

Involvement with:

  • EMELD (Electronic Metastructures for Endangered Languages Data)
  • DELAN (Digital Endangered Languages Archives Network)
  • OLAC (Open language archives community)
related projects in the region
Related Projects in the region
  • E-archives
    • ASEDA
  • P-archives
    • Monash music archive
    • Auckland - Maori and Pacific Music archive
    • Regional museums and cultural centres
aims for 2004
Aims for 2004
  • Get ARC LIEF funding again
  • Broaden focus to include text and images.
  • Development of a web-based data entry mechanism for metadata, to allow depositors to enter their own information.
  • Development of a web-based text-linked- audio-delivery tool to facilitate access to audio material.
  • Digitised versions of 1000 hours of reel to reel tape with associated metadata descriptions.
  • Trial linkage between images of fieldnotes and digitised fieldtapes.
aims for 20041
Aims for 2004
  • Developed data deposit and access forms for rights management.
  • Targeting of existing analog data archives (like the Monash music archive) for advice and potential collaborative work on digitisation
  • Presentation of methodology at national and international conferences.
  • Locating funding sources for establishment of a longterm repository for PARADISEC.

Team leader

Project manager