How might a NSW Digital Archive look in 2020? October 8, 2010

At a risk of being judged by posterity to have been either unrealistically overambitious, or quaintly conservative, here is my vision for how a NSW Digital Archive might look a decade from now:

The Tomorrow People

Photograph by spablab via Flickr


An agency imports its new XML retention and disposal authority into its corporate records system. Triggers and retention periods are automatically calculated. Years later the corporate records system autonomously negotiates with SRNSW’s digital archive to perform an online records transfer. Proposed disposal classes are matched against current authorisation by the digital archive. The records are transferred using CMIS, a standard protocol for content transfer. The digital archive automatically ingests the transfer and converts records to normalised formats for preservation. Recordkeeping metadata is also transferred by the agency and is used to create archival descriptions in traditional and in linked data formats. On receipt of a confirmation of transfer, the agency replaces its copies of the digital records with pointers to the normalised records now maintained by SRNSW.

Within the corporate records system, an agency user accesses a file that has been transferred to SRNSW and opens it as seamlessly as any record held locally. At the same time, an external researcher writing a paper on NSW history is prompted by their editing and research tool to examine one of the digital records transferred by the agency. Behind the scenes their editing tool had been conducting semantic internet queries using the contents of their paper and discovered the relevant item in the linked data archival description published by SRNSW.

What is your vision for a future NSW digital archive?

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