Wrapped in plastic.. a digital archives project update December 2, 2011

State Records’ digital archives project has been underway for 6 months now, so before we all collapse for the Christmas break, thought it might be a good time to let you know how we’re travelling.

Digtisation suite

Digtisation suite, whimsically framed by plastic sheeting

1. We’re developing systems to support digital continuity partnerships

We see the protection, preservation and accessibility of digital records of the NSW government as a partnership with all of you; the agencies who create and keep records to support their business. Continuity of reliable digital information is as much about making sure you have business records for short and medium term purposes as it is about ensuring our collective digital memory is available via the State archives. Plus, records makers and users in the business simply know their information far better than we ever could. So we’re working on tools that we can both make use of to manage, migrate and preserve digital records whatever their status. Some of the key elements of this approach, which we introduced in our recent post: ‘What we reckon about keeping digital archives: ‘High level principles guiding State Records’ approach’, are:

  • analysing recordkeeping system structures and interdependencies;
  • mapping recordkeeping metadata;
  • preservation planning tools and techniques; and
  • capturing metadata to show what has been done with records throughout the process and demonstrate record integrity.

We hope to release more detail via explanatory information and a white paper early in 2012.

Server room

Digital archives server room under construction

2. We’re buying stuff

Our Systems Administrator Damien Juhasz has been working incredibly hard on researching our requirements for ICT systems and hardware and we have several procurement processes underway right now. Our aim is to acquire solutions that are well supported, financially viable and scaleable. All our research has told us that when planning for digital storage, make an estimate and then multiply it tenfold. With the National Broadband Network and ever more data hungry applications coming at us, we are looking at storage, networking and back up technology that will scale with the minimum of hassle and cost.

Digital archives office area

Digital archives office area, with vacuum cleaner

3. We’re building stuff

Well, not us exactly, but what seems like an army of builders, electricians, engineers and other contractors who have been refurbishing parts of Stage 1 at the Western Sydney Records Centre to serve as the new digital archives office space and server room, as well as a new suite of digitisation rooms and a photo studio. Some pics showing the progress are in this post. We’ll post some more soon.

All the best for the holiday season from the Digital Archives team.


One Comments
Geniaus December 2nd, 2011

Fantastic work – I am so pleased I live in NSW

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