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Systems and Planning




Digital Preservation

As part of the Library's Digital Preservation Program, OIS participates in collaborative initiatives that enhance digital preservation standards, practices, and tools. At the end of 2009, Harvard joined the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC). The IIPC provides a forum for cultural heritage and research institutions to share knowledge, tools, and standards for web archiving. Within the IIPCís Preservation Working Group, OIS led an effort to identify and assess risks to preserving web content, and participated in an effort to develop best practices for packaging and describing archived web content.

Throughout FY 2010, OIS collaborated with organizations throughout the US and around the world to build the Unified Digital Formats Registry (UDFR). The UDFR will be an authoritative knowledge base of format information that is needed to support digital preservation activities. In addition, OIS staff co-authored a proposal to the Library of Congressís National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) to fund the first year's development of UDFR.

The proposal was accepted by the Library of Congress in early 2010.

Cooperative Metadata Standards

Harvard is represented on the editorial boards of two key metadata standards, METS and MODS:

  • METS, a widely deployed standard for structural and administrative metadata for digital libraries, released version 1.9 in February 2010 with improved support for bit-stream management.
  • MODS, an important standard for descriptive metadata, released version 3.4 in June 2010, adding support for RDA elements and descriptive practice and improving support for transliterated and translated metadata.

Metadata Sharing and Software Development: Harvard Geospatial Library

The Harvard Geospatial Library (HGL) development team has been working closely with partners at Harvard, MIT, and Tufts. These collaborations involve the sharing and reuse of both geospatial data sets and software programs for building GIS data repositories for discovery, preview, and download of GIS data sets—maps, GIS vector data, satellite imagery, etc.

Harvard, MIT, and Tufts each have limited development resources dedicated to GIS library repositories. In FY2009, the three partners developed a consensus around an open-source architecture for GIS repositories. Focusing on different aspects of the repository at the different schools, code can be shared to accelerate development of common features. To that end, HGL was modified to use the open source GeoServer which supports collaborating on innovative GIS user interface software being developed at Tufts. In FY 2011, we expect to more fully exploit the shared code platform.