Essay, 7 pages (1800 words)

Preserving of digital assets media essay

The information age society shows slow but steady progress on recognizing the importance of preserving our heritage and protects our information and knowledge repositories. However, with the rapid technology development, the human communities and the society in whole need to keep this heritage information society produced. Digital heritage is not just transformation of traditional heritage into digital form. It is apparently the digital media production of society consisting digital objects. Digital objects include all forms of digital communication and digitized information/content. Thus, there are new forms of civilization artifacts that carry other forms of visible and invisible culture, social knowledge, and common sense. Modern culture is represented by the use and cultural significance of digital information objects, rather than by the objects themselves. These new digital objects as information age artifacts are characterized as global and collaborative contextual artifacts. In the same time, digital objects of a specific type are embedded in a networked environment so they can not be separated from other object without appropriate digital context. However, it is on every nation or group to define what artifacts to be selected from global resources available to them. A farther question contextually related to the new digital heritage g is which digital materials should be kept for future generations. This question arise the need for finding a way how to accurately select and preserve them. It is strongly connected with the assumption that digital objects ask for new preservation methods and polices because traditional ones are no longer usable for preservation of digital objects. Thus, the process of preservation of digital objects, which are stored in a huge number of repositories, urgently need some sort of unified specification for storing and manipulating digital objects. In this way we could find a widely presented and used through the Open Archival Information System. This framework supports and determines the archiving, preservation and management of digital objects, as well as access granted to users. It is based on digital technologies that apparently offer more advantages for preserving and recording the memory of information age society. Digitalization produces digital archives and repositories, and it also provides an access to preserved (digital) artifacts in their original formats. Preserving process usually consist of standardized workflows transforming digital materials into storage systems for farther management and preservation. In this process fixity of digital objects is a method for digital preservation. Digital objects have special characteristics that after encoding additional actions are needed to check that a encoded object is actually the same as it has been before encoding process and during the preservation period. The existed methods related to compute checksums, or cryptographic hashes are useful to audit digital content in that way. To ensure the authenticity of digital copies an analog fixity check is used; a technique to check if the source content is identical to the encoded content of the copy. These techniques of checking the identity of source and encoded objects have effect in how Kirschenbaum (2002) defines statement that digital objects are the same. In his words there is a notion that one object has the same bits as another associated with the knowing how those bits are physically encoded and recorded on a digital object. In this process all the bits are recorded on storage media and resulted in digital objects that could also be treated as analog objects. Hence, each bit of entire digital object could be investigated to find the accuracy of written content stored on the medium on which it is encoded. While preservation of cultural values, thought, and artful expression are core values retained in information technology re-tooling (Drucker, 2005), the revolution in digital media is not irrelevant in shaping the new practice. Drucker also states ” The tools of digital media are not in themselves the core, but rather what one learns from the engagement or more specifically the practice of these tools. Thus, a diverse and flexible set of skills across a range of informational, expressive, reflective and critical tasks.” (Drucker, 2005: pp. 246). Digital objects are presented by their inner structure of encoded things. Thus, they are also allographic in contrast to analog objects. It is due to the fact that the digital objects are much richer with the details without less interesting information that are extracted from the artifact itself. Here we can find the task to evaluate digital object by its long-term value in order to develop an infrastructure by which digital objects could be preserved for the long period of time. These issues are concerning Digital Assets Management. Digital Asset Management focuses to a greater degree on complex content and on maximizing the ability to access and reuse it. Complex content generally means multimedia including images, video, audio and materials with a dynamic complexity. The tools are concentrated to a greater degree on integration with creative authoring tools to allow asset managers ready access to their content storage infrastructure for re-use purposes. Multimedia complexity challenges Digital Asset Management systems and it is even more challenging as they start to address longer-term preservation and stewardship issues. One key initiative in the digital Asset Management systems deployment was the Publishing Requirements for Industry Standard Metadata, a specification that defines a set of XML metadata vocabularies for syndicating, aggregating and multi-purposing publishing content. It was initiated in 1999 as a set of computer language standards and recommended usages for cataloging digital information and content transmission. It also standardizes building-block Web page language and institutes a framework for preserving digital content and metadata. Coping with the preservation process meaningfully, there are common preservation challenges dealing with the context of the digital assets that are the subject of the overall preservation system. There is a long tradition of contextualization of content in collections by a wide range of users, including scholars, amateur historians and other enthusiasts. They have done so by writing scientific publications, compiling magazines that document the history of the city they live in, studying their family histories, using archival footage as illustrations for monographs and so on. Thus, preserving context is a great challenge to any preservation activities with digital assets. There is a long tradition of contextualization of content in collections by a wide range of users, including scholars, amateur historians and other enthusiasts. They have done so by writing scientific publications, compiling magazines that document the history of the city they live in, studying their family histories, using archival footage as illustrations for monographs and so on. A key goal is to preserve the context in which important events or discoveries occurred or works of art were created. Thus, preservation is about much more than archiving documents. It is also about preserving the context in which important events, discoveries, and works of creation took place. The term contextualization has many connotations in the heritage domain. In some extent, contextualization has always been part of the mission statement of heritage organizations. This notion could be found in the words of Bruce Sterling ” The grand plan here is to protect the legacy of the past while also ensuring one’s relevance to the present and future” (Sterling, 2009). Cook (1993) has advocated the emergence of a new archival paradigm called the post-custodial age in which he proposes that archivists should move from a content-based past to a context-based future. Changing from passive custodians to active document lists, informing professionals are to appraise records in terms of context, function, interrelationships and creation. Cook’s concept of a postcustodial age emphasizes the skills of the informing professionals and is timely in its relevance to the challenges of information abundance. These professionals are to assert their expertise in contextualizing digital assets within repositories of information available through the global interconnected information sources and repositories. The new created digital memory of our civilization involves the development and proposal, through a digital reconstitution of physical channels and media, of a new social ‘ praxis’ of the past in which previously unknown visions of contemporary culture are concentrated and expressed. Once again a historic perspective is essential: original as it may be, informational memory did not appear out of nowhere. Its foundations were laid with the rise of an archival vision of the world from which documentation, conservation and museology have emerged as fully fledged disciplines (Renaud, 2002). Further, currently there are technical problems in ensuring that the digital material saved in information repositories and archives remains accessible in its original form. Software and hardware are constantly changed and developed which ultimately become incompatible with their predecessors. This means that within just a few years, material which often includes sound, video, pictures, as well as links to Internet Web pages and cloud-based databases becomes inaccessible. There is also consideration on Internet as widespread publishing medium of the information society, and some argue that it should be preserved as a whole as its pages, forums, blogs etc. present (in some way) the picture of the society creating new form of heritage. When the individual and social knowledge are digitized into some interoperable defined structural forms there is possibility that portion of the overall heritage will be still unknown. Liu (2004) concludes that the core problem is the ethos of the unknown, the place of the unencoded, unstructured, and unmanaged. In our current age of knowledge work and total information, what experience of the structurally unknowable can still be conveyed in structured media of knowledge? For him it could be the arts. Hence, we find the interoperability as another key category in preserving processes. Interoperability is the property that allows for the unrestricted sharing of resources between different systems. This can refer to the ability to share data between different components or machines, both via software and hardware, or it can be defined as the exchange of information and resources between different computers through communication networks. It is the ability of two or more components or systems to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged. In some extent, there are forms of emotional embodiment of technology in current human-computer interfaces (Hansen, 2004) conceptualized through open-ended recursivity of technology and human interaction (Hansen, 2006). Hansen (2008) also argues for coevolution of man and machine making electronic literature and digital art as new kinds of intermediations. These issues introduce new waves in making cultural heritage which is extremely dependent on technology that evolves very fast and it beyond corresponding preservation needs. The current communication tools offer the possibility to celebrate and cherish the richness of our cultural diversity but the way we manage and disseminate digital information will make the difference. Abid & Radoykov (2002) made assumption that for cultural institutions traditionally assigned with the collection and preservation of cultural heritage, these new trends open to them new questions on what of digital artifacts should be kept for the future and how they should be preserved. Hence, future generations of online digital collections should thus work with emerging groups of users in the development of concepts and content in order to be able to create intelligent user interfaces and to give meaningful information (Cameron, 2002).

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