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Digital Archives

Archiving Nova Scotia's digital heritage for future generations

Modern records are almost always created in a digital format. The University Archives is responding to this reality by developing a digital archives program based on national and international standards for digital preservation.

The program has five major components:

  1. Bitstream preservation and storage – Digital preservation involves a commitment to preserve the original bitstream of digital objects submitted to the Archives.
  2. File formats and preservation strategies – There are thousands of file formats and each format requires a preservation strategy that involves identification, validation, normalization policies, etc.
  3. Preservation planning – Preservation planning is the foundation of all successful digital preservation programs. Planning allows institutions to set short- and long-term agendas that are based upon assessment data and stategic goals.
  4. Metadata – The Archives is implementing tools and procedures that will support the acquisition and preservation of metadata that is essential to long-term digital preservation and access.
  5. Research and development – The Archives will contribute to and participate in institutional and community-led research and development in areas including electronic records management, digital forensics, and appraisal of electronic records.

More information will be added to this site as procedures and workflows are developed.

Recent Projects

The Archives' digital archives program is under development. Recent projects include:

  1. Digital archives collection assessment
  2. Ransom Myers textual and electronic records processing project (produced finding aid for Ransom Myers fonds and Ransom Myers web archive collection)
  3. Young Canada Works Digital Archives Internship
  4. Protocol for transferring University records to the Archives

International standards

The Archives' digital preservation program is guided by a suite of standards approved by the International Standards Organization:

  1. ISO 14721:2012 - Open archival information system (OAIS) reference model
  2. ISO 16363:2012 - Audit and certification of trustworthy digital repositories
  3. ISO 20652:2006 - Producer-archive interface -- methodology abstract standard
  4. ISO 20104:2015 - Producer-archive interface specification