Digital curation involves maintaining, preserving, and adding value to digital content throughout its lifecycle. It is a key step in the preservation of digital objects, and the best defense for mitigating digital obsolescence, and analog format decay. In the current academic environment, a significant portion of our scholarly works from decades past faces the danger of becoming inaccessible through physical decay, or format obsolescence. Meanwhile, a majority of the current scholarly content created at Rutgers and peer institutions are "born digital," having been originated on digital platforms. Both types of items-analog and digital-pose preservation challenges which can be addressed through effective digital curation.
Recently, developmental tools for archiving and digital curation have required the use of what were once viewed as alternative operating systems. The rise of open source development in this field has intensified the need for digital curators to be increasingly fluent in new technologies and multiple computing environments. We are also bound by historical precedents, which peg non-Microsoft based systems for graphic design, photographic, audio, and video work.
The face of digital content creation has changed significantly as well. Although rumors of the demise of the traditional PC have been widely exaggerated, mobile devices and open source operating systems are playing ever-larger roles in the everyday lives of academics and the public at large, resulting not only in an explosion of new and differing formats for digital items, but an increase in the volume of digital content as well, precipitated by the ease with which any individual can create high-quality still images, audio, video, and research data. As such, digital curation is a continually-evolving field, requiring constant evaluation and nimble adaptation.
The Digital Curation Research Center works in tandem with RUcore and serves as a primary location for the creation, digitization, and handling of objects for digital preservation. The DCRC is a working laboratory where new approaches to preserving digital content are tested, and best practices are established and formalized.
The DCRC's ongoing activities factor greatly into the open access movement. For successful application of open access, it must be possible to assure that scholarly works are preserved in stable formats that will endure, and that an actionable migration plan to new technologies and formats can be developed and executed when the time comes to do so.
Our activities are also pivotal in ensuring the best possible methods of preserving and making accessible content, while addressing the rights concerns of copyright holders, when copyright applies.
- Isaiah Beard firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Curation Blog, including standards, best practices, hands-on experiences and related topics: http://page2pixel.rutgers.edu
Last updated: April 26, 2017