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64 DigiCULT
he table below gives a condensed overview of
what the experts thought could be achieved
in this RTD area over the next 10-15 years. After a
short summary of what they considered to be cur-
rent limitations or barriers, the experts' suggestions
are grouped into the phases 2005-2009, 2010-2014,
2015 and beyond. The timeframes and, where given,
years indicate when a certain methodological and/
or technological gap could be closed or some oth-
er RTD breakthrough be achieved. These assessments
are of course dependent on the condition that appro-
priate funding levels, RTD collaborations and other
requirements are met.
2004: Current limitations/barriers
General measures required for ensuring progress in
RTD and organisational frameworks for long-term
preservation/availability of digital heritage resourc-
es include:
establishing much stronger cross-sectoral cooper-
ation between heritage organisations, research
institutes and commercial IT players (expected for
the period 2005-2009);
regularly reviewing and consolidating the knowl-
edge and best practices from many `scattered
projects' (e.g. in the form of authoritative guide-
lines to be made mandatory by funding bodies);
setting up stable mechanisms for developing fur-
ther the existing joint knowledge base against a
background of rapid technological change (e.g. in
international research centres);
developing strong economic models of, and evi-
dence for, the benefits in long-term digital pres-
ervation, also addressing copyright/IPR issues that
may hamper the preservation of valuable heritage
Some specific suggestions include: Focus on cost-
effective repositories; authoritative standards recom-
mendations for formats; monitoring by dedicated
agencies of technologies that may render media
Overall: A phase of maturing base technologies and proce-
dures, including many more Open Source applications
Further development of self-replicating systems;
standardisation of practices such as routine online
backups of digital data on servers
Development of applications which perform unat-
tended reformatting with built-in automatic con-
trols for maintaining and/or improving the quality
and functionality of the original
Enhanced working tools for testing and evaluation
of migration procedures
2005-2008: Increase in computing and processing
power through the ability to share resources using
GRID technologies
2008: Standardisation of preservation monitoring
2008: Standardisation of risk-management software
for decision support, backed up by valid data from
an authoritative agency, e.g. regarding carrier aging
and technological changes
2008: Improvements in constraint-based data man-
agement systems towards dynamically applying new
constraints to a preserved collection, as well as being
able to define the constraints under which the col-
lection was originally created (cf. R. Moore)
Until 2010: More investment and progress in mapping
technologies (cf. M. Doerr, p.38)
More powerful distributed preservation services, in
particular through wider use of data GRID tech-
nology for the infrastructure needed to manage
technology evolution
2010: Progress in better structure-modelling lan-
guages able to describe the ordering of operations
that are needed to interpret bits, transform to ascii,
transform to text structures, and transform to dis-
play mechanisms. (cf. R. Moore)
2015 and beyond
2015: Digital ontology(ies) characterising the struc-
ture of a digital entity and defining the operations
that can be performed on the structures
2015: Display ontology(ies) characterising the oper-
ations needed for display
2015 and beyond: A generic software that supports
self-describing objects in terms of their internal
structures and the operations permitted for manipu-
lating those structures (cf. R. Moore)
Generally, what could be achieved over
the next 10-15 years?
`Off the shelf ' methods and software designed to
assist smaller heritage organisations in preserving
their digital assets (A. Gilliland-Swetland, J. Poirier)
DCTHI7_271104.indd 64
06.12.2004 8:38:36 Uhr