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Archive for November, 2007

Information World

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

This is a link to a feature story on the British Library/Microsoft large scale digitisation project. There is a mention of the LIFE project alongside other BL digital preservation activities.


Delos - Appraisal in the digital world.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

DElOS Logo

Based in the simply stunning Accademia Nationale Dei Lincei in Rome, this DELOS conference covered a diverse and highly informative cross section of speakers all facing the challenges of appraising electronic archives. Focusing mainly in the archive world but with strong input from both libraries and Universities it covered topics from appraising Art databases through to Scientific records.

I was there representing both the British Library using our recently completed risk assessment of digital objects as well as LIFE2, it was the first time the two had been used together and it seemed to work well. I underlined the LIFE project methodologies strength in helping repositories assess both the cost but also the areas of main activity within any archive.

The example I use most often to illustrate this is the VDEP analysis that was done for LIFE, even though the costs may not in all cases be 100% accurate the model still is able to identify where the most cost is gathered. In this particular case it was in the metadata creation which helped us highlight areas where future savings may be made, or where tool development could be focused to help reduce future costs.

The conclusions were that appraisal is a word used in many different ways, there is the traditional archiving use through to more modern electronic means and even went as far as a 3D model which plotted levels of activity within an archive based upon how many documents you send or recieve. Basically it put you on a map that kind of looked like the solar system and based upon your workrate you moved into or out of the picture…you have been warned.

The two day conference was a great success and it was a pleasure to be there.

LIFE Costing Model released for comment

Monday, November 5th, 2007

The LIFE Project has recently published a revised model for lifecycle costing of digital objects.

The original LIFE Model was developed as part of the first phase of the LIFE Project in 2006. As part of the second phase of the project, the LIFE team have revised the model taking on board comments from a range of external parties.

This new model (version 1.1) along with a full explanation of how the model works and how to implement it, is available from the UCL Eprints repository here:

LIFE Model V1.1

We would greatly appreciate any comments on the revision. These comments from the wider community will then form part of the final review of the model towards the end of the project.

For comparison the original version of the model is available in the project summary produced at the end of LIFE1:

Any comments regarding the model are welcome, but for guidance here are a few areas that might be worth considering:

  1. Does the document provide sufficient detail to convey a useful description of a digital lifecycle?
    Is there a simple mapping from lifecycles within your organisation to the LIFE Model? If not, what issues/obstacles are apparent?
  2. Are there any significant elements missing from the lifecycle model? Are there any elements that should not be included?
  3. You can comment on the model either privately via e-mail ( or here on the blog via the comments facility. We’d like to get as much as comment and discussion as possible, so the document will be open for comment for two months (i.e. until 7th January 2008).

If you have any questions or queries regarding the revised model, or about any other aspect of the project please just let me know,

Many thanks, Richard

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