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LIFE2 Conference Programme updated

POSTED BY Richard Davies at 12:08, 2 June 2008

The programme for the LIFE2 Conference has been recently updated, and is available from the conference page.

The free one-day conference will be held on 23 June at the British Library Conference Centre. If you have not yet registered, and would like to attend, you can register easily here:

Registration will close in a few weeks time, so please make sure you register in time, if you are intending to take part in the conference.

LIFE2 Conference - registration is open

POSTED BY Richard Davies at 10:12, 4 April 2008

If you would like to attend the free 1-day conference held at the British Library on 23 June, please could you fill out the brief form on the project website: LIFE2 Conference

Registration will start at 9.30am, with the first speaker starting at 10.00am.

When the exact programme has been finalised I will post it to this blog, however, it will include the following:

Keynote address by Paul Courant (University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, University of Michigan)

A panel discussion on future digital preservation costing activities

Presentation on the JISC-LC Blue Ribbon Task Force on the economic sustainability of digital preservation by Paul Ayris (Director of Library Services, University College London)

Presentations on the updated LIFE costing model and how to implement it.

Presentation of the economic review conducted of LIFE1 and LIFE2 by Bo-Christer Björk (Professor of Information Systems Science, SwedishSchool of Economics and Business Administration)

LIFE project results on the costs of digital collections will also be released, including presentations on the following case studies:

Institutional repositories (from SHERPA-LEAP and SHERPA-DP).

British Library Newspapers (including mapping the costing model to both digital and analogue collections).

Primary Data at the Medical Research Council

LIFE2 Conference: 23 June 2008

POSTED BY Richard Davies at 12:40, 19 February 2008

A date for your diaries - the LIFE2 Project Conference will be held at the British Library on 23 June 2008.

The conference will cover the results from the project’s case studies which examined the lifecycle costs for:  

Digital repositories

Primary data

Digitised newspapers

The conference will cover the results from the project’s case studies which examined the lifecycle costs for:  Other topics will include mapping digital and analogue lifecycles, as well as the updated LIFE costing model and how to go about using the LIFE model in your own institutions.

The conference will be of interest to the digital preservation community and repository managers, as well as anyone with an interest in the costs associated with digital collections.

We will post further details of the programme closer to the conference date, however if you are interested in attending please register from here or email we will keep you informed of the programme details. There is no charge for conference attendance.

JISC Programme Synthesis Study: Supporting Digital Preservation and Asset Management in Institutions

POSTED BY Rui Miao at 16:30, 7 February 2008

JISC has published JISC Programme Synthesis Study: Supporting Digital Preservation and Asset Management in Institutions: A Review of the 4-04 Programme on Digital Preservation and Asset Management in Institutions for the JISC Information Environment: Part II: Programme Synthesisjisc

The report covers a number of projects, including LIFE, MANDATE, PARADIGM, PRESERV, and SHERPA DP and provides a comprehensive and categorised overview of the outputs from the entire programme.  In the report, you can find LIFE work from the following pages:

LIFE Overview:  pp.10;
LIFE Cost Model:  pp.25, 46-47, and 54;
LIFE Case Studies:  pp.27, 40-42, 67-68;

Site updates

POSTED BY Richard Davies at 17:22, 25 January 2008

The LIFE website has been updated with the latest conference presentations and papers the team have recently given on LIFE2: 

Risk Assessment and Cost Appraisal given at DELOS conference:
McLeod, R. (2007) Risk Assessment and Cost Appraisal. In: DELOS-Appraisal in the digital world, 15-16 November, Rome, Italy

LIFE Overview given at LIBER Conference:
Davies, R. (2007) The cost of digitisation and preservation: The LIFE Project. In: LIBER Digitisation Conference, 24-26 October 2007, Copenhagen, Denmark.

LIFE Overview given at iPRES Conference:
Wheatley, P. (2007) LIFE: Costing the digital preservation lifecycle. In: iPRES Annual Conference, 10 October 2007, Beijing, China.

I’m sure you’ll all be thrilled to know we have also updated the LIFELIFE teampage.

Podcast: Why is Google showing us the way forward in digitisation?

POSTED BY Richard Davies at 17:08, 25 January 2008


At the European Digitisation workshop in December last year, Paul Ayris (who is the LIFE Project Director) was interviewed. He explored some important challenges facing national and university libraries across the continent.The podcast of the interview is available from the JISC website.At the workshop I also gave a presentation on LIFE, which is available from the documentation page.

The Afterlife Is Expensive for Digital Movies

POSTED BY Paul Wheatley at 13:20, 8 January 2008


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just published a report on digital preservation and costing of digital movies. The New York Times discusses the report here, noting some key costs, comparison of digital and analogue tape and making mention of some detailed case study work. Unfortunately the report itself (entitled “The Digital Dilemma”) isn’t online but apparently you can order a paper copy from:

Ashley Head, AMPAS, Science & Technology Council, (phone) 310-247-3000 ext. 358 or e-mail:

There is also some related discussion on the digipres list, here.

More here, when I’ve read the report itself!

Information World

POSTED BY Rory McLeod at 16:18, 21 November 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.

POSTED BY Rory McLeod at 16:16, 21 November 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

POSTED BY Richard Davies at 17:27, 5 November 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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