Access to and preservation of cultural and scientific resources Protecting our digital heritage for future generations
This large-scale project addressed the growing challenge of preserving digital information, upon which society is increasingly dependent but which is intrinsically fragile. The CASPAR team has created a framework of tools and infrastructure components to support the end-to-end preservation of all types of digitally encoded information and thus help producers, curators and users of digital resources share the burden of preservation.
Work in CASPAR was driven by the following objectives:
- enhance techniques for capturing representation information and other preservation related information;
design virtualisation services for preserving resources despite changes in computer hardware and software and storage systems;
- ensure trustworthiness of preserved data with standard features for digital rights management, authentication, and accreditation;
- research more sophisticated access to and use of preserved digital resources such as intuitive query and browsing mechanisms.
The project established an authoritative foundation methodology for digital preservation activities. Guiding principle was the application of the Open Archival Information Systems Reference Model (OAIS, ISO 14721).
Further, through training and dissemination activities, CASPAR contributed to raising awareness about the critical importance of digital preservation among the relevant user-communities. This should facilitate the emergence of a more diverse offer of systems and services for preservation of digital resources.
The CASPAR infrastructure components and tools proved to be applicable to essentially all types of digitally encoded information, whether from an archival or contemporary source. This is important because the artefacts created in the preservation process, for example for access control, will also require preservation, as will the CASPAR key components themselves.
CASPAR has brought together a consortium covering important digital holdings, representing scientific, cultural and creative expertise, together with commercial partners, and world leaders in the field of information preservation.
To validate the research work, CASPAR was tested with different types of digital information, in a wide range of user communities: science, performing arts and cultural heritage. The testbeds produced were embedded in operational systems within the CASPAR consortium, but were easy to integrate into other operational systems.
- Cultural data: The UNESCO World Heritage testbed dealt with preservation of all data necessary to document, visualise and model archaeological sites. CASPAR provided a valuable resource to assist conservation experts in restoring the associated site even if its original state changes or deteriorates.
- Contemporary art: This testbed focused on computer-based arts, such as contemporary music, which produces highly complex objects and relies on specific hardware, instructions and interaction devices. To recreate performances, the archive must allow the retrieval of all these elements.
- Science data: This testbed assessed the requirements of the Earth Science community, where information - such as long-term records of atmospheric data – is being collected with varying instruments and processed with evolving software.
A worldwide network of users
The Preservation User Community founded by CASPAR is a worldwide network of professionals and organisations with a stake in the preservation of digital information: curators, service providers, memory institutions, researchers, and creators and users of digital resources in general.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeIP - Integrated Project
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