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Trustworthy 100-Year Digital Objects: Divide and Conquer Digital Preservation

By H.M. Gladney


Preserving digital information is receiving steadily increasing attention. However, recent publications communicate little progress against computer science problems identified in 1995: (1) providing authenticity evidence, and (2) ensuring the future ability to execute today’s computer programs on machines whose architectures are not yet known. We have solved both. Our TDO (Trustworthy Digital Object) packaging makes any digital content trustworthy and reliably meaningful to end users, no matter how distant these are in time, in space, and in social affiliation from the information source. Authors can prepare documents for archiving without centralized coordination. Librarians can add metadata without help from authors. Consumers can evaluate preserved documents’ authenticity without needing other people’s assistance. The TDO infrastructure components are only lightly coupled, permitting repositories to operate almost independently of each other. The TDO method is an economical solution compatible with currently deployed digital libraries. Deployments to scale are feasible in 1-2 years. The current article is an introduction intended to be useful to planners and managers responsible for the future of digital archives at their institutions.

Topics: BC Authenticity and Integrity
Year: 2003
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    14. (2003). Trustworthy 100-Year Digital Documents: Syntax and Semantics--Tension between Facts and Values, planned for
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