University of Texas at Austin
The course will focus upon what happens to electronic records from all sources, including preservation reformatting and digital library creation, once they have crossed the “archival threshold” (whether actually or figuratively) for permanent retention. The course will cover media refreshment, conversion to neutral formats vs. emulation to retain original format, migration, migration on demand; significant properties of digital objects, what they are and their importance for preservation; format and metadata repositories and the use of metadata in digital archives; digital signatures, message digests, authenticity, and reauthentication in the long-term preservation of electronic records; and electronic records archival repository construction, use, and administration. Projects based on the iSchool institutional repository and the UTDR will be undertaken by students as case studies. Students will also be introduced to how existing standard practices in the information technology field are being adapted to archival requirements: code versioning, vaulting, and escrow, data warehousing, text and data mining, web crawling, knowledge management, IT auditing. Issues of access, including privacy and open records in the context of World Wide Web standards and digital library initiatives, will also be addressed.