DUBLIN, Ohio, July 17, 2001--OCLC, with input from several organizations, is developing a digital archive to track and preserve web-based documents that exist solely in electronic format.
The goal of the Web Document Digital Archive project is to create a sustainable service to provide long-term access to web documents. The service will fill libraries' basic needs for identification, selection, capture, description, preservation, and access to documents that would not be accessible in the future otherwise.
OCLC is seeking direct input on the project from a variety of institutions already focused on the issue: The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO); The Connecticut State Library; and the Joint Electronic Records Repository Initiative (JERRI), a partnership of the State Library of Ohio, the Ohio Historical Society's State Archives, the Ohio Supercomputer Center and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.
"Participants will be collaborating with OCLC on system user requirements, evaluating working prototypes through 'hands-on' experience, and developing
policies and practices for long-term retention in concert with current best
practices established through other digital archive projects internationally," said Taylor Surface, director of OCLC Content Management Services. "Long-term retention and access to documents published on the World Wide Web have universal appeal to libraries and people seeking the information in them."
This pilot will be tested in several phases during the next 18 months using the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) model to develop a working digital archive. Building on this soon-to-be international standard, the Web Document Digital Archive will provide a unique integration of workflow to assist library staff in management of these electronic-only publications. OAIS defines the framework of functions and features of a basic digital archive.
"GPO is excited to be part of OCLC's Web Document Digital Archive project to develop a system to provide the same stability of access to digital publications that can be achieved with print publications," said Gil Baldwin, director of the Library Program Service, GPO. "I believe that this metadata and archiving toolkit will help GPO further its mission to provide permanent public access to the electronic government resources in the Federal Depository Library Program."
"State government information nowadays is published predominantly, in some
cases exclusively, on the web," said Stephen Slovasky, bibliographic services head, Connecticut State Library. "We intend, through the Digital Archive, to capture, preserve, provide access to, and manage the usage rights of electronic state documents. The Connecticut State Library is pleased to collaborate with OCLC, GPO and the Ohio JERRI group on developing this important service."
"The JERRI partners have spent considerable time and energy investigating ways to identify, capture and permanently store web publications of enduring historical value created by State of Ohio government agencies," said Jim Buchman, head of public services, State Library of Ohio. "To date we have found no off-the-shelf solution to satisfy our requirements. The JERRI partners are quite pleased that OCLC is now developing such a solution."
Work on the Web Document Digital Archive project will be informed by the developments of the Preservation Metadata working group convened by OCLC and RLG. The working group has published an initial white paper of current best practices at
"Goals of the project coincide with OCLC's global strategy, which includes establishing metadata, digital collection and preservation management and providing web-based services for contribution, discovery, exchange, delivery and presentation," said Meg Bellinger, president of OCLC Preservation Resources.
The project is part of OCLC's global strategy and the development of Digital Collections Management & Preservation services. The Government Printing Office catalogs items distributed through the federal depository program into WorldCat. GPO makes government publications in all formats freely accessible to the public through more than 1,300 federal depository libraries throughout the United States. Online and print publications cataloged and disseminated by GPO provide information of current and enduring interest on a broad assortment of topics, including congressional documents, federal research, business, science, technology, statistical data, law, medicine and federal regulations.
The Connecticut State Library is the principal library for all branches of state government. It provides reference services and specialized collections in law and legislation; public administration and policy; state, federal and local government; Connecticut history and genealogy; newspapers; and archives in support of its mission "to provide high-quality library and information services to state government and the citizens of Connecticut," and "to preserve and make accessible the records of Connecticut's history and heritage."
The Joint Electronic Records Repository is a collaborative partnership of the Technology Policy Group of the Ohio Supercomputer Center, the Ohio Historical Society's State Archives, the State Library of Ohio, and the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. Its purpose is to find ways to appraise, preserve and provide access to Ohio's electronic and e-commerce records of enduring historical value, and to position Ohio as a leader in archiving electronic records and publications. Currently, the group is in the planning stage of a pilot electronic records long-term storage and retrieval program for state records.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit organization that provides computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing and preservation services to 39,000 libraries in 76 countries and territories. OCLC was founded in 1967 to improve access to the world's information and reduce information costs, and conducts ongoing research to develop technologies to support that mission. Forest Press, a division of OCLC since 1988, publishes the Dewey Decimal Classification system.