Readiness Spectrum

Ultimately, what an institution packages is what that institution will get back out of their archival storage for restoration purposes. The packaged content must be adequate to restore objects and collections in the event of corruption or loss. All of the previous sections in these Guidelines have built toward this step of packaging with explicit attention to recovery/reconstitution of collections.

For smaller or under-resourced institutions this packaging phase may be as simple as including written instructions for three scenarios: 1) how to retrieve a single file or subset of files to restore damaged local copies; 2) how a collection can be restored within or re-imported into its repository system/environment; and 3) how the institution should go about re-producing derivative access copies of its collection content from their master files (if those differ). Applying simple and reliable archival packaging formats such as BagIt and TAR (uncompressed) could then prove helpful for on-going management purposes and assurances.

For institutions with greater resources, efforts should be taken to achieve optimal Preservation Description Information (PDI) and to enrich Submission Information Packages (SIPs) with as much information as possible to achieve a sufficient Archival Information Package (AIP). If long-term preservation is being pursued locally, the use of globally unique identifiers (GUIDs) should be considered, ideally in combination with preservation metadata schemas such as METS and/or PREMIS. Likewise, deploying reliable archival packaging formats such as BagIt and/or TAR, and more complex formats such as WARC (which is particularly useful for website-based born-digital newspapers), could prove helpful to future restoration activities.

For institutions both large and small that are partnering with external preservation providers, BagIt can facilitate the trustworthy transfer of any such packaged digital newspaper collections. BagIt ideally should be applied prior to any additional packaging using TAR or WARC. Use of BagIt prior to packaging with TAR is logical because it enables inventorying of the subsequent TAR contents on a per-file basis rather than inventorying of the one TAR file itself. Use of BagIt before or after any packaging with WARC is as yet largely unexplored, but follows from the same logic.